Nominals, facts, and two conceptions of events

Philosophical Studies 35 (2):129 - 149 (1979)


According to one view of english nominals, imperfect nominals designate facts, and perfect nominals, events. it is argued here that this is mistaken. of imperfect nominals only "that"-clauses are fact designators; imperfect gerundive nominals are to be classed with perfect nominals as event designators. there are, however, two conceptions of events, arising from two different conceptions of time. the events designated by imperfect gerundives are to be conceived as spread out in time, divisible into parts, and such that the same event may receive multiple descriptions. the events named by perfect nominals differ. they persist through time, rather than being extended in it, they do not divide into temporal parts, and obey strict conditions of identity. this position is argued for on the basis of linguistic evidence, as well as analysis of the conceptions of time involved. implications of the view for a number of philosophical problems are pointed out and briefly explored

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Hugh J. McCann
Texas A&M University

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Citations of this work

Actions as Processes.Helen Steward - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):373-388.
What Causes Effects?Philip L. Peterson - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 39 (2):107 - 139.

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