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Other Times : Philosophical Perspectives on Past, Present and Future - David Cockburn

Other Times

Philosophical Perspectives on Past, Present and Future

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Published: 13th November 1997
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We view things from a certain position in time: in our language, thought, feelings and actions, we draw distinctions between what has happened, is happening, and will happen. Current approaches to this feature of our lives - those seen in disputes between tensed and tenseless theories, between realist and anti-realist treatments of past and future, and in accounts of historical knowledge - embody serious misunderstandings of the character of the issues; they misconstrue the relation between metaphysics and ethics, and the way to characterise the kind of sense which tensed language has. David Cockburn argues that the notion of 'reasons for emotion' must have a central place in any account of meaning, and that the present should have no priority in our understanding of tense. This allows for a more satisfactory articulation of the place of past, present and future in our thought, and of the form which criticism of our thought might take.

"I think this is a splendid book. It is unusual, extraordinarily rich and sometimes, indeed, moving. It deserves a wide audience. Certainly it is not just a book for those with a specialist interest in the philosophy of time'. A. W. Moore, Times Literary Supplement 'Any philosopher needs a lot of passion to tackle such deeply frustrating questions. David Cockburn, who does so in his fine new book, also reveals that he is a very human philosopher as well' David Carr, History and Theory 'Anyone interested in the philosophy of time must certainly read this excellent book. I have seldom enjoyed and respected a book so much with which I disagree so deeply'. Timothy Sprigge, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 'David Cockburn's book ... is an inspired, perceptive and engaging study which, one hopes, will motivate many to have another look at the philosophy of time and its interconnections with other themes in current philosophy.' Christoph Hoerl, Mind 'I was ... greatly stimulated by David Cockburn's remarkable book. His discussion is rich and subtle, covering a wide range of related issues, and drawing on countless examples from ordinary life to support his arguments. He has made a splendid case for shifting, or at least widening, the debate about tense to give ethical issues a central place, and his exploration of the relationship between tense and ethics represents a significant advance on previous work, notably by Nagel and Parfit. And the message which lies at the heart of the book demands our serious attention: that, if one abstracts the debate about the reality of tense and of other times from the human context which gives temporal talk its substantive content, one should not expect to derive consequences which have human significance'. Robin le Poidevin, Philosophical Investigations 'Cockburn presents a fresh and stimulating perspective on issues to which there is a standard and well-worn approach. ... Cockburn raises lots of interesting and perceptive points, illustrated with and supported by a wide range of stimulating and striking examples. ... [E]very reader will find a great deal that is challenging and valuable in Cockburn's book.' Stephen Makin 'The book is clearly impressive in its scope and originality. In presenting the debate between the tensed and tenseless theories in an entirely new light, it provides a serious challenge to all who participate in it'. Michelle C. M. Beer

Preface
Acknowledgements
Time and Tense
Introduction
Under the aspect of eternity
The view from here
Memory, emotions and the past
The role of tense
Tense and ontology
The passage of time
Past, Present and Future
The present
The reality of the future
Testimony, history and the real past
Time and Eternity
Time and eternity in Spinoza and Weil
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521592147
ISBN-10: 0521592143
Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 370
Published: 13th November 1997
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.62