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Putnam on Time and Special Relativity: A Long Journey from Ontology to Ethics

Mauro Dorato

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 956 Kb

str. 51-70

preuzimanja: 404



In this paper I discuss Putnam’s view on time
and the special theory of relativity. I first locate
Putnam’s philosophical approach within a more
general framework, essentially making reference
to Sellars’ distinction between the scientific image
and the manifest image of the world. I then
reconstruct Putnam’s argument in favour of the
reality of the future and the determinateness
of truth-value for future tense sentences (Putnam
1967) by showing that it is based on three
premises that generate a contradiction. In the
second part of the paper I discuss Putnam’s argument
both by using later results belonging to
the foundations of STR and quantum mechanics
(Putnam 2005), and by invoking some conceptual
analysis on the pseudo-predicate “is real”.
Since I will show that the presentists/eternalists
debate is ill-founded if regarded as ontological,
I will conclude that it boils down to our different
practical attitudes towards past, present and

Ključne riječi

special theory of relativity, presentism, eternalism, becoming, ontology, pragmatism

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