Truth, Time and History

A Philosophical Inquiry

Truth, Time and History investigates the reality of the past by connecting arguments across areas which are conventionally discussed in isolation from each other.

Breaking the impasse within the narrower analytic debate between Dummett’s semantic anti-realists and the truth value link realists as to whether the past exists independently of our methods of verification, the book argues, through an examination of the puzzles concerning identity over time, that only the present exists. Drawing on Lewis’s analogy between times and possible worlds, and work by Collingwood and Oakeshott, and the continental philosopher, Barthes, the author advances a wholly novel proposal, as to how aspects of ersatz presentism may be combined with historical coherentism to uphold the legitimacy of discourse about the past.

In highlighting the role of historians in the creation and construction of temporality, Truth, Time and History offers a convincing philosophical argument for the inherence of an unreal past in the real present.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Truth
1. The realist/anti-realist wars
2. Projection, analogy and meaning

Part II: Time
3. Tense theory
4. Leibniz’s Law and the paradox of diachronic identity
5. Presentism and modality

Part III: History
6. Collingwood and Oakeshott: is history possible?
7. A realist present and a coherentist past

Bibliography

Index

A video introduction to Truth, Time and History