Tensism is the doctrine that tense (like past and future tense) is not eliminable and not reducible to non-tensed facts. We can distinguish two kinds of tensism – metaphysical tensism and linguistic tensism. Metaphysical tensism is the doctrine that reality itself is tensed and that these tensed facts are not reducible to more basic untensed facts. Linguistic tensism is the idea that natural language is tensed and that natural language tense is not reducible to more basic untensed facts about language (or anything else). In this paper I explore the case for tensism, consider some of the objections and alternatives that have been offered to it, and then try to shore up the position in a way that answers some of the concerns.
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