or the view that only the present exists, as a way to get around the inconsistent attribution of past, present and future tense to all times on which McTaggart's paradox depends. Oaklander's chapter further defends the tenseless theory against Craig's version of presentism, which attempts to give an ontological foundation for irreducibly past- and future-tensed statements without falling prey to McTaggart's paradox. According to Oaklander, Craig fails in his attempt to extend the conceptual irreducibility of tense to the level of ontology. Craig needs both to have presently existing truthmakers for past- and futuretensed statements and to avoid the countenance of past and future existences, on pains of contradiction. He therefore claims that past- and future-tensed facts exist at present but are not what ultimately makes these statements true. Oaklander argues that Craig's attempt to show that past- and future-tensed facts are not ultimate can succeed only by reintroducing a tenseless ontology, thereby undermining presentism and reintroducing McTaggart's paradox. Mellor accepts Oaklander's attack on Craig's presentism, and uses his reply to return to Prior's presentist analysis of time. According to Mellor, Prior's failure to complement the semantics of time with an ontology thereof makes presentism both vacuous and question begging.
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Publication information: Book title: Real Metaphysics: Essays in Honour of D.H. Mellor. Contributors: Hallvard Lillehammer - Editor, Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 11.
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