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  • Author: Andrea Roselli x
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What is the Specious Present? Which is its duration? And why, ultimately, do we need it to figure in our phenomenological account of temporal perception? In this paper, after introducing the role of the Specious Present in the main models that account for our phenomenological present, and after considering the deflationary objection by Dennett (that the debate relies on the fallacy of the Cartesian Theatre of Mind, the idea that it is meaningful to ask where and when an experience becomes conscious), I claim—thanks to a spatial analogy—that there could be a good criterion to distinguish between a present experience and a past experience, that there are good reasons to sustain the Specious Present (while snapshots are in no sense part of our phenomenological life), and that there could be a precise way to define the nature—and to measure the duration—of the Specious Present; as I will clarify, our capability and possibility to act and react are central in this perspective. If we accept this change of perspective, there is a definite sense in which the Specious Present is part of our temporal phenomenology.


The Verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress (VS, for short) is traditionally considered a realist-correspondist model to explain the proximity of our best scientific theories to the way things really are in the world out there (ʻthe Truthʻ, with the capital ʻtʻ). However, VS is based on notions, such as ʻestimated verisimilitudeʻ or ʻapproximate truthʻ, that dilute the model in a functionalist-like theory. My thesis, then, is that VS tries to incorporate notions, such as ʻprogressʻ, in a pre-constituted metaphysical conception of the world, but fails in providing a fitting framework. The main argument that I will develop to support this claim is that the notions that they use to explain scientific progress (ʻestimated verisimilitudeʻ or ʻapproximate truthʻ) have nothing to do with ʻthe Truthʻ. After presenting Cevolani and Tamboloʻs answer (2013) to Birdʻs arguments (2007), I will claim that VS sacrifices the realist-correspondist truth in favor of an epistemic notion of truth, which can obviously be compatible with certain kinds of realism but not with the one the authors have in mind (the correspondence between our theories and the way things really are).