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Quote for the month. May 2016

.English philosophers who visit the United States are always asked sooner or later whether they are 'analysts'. I'm not all sure what the answer is in my own case, but there is another word that Professor Passmore once invented to describe some English philosophers who are often called 'analysts', namely the word 'grammaticist', and that's something I wouldn't at all mind calling myself. I don't deny that there are genuine metaphysical problems, but I think you have to talk about grammar at least a little bit in order to solve most of them. And in particular, I would want to maintain that most of the present group of problems about time and change, though not quite all of them, arise from the fact that many expressions which look like nouns, i.e. names of objects, are not really nouns at all but concealed verbs, and many expressions which look like verbs are not really verbs but concealed conjunctions and adverbs.

A. N. Prior, Papers on Time and Tense, 1968.


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