In this book I provide a new argument for the tensed theory of time and the emergence of the self: there is more to time and ourselves than some philosophers suggest. The basis of this argument is a concern that peculiarities of meaning alone are not enough to account for the special role that is played in our lives by tensed and first-personal utterances and the beliefs they express (here known as tensed and first-personal beliefs).
Perry style cases in which a specific individual must perform an action at a specific time have made it clear that we sometimes need tensed and first-personal beliefs. For example, if I am going to get this blog post finished on time, I need to have some idea what the date is now and that I am the author of the book being discussed. What has been less clear, however, is the nature of this necessity, or, to put it more precisely, what these beliefs are necessary for. In this book I argue that they are not merely needed for specific movements of my body.
My neighbour could have drugged me and pressed my fingers to my keyboard in my unconscious state. They are also not necessary for me to act irrationally. My neighbour could have drugged me and in a state of irrationality I could have thought 2 + 2 = 4, therefore I must send the article on that laptop. (It is possible for irrationally motivated acts to be productive.)
Tensed and first-personal beliefs are specifically required for rational actions. I need tensed and first-personal beliefs to act rationally in submitting this blog post. Tensed and first-personal beliefs have a rational import not met by tenseless and non-first-personal beliefs.