Against the Russellian open future

Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further controversial semantical or metaphysical complication. In this paper, we will show that this quasi-Russellian analysis of 'will' both lacks linguistic motivation and faces a variety of significant problems. In particular, we show that the standard arguments for Russell's treatment of definite descriptions fail to apply to statements of the form 'will(φ)'.

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-11-08

Downloads
923 (#11,630)

6 months
98 (#22,912)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Brian Rabern
University of Edinburgh
Anders Schoubye
Stockholm University

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
How to do things with words.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press. Edited by Marina Sbisá & J. O. Urmson.
Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.

View all 283 references / Add more references