The Truth About the Future

Erkenntnis 79 (S3):365-401 (2014)

Abstract

There is a long-standing disagreement among Branching-Time theorists. Even though they all believe that the branching representation accurately grasps the idea that the future, contrary to the past, is open, they argue whether this representation is compatible with the claim that one among many possible futures is distinguished—the single future that will come to be. This disagreement is paralleled in an argument about the bivalence of future contingents. The single, privileged future is often called the Thin Red Line. I reconstruct the history of the arguments for and against this idea. Then, I propose my own version of the Thin Red Line theory which is immune to the major objections found in the literature. I argue that the semantic disagreement is grounded in distinct metaphysical presuppositions. My solution is expressed in a conceptual framework proposed by John MacFarlane, who distinguishes semantics from postsemantics. I extend his distinction and introduce a new notion of presemantics to elucidate my idea

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Author's Profile

Jacek Wawer
Jagiellonian University

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

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Citations of this work

Knowledge of Future Contingents.Andrea Iacona - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):447-467.
Back to the actual future.Jacek Wawer & Alex Malpass - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2193-2213.
The Thin Red Line, Molinism, and the Flow of Time.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - 2020 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (3):307-329.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

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