Before refraining: Concepts for agency [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 34 (2):137 - 169 (1991)
A structure is described that can serve as a foundation for a semantics for a modal agentive construction such as sees to it that Q ([ stit: Q]). The primitives are Tree,,Instant, Agent, choice. Eleven simple postulates governing this structure are set forth and motivated. Tree and encode a picture of branching time consisting of moments gathered into maximal chains called histories. Instant imposes a time-like ordering. Agent consists of agents, and choice assigns to each agent and each moment in Tree a set of possible choices, where each possible choice is a set of histories. All of these ingredients are referred to in the semantics suggested for [ stit: Q]. The most complex part of the discussion is the motivation for the definition of what it means for a typically non-terminating chain of moments jointly to witness the truth of [ stit: Q] at a moment.The paper begins with an informal account of the Refref conjecture, which says that the only way to refrain from refraining from seeing to something is to see to it. The paper ends with a consideration of an argument of Prior's that in a certain sense contemplation and action are inconsistent.
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References found in this work BETA
Alvin Plantinga (1992). The Nature of Necessity. Clarendon Press.
A. N. Prior (2003). Papers on Time and Tense. Oxford University Press.
Arthur N. Prior (1967). Past, Present and Future. Oxford, Clarendon P..
Anil Gupta (1980). The Logic of Common Nouns: An Investigation in Quantified Modal Logic. Yale University Press.
Saul A. Kripke (1959). A Completeness Theorem in Modal Logic. Journal of Symbolic Logic 24 (1):1-14.
Citations of this work BETA
Nuel Belnap (1992). Branching Space-Time. Synthese 92 (3):385 - 434.
John F. Horty & Nuel Belnap (1995). The Deliberative Stit: A Study of Action, Omission, Ability, and Obligation. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (6):583 - 644.
Ming Xu (2012). Actions as Events. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (4):765 - 809.
Ming Xu (1998). Axioms for Deliberative Stit. Journal of Philosophical Logic 27 (5):505-552.
Nuel Belnap & Michael Perloff (1992). The Way of the Agent. Studia Logica 51 (3-4):463 - 484.
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