David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 188 (1):41-65 (2012)
The metaphor of a branching tree of future possibilities has a number of important philosophical and logical uses. In this paper we trace this metaphor through some of its uses and argue that the metaphor works the same way in physics as in philosophy. We then give an overview of formal systems for branching possibilities, viz., branching time and (briefly) branching space-times. In a next step we describe a number of different notions of possibility, thereby sketching a landscape of possibilities. In the final section of the paper we look at the place of branching-based possibilities in that larger landscape of possibilities. Our main message is that far from being an outlandish metaphysical extravagancy, branching-based possibilities are epistemically as well as metaphysically basic.
|Keywords||Branching time Branching space-times Modality Possibility Experiment|
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Kendall L. Walton (1990). Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. Harvard University Press.
Patrick Blackburn, Maarten de Rijke & Yde Venema (2002). Modal Logic. Cambridge University Press.
Saul A. Kripke (1980/1998). Naming and Necessity. Harvard University Press.
David Wiggins (2001). Sameness and Substance Renewed. Cambridge University Press.
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.
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