Over the past few years, the tree model of time has been widely employed to deal with issues concerning the semantics of tensed discourse. The thought that has motivated its adoption is that the most plausible way to make sense of indeterminism is to conceive of future possibilities as branches that depart from a common trunk, constituted by the past and the present. However, the thought still needs to be further articulated and defended, and several important questions remain open, such (...) as the question of how actuality can be understood and formally represented in a branching framework. The present volume is intended to be a 360 degree reflection on the tree model. The contributions is gathers concern the model and its alternatives, both from a semantic and from a metaphysical point of view. . (shrink)
In his influential paper ‘‘Essence and Modality’’, Kit Fine argues that no account of essence framed in terms of metaphysical necessity is possible, and that it is rather metaphysical necessity which is to be understood in terms of essence. On his account, the concept of essence is primitive, and for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all things. Fine also proposes a reduction of conceptual and logical necessity in (...) the same vein: a conceptual necessity is a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all concepts, and a logical necessity a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all logical concepts. I argue that the plausibility of Fine's view crucially requires that certain apparent explanatory links between essentialist facts be admitted and accounted for, and I make a suggestion about how this can be done. I then argue against the reductions of conceptual and logical necessity proposed by Fine and suggest alternative reductions, which remain nevertheless Finean in spirit. (shrink)
In recent publications, Kit Fine devises a classification of A-theories of time and defends a non-standard A-theory he calls fragmentalism, according to which reality as a whole is incoherent but fragments into classes of mutually coherent tensed facts. We argue that Fine's classification in not exhaustive, as it ignores another non-standard A-theory we dub dynamic absolutism, according to which there are tensed facts that stay numerically the same and yet undergo qualitative changes as time goes by. We expound this theory (...) in some detail and argue that it is a serious alternative to the positions identified by Fine. (shrink)
Some of the most eminent and enduring philosophical questions concern matters of priority: what is prior to what? What 'grounds' what? Is, for instance, matter prior to mind? Recently, a vivid debate has arisen about how such questions have to be understood. Can the relevant notion or notions of priority be spelled out? And how do they relate to other metaphysical notions, such as modality, truth-making or essence? This volume of new essays, by leading figures in contemporary metaphysics, is the (...) first to address and investigate the metaphysical idea that certain facts are grounded in other facts. An introduction introduces and surveys the debate, examining its history as well as its central systematic aspects. The volume will be of wide interest to students and scholars of metaphysics. (shrink)
'Ontological dependence' is a term of philosophical jargon which stands for a rich family of properties and relations, often taken to be among the most fundamental ontological properties and relations. Notions of ontological dependence are usually thought of as 'carving reality at its ontological joints', and as marking certain forms of ontological 'non-self-sufficiency'. The use of notions of dependence goes back as far as Aristotle's characterization of substances, and these notions are still widely used to characterize other concepts and to (...) formulate metaphysical claims. This paper first gives an overview of the varieties of these notions, and then discusses some of their main applications. (shrink)
Consider two standard quantified modal languages A and P whose vocabularies comprise the identity predicate and the existence predicate, each endowed with a standard S5 Kripke semantics where the models have a distinguished actual world, which differ only in that the quantifiers of A are actualist while those of P are possibilist. Is it possible to enrich these languages in the same manner, in a non-trivial way, so that the two resulting languages are equally expressive-i.e., so that for each sentence (...) of one language there is a sentence of the other language such that given any model, the former sentence is true at the actual world of the model iff the latter is? Forbes (1989) shows that this can be done by adding to both languages a pair of sentential operators called Vlach-operators, and imposing a syntactic restriction on their occurrences in formulas. As Forbes himself recognizes, this restriction is somewhat artificial. The first result I establish in this paper is that one gets sameness of expressivity by introducing infinitely many distinct pairs of indexed Vlach-operators. I then study the effect of adding to our enriched modal languages a rigid actuality operator. Finally, I discuss another means of enriching both languages which makes them expressively equivalent, one that exploits devices introduced in Peacocke (1978). Forbes himself mentions that option but does not prove that the resulting languages are equally expressive. I do, and I also compare the Peacockian and the Vlachian methods. In due course, I introduce an alternative notion of expressivity and I compare the Peacockian and the Vlachian languages in terms of that other notion. (shrink)
In 1977, R. B. Angell presented a logic for <span class='Hi'>analytic</span> containment, a notion of relevant implication stronger than Anderson and Belnap's entailment. In this paper I provide for the first time the logic of first degree <span class='Hi'>analytic</span> containment, as presented in  and , with a semantical characterization—leaving higher degree systems for future investigations. The semantical framework I introduce for this purpose involves a special sort of truth-predicates, which apply to pairs of collections of formulas instead of individual (...) formulas, and which behave in some respects like Gentzen's sequents. This semantics captures very general properties of the truth-functional connectives, and for that reason it may be used to model a vast range of logics. I briefly illustrate the point with classical consequence and Anderson and Belnap's tautological entailments. (shrink)
We introduce a system PSI for a strict implication operator called Priorean strict implication. The semantics for PSI is based on partial Kripke models without accessibility relations. PSI is proved sound and complete with respect to that semantics, and Prior's system Q and related systems are shown to be fragments of PSI or of a mild extension of it.
This paper presents a propositional version of Kit Fine's (quantified) logic for essentialist statements, provides it with a semantics, and proves the former adequate (i.e. sound and complete) with respect to the latter.
Standard possible world semantics for propositional modal languages ignore truth-value gaps. However, simple considerations suggest that it should not be so. In Section 1, I identify what I take to be a correct truth-clause for necessity under the assumption that some possible worlds are incomplete (i.e., "at" which some propositions lack a truth-value). In Section 2, I build a world semantics, the semantics of TV-models, for standard modal propositional languages, which agrees with the truth-clause for necessity previously identified. Sections 3–5 (...) are devoted to systematic concerns. In particular, in Section 4, Prior’s system Q (propositional version) is given a TV-models semantics and proved adequate (i.e., sound and complete) with respect to it. (shrink)