Fara and Williamson (Mind, 2005) argue that counterpart theory is unable to account for modal claims that use an actuality operator. This paper argues otherwise. Rather than provide a different counterpart translation of the actuality operator itself, the solution presented here starts out with a quantified modal logic in which the actuality operator is redundant, and then translates the sentences of this logic into claims of counterpart theory.
To define new property terms, we combine already familiar ones by means of certain logical operations. Given suitable constraints, these operations may presumably include the resources of first-order logic: truth-functional sentence connectives and quantification over objects. What is far less clear is whether we can also use modal operators for this purpose. This paper clarifies what is involved in this question, and argues in favor of modal property definitions.
This article argues that the causal loops that occur in some time-travel scenarios and in certain solutions of the theory of relativity are no more mysterious than the infinitely descending causal chains familiar from Newtonian mechanics.
Instead of accepting instants of time as metaphysically basic entities, many philosophers regard them as abstractions from something else. There is the Russell-Whitehead view that times are maximal classes of simultaneous events; the linguistic ersatzer's proposal that times are maximally consistent sets of sentences or propositions; and the view that times are made up of temporal parts of material objects. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of these various proposals and concludes in favor of a particular version of linguistic (...) ersatzism about time. (shrink)
With the rigorous development of modal logic in the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century, it became custom amongst philosophers to characterize diﬀerent views about necessity and possibility in terms of rival axiomatic systems for the modal operators ‘ ’ (‘possibly’) and ‘ ’ (‘necessarily’). From the late 1950s onwards, Arthur Prior began to argue that temporal distinctions ought to be given a similar treatment, in terms of axiomatic systems for sentential tense operators, such as ‘P’ (‘it was the case (...) that’) and ‘F’ (‘it will be the case that’).1 My aim here is to give a brief survey of the extent to which time can be treated on the model of modality. I shall not try to address the further question of whether such ‘modal’ accounts of time are to be preferred over ‘spatial’ accounts that treat times more like places. (shrink)
According to Hans Kamp and Frank Vlach, the two-dimensional tense operators “now” and “then” are ineliminable in quantified tense logic. This is often adduced as an argument against tense logic, and in favor of an extensional account that makes use of explicit quantification over times. The aim of this paper is to defend tense logic against this attack. It shows that “now” and “then” are eliminable in quantified tense logic, provided we endow it with enough quantificational structure. The operators might (...) not be redundant in some other systems of tense logic, but this merely indicates a lack of quantificational resources and does not show any deep-seated inability of tense logic to express claims about time. The paper closes with a brief discussion of the modal analogue of this issue, which concerns the role of the actuality operator in quantified modal logic. (shrink)
This paper explains how to obtain quantification over times in a tense logic in which all temporal distinctions are ultimately spelled out in terms of the two simple tense operators “it was the case that” and “it will be the case that.” The account of times defended here is similar to what is known as “linguistic ersatzism” about possible worlds, but there are noteworthy differences between these two cases. For example, while linguistic ersatzism would support actualism, the view of times (...) defended here does not support presentism. (shrink)
There are many parallels between the role of possible worlds in modal logic and that of times in tense logic. But the similarities only go so far, and it is important to note where the two come apart. This paper argues that even though worlds and times play similar roles in the model theories of modal and tense logic, there is no tense analogue of the possible-worlds analysis of modal operators. An important corollary of this result is that presentism cannot (...) be the tense analogue of actualism. (shrink)
Michael Dummett claims that the classical model of time as a continuum of instants has to be rejected. In his view, “it allows as possibilities what reason rules out, and leaves it to the contingent laws of physics to rule out what a good model of physical reality would not even be able to describe.” This paper argues otherwise.
This paper defends three theses: (i) that presentism is either trivial or untenable; (ii) that the debate between tensed and tenseless theories of time is not about the status of presentism; and (iii) that there is no temporal analogue of the modal thesis of actualism.
This paper presents a novel account of applied mathematics. It shows how we can distinguish the physical content from the mathematical form of a scientific theory even in cases where the mathematics applied is indispensable and cannot be eliminated by paraphrase.
Some authors have recently arguedthat an objects velocity is logicallyindependent of its locations throughout time.Their aim is to deny the Russellianview that motion is merely a change oflocation, and to promote a rival account onwhich the connection between velocities andtrajectories is provided by the laws ofnature. I defend the Russellian view of motionagainst these attacks.
Definition of the problem: Recent progress in the pharmacological sciences provides a first glimpse of the development of an individual, genotype-based drug therapy in order to improve the efficiency of drug utilization. Genotyping of genetic polymorphisms in genes involved in drug response promises to optimize drug therapy fundamentally by identifying patients for whom a pharmaceutical agent may be effective and safe or contraindicated because of expected adverse drug reactions. Arguments: The new pharmacogenomic treatment strategies raise complex bioethical issues, because genetic (...) screening for drug therapy may identify asymptomatic patients who are at risk for a particular adverse outcome. Thus, pharmacogenomics will affect the relationship between the treating physician and the patient which is traditionally based on privacy, confidentiality, beneficience and non-maleficience. Conclusion: In the article presented some ethical aspects of these new pharmacogenomic approaches concerning the physician-patient relationship are discussed. (shrink)
It is a popular view amongst some philosophers, most notably those with Quinean views about ontological commitment, that scientific theories are first-orderizable; that we can regiment all such theories in an extensional first-order language. I argue that this view is false, and that any acceptable account of science needs to take some modal notion as primitive.
The aim of this paper is to draw attention to a conﬂict between two popular views about time: Arthur Prior’s proposal for treating tense on the model of modal logic, and the ‘Platonic’ thesis that some objects (God, forms, universals, or numbers) exist eternally.1 I will argue that anyone who accepts the former ought to reject the latter.
In this paper I discuss a variant of the knowledge argument which is based upon Frank Jackson's Mary thought experiment. Using this argument, Jackson tries to support the thesis that a purely physical â or, put generally: an objectively scientific â perspective upon the world excludes the important domain of `phenomenal' facts, which are only accessible introspectively. Martine Nida-RÃ¼melinhas formulated the epistemological challenge behind the case of Mary especially clearly. I take her formulation of the problem as a starting-point and (...) present a solution which is based solely on the concepts of capability and of metalinguistic beliefs. References to epiphenomenal facts, phenomenal knowledge etc. will be avoided completely. I specify my proposal against the backdrop of Burge's critical reflections about metalinguistic reinterpretation of expressions of belief and the externalist thesis held by Burge, Putnam and others that meanings and mental states are dependent upon the environment. My solution is then compared with Lewis' and Nemirow's ability objection. Finally I argue that the much discussed ``knowing what it is like'' has in its ordinary meaning nothing much to do with `phenomenal knowledge' or knowledge of `epiphenomenal' facts. (shrink)