New Foundations for Branching Space-Times

Studia Logica 109 (2):239-284 (2021)

Abstract

The theory of branching space-times, put forward by Belnap, considers indeterminism as local in space and time. In the axiomatic foundations of that theory, so-called choice points mark the points at which the possible future can turn out in different ways. Working under the assumption of choice points is suitable for many applications, but has an unwelcome topological consequence that makes it difficult to employ branching space-times to represent a range of possible physical space-times. Therefore it is interesting to develop a branching space-times theory without choice points. This is what we set out to do in this paper, providing new foundations for branching space-times in terms of choice sets rather than choice points. After motivating and developing the resulting theory in formal detail, we show that it is possible to translate structures of one style into structures of the other style and vice versa. This result shows that the underlying idea of indeterminism as the branching of spatio-temporal histories is robust with respect to different implementations, making a choice between them a matter of expediency rather than of principle.

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Thomas Muller
Universität Konstanz

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Branching Space-Time.Nuel Belnap - 1992 - Synthese 92 (3):385 - 434.
Probability Theory and Causation: A Branching Space-Times Analysis.Thomas Müller - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):487-520.

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