Two moves take Newtonian determinism to branching space-times

Abstract

“Branching space-times” is intended as a representation of objective, event-based indeterminism. As such, BST exhibits both a spatio-temporal aspect and an indeterministic “modal” aspect of alternative possible historical courses of events. An essential feature of BST is that it can also represent spatial or space-like relationships as part of its relativistic theory of spatio-temporal relations; this ability is essential for the representation of local indeterminism. This essay indicates how BST might be seen to grow out of Newton ’s deterministic and non-relativistic theory by two independent moves: Taking account of indeterminism, and attending to spatio-temporal relationships in a spirit derived from Einstein’s theory of special relativity. Since and are independent, one can see that there is room for four theories: Newtonian determinism, branching time indeterminism, relativistic determinism, and branching space-times indeterminism

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Nuel Belnap
University of Pittsburgh

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.
The Cement of the Universe: A Study of Causation.John Leslie Mackie - 1974 - Oxford, England: Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Past, Present and Future.Arthur N. Prior - 1967 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

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