Branching Time, Actuality and the Puzzle of Retrospective Determinacy

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):16-25 (2012)
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Abstract

The supervaluationist approach to branching time (‘SBT-theory’) appears to be threatened by the puzzle of retrospective determinacy: if yesterday I uttered the sentence ‘It will be sunny tomorrow’ and only in some worlds overlapping at the context of utterance it is sunny the next day, my utterance is to be assessed as neither true nor false even if today is indeed a sunny day. John MacFarlane (“Truth in the Garden of Forking Paths” 81) has recently criticized a promising solution to this puzzle for falling short of an adequate account of ‘actually’. In this paper, I aim to rebut MacFarlane's criticism. To this effect, I argue that: (i) ‘actually’ can be construed either as an indexical or as a nonindexical operator; (ii) if ‘actually’ is nonindexical, MacFarlane's criticism is invalid; (iii) there appear to be independent reasons for SBT-theorists to claim that ‘actually’ is a nonindexical expression

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Roberto Loss
Complutense University of Madrid

References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (1):180-187.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2006 - Critica 38 (114):98-107.

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