Branching in the landscape of possibilities

Synthese 188 (1):41-65 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The metaphor of a branching tree of future possibilities has a number of important philosophical and logical uses. In this paper we trace this metaphor through some of its uses and argue that the metaphor works the same way in physics as in philosophy. We then give an overview of formal systems for branching possibilities, viz., branching time and (briefly) branching space-times. In a next step we describe a number of different notions of possibility, thereby sketching a landscape of possibilities. In the final section of the paper we look at the place of branching-based possibilities in that larger landscape of possibilities. Our main message is that far from being an outlandish metaphysical extravagancy, branching-based possibilities are epistemically as well as metaphysically basic.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,594

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Branching and (in)Determinism.Jiri Benovsky - 2013 - Philosophical Papers 42 (2):151-173.
Identity, Time, and Necessity.Penelope Mackie - 1998 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (1):59–78.
Travelling in Branching Time.Manolo Martínez - 2011 - Disputatio 4 (31):59-75.
Non-Branching Clause.Huiyuhl Yi - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (2):191-210.
A Branching Space-Times View on Quantum Error Correction.Thomas Müller - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):635-652.
Branching Space-Time, Modal Logic, and the Counterfactual Conditional.Thomas Muller - 2001 - In T. Placek & J. Butterfield (eds.), Non-Locality and Modality. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 273--291.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-01-11

Downloads
194 (#64,301)

6 months
3 (#211,070)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

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.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

View all 83 references / Add more references