Back to the actual future

Synthese 197 (5):2193-2213 (2020)
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Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to rethink the role of actuality in the branching model of possibilities. We investigate the idea that the model should be enriched with an additional factor—the so-called Thin Red Line—which is supposed to represent the single possible course of events that gets actualized in time. We believe that this idea was often misconceived which prompted some unfortunate reactions. On the one hand, it suggested problematic semantic models of future tense and and on the other, it provoked questionable lines of criticism. We reassess the debate and point to potential pitfalls, focusing on the semantic dimension of the Thin Red Line theory. Our agenda transcends the semantics, however. We conclude that semantic considerations do not threaten the Thin Red Line theory and that the proper debate should be carried in the domain of metaphysics.

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Author Profiles

Jacek Wawer
Jagiellonian University
Alex Malpass
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

Postsemantic Peirceanism.Andrea Iacona & Samuele Iaquinto - 2023 - American Philosophical Quarterly 60:249-256.
Credible Futures.Andrea Iacona & Samuele Iaquinto - 2021 - Synthese 199:10953-10968.
Knowledge of Future Contingents.Andrea Iacona - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):447-467.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
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. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality.Barbara Vetter - 2015 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.

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