We draw out significant consequences of a relatively popular theory of metaphysical modality—branching actualism—for cosmological arguments for God’s existence. According to branching actualism, every possible world shares an initial history with the actual world and diverges only because causal powers (or dispositions, or some such) are differentially exercised. We argue that branching actualism undergirds successful responses to two recent cosmological arguments: the Grim Reaper Kalam argument and a modal argument from contingency. We also argue that branching actualism affords a response (...) to one popular defense of the classic contingency argument. What results are new difficulties for several cosmological arguments arising from the metaphysics of modality. (shrink)
It is often said that time must have a beginning because otherwise the series of past events would have the paradoxical features of an actual infinite. In the present paper, we show that, even given a dynamic theory of time, the cardinality of an endless series of events, each of which will occur, is the same as that of a beginningless series of events, each of which has occurred. Both are denumerably infinite. So if an endless series of events is (...) possible, then the possibility of a beginningless series of past events should not be rejected merely on the ground that it would be an actual infinite. What would be required to rebut our argument is a symmetry breaker – something that motivates treating the past relevantly differently to the future. We consider several attempts to provide a symmetry breaker and show that none of them is successful. (shrink)
The thin red line ( TRL ) is a theory about the semantics of future-contingents. The central idea is that there is such a thing as the ‘actual future’, even in the presence of indeterminism. It is inspired by a famous solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge associated with William of Ockham, in which the freedom of agents is argued to be compatible with God’s omniscience. In the modern branching time setting, the theory of the TRL is widely regarded (...) to suffer from several fundamental problems. In this paper we propose several new TRL semantics, each with differing degrees of success. This leads up to our final semantics, which is a cross between the TRL and supervaluationism. We discuss the notions of truth, validity and semantic consequence which result from our final semantics, and demonstrate some of its pleasing results. This account, we believe, answers the main objection in the literature, and thus places the TRL on the same level as any other competing semantics for future contingents. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider Andrew Loke’s recent contributions to the successive addition argument. Although he claims to develop the discussion, we conclude that he fails to provide anything that goes beyond the position critiqued by Fellipe Leon. When analysing Loke’s position, we find that his proposals either directly collapse back into those critiqued by Leon, or beg the relevant question at hand. We conclude with some speculations about why this sort of mistake may have arisen.
The History of Philosophical and Formal Logic introduces ideas and thinkers central to the development of philosophical and formal logic. From its Aristotelian origins to the present-day arguments, logic is broken down into four main time periods: Antiquity and the Middle Ages The early modern period High modern period Early 20th century Each new time frame begins with an introductory overview highlighting themes and points of importance. Chapters discuss the significance and reception of influential works and look at historical arguments (...) in the context of contemporary debates. To support independent study, comprehensive lists of primary and secondary reading are included at the end of chapters, along with exercises and discussion questions. By clearly presenting and explaining the changes to logic across the history of philosophy, The History of Philosophical and Formal Logic constructs an easy-to-follow narrative. This is an ideal starting point for students looking to understand the historical development of logic. (shrink)
James Anderson and Greg Welty have resurrected an argument for God’s existence, which we will call the argument from logic. We present three lines of response against the argument, involving the notion of necessity involved, the notion of intentionality involved, and then we pose a dilemma for divine conceptualism. We conclude that the argument faces substantial problems.
Este artículo se centra en un argumento presentado por Fara (2010) en contra del supervaluacionismo en el contexto de la vaguedad. Muestro cómo dicho argumento es igualmente aplicable al supervaluacionismo de tiempo ramificado (presentado por primera vez por Thomason 1970), pero no a la semántica 'STRL' de Malpass y Wawer (2012), que está estrechamente relacionada.
This paper establishes two facts. The first is that a recently presented problem for supervaluationism applies equally to the branching-time cousin of the theory. The second fact is that a new version of branching-time supervaluationism avoids this and related problems.
In this paper we will put forward a novel semantics for future contingents. The idea behind the semantics is to be a compromise position between the ‘Ockhamist’ semantics, first put forward by Prior , Thomason  etc., and a version of the Thin Red Line semantics recently proposed by Malpass and Wawer . The new position is able to represent alternative possibilities in two different ways, as actual or counterfactual, which corresponds to a similar distinction in two-dimensional semantics between the (...) primary and secondary intension. We prove a theorem about the notion of validity that results from the new definition, which in the context of the literature about TRL-theories and Ockhamism has some significance. (shrink)