The World-Time Parallel

The World-Time Parallel : Tense and Modality in Logic and Metaphysics

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Is what could have happened but never did as real as what did happen? What did happen, but isn't happening now, happened at another time. Analogously, one can say that what could have happened happens in another possible world. Whatever their views about the reality of such things as possible worlds, philosophers need to take this analogy seriously. Adriane Rini and Max Cresswell exhibit, in an easy step-by-step manner, the logical structure of temporal and modal discourse, and show that every temporal construction has an exact parallel that requires a language that can refer to worlds, and vice versa. They make precise, in a way which can be articulated and tested, the claim that the parallel is at work behind even ordinary talk about time and modality. The book gives metaphysicians a sturdy framework for the investigation of time and modality - one that does not presuppose any particular metaphysical view.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 280 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1139211854
  • 9781139211857

About A. A. Rini

Max Cresswell is Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations at the Victoria University of Wellington. He has published ten books, including Entities and Indices (1990), Language in the World (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and, with G. E. Hughes, A New Introduction to Modal Logic (1996). Adriane Rini is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Massey University, New Zealand. She is the author of Aristotle's Modal Proofs (2011).
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Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; Part I. Truth and Indexicality: 1. Semantical indices; 2. Philosophical entities; 3. Situated truth; 4. The privileged position; Part II. Predicate Logic: Tense and Modal: 5. A formal language; 6. The non-existent; 7. Multiple indexing; 8. Time and world quantifiers; Part III. Times and Worlds, or Tense and Modality?: 9. Primitive modality and primitive tense; 10. 'Modalism' and 'tensism'; 11. The present and the actual; 12. Utterances; 13. Relativity; Part IV. De Rerum Natura: 14. Individuals and stages; 15. Predicate wormism; 16. Abstract and concrete; 17. Supervenience; Appendix 1. The equivalence of Lmulti, Lxtw and Li; Appendix 2. Language and metalanguage; Appendix 3. Plantinga's metaphysics; Appendix 4. Interval semantics; Appendix 5. Fatalism and the world-time parallel (with H. Kocurek); Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'... Rini and Cresswell offer an account of various kinds of propositions as sets of indices, and look at the possibility that truth at an index can be given an analysis in terms of a primitive notion of actual present truth ... [they] present an indexical semantics for temporal operators, and a parallel indexical semantics for modal operators ... [they] show how to provide a semantics in terms of times and worlds for a tense and modal predicate language.' George Lazaroiu, Review of Contemporary Philosophy 'The book is rich with careful detail. It is full of places where various confusions are cleared away.' Philosophy in Review
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