© 1983

The Logic of Time

A Model-Theoretic Investigation into the Varieties of Temporal Ontology and Temporal Discourse


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 156)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Temporal Ontology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 3-13
    3. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 14-57
    4. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 58-79
    5. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 80-112
    6. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 113-124
  3. Temporal Discourse

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-126
    2. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 127-135
    3. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 136-192
    4. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 193-218
    5. J. F. A. K. Van Benthem
      Pages 219-229
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 230-260

About this book


That philosophical themes could be studied in an exact manner by logical meanS was a delightful discovery to make. Until then, the only outlet for a philosophical interest known to me was the production of poetry or essays. These means of expression remain inconclusive, however, with a tendency towards profuseness. The logical discipline provides so me intellectual backbone, without excluding the literary modes. A master's thesis by Erik Krabbe introduced me to the subject of tense logic. The doctoral dissertation of Paul N eedham awaked me (as so many others) from my dogmatic slumbers concerning the latter's mono­ poly on the logical study of Time. Finally, a set of lecture notes by Frank Veltman showed me how classical model theory is just as relevant to that study as more exotic intensional techniques. Of the authors whose work inspired me most, I would mention Arthur Prior, for his irresistible blend of logic and philosophy, Krister Segerberg, for his technical opening up of a systematic theory, and Hans Kamp, for his mastery of all these things at once. Many colleagues have made helpful comments on the two previous versions of this text. I would like to thank especially my students Ed Brinksma, Jan van Eyck and Wilfried Meyer-Viol for their logical and cultural criticism. The drawings were contributed by the versatile Bauke Mulder. Finally, Professor H intikka's kind appreciation provided the stimulus to write this book.



Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Filosofisch InstituutRijksuniversiteit GroningenThe Netherlands

About the authors

Professor Dr J.F.A.K. van Benthem has received the 1996 Spinoza Award, an annual award to honour outstanding scientific merit and to stimulate innovative future research.

from the jury report:
`Van Benthem has positioned logic as an interdisciplinary science par excellence ... It is through his work that logic has acquired a bridge-function between alpha and gamma sciences on the one side and beta sciences on the other ... Van Benthem is a stimulating and innovative researcher, which explains his great attraction to young researchers. Under his inspirational guidance 38 promovendi from the Netherlands and abroad have finished their theses. In view of Van Benthem's innovative powers and the high level of his research, a number of initiatives are to be expected from him that will further strengthen the Dutch position of logic, more especially so in connection with the formal study of natural language.'

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Logic of Time
  • Book Subtitle A Model-Theoretic Investigation into the Varieties of Temporal Ontology and Temporal Discourse
  • Authors Johan van Benthem
  • Series Title Synthese Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1983
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-1421-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-9870-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-010-9868-7
  • Edition Number 2
  • Number of Pages , 276
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Logic
    Computational Linguistics
    Mathematical Logic and Foundations
    Artificial Intelligence
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From reviews of the first edition:
`Overall this is an admirable work. I believe it will change and enrich the field.'
Steven Kuhn, Journal of Symbolic Logic, 52 (3) (1987)
`...the book...will be most useful to anyone, newcomer or expert, with an interest in the logic of time.'
John Burgess, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 13 (3) (1984)