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Introduction: Logic and the study of time

Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 57)

Abstract

According to the Ancients as well as most of the later European thinkers in philosophy and science, time is primarily to be understood as strongly related to movement. In addition it is assumed that time can be described by numbers. Time has consequently been thought of as a basic concept for natural science, first and foremost physics and astronomy. In many circles physics is still assumed to be the key science for anyone who wants to study the concept of time, so let us first say a few words about the contribution from physics in this respect. According to Newtonian mechanics time is viewed plainly as a co-ordinate. The bodies in the world are supposed to move according to the laws of dynamics. These movements can be fully predicted in principle. All past and future states are implicit in the present state. Predictions and retrodictions can be expressed by means of spatial and temporal co-ordinates. At this level there is no proper temporal asymmetry, since the laws of dynamics permit time reversal. A concept of entropy might, however, be defined at this level, and the probability of increasing entropy will be high. In thermodynamics the law of ever increasing entropy has been used as an argument for the so-called ‘arrow of time’.

Keywords

Modal Logic Temporal Logic Tacit Knowledge Symbolic Formalism Human Intent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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