Temporal Logic pp 167-179 | Cite as

A.N. Prior’s tense-logic

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


A. N. Prior must be said to have laid the foundation for modern tense-logic. He revived the medieval attempt at formulating a temporal logic for natural language. Therefore his work also established a paradigm applicable to the exact study of the logic of natural language. Prior held that logic should be related as closely as possible to intuitions embodied in everyday discourse, and his tense logic can indeed account for a large number of linguistic inferences. In the 1950’s and 1960’s he laid out the foundation of tense-logic and showed that this important discipline was intimately connected with modal logic. Prior also argued that temporal logic is fundamental for understanding and describing the world in which we live. He regarded tense and modal logic as particularly relevant to a number of important theological problems. Using his temporal logic Prior analysed the fundamental question of determinism versus freedom of choice.


Modal Logic Temporal Logic Tense Logic Formal Calculus Everyday Discourse 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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