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Cross-World Identity, Temporal Quantifiers and the Question of Tensed Contents

  • Tero TulenheimoEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 373)

Abstract

The use of temporal constructions in many-world settings calls for an analysis of what it means to speak of the same time over a number of scenarios. I argue that instants in two worlds can be compared for identity only in terms of temporal world lines. Times must be construed as such world lines, as links between instants in distinct worlds. I formulate a logical framework in which temporal quantifiers range over world lines, and show that the framework allows to represent truth-conditions of a large variety of sentences involving temporal expressions. I take propositional contents to be structures Open image in new window with two independent components: a temporal world line \(\mathfrak{t}\) and a function f from worlds to truth-values (a proposition). My framework allows me to distinguish two modes of temporal individuation: physical and intentional. I propose to reconstruct the A-theorist’s ‘tensed contents’ as contents whose world line component is an intentionally individuated time, and I take B-theorists to hold that only physically individuated times are needed when accounting for the semantics of temporal language. My analysis avoids the A-theorist’s metaphysical conclusions: we are not committed to any ontological correlates of grammatical tenses. My view goes against the B-theory too: both intentionally and physically individuated times are needed for formulating the semantics of temporal expressions.

Keywords

Propositional Content Temporal Indexical World Line Modal Setting Sentence Type 
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

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.STL-CNRS and Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Lille 3, Domaine Universitaire du “Pont de Bois”Villeneuve d’AscqFrance

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