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In Defence of Ockhamism

Philosophia 40 (3):617-631 (2012)

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  1. Future Contingents and the Logic of Temporal Omniscience.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - forthcoming - Noûs.
    At least since Aristotle’s famous 'sea-battle' passages in On Interpretation 9, some substantial minority of philosophers has been attracted to the doctrine of the open future--the doctrine that future contingent statements are not true. But, prima facie, such views seem inconsistent with the following intuition: if something has happened, then (looking back) it was the case that it would happen. How can it be that, looking forwards, it isn’t true that there will be a sea battle, while also being true (...)
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  • Against the Russellian Open Future.Anders J. Schoubye & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237.
    Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further (...)
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  • The Problem of Future Contingents: Scoping Out a Solution.Patrick Todd - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Various philosophers have long since been attracted to the doctrine that future contingent propositions systematically fail to be true - what is sometimes called the doctrine of the open future. However, open futurists have always struggled to articulate how their view interacts with standard principles of classical logic - most notably, with the Law of Excluded Middle (LEM). For consider the following two claims: (a) Trump will be impeached tomorrow; (b) Trump will not be impeached tomorrow. According to the kind (...)
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  • Specialness and Egalitarianism.Giovanni Merlo - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):248-257.
    There are two intuitions about time. The first is that there's something special about the present that objectively differentiates it from the past and the future. Call this intuition Specialness. The second is that the time at which we happen to live is just one among many other times, all of which are ‘on a par’ when it comes to their forming part of reality. Call this other intuition Egalitarianism. Tradition has it that the so-called ‘A-theories of time’ fare well (...)
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  • The Costs of Ockhamism.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (4):489-507.
    This paper has a twofold aim. The first is to offer a precise definition of soft fact. Without such definition it is impossible to assess the Ockhamist solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom in an accurate way. The second purpose is to identify the costs of such a solution, distinguishing them from some of the other costs usually ascribed to Ockhamism, which Ockhamism does not actually need to pay. In particular, it is argued that Ockhamism is (...)
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  • Back to the Actual Future.Jacek Wawer & Alex Malpass - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    The purpose of the paper is to rethink the role of actuality in the branching model of possibilities. We investigate the idea that the model should be enriched with an additional factor—the so-called Thin Red Line—which is supposed to represent the single possible course of events that gets actualized in time. We believe that this idea was often misconceived which prompted some unfortunate reactions. On the one hand, it suggested problematic semantic models of future tense and and on the other, (...)
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  • On Behalf of a Mutable Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2077-2095.
    Everyone agrees that we can’t change the past. But what about the future? Though the thought that we can change the future is familiar from popular discourse, it enjoys virtually no support from philosophers, contemporary or otherwise. In this paper, I argue that the thesis that the future is mutable has far more going for it than anyone has yet realized. The view, I hope to show, gains support from the nature of prevention, can provide a new way of responding (...)
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  • Ockhamism Without Thin Red Lines.Andrea Iacona - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2633-2652.
    This paper investigates the logic of Ockhamism, a view according to which future contingents are either true or false. Several attempts have been made to give rigorous shape to this view by defining a suitable formal semantics, but arguably none of them is fully satisfactory. The paper draws attention to some problems that beset such attempts, and suggests that these problems are different symptoms of the same initial confusion, in that they stem from the unjustified assumption that the actual course (...)
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