Branching time and doomsday

Ratio 35 (2):79-90 (2022)
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Abstract

Branching time is a popular theory of time that is intended to account for the openness of the future. Generally, branching-time models the openness of the future by positing a multiplicity of concrete alternative futures mirroring all the possible ways the future could unfold. A distinction is drawn in the literature among branching-time theories: those that make use of moment-based structures and those that employ history-based ones. In this paper, I introduce and discuss a particular kind of openness relative to the possibility that time ends (doomsday). I then show that whereas moment-based branching structures cannot represent this kind of openness, history-based structures can account for it. The conclusion is that history-based structures have an advantage over moment-based ones.

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Giacomo Andreoletti
University of Salzburg

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