Nothing to come in a relativistic setting

Disputatio 13 (63):433-444 (2021)
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Abstract

In this paper we critically review Correia’s and Rosenkranz’s Nothing to Come. A Defence of the Growing Block Theory of Time, published by Springer in 2018. By taking into account the essential reliance of the book on tense logic, we bring out the existence of a conflict between their logical axioms, that presuppose truth bivalence even for statements concerning future contingents, and the principle of groundedness that they also advocate. According to this principle, a proposition Q is now groundedly true as long as sometimes in the future it will be the case that there exists something that makes Q true. However, if the events that occur in 2060 do not exist unrestrictedly (for us, here in 2021), what, in reality, can possibly ground the truth (or falsity) of Q? In the second part of the paper, we concentrate on some conceptual difficulties raised by their brilliant attempt to adapt the growing block view of reality to a relativistic setting, based on what they call bow-tie presentism, according to which for each spacetime point s only s plus the spacelike-related region with respect to s exists. By extending temporal logic into a relativity-friendly spatiotemporal logic, we conclude by noting that Correia and Rosenkranz’s Nothing to Come makes very important strides in showing that there are technical ways to develop the growing block of reality into an ontology that coheres with relativity theories perfectly well, while retaining most of the distinctive content of classical growing block theory.

Author Profiles

Mauro Dorato
Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Carl Hoefer
Universitat de Barcelona

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