The Ontology of Many-Worlds : Modality and Time

The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 13:42-46 (1998)
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Abstract

There are two types of theories regarding many worlds: one is modal, while the other is temporal. The former regards reality as consisting of many possible worlds, while the latter holds that reality consists of many momentary worlds, which are usually called moments. I compare these two theories, paying close attention to the concept of transworld identity and compare trans-possible world identity with trans-momentary world identity (or transmoment identity). I characterize time from the point of many-worlds view, believing this to be one of the best ways of grasping the reality of time. First, I show that there is reason to adopt the many-worlds view because transworld identity is meaningful for both of them, while it is not for space. Second, I argue that transmoment identity is different from transpossible world identity concerning reality. The former is a realistic relation, while the latter is not. Thus, I find that the reality of time is in the relation of transmoment identity. Such a view, I contend, has merit on the basis that it recognizes the reality of time in a sense that is not true of space.

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Daisuke Kachi
Saitama University

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