Back to the actual future

Jacek Wawer*, Alex Malpass

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

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, it provoked questionable lines of criticism. We reassess the debate and point to potential pitfalls, focusing on the semantic dimension of the Thin Red Line theory. Our agenda transcends the semantics, however. We conclude that semantic considerations do not threaten the Thin Red Line theory and that the proper debate should be carried in the domain of metaphysics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSynthese
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 May 2018

Keywords

  • Actualism
  • Branching time
  • Future contingents
  • Thin Red Line

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    Wawer, J., & Malpass, A. (Accepted/In press). Back to the actual future. Synthese, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1802-z