SOPhiA 2013

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Transtemporale Referenz für den Präsentismus
(Metaphysik & Ontologie, Englisch)

Presentism is the thesis that only presently existing things exist at all (Crisp 2005). It is contrasted by 4Dimensionalism, postulating that there exist some x, such that x is not present (Rea 2005). Varieties of 4Dimensionalism include the Growing Block Theory (Tooley 1997), according to which only the past and the present exist, Branching Futurism (McCall 1994), according to which all possible futures exist, however in a somewhat different mode of existence, and Eternalism, according to which past, present, and future exist in an ontologically equivalent way.

The price of presentism is not negligible. It is impossible to refer to past or future objects or state of affairs, if reference requires the existence of the referred entity. Alvin Plantinga called the thesis that singular propositions can only exist if the individuals which they are about exist Existentialism (Plantinga 1983). If Existentialism and Presentism are both true, there can actually be no singular propositions about the past or the future, which is a very problematic conclusion, since we constantly refer to past objects and states of affairs in our daily life. Even worse, causation as an important trans-temporal relation cannot be accounted for in a standard presentist ontology.

In order to present a possible solution for this problem, I will present a theory, based on the account of quasitruths by Ted Sider (1999), which accounts for transtemporal reference within presentism. Such reference will be analyzed as quasireference which is shown to be reducible to causation as a relation between two successive world states - the only genuine transtemporal relation which needs to be permitted in presentism. Opposite to Aristotle (De Interpretatione), Lukasiewicz (1930), Lucas (1973; 1989), and others, I do not give up bivalence by holding that propositions about the contingent future either do not have a truth value or have a truth value different from true or false. I also do not postulate that they are all false (Rhoda, Boyd and Belt 2006). I argue that bivalence for genuine propositions can be maintained, while statements about the contingent future are not considered genuine propositions, which is why they neither have a truth value nor ever will acquire a truth value. Rather, I postulate that such sentences express m-propositions, which only have a truth value in respect to a certain eternalist model of reality, which as an abstract entity can be permitted in a Presentist ontology.

Chair: Luca Gili
Zeit: 15:30-16:00, 13. September 2013 (Freitag)
Ort: HS 101

Johannes Grössl
(University of Innsbruck, Österreich)

Johannes Grössl (Dipl.Theol., Bakk.). University of Innsbruck. 2007 baccalaureate in philosophy (Munich School of Philosophy); 2011 Diplom (University of Munich, master equivalent) in theology; thesis about the application of Gödel?s incompleteness theorems as an argument against functionalism. Since 2011 research assistant with the Analytic Theology Project in Innsbruck. PhD thesis on Open Theism.

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