SOPhiA 2013

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Echte Möglichkeiten und Potentialitäten
(Metaphysik & Ontologie, Englisch)

In our everyday lives, we constantly encounter real possibilities. They are the kind of alternative future possibilities we are facing in an indeterministic world. Those real possibilities arise from concrete local circumstances, and they are compatible with our laws of nature. They are most adequately pictured within branching frameworks, such as provided by the Prior-Thomason theory of branching time. In my talk, I will present a dynamic modal explanation of branching models for real possibility that elucidates why the possible courses of events those models depict are compatible with our laws of nature. Branching will be explained in terms of the local arrangement of objects and their potentialities.

In the framework of branching time, our world is pictured as a tree of histories branching into multiple possible futures. More formally, one posits a backwards-linear connected partial ordering of moments. The branching structures defined that way can be employed in the semantics of modal-temporal languages if a valuation on the structure is provided. Each branching structure allows, however, for several valuations, and not every valuation yields a model for real possibility. What makes a branching model a model for real possibility is that all its possible courses of events are compatible with our laws of nature.

In order to explain why a branching model is a model for real possibility, some link between the structure and its valuation needs to be established. Given the valuation at a moment, we need a local explanation that elucidates why the possible future continuations of that moment are compatible with our laws of nature. I will suggest a modal explanation of branching in terms of potentialities. The fact that histories branch at a certain moment in a certain way will be accounted for by the potentialities of the objects existing at that moment and their local arrangement. The branching model as a whole will be built up step by step from the local future possibilities grounded in the potentialities of objects. In this way, we get a dynamic picture of real possibility: some possibilities disappear and new possibilities emerge as time progresses.

Chair: Laurenz Hudetz
Zeit: 09:00-09:30, 14. September 2013 (Samstag)
Ort: HS 101

Antje Rumberg
(Utrecht University, Niederlande)

Antje Rumberg (M.A.). Utrecht University. 2010 Magister in philosophy, University of Tübingen; thesis about consequence relations in Bolzano. Current research in semantics and metaphysics of natural and historical modalities.

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