SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The Moving Spotlight via Temporal Logic
(Metaphysics and Ontology, English)

The Moving Spotlight Theory of time (MST) is, next to presentism, eternalism and the growing block theory of time, one of the main theories in the metaphysics of time. Actually, it may be legitimately claimed that it is the most neglected: formulated by one who did not sustain it (C.D. Broad), it has recently received new attention, being the subject of two books, but it is curious that one of them has been written by an eternalist (B. Skow), and the other by one who holds such a non-standard version of MST to call it `enriched presentism' (R.P. Cameron). In my talk, I aim at exploring the plausibility of MST, not just by arguing in its favor, but by seeking an accurate and satisfying formulation of it.

To do that, I will employ the tools of temporal logic, which to my mind offer a deep insight into metaphysical theories. The crucial methodological idea, with respect to this, is that a metaphysical theory can be developed by

(i) firstly identifying the fundamental facts to be accounted for,

(ii) then building abstract mathematical structures which can be said to capture such facts, and which can be described by means of properly construed formal languages interpreted on them,

(iii) and finally interpreting such structures on real structures, for instance by arguing for an isomorphism between them.

Following this procedure, I will firstly present the fundamental facts which I believe to be essential to MST, in the sense that every development of the theory must mantain their truth; then I will try to capture them by semantically developing a system of dynamic temporal logic in such a way that an isomorphism can be said to obtain between a dynamical model of the semantics and spatiotemporal reality in its temporal structure, on condition that MST is true. I will finally point out that, as a consequence of (a properly developed version of) MST, spatiotemporal reality is dynamical, i.e. the totality of spatiotemporal facts is not fixed.

Chair: Markus Hierl
Time: 15:20-15:50, 12 September 2018 (Wednesday)
Location: SR 1.006
Remark: CHANGE. The talk is cancelled!

Eric Tremolanti 
(USI (Lugano), Italy)

I am prospective graduate students of the Master in Philosophy at USI (Lugano), currently completing my bachelor and writing a thesis on the moving spotlight theory of time. I am mostly interested in logic and metaphysica, in particular insofar as time is concerned. I would like to go on with my studies and try to pursue an academic career.

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