Antje Rumberg: "Actuality and Possibility in Branching Time"

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng2-1022
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Matti Eklund
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy

Antje Rumberg, Stockholm University: "Actuality and Possibility in Branching Time: The Roots of Transition Semantics"

The theory of branching time, pioneered by Prior, depicts the future as genuinely open. The picture is that of a tree whose branches represent possibilities for the future. The relation between actuality and possibility that we find in branching time structures is thereby a rather peculiar one: actuality comprises but the present and the past, and the branches leading toward the future represent possibilities for actuality to evolve. In my talk, I will discuss the peculiar interrelation of actuality and possibility in branching time structures and illustrate how this interrelation can be captured semantically. In particular, I will motivate the transition semantics I have been proposing. The distinctive feature of the transition semantics is that it builds on local future possibilities, viz. transitions, rather than on complete possible courses of events and allows for a dynamic picture of the interrelation of possibility and time, bringing to the fore the idea that contingencies about the future dissolve as time progresses.

Rumberg will give a regular presentation. If you want to read up on
transition semantics beforehand, please read her article "Transition Semantics for
Branching Time"
(Journal of Logic, Language and Information, 2016, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 77–108).