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Sea Battle Semantics

Berit Brogaard
The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-)
Vol. 58, No. 231 (Apr., 2008), pp. 326-335
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40208563
Page Count: 10
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Sea Battle Semantics
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Abstract

The assumption that the future is open makes well known problems for traditional semantics. According to a commonly held intuition, today's occurrence of the sentence 'There will be a sea battle tomorrow', while truth-valueless today, will have a determinate truth-value by tomorrow night. Yet given traditional semantics, sentences that are truth-valueless now cannot later 'become' true. Relativistic semantics has been claimed to do a better job of accommodating intuitions about future contingents than non-reletivistic semantics does. However, intuitions about future contingents cannot by themselves give good reasons for shifting to a new paradigm, for despite the initial appearances, standard non-reletivistic semantics (plus an account of truth-value gaps) can accommodate both intuitions about future contingents.

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