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On the Structural Similarities between Worlds and Times

Edward N. Zalta
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Mar., 1987), pp. 213-239
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4319887
Page Count: 27
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On the Structural Similarities between Worlds and Times
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Abstract

In the debate about the nature and identity of possible worlds, philosophers have neglected the parallel questions about the nature and identity of moments of time. These are not questions about the structure of time in general, but rather about the internal structure of each individual time. Times and worlds share the following structural similarities: both are maximal with respect to propositions (at every world and time, either p or ∼p is true, for every p); both are consistent; both are closed (every modal consequence of a proposition true at a world is also true at that world, and every tense-theoretic consequence of a proposition true at a time is also true at that time); just as there is a unique actual world, there is a unique present moment; and just as a proposition is necessarily true iff true at all worlds, a proposition is eternally true iff true at all times. In this paper, I show that a simple extension of my theory of worlds yields a theory of times in which the above structural similarities between the two are consequences.

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