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CfP topical collection of Synthese on temporal reasoning and tensed truths, Deadline: 31 Dec 2022

*Call for Papers:*

Synthese Topical Collection: Temporal Reasoning and Tensed Truths

*Guest Editors:*

Vincent Grandjean, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Oxford,
United Kingdom

Matteo Pascucci, Institute of Philosophy, Slovak Academy of Sciences,
Bratislava, Slovak Republic

*Topical Collection Description:*

This topical collection is dedicated to the formal representation of
arguments involving *temporal* *reasoning *and* tensed truths*; in
particular, arguments with a clear significance to everyday life. In a
broad perspective, temporal reasoning can be rigorously encoded via
logic*, treating tenses as modalities, or via *extensional logic*,
quantifying over domains of temporal objects (e.g., instants, intervals,
etc.). Nowadays there are several formal devices (languages, systems,
semantics, etc.) able to deal with time in many regards. Each of these
devices is characterized by peculiar features, such as a certain choice of
primitive notions and, arguably, a certain kind of ontological commitment
(see, e.g., the surveys of approaches offered by Prior 1967, van Benthem
1983, Gabbay, Hodkinson & Reynolds 1994 and Øhrstrøm & Hasle 1995). The
truth-conditions of (the propositions expressed by) statements involving
tenses can be explained either in terms of the “past-present-future”
opposition (McTaggart’s A-theory) or in terms of the “earlier-later”
opposition (McTaggart’s B-theory). Moreover, taking into account the
difference between chronologically definite propositions and
chronologically indefinite propositions (Rescher 1966), it is possible to
distinguish between atemporal and temporal (or *tensed*) notions of truth.
This topical collection will primarily focus on the latter.

It is often argued that tensed truths do not float free, but are grounded
in reality. Accordingly, the present truth of (the proposition expressed
by) a statement such as ‘Napoleon lost at Waterloo’, requires it to be
grounded in *what there is and how it is*. However, this view has
undesirable consequences. First, it seems to force one to adopt an
eternalist ontology: assuming that past- and future-tensed statements are
not exceptions to the *principle of bivalence* (which states that all
declarative sentences express propositions that are either true or false),
there must be things located in the past and the future of the moment of
evaluation that provide grounds for their classical truth-values. Secondly,
it seems to threaten the openness of the future: assuming that the
truth-value of a future-tensed statement, such as ‘The first human on Mars
will be a woman’, is grounded in *what there is and how it is*, it seems
that everything regarding the exploration of Mars is already settled.

Many options have been envisaged to avoid these undesirable consequences.
One option is denying that future-tensed statements are bivalent (Broad
1923, Markosian 1995). However, this view is subject to criticism too since
(i) it conflicts with retrospective evaluations of future-tensed statements
(Besson & Hattiangadi 2013, MacFarlane 2003, 2008), and (ii) it is not
clear what semantics one ought to assume when modeling truth-value gaps. A
second option is to argue that the bivalence of past- and future-tensed
statements is compatible with non-eternalist ontologies and/or with an open
future. This option comes in various flavors: Todd (2016) argues that
future-tensed statements are all false; Barnes & Cameron (2009, 2011) say
that although future-tensed statements are bivalent, the truth-value of
some of these is unsettled; Correia & Rosenkranz (2018) assert that the
grounding requirement on tensed truths must be weakened, so that it allows
the present truth-values of some future-tensed statements to be grounded in
how, *at some future time*, things will be; etc. Thus, the problem of
finding an appropriate way of formally representing arguments involving
tensed truths is still a source of intense debate.

E. Barnes and R. Cameron, 2009. ‘The Open Future: Bivalence, Determinism
and Ontology’, in *Philosophical Studies*. Vol. 146, pp. 291-309.
E. Barnes and R. Cameron, 2011. ‘Back to the Open Future’, in *Philosophical
Perspectives*. Vol. 25, pp. 1-26.
C. Besson and A. Hattiangadi, 2013. ‘The Open Future, Bivalence and
Assertion’, in *Philosophical Studies*. Vol. 167, pp. 251-271.
R. Cameron, 2015. *The Moving Spotlight*. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
F. Correia and A. Iacona (eds.), 2013. *Around the Tree: Semantic and
Metaphysical Issues Concerning Branching and the Open Future*. Dordrecht:
F. Correia and S. Rosenkranz, 2018. *Nothing to Come: A Defense of the
Growing Block Theory of Time*. Berlin: Springer.
D.M. Gabbay, I. Hodkinson and M. Reynolds, 1994. *Temporal Logic:
Mathematical Foundations and Computational Aspects* (Volume 1), Oxford:
Clarendon Press.
J. MacFarlane, 2003. ‘Future Contingents and Relative Truth’, in *The
Philosophical Quarterly*. Vol. 53, pp. 322-336.
J. MacFarlane, 2008. ‘Truth in the Garden of Forking Paths’, in *Relative
Truth*. M. Garcia-Carpintero and M. KoĢˆlbel (eds.), Oxford: Oxford
University Press, pp. 81-102.
P. Øhrstrøm, 2019, ‘A critical discussion of Prior’s philosophical and
tense-logical analysis of the ideas of indeterminism and human freedom’, in
*Synthese*. Vol. 196, pp. 69-85.
P. Øhrstrøm and P. Hasle, 1995, *Temporal Logic: From Ancient Ideas to
Artificial Intelligence*, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
P. Øhrstrøm and P. Hasle, 2020, ‘Future Contingents’, in *Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy*. E. Zalta (ed.), URL:
A.N. Prior, 1967. *Past, Present and Future*. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
N. Rescher, 1966. ‘On the Logic of Chronological Propositions’, in *Mind* Vol.
75, pp. 75–96.
P. Todd, 2016. ‘Future Contingents are all False! On Behalf of a Russellian
Open Future’, in *Mind*. Vol. 125, pp. 775-798.
J. van Benthem, 1983. *The Logic of Time*, Dordrecht, Boston, and London:
Kluwer Academic Publishers. [Second edition: 1991.]

*Appropriate Topics for Submission include, among others:*

Formal accounts of tensed truths

Grounds for tensed truths

Logics for chronologically definite and indefinite propositions

Reasoning problems involving time

Temporal vs atemporal notions of truth

Truth-value of tensed statements

The unrestricted application of bivalence

The absoluteness of utterance-truth

The problem of future contingents

Truthmakers for tensed truths

*For further information, please contact the guest editors: *


*The deadline for submissions is:*

December 31, 2022

*Submissions via:*

https://www.editorialmanager.com/synt/default.aspx (T.C. : Temporal
reasoning and tensed truths)

*Webpage of the call:*

CFP: Synthese Topical Collection: Temporal Reasoning and Tensed Truths -
PhilEvents <https://philevents.org/event/show/98602>
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