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Omniscience Entails Fatalism

Monday, May 9th, 2011
Captioned as "Odin disguised as a Travell...

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Dear friend in philosophy
Thank you for your recent charming company. As you might recall from our discussion at the restaurant, I remarked glibly that omniscience entails fatalism. You, of course, disagreed with me on the grounds that God’s existence is somehow atemporal. Since informal discussions over lunch, sadly cut short by your disappearance, are less than conducive to heavy philosophy, I thought this clarification in order.

I believe I can prove my assertion. Given a few reasonable assumptions, and a particular understanding of the concepts involved, we should be able to (more…)

What does it mean to ‘change the past’ and is it possible?

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

 

“I want to change the past,” Tina insisted. “What good’s a time-machine if it can’t even change the past?” The flickering lights on the head of Tina’s robot servant, Chipton, turned red in response. “Your request is irrational. The past is the set of events preceding the present. One cannot change a set while retaining its identity; it would be a different set. Your request is tantamount to a desire for an event to have happened and not happened at the same time.” Tina frowned and shook her head. “Oh, you and your cold, mechanical words! That’s most certainly not what I mean by ‘changing the past.’ I just want to live in a world where something else happened in 1921 – with a different set from ours if you will – what’s so irrational about that?”

φ

 

I shall disambiguate between three meanings of (more…)

Presentism, Penguins & The Le Poidevin-Russell Prong

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Can the presentist escape the Last Thursdayism objection against truthmaking?

ThursdayI shall argue the Last Thursdayism objection against presentist truthmaking is inescapable; since it is a consequence of a sole existing privileged present – intrinsic to all presentisms – and not of any particular presentist truthmaker theory. I shall consider how the truthmaker theories of Rhoda and Cameron fare against the objection – the former because of its unique relevance to the objection; the latter because it is the most sophisticated presentist truthmaker theory.

Presentism is the position that only the present exists. An easy way to understand this is (more…)