Yet Another Reason Foreknowledge Doesn’t Help

March 10, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 12:53 am   Category: Eternal Progression,Foreknowledge

Awhile back I posted on God’s decision making process and examined some reasons that foreknowledge does not render decision making trivial. On that thread, Mark made the following comment and I mentioned my intention to dedicate an entire post to the same point:

Knowledge of possible futures does not seem to be much of an advantage. As each one is conditioned on the free will of multiple parties, choosing an actual direction to take is still reduced to an exercise in risk management and statistics. (Mark D)

In order to illustrate what Mark is getting at, I think it will be helpful to represent on open future with some pictures. The pictures below chart “possibilities.” For the purpose of this post I will follow the wiki definitions and clarify that I am not talking about logical possibilities, but rather, things that are both nomologically and temporally possible. In simple terms, the possibilities I am talking about are things that are possible according to the laws of nature AND could still happen given the history of the universe as it has unfolded so far. So, if the universe is perfectly deterministic in the sense that what happens in this moment is the one and only thing that could have happened given the causal forces in the previous moment, our chart would look like this:

determinism

Notice that if things are fully determined, there are no more possibilities of the kind I am talking about. There is one and only one possible future which will play out over time as things continue to bump into each other. choice

However, for those of us who believe in LFW, the future is open and we can represent the openness of free choices with a fork representing the different ways that things could go. Thus, in an LFW paradigm, the future has many possibilities and looks like a bushy tree with many branches. In the picture below, I have labeled the “ends” with letters representing various possible futures (A,B,D,E,F).

In my previous post, I pointed out that since the future goes on forever, there is never really a stopping place at which to “compare” futures. In this post, I want to focus on the fact that even if God knows all possible futures, he can never choose a specific future. Rather, the best he can do is choose which half of the infinitely large tree of possibilities we will continue down.

the future

To see why this is, consider that each of these forks in the future represents a person making a choice. Most of the choices are not made by God, but by regular chaps like you and me. So, if God is sitting at the beginning of this chart looking into a future of possibilities, he can choose the branch in which (A) and (B) are possible or the one in which (D), (E), and (F) are possible. He cannot, however, choose (A), (B), (D), (E), or (F) outright unless he overrides or manipulates all the decisions between now and then. Are you with me so far?

So, what happens if (A) is a really excellent future which I definitely want to choose, but (B) is a terrible one that I definitely want to avoid? Well, we might notice that the path to (A) and (B) diverge some time from now, so perhaps we don’t have to anything about that until later. But, if the choice at the point of divergence is going to be made by some free agent (i.e. not God), then we can see what Mark (I think!) was getting at in his comment above. Perhaps God knows the probability that this particular person will choose the fork heading toward (A) rather than (B). He can make some decision now (God is at the first fork remember) based on his knowledge that the odds for avoiding (B) are good even if we head toward it now. Assuming that there are statistical probabilites for what will happen in each choice, is God making decisions based on playing the odds and managing the various risks out there in the future?

Of course, I haven’t mentioned (D), (E), and (F). Supposing these futures represent a mix of good and bad possibilities, it may begin to look like a wash. Either way, we have some good possible futures and some bad ones still out there. Remember, God (or anyone for that matter) is not choosing a specific endpoint in the distant future, he is choosing one half of the infinitely large possibilities of futures over the other infinitely large possibilities of futures. The difference between (A) and (B) and (F) begins to look rather irrelevant to the question of what God should do now.

If we were to assign some probability to each of the legs of our tree, then the probability of (A) obtaining would be the product of the probabilities of each leg along the way. Let’s suppose (A) is very likely and that at every choice, the leg leading to (A) had a 60% chance of being chosen. There are seven legs between now and (A), so even this event in the very near future (only 7 choices from now) would have a probability of a little less than 3% (.6^7). In other words, even this very probably event is not that likely given the numbers I just made up.

Of course, all of this is based on my crude drawing. To get an idea how quickly the number of possible futures multiplies in real life, let’s refresh ourselves on how possibilities unfold in the game of chess. If we count each time a chess piece changes position as a “move,” we find that after just 2 moves, there are 400 possible games of chess. If we allow each player to move 4 times (8 moves), we are up to just shy of 85 billion possible games of chess. Yes, billion with a “b.” Here is how it looks:

0 1
1 20
2 400
3 8,902
4 197,281
5 4,865,617
6 119,060,679
7 3,195,913,043
8 84,999,425,906
9 2,439,540,533,153
10 69,353,270,203,366
11 2,097,660,204,806,910
(from this website on 2/26/06).

You can see why we still cannot solve the game of chess even with our modern super computers. The numbers simply blow up to ridiculous magnitudes very quickly. Considering that there are somewhere between 5-6 billion people on the earth today, you can imagine that the number of possible futures 24 hours from now is quite large (there are only 32 pieces in chess) and the corresponding probability of any one of those futures is relatively small.

Conclusions

The points in this post combined with the points in the previous post combine to convince me that divine foreknowledge can’t take the fun out of decision making. We sometimes suppose that God’s foreknowledge renders his decision making totally dissimilar from ours. Increasingly, I have come to believe that God makes decisions in very much the same way that we do, albeit with more knowledge and better intentions.

42 Comments »

  1. Sounds like you are going after molinism.

    Blake has a discussion of this in his first volume. It still has lots of problems.

    Comment by Clark — March 10, 2008 @ 9:36 am

  2. For a second I thought this was going to be about Desmond from Lost.

    Comment by Steve Evans — March 10, 2008 @ 9:51 am

  3. Clark,

    Why do you think I am going after molinism? There are parts of the molinist view that seem right to me, but I would not call myself a molinist by any stretch. As I said in the previous post, I don’t think the future exists to be known. My point in these posts is that even if you argue that God does has foreknowledge it still doesn’t help solve any of the problems people want it to solve. In other words, I think we should let go of our problematic attachment to the idea that God knows the future and build a theology around an open future and a God more like that of open theism.

    Steve,

    Just wait, I’ll find a way to tie it into Lost before it’s all over (which looks to be one or two comments from now). I think Hurley is going back in time to save Charlie from his watery demise and neither Ben, nor God, can stop him.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 10, 2008 @ 11:46 am

  4. Sorry, I didn’t mean to say you were adopting Molinism rather than the line of argumentation you present is a molinistic one.

    As I’ve said I think we have to separate out what I’ll call a block universe from determinism.

    I’ll try to post something more comprehensive later. I don’t have time right now.

    Comment by Clark — March 10, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  5. Yes, Clark, I’d love to read a description of what you are interested in with the block universe theory. You bring it up a lot, so it would be useful to know why it is so important in your view. I lean toward presentism and find the idea of a block universe disquieting since I am pretty committed to the reality of time.

    The only reason determinism came up at all in the post is that I was trying to be clear about what I meant with my drawings. The post simply assumes an open future and is examining the ramifications of such a future on choices today, even if those choices happen from a divine perspective. I’d love to see how you think this question should be addressed from a block universe paradigm.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 10, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

  6. Note the block universe doesn’t entail that time is a fiction.

    Comment by Clark — March 10, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

  7. All there is to a block universe is the idea that there is now a truth of the matter regarding some future state of affairs. (It needn’t even be all future states of affairs) The reason it is different from determinism is that the laws of physics plus the current state do not entail any future state. So it’s open to either randomness at some level or even emergent ‘freedom’ just in an ‘all at once’ form. Temporally it would appear that this freedom takes place at a given time but ontologically it would be all at once due to the nature of time.

    Thus freedom of a more regular sort could still be emergent although it wouldn’t be Libertarian Free Will since there isn’t an open future of the sort it demands.

    The key debate is the relationship between intentionality and choice and whether (or how) intentionality can be emergent. The Libertarian Free Will proponent (or at least those I’ve read) demand that intentionality be non-reducible to events even if events are not deterministic. Thus the only options open to the are ontological emergence (which I’m on record finding dubious) or dualism.

    Comment by Clark — March 10, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

  8. The fault is in assuming God to exist in time as we do. Think about this. I know exactly what my co-workers did yesterday between the hours of 8am to 5pm (assuming I was watching my co-worker), does this mean that my co-worker had no choice in his actions since i know what he did? Of course not, anyone would agree that that is ridiculous. Well since God does not exist in time, he can see all of time the same way we see the past. We say he can see the “future”, but existing outside of time, there is no future, he simply sees everything all at once. So from his point of view it’s not a matter of him knowing what we WILL eat for breakfast, because it’s already happened, it’s a matter of him knowing what we DID eat for breakfast (I recognize that using future and past tenses doesn’t make sense here, but that is simply a fault in our language, as our language deals with things in time). So does God knowing what choice we already made change the fact the WE made the choice and therefore take away our free will? Of course not.

    Comment by Edd O — March 11, 2008 @ 9:14 am

  9. Oh you stepped in it this time Edd O…

    Also, see post after post explaining why your other arguments just don’t work by clicking here.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 11, 2008 @ 9:22 am

  10. Temporally it would appear that this freedom takes place at a given time but ontologically it would be all at once due to the nature of time.

    This seems to me to be a straightforward statement that time is an illusion. What am I missing?

    Comment by Jacob J — March 11, 2008 @ 9:51 am

  11. Edd O,

    Since I never tire of explaining why your explanation doesn’t work, here is a short version you can respond to if you want (if you are looking to discuss it): The reason your knowledge of your co-worker’s actions yesterday is not problematic is that they got to decide what they did before you could have knowledge of it. The problem arises when you know what they will do before they have a chance to get there (temporally) and decide for themselves what they will do. If you know before hand, then their decisions were made before they made them, which is why your solution doesn’t work out.

    Of course, there are many attempts at a diving catch to save your argument. One is to posit time travel (which leads to familiar paradoxes). Another is to deny the reality of time (see post Goeff linked to). Another is to say God is actually just a perfect guesser (which entails “character” determinism). And on and on…

    Blake Ostler has a great book dealing with this issue in detail which I highly recommend.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 11, 2008 @ 10:01 am

  12. Jacob: this was yet again a great post. Edd O, I wanted to say that I felt like you do at one point, and I know many people who are great and intelligent people who hold to the God who exists outside of time idea. The problem I eventually ran into was that just as there is no biggest number there is no “future” that currently exists. There are perhaps an infinite number of possible futures that will exist, but strictly speaking, none of them exist yet. Ultimately, I attribute this understanding the Jacob and Blake and Geoff here at this blog. They are awesome people.

    The great thing is, God doesn’t need to know the future. He knows us perfectly, and he knows the way the things work perfectly, so he knows pefectly what is best for us, and how to get it. He knows there is no better plan than his plan, and that there will not be a better plan in the future, and all this I can belive without worrying whether he knows the future or not, since the future does not exist.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 11, 2008 @ 10:31 am

  13. Edd O

    Dimensional argument.

    Good one, a bit metaphysical.

    But I don’t like the idea that it adds an extra property to God, that God uses different time axis. Can this be justified?

    Assume that it is true. God indeed uses different time axis. Let us try to analyze this situation. Look at the following diagram:

    S
    SS

    ———–A————

    ““““““““““““““““““““““`SSSS

    ‘A’ is a blind ant moving along a string, so basically its movement is 1-dimensional.
    ‘A’ can choose moving to the left end or to the right end to escape to freedom. To ant ‘A’, it has a Free Will.

    We are here, in 3-dimensional space, we can see that there are spiders near both ends of the string, represented by S’s.

    We know that ant is doomed for sure.

    The ant can’t see it, because it is 1-dimensional. So the ant THINKS THAT it has Free Will. I repeat, it THINKS THAT it has Free Will, or rather, it is MADE TO THINK THAT it has Free Will.

    Objectively speaking, the ant does not have Free Will, because I agree that, you agree that, it doesn’t matter whether the ant itself agree.

    Comment by tb — March 11, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  14. Thanks Matt, I appreciate it.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 11, 2008 @ 11:45 am

  15. tb,

    Good example. My only suggestion to improve it would be to replace the spiders with anteaters.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 11, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  16. To say one theory of the ontology of time is incorrect is not to say time is an illusion (which seems a rather strong assertion). The philosophy of time is not at all easy especially when starting from a phenomenological point of view. Since I have limited time I’d just say that we have to be careful here.

    Comment by Clark — March 11, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

  17. Maybe there aren’t that many futures out there; isn’t it possible that many of the paths created by the choices involved could lead to identical futures at certain points along the way?

    An example of this kind of thing is the Martin Gardner (or maybe it was really John Conway’s) Scientific American game of “Life”. You can begin by putting random dots on a grid, and given the rules of the game, the pattern will eventually settle down to a known and often replicated pattern.

    Just food for thought.

    Comment by Mark N. — March 11, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  18. Jacob J: “Of course, there are many attempts at a diving catch to save your argument. One is to posit time travel (which leads to familiar paradoxes).”

    Per Theory of General Relativity, How is this for a diving catch?

    1 Nephi Chapter 11

    v10) The Spirit ask what he[Nephi] desires.
    v11) The intepretation of the Tree-of-Life

    (this is where things get interesting)

    v12) What is the significance of this verse? Why would the Spirit shout “look” and then disappear before Nephi?

    v13) minus the spirit, Nephi sees (into the future?) the (pregnant) Virgin Mary in Nazereth?

    v14) the fabric of spacetime rips open and an angel descends and becomes the new tour guide.

    v15 – v38) the angel and Nephi witness the mortal life of Christ.

    Now you have to ask yourself if the “tour guide” is indeed the Holy Ghost, why was he replaced by an angel (v.14)? Is it not possible that the HG can dwell in us all simultaneously? and if the tour guide was indeed the Antemortal Godship of Christ why would he be replaced by an angel just prior to the vision of his[Christs] birth, life, and death?

    Why could Christ not be present with Nephi as HIS mortal-life story unfolded before them? are not all things possible? could not the Antemortal Godship of Christ not be at two places at once?

    Visions occur in real-time and that its possible spacetime could have curved and/or folded as such to allow Nephi to see into the future.

    An interesting technical approach to resolving the paradox of “time travel” is the Novikov Self-Consistency Conjecture/Principle (wiki search). The universe is in some way “self-righting”. The Nokikov principle seems to me to be just a small step from an acceptance of rigid determinism and the rejection of free-will.

    Dove into the dug-out after a foul-ball on that one.

    Now on the opposite side of the coin we consider what quantum cosmology says about the evolution of the cosmic wavefunction- the unitary description says that you cannot really see into the ‘future’ becasue all possible futures happen and it is not possible even in principle to figure out which future history will be observed- although thanks to causality the probabilistic distribution of futures should be highly confined to a few specific path-types- but only on the gross features of cosmic evolution- not the details of human life- the ‘past’ is the same- but the nature of causality and entropy restrict the past to much more certain histories- so the past appears more determined to observers because we have much more information about the possible events that could lead to the current world-state.

    Conclusion:
    General Relativity – Determinism
    Quantum Theory – Free Will

    Comment by tb — March 11, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  19. I think it unarguable that GR as presented entails determinism since every future state is determinable from every past state. QM is more complex since it really doesn’t require one view or an other. The usual interpretations are “we can’t say” or “ontological randomness” although there are deterministic interpretations such as David Bohm’s. The problem equating this with free will is that for Libertarian Free Will ontological randomness is just as bad as determinism.

    Comment by Clark — March 11, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

  20. Clark

    Since God is omnipotent, God should know our future. It follows that we cannot deviate from God’s prediction of the future. And so we do not have Free Will.

    For example, it might look like you have free will of choosing between omelette (path A) and bacon (path B) for your breakfast tomorrow. In fact, you do not. If God knows that you will choose omelette for your breakfast tomorrow. You will not choose bacon (path B), choosing bacon will show that God is not omnipotent.

    However, our world is indeterministic in nature. Quantum Mechanics show that that each particle state is a superposition of various possible eigenstates. This allows the coexistence of Omnipotency and Free Will.

    God knows your state vector and its evolution exactly. God knows what is the probability that you will choose omelette and what is the proability that you will choose bacon. And your action of choosing one of them the next day does not prove God is wrong. It is merely a collapse of your wave-function. You have Free Will. You can make a choice between omelette and sausage. God is omnipotent. God knows everything as far as your breakfast is concerned.

    Comment by tb — March 11, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  21. The question is what omnipotence means. Because we as Mormons reject creation ex nihilo that entails that God is already more limited than the type of God of mainstream Christianity. (Since there is all the pre-existent matter out of which he organizes existence and he didn’t create it)

    So what is God’s omnipotence? It clearly isn’t the ability to do anything logically consistent. It appears to be the ability to do anything physically allowable. So the debate is that if the future doesn’t exist then God can’t know it since that’s not physically allowable.

    Comment by Clark — March 11, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

  22. to clarify – i assume He is “all-powerful” within the domain in which He has stewardship over. and i also assume that outside His “box” He has just as much foreknowledge as we do inside His box. i’m not speaking in terms of absolutes. there is no end to learning.

    Comment by tb — March 11, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

  23. But that avoids the question of what his domain is which is quite the topic in the debate about LFW and open theology.

    Comment by Clark — March 11, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

  24. tb,

    Quantum Mechanics show that that each particle state is a superposition of various possible eigenstates. This allows the coexistence of Omnipotency and Free Will.

    The sentence in italics is a *giant* leap from the one that precedes it. I see what you are asserting, but I don’t buy it. Additionally, since the real-world meaning of quantum mechanics is hotly debated with several proposals (all of which are terrible), I am not easily persuaded by the kinds of arguments you are making. Telling me my choice of what to eat for breakfast is “merely a collapse of your wave-function” is possibly a less enticing a view of free will even than that advanced by compatibilists.

    Your diving catch in 1 Nephi raises some interesting questions, but as you seem to acknowledge later, your reading entails determinism of one sort or another, so I don’t favor that reading.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 11, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

  25. clark
    i do not have an answer.

    Comment by tb — March 12, 2008 @ 8:44 am

  26. jacob j

    The ant example I constructed is to investigate the scenario of God vs Man

    Many have pointed out that God can see every point of the time axis (or ‘had seen’ whichever is more precise). Whereas for Man, we can only see point by point, as the time progresses.

    Unfortunately, we do not have two time axes. So in the ant example, I use two spatial axes to mimic the scenario.

    The ant which is blind is able to perceive only one point in its axis, that is where it lies. Whereas for us, we can see every point in its axes.

    I did not mean that the ant, being unable to avoid death, or being unable to do whatever the ant wishes, does not have Free Will.

    I meant the two choices given to the ant, ‘left’ or ‘right’, are the same choice, i.e. no Free Will. We observed that one choice is no different from the other, that is because we have known its doom, the spiders at both ends. But the ant itself sees that it has Free Will, because it does not see the Spiders.

    Do you find it contradictory? Two observers have different conclusions.

    You may eat omelette or you may eat sausage. You called it ‘two choices’.

    You may eat omelette or you may eat omelette. Do you call it ‘two choices’?

    You may eat X or you may eat X. (X is the object that God had observed that you will eat, be it omelette or sausage). Do you call it ‘two choices’?

    You may find yourself having Free Will like the ant does. But this Free Will is limited to you only, it’s not acknowledged by all observers.

    Comment by tb — March 12, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  27. here is my stab at foreknowledge

    from post #26 it probably occured to you that “Just because God observed me eating X does not mean that X was my only choice.”

    You think this is true, because ‘you see’ that you have Free Will (like the ant does).

    Fortunately for us, God rarely appears before man and tells the man everything that God had observed about the man’s future. If God really does so, the man will finally realize that he does not have Free Will actually.

    God told Peter that Peter would deny Him 3 times. The ending of the story is Peter indeed denied Him 3 times. Tragic?

    How do you suppose the story would have ended up if the Antemortal Christ was permitted to observe His mortal life with Nephi?

    Comment by tb — March 12, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  28. Even if the consequences of a certain set of choices are all the same doesn’t mean that the choices are all the same, one would think there is still free will.
    This is just a way to classify choices. There are countless way to eat an omelette, depending on the various motions of your hands and mouth. I just classify them into one “choice of eating an omelette”. Since I have observed EVERY POINT of the ant’s axis, I concluded that the ant has only one choice.

    end of my soliloquy

    back to lurking

    Comment by tb — March 12, 2008 @ 9:28 am

  29. tb (#26),

    Do you find it contradictory? Two observers have different conclusions.

    You may eat omelette or you may eat sausage. You called it ‘two choices’.

    No, I don’t find it contradictory. I find it to be a clear statement that the “free will” of the ant is not actually free will, but a false belief of the ant. If you believe the world is flat, but I can see from space that it is not, I don’t say that the world is flat for you but round for me. Rather, I say that you are mistaken and hold a false belief. In the viewpoint you are suggesting, there is no such thing as free will, but most of us have a false belief leading us to think we have it when we do not.

    Your reading of the story about Peter is that he has no free will. There are other readings which do not rest on Peter lacking free will. See, for example, this post.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 12, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  30. tb (#27),

    Whether or not God tells us what he has seen: If THE future can be seen by God then it follows that there is no free will in a libertarian sense. I extend my recommendation from #11 to you as well as Edd O. Blake goes through this argument in a more rigorous fashion than you will get here.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 12, 2008 @ 9:48 am

  31. tb: You may find yourself having Free Will like the ant does. But this Free Will is limited to you only, it’s not acknowledged by all observers.

    I’m afraid Jacob is right tb. What you are describing is accurately called “not free will”. Rather it is a false belief that one has free will. The problem for Mormons is that the restored gospel doesn’t really make any sense unless we have real free will.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 12, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  32. Umm. More accurately it is called “not Libertarian free will.”

    Comment by Clark — March 12, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  33. Clark,

    Why do you think it is that compatibilists get to run around saying things have “free will” and I have to constantly add libertarian to it? I don’t demand that they put compatibilist in front of free will every time, so I see no reason I shouldn’t be able to use the term “free will” when my meaning is clear. (When my meaning may be misunderstood I go ahead and add the qualifier, but I don’t think anyone was in danger of misunderstanding Geoff above.)

    Comment by Jacob J — March 13, 2008 @ 10:00 am

  34. I think that when discussing the debate with non-philosophers it’s important to qualify what one says otherwise the debate become quite difficult to understand. (Beyond how difficult it already is)

    Comment by Clark — March 13, 2008 @ 11:17 am

  35. To add, otherwise when you read the writings of compatibilitists (pretty much everyone in the 19th century and earlier) it’ll be tremendously misleading when you read them talking about free will. Even when you encounter folks who try to have it both ways like Kant (and who get claimed by both sides) it is confusing.

    While I think that the Libertarians are right in that their use better captures the linguistic usage and intuitions of most westerners I think it pretty helpful to label the views and not merely talk “free will” or worse yet “real free will.”

    Comment by Clark — March 13, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  36. Hehe. I think “real free will” is funny to use to mean libertarian free will. But I admittedly use it around here just to dig at the compatibilists at times…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 13, 2008 @ 11:52 am

  37. Hey everyone, the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy just posted an article on Foreknowledge and Free Will. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m sure I’m not the only one interested in what they have to say.

    Comment by Jeff G — March 14, 2008 @ 11:17 am

  38. I think section 2.5 is a pretty good exposition of the typical Mormon response to the Foreknowledge/Free Will Incompatibilist position. I just wish that it went into greater detail.

    Comment by Jeff G — March 14, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  39. I also found this claim to be fascinating as well:

    “The problem of the alleged incompatibility of infallible foreknowledge and free will is therefore a special case of a more general problem that has nothing to do with either foreknowledge or free will. Temporally asymmetrical necessity and the transfer of necessity principle threaten a host of metaphysical theses that require that a proposition about the past entails a proposition about the future (e.g., Matter is indestructible). This is not an issue that can be evaded by denying the religious doctrine of divine foreknowledge.”

    Comment by Jeff G — March 14, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

  40. I think that article’s been there a very long time Jeff. It’s dated June, 2004.

    Comment by Clark — March 14, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

  41. Whoops. I see. It’s been significantly rewritten. My bad.

    Comment by Clark — March 14, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

  42. Jeff: I’ve read it. The article fails to attend to the distinction between the a-temporal truth value of propositions and the temporal necessity of past events reflected in propositions. I discuss it at length in vol. 1. As you say, I wish it went into greater depth as well. A theory of truth-makes is what is essential to make the distinction and the article just overlooks that.

    Comment by Blake — March 14, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

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