[SydPhil] Space, Time, and Spacetime workshop: Sydney March 23.

Kristie Miller kristie.miller at sydney.edu.au
Wed Mar 8 09:55:16 AEDT 2023

Space, Time and Spacetime 
Workshop, March 23

In person: N494 Main Quad, The University of Sydney
Meeting ID: 886 7145 0223
Passcode: 300413
Sam Baron, ACU
Dialetheism and the A-theory

According to dialetheism, there are some true contradictions. According to the A-theory, the passage of time is a mind-independent feature of reality. I argue that by appealing to dialetheism one can explain why time passes. I start by considering an existing dialethic account of passage developed by Priest. I show that Priest's approach does not provide the kind of passage that many A-theorists want. I then develop a new dialetheic account of passage that explains why the present moves. I compare my explanation of why the present moves with one provided by Skow and argue that the dialethic account is preferable because, unlike Skow's account, it does not presuppose that the spatial configuration of the universe is always changing.
Jessica Pohlmann, ACU 
“A new modal account of existential dependence”
Modal accounts of existential dependence have become unpopular in contemporary metaphysics. Such accounts, it is argued, fail to accurately characterize existential dependence when applied to the non-contingent domain. Accordingly, many philosophers have opted for an hyperintensional account of existential dependence, one that employs the notion of essence. I argue, however, that existential dependence can indeed be characterised in modal terms. I develop a new modal account of existential dependence that combines Mackie’s ‘INUS’ framework for causation with situation theory, developed by Barwise and Perry. I show that this framework can support an asymmetric notion of existential dependence within the non-contingent domain.
12.15-1.30 LUNCH
Al Wilson, Birmingham 
Naturalism: Modal and Spatiotemporal

Time and modality have classically been conceived as domains to be investigated a priori, drawing on either rational insight (perhaps in its contemporary guise, philosophical intuition) or transcendental reasoning. Even contemporary philosophers of physics fall back on a priori considerations when considering e.g. the range of possible spacetimes. Scientific investigation is given a minimal role in modal discovery, typically being restricted to identifying which of the a-priori-identified possibilities we inhabit. In this talk I offer an alternative, starting with a radically naturalistic account of the metaphysics of modality, and showing how it leads to a naturalistic modal epistemology for space and time.
Anthony Bigg, Sydney
Title: Some Future Tense Contingents Are Not False
Abstract: Any proposition p of the form it will be the case that q, is a future tense contingent if and only if the complete description of the present state of the world, in conjunction with the laws of nature, fails to entail the truth of p, and fails to entail the truth of it will be the case that ~q. According to one well known account of the open future, all future tense contingents are false. I will present at least two arguments against the openness of the future, thus construed (three if time permits). Firstly, I will argue that the semantics for the future tense operator “it will be the case that” required by this account leads to contradictions in certain metaphysically possible worlds. Secondly, I will argue that (i) a recent defence of this account by Patrick Todd (2021) fails and (ii) that if this account of the openness of the future is true, then Todd’s defence is successful. Thus, from these two premises, I conclude that this account of the open future is false. Therefore, I conclude, not all future tense contingents are false.
Jordan Lee-Tory
Coincidence and the relationship between mereology and location. 
Sometimes people that are not averse to a pluralist interpretation of cases of coincidence describe typical cases in which numerically distinct objects share the same location and sometimes these are described as sharing all of the same parts. One might wonder whether then if the standard cases of coincidence are like this then perhaps it is necessary and sufficient for some objects to be coincident that they are both mereological and locativly coincident. I will first explore the related idea that the definitions of locative coincidence and mereological coincidence are co-extensive and develop principles that necessitate this co-extension. However, what I will argue is that these principles that might initially seem plausible result in a far too restrictive relationship between location and mereology. There are many instances in which some distinct objects satisfy one but not the other definition and as a result, are disallowed by these principles. Furthermore, these very cases can be constructed in such a way that they seem just as plausibly cases of coincidence as do the standard cases that we started with (the ones where both definitions are satisfied). Thus, whatever intuitions one might have regarding the possibility of standard cases of coincidence, it seems no less plausible that these other cases where one but not the other definition applies are possible and are also cases of coincidence. Consequently, from the point of view of the pluralist regarding cases of coincidence, the idea that the definitions of mereological and locative coincidence are co-extensive is unmotivated. 
Professor Kristie Miller
Chair of Discipline,
Joint Director, the Centre for Time
School of Humanities,
The Centre for Time
The University of Sydney
Sydney Australia
Room S213, A 14 Main Quad

kristie.miller at sydney.edu.au
kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Ph: +612 9036 9663

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