Topic: HUMAN SEMANTICS
WORKING NOTES ON THE SEMANTICS OF THE FUTURE TENSE
By Andrea Bonomi
If we start from the actualist interpretation and consider the necessitation of the corresponding diagonal proposition, we get the modal interpretation of the future. Symmetrically, if we start from this interpretation and keep the reference to the presumed actual world constant, we get the actualist reading (see (MA) in a previous section). In general, actualism and modalism (based on the settledness condition) can be seen as two distinct, but related, attitudes that speakers can have when dealing with the future. As we have just remarked, the notion of an "actual" future is necessarily underspecified with respect to the contextual information. To overcome this difficulty, we can assume a "wait and see" attitude and focus on the course of events that in the end happens to be actualized, as stated in (O). Alternatively, we can stick to past and present facts in order to verify whether, in the light of these facts, the truth (falsehood) of the statement at issue is already settled, i. e. independent on which possible future will be actualized.
(Bonomi, Siena Lectures, May 2005. Comments welcome)
Source: Online Papers in Philosophy
Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 BST
Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005 00:25 BST