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On A- and B-Theoretic Elements of Branching Spacetimes

Farr, Matt (2011) On A- and B-Theoretic Elements of Branching Spacetimes. [Preprint]

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    This paper assesses branching spacetime theories in light of metaphysical considerations concerning time. I present the A, B, and C series in terms of the temporal structure they impose on sets of events, and raise problems for two elements of extant branching spacetime theories—McCall’s ‘branch attrition’, and the ‘no backward branching’ feature of Belnap’s ‘branching space-time’—in terms of their respective A- and B-theoretic nature. I argue that McCall’s presentation of branch attrition can only be coherently formulated on a model with at least two temporal dimensions, and that this results in severing the link between branch attrition and the flow of time. I argue that ‘no backward branching’ prohibits Belnap’s theory from capturing the modal content of indeterministic physical theories, and results in it ascribing to the world a time-asymmetric modal structure that lacks physical justification.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Branching time, A series, B series, C series, Branch attrition, Supertime, BST, Indeterminism, Direction of time, Open future
    Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
    General Issues > Laws of Nature
    Specific Sciences > Physics
    Depositing User: Dr Matt Farr
    Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2012 07:55
    Last Modified: 06 Apr 2012 07:55
    Item ID: 9081

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