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Essays in formal metaphysics

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TitleInfo
Title
Essays in formal metaphysics
Name (type = personal)
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Rubio
NamePart (type = given)
Daniel
NamePart (type = date)
1988-
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Daniel Rubio
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author
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Zimmerman
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Dean
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Dean Zimmerman
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chair
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Fitelson
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Branden
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Branden Fitelson
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Advisory Committee
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Schaffer
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Jonathan
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Jonathan Schaffer
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Ted
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Adams
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Robert
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Robert Adams
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Advisory Committee
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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School of Graduate Studies
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theses
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2019
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2019-10
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2019
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
The goal of my dissertation is to bring insights from branches of logic that are not well-discussed in the literature, notably modal model theory, to bear on questions in the metaphysics of time and modality. This occurs on both the meta-level and on the level of first order philosophical questions.

On the meta-level, I mount a defense of the ongoing usefulness of modal logic, considered as a branch of mathematics, in the face of recent views in metametaphysics that consider modal tools too crude to usefully state metaphysical theses or adjudicate metaphysical disputes. In doing so, I draw on the study of expressive power in languages and Bayesian epistemology to formulate a new criterion for ideological parsimony: if two ideologies are expressively equivalent, then they are equally parsimonious. After explicating this principle, I show how it blocks arguments against the use of modal logic (among other consequences for parsimony arguments in the literature). I go beyond purely negative arguments by then showing how to use modal logic to study things other than necessity and possibility, and use it to unearth a hitherto unappreciated parallel between grounding and provability.

On the first order level, I focus on A-theories of time. Tense logic and modal logic are mathematically similar; their model theory is typically studied together. I address several problems with A-theories. First, I argue that the standard way of setting up tense logic is hostile to open future views, and propose an alternative that is not. I show that my alternative can provide a logical setting for evaluating arguments about whether the future is open, and prove that the standard setup is a special case of my framework. Second, I argue that (a) presentists can consistently adopt a counterpart theory of identity across time, and (b) that they can solve several problems if they do so.
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Metaphysics
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Philosophy
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Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_10142
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1 online resource (x, 126 pages)
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
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School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-6mg0-x861
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
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Rubio
GivenName
Daniel
Role
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Permission or license
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2019-07-27 00:02:50
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Name
Daniel Rubio
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Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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Technical

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2019-07-26T05:28:19
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