Catching up to what one is supposedly (or supposed to be) doing “now”, by means of technological speed (‘advocative’ or votary velocity?), I suggest, shrinks “real-time” – because of which the so-called “tipping point” in political decision-making has been missed or misrepresented. However, I think the same effect expands “nodal/modal time”.

In a chapter of his book entitled “Living”, Richard Wollheim” concedes that a person leads life at the crossroads where past and future meet. He insists that the life-timing question is at the heart of understanding the coherence of “self-identity”. We are assured this must logically be the case thusly:

If self = f then when f might occur is remarkable, as it must be the case that sometimes f has not occurred nor failed to occur and we must discover the facts which contribute to fulfilling f.

I agree that this posture of “hanging between” the flux and flutter of life is especially important to remember. While basic science has purchased solemnity with radical impersonality and left merely probable status for events that, not surprisingly, occur; sociological and psychological review has managed, no matter, to expose nodal moments of awakening when person-being hangs unworn (unminded). Perhaps, then, thinking stitches us together thwartwise, along the warp of lapsing memory and weft of reflexive attention, embroidering life’s fabric (forgive the poetry). I’m inclined to think so.

Bolzano defined a proposition as analytically true when universally valid with respect to at least one of its constituent terms. Most of us believe, positively, that our discourse is true or false by virtue of being about real things.

“In the philosophy of mathematics acceptance of the realist’s gambit results in mathematical realism, the view that there is a domain of specifically mathematical objects, by reference to which mathematical statements acquire their truth values In the philosophy of modality it results in what we shall call modal realism, the doctrine that there are specifically modal objects; possible worlds, counterparts of actual objects, positions in logical space, or what have you, which are the specific subject matter of modal discourse, by reference to which modal sentences are true or false.” (Mondadori & Morton, Modal Realism: the Poisoned Pawn, Philosophicl Review, Jan. 1976). The feeling among modalists is that possible-world semantics is harmless. Modal propositions involve operators, such as “might” or “must”, which operate on predicates of individual things to make other predicates of individuals (such as “can break”, “might break” or “is breakable” are made from “breaks”) as well as dispositional suffixes (such as dissolves, ignites, flows) and dispositional predicates (solubility, flammability, etc.). “A dispositional predicate is true of an object by virtue of the physical properties it possesses (what in the world makes it work)” ibid. However, actuality changes with time and possibilities also pass. The past is linear (sequence of actualized possibilities) and the future branches into fractals of objects that may or may not happen. Possibilities that have yet to pass are expressed by “might” idioms. “There is no shortage of objective physical facts to account for the truth of “might” sentences. The difficult thing is to be sure which facts are responsible, which are the facts that are necessary for the relevant possibility to be… In order to know what facts are responsible for the truth at time T of “A might have ø’d”, one has to know the properties which A possessed at some earlier time (T), which, if he had gone on to ø would have been the reason for his ø’ing.” Ibid.

Suggested reading also: Alvin Plantiga & Saul Kripke, “Naming, Necessity and Natural Kinds”, Cornell Univ., 1977 – essays; “Transworld Identity & Worldbound Indiiduals”, “Identity & Necessity”.


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