Imagine that Goethe declared on September 17th, 1792, at the village of Valmes, these words: “here tomorrow there will be a battle (… which will mean the beginning of a new era)”. One might think that this sentence is not, at the given moment, true. But on the following day, September 20th, the Duke of Brunswick will say to him: “You were right!”, as if from the perspective of the contemporary situation Goethe pronounced words that were true the day before. These two intuitions at first sight exclude one another. MacFarlane asserts that it is possible to make them compatible if we accept the new concept of relative truth: relatively, in the context of the verdict, Goethe’s words retrospectively show their truth. This analysis of contingent future would thus justify a new form of relativism (semantic relativism). The article summarises the framework of temporal logic in which the question of indeterminism is posed, and it examines MacFarlane’s standpoint with the aim of establishing the conclusion that, in this situation, there is no justification for the relativistic “ideology”.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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