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Prior and temporal sequences for natural language. (English) Zbl 1396.03075
Summary: Logics of discrete time are, in Arthur Prior’s words, “applicable in limited fields of discourse in which we are concerned with what happens in a sequence of discrete states,” independent of “any serious metaphysical assumption that time is discrete.” This insight is applied to natural language semantics, a widespread assumption in which is that time is, as is the real line, dense. “Limited fields of discourse” are construed as finite sets of temporal propositions, inducing bounded notions of temporal granularity that can be refined to expand the discourse. The construal is developed in line with Prior’s view of what is “metaphysically fundamental”.
MSC:
03B65 Logic of natural languages
03B44 Temporal logic
03A05 Philosophical and critical aspects of logic and foundations
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