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date: 24 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses modal logic: the logic of possibility and necessity. After a brief review of modal logic in the second section, the third section presents basic results of propositional tense logic. The fourth section develops a system of quantified tense logic. With these technical preliminaries out of the way, the fifth section explains why tense logic ultimately fails as a linguistic theory of verb tense. The sixth section presents the main objection to tense primitivism: that tense logic has insufficient expressive resources to serve as a metaphysical theory of time. The seventh section argues that the tense primitivist can overcome these problems by treating times as maximally consistent sets of sentences. The eighth section discusses a key difference between time and modality: the lack of a temporal analogue of actualism.

Keywords: eternal time, modal logic, propositional tense logic, actualism, linguistic theory

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