The Ontology Of Many Worlds: Modality And Time

2079 words - 8 pages

The Ontology of Many-Worlds: Modality and Time

ABSTRACT: There are two types of theories regarding many worlds: one is modal, while the other is temporal. The former regards reality as consisting of many possible worlds, while the latter holds that reality consists of many momentary worlds, which are usually called moments. I compare these two theories, paying close attention to the concept of transworld identity and compare trans-possible world identity with trans-momentary world identity (or transmoment identity). I characterize time from the point of many-worlds view, believing this to be one of the best ways of grasping the reality of time. First, I show that there is reason to adopt the many-worlds view because transworld identity is meaningful for both of them, while it is not for space. Second, I argue that transmoment identity is different from transpossible world identity concerning reality. The former is a realistic relation, while the latter is not. Thus, I find that the reality of time is in the relation of transmoment identity. Such a view, I contend, has merit on the basis that it recognizes the reality of time in a sense that is not true of space.


There are two kinds of theories of many-worlds; the one is modal and the other temporal. The former regards the reality as consisting of many possible worlds, while the latter as consisting of many momentary worlds, which usually are called 'moments'. (1)

In this paper I make a comparison between modal and temporal theories of many-worlds, especially paying attention to the concept of transworld identity and so making a comparison between trans-possible-world identity and trans-momentary-world identity (or trans-moment identity abbreviately). (2) My final aim is to characterize time from the point of many-worlds view, since I believe it is one of the best ways to grasp the reality of time.

I show first that there is a reason to adopt many-worlds view on modality and time; in short, transworld identity is meaningful for both of them, while it is not for space. In that sense time is closer to modality than to space. Second I argue however that trans-moment identity is different from trans-possible-world identity concerning reality; the former is a realistic relation, while the latter is not. Thus I find the reality of time in the relation of trans-moment identity. Such a view has a merit of recognizing the reality of time in a sense that is not true of space.


At first let's compare the following six sentences:

<a> : 'Actually (now,here) D. K. is meeting Prof. M.'

<a'> : 'In another possible world (now,here) D. K. is meeting Prof. M.'

<b> : 'Now (actually,here) D. K. is meeting Prof. M.'

<b'> : 'Someday (actually,here) D. K. is meeting Prof. M.'

<c> : 'Here(now,actually) D. K. is meeting Prof. M.'

<c'> : 'Overthere(now,actually) D. K. is meeting Prof. M.'

Among them, <a> and <a'> are compatible and so are...

Find Another Essay On The Ontology of Many-Worlds: Modality and Time

The Worst of Both Worlds, and the Best of Neither

2044 words - 8 pages where she had just arrived. This period of simulated acceptance was a period of in-betweeness when she felt that she had penetrated a sphere. This alienated heroine was never able to survive past this initial period of novelty because her taboo status as a mulatto forbid assimilation. This left Helga as an emotional nomad drifting in between time and space where she experienced the worst of both worlds and the best of neither. Works Cited

Orson Welles And The War of the Worlds

2146 words - 9 pages ?"). Considered by many to be a genius, he was the master of broadcast theatre production for the Columbia Broadcasting System, and a prominent member of The Mercury Theatre. However, after the famous "War of the Worlds" program aired in 1938, his career would be affected for many years to come. It was intended as a scary story just in time for Halloween, but it quickly became a nightmare."Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever

The War Of The Worlds

1054 words - 4 pages The War Of The Worlds The War Of The Worlds is about Martians coming down to earth and they start invading London. The Martians try to wipe out mankind in London. But don't become very successful because they get wiped out by the tiniest things on earth bacteria. The novel was published in 1898. At this time the British Empire was strong and dangerous. The British Empire conquered many places, such as India and

The War of the Worlds

1138 words - 5 pages The War of the Worlds When earth is invaded, what will happen? Great science fiction novels explore many scenarios like this. The likelihood of an Alien invasion is still a highly talked about topic in science fiction today. But none approach the subject of alien invasions like The War of the Worlds. When looking for a science fiction novel a reader has a wide array of books to choose from. One would want to choose a classic science fiction

The War of the Worlds

2576 words - 10 pages Welles's Mercury Theater on Halloween, 1938--in which the Martians land in New Jersey instead of suburban London--threw many listeners into a panic. The novel was updated again for the George Pal movie version in 1953, which had spectacular special effects for that time. The War of the Worlds marks the end of the first, most satisfactory phase of Wells's literary career. With his move, late in 1897, to a larger house in Worcester Park, Surrey

The war of the worlds

993 words - 4 pages novel is still popular today for the wait of a big film coming out next year. The fundamental reason to why ‘the cylinder unscrews’ is important to the novel as a whole is because it’s the first time we seethe Martians, but there are also many other reasons to why this chapter is important to the novel as a whole. as we can see at the beginning of chapter four we see signs of unease and fear arising ‘the voices were raised …’ the first

The War of the Worlds

1683 words - 7 pages In H.G. Wells’ works, The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine; these were claimed to be his greatest novels published. Fictional 1895 invasion of earth by aliens from mars was described in The War of the Worlds, as for in The Time Machine the creation was a time machine to travel into the past and present (manybooks, par. 1). Wells referenced the first appearance of an alien in the novel The War of the Worlds as considered the first travel

The Other World and Worlds of David Wojnarowicz

2881 words - 12 pages neglectful mother; from ages nine to 16 or 17, he "fucked in every season and in any weather," (Tongues of Flame, p. 115). All along those years, Wojnarowicz made many forays into prostitution and random sex where his life was often at stake as early as age twelve. In his teenage years, education fell to the wayside and by age sixteen, he was a permanent resident of the streets. Wojnarowicz's daily life consisted of tricking, shoplifting, and

The War of the Worlds - 2165 words

2165 words - 9 pages from the deep capsizing the barge. They escape and make it to shore on foot to continue on foot along with many others until they find themselves in a war zone. Robbie is then lost when he runs away to fight with the military against the Martian’s tripods. They take refuge in a cellar with the equivalent of the Curate. While there the same probe from the book searches the house this time without finding the Curate. Later actual Martians come down

The War of the Worlds - 721 words

721 words - 3 pages The War of the Worlds is a novel by H. G. Wells that was published in 1898. It takes place where it was written, in England. It fantasizes the idea of Martians inhabiting the Earth and attempting to take it over. It contains an extensive and descriptive plot, a realistic and extensively developed character, and an exciting style that goes into amazing detail yet does not get exceedingly boring. Firstly, in The War of the Worlds, I felt an

When Rationalism and Empiricism Collide: the Best of Both Worlds

1346 words - 5 pages For a lengthy period of time, philosophers have been fiercely debating the classification of philosophical epistemology into two categories: rationalism and empiricism. Empiricism is the idea that knowledge can only be gained through obtaining facts via observation or experimentation, while rationalism is obtaining knowledge through logical reasoning . Though rationalism and empiricism are very viable methods of thought in philosophy on their

Similar Essays

Modality And The Expression Of Future Time In English: 'will', 'would', 'shall' & 'should'

4745 words - 19 pages I. Introduction1.1 It is impossible to make definite reliable statements about future happenings asis the case in statements about the past and present. For this reason all futureforms express certain attitudes or speakers' intentions.Therefore futurity, modality, and aspect are closely interrelated, and this isreflected in the fact that future time is rendered by means of modal auxiliaries,by semi-auxiliaries, etc.Since future reference is a

The Visible And Invisible Worlds Of Salem

676 words - 3 pages The Visible and Invisible Worlds of Salem Salem Village was one of many non-urban inhabitants. They were looked upon as country folk because of their interests and beliefs in the church and growing tobacco to survive in this new land. There was not much for children to do except go to church, work on the fields, or go to school. You can imagine how bored these children can get. In such a secluded lifestyle as this, you would be a

The Plurality Of Worlds Essay

1635 words - 7 pages our own time, we would include it among books such as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which uses facts and fiction to explain the author's philosophy. All the same, de Fontenelle's work is strictly of his own time, seeing that it even mentions that our moon is inhabited! Of course, we know now that the moon is not inhabited. After all, we have more scientific evidence backing up our discussions on the plurality of worlds than de

War Of The Worlds Essay

1127 words - 5 pages H.G. Wells' classic novel War of the Worlds is one of the most profound prophetic novels ever written, comparable to other works such as A Brave New World and 1984 in that they predict events leading to the decline of mankind in times of social unrest. In this case, Wells has written a book in the time of a decline in British imperialism, and the events that take place in the tale critique both the actions and beliefs of the British supremacy in