Zoom Talk: Fabrizio Cariani (Maryland)
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Foreknowledge for Dummies
I explore the motivation and logical consequences of the idea that we have some (limited) ability to know contingent facts about the future. I start by describing the role of foreknowledge in our cognitive life, and by generally advocating this anti-skeptical stance. I then zero-in on a specific problem: can acceptance of human foreknowledge co-exist with the view that the future is objectively unsettled, or indeterminate? I analyze this problem within a system of modal logic that combines epistemic operators with determinacy operators. Within this framework, I first characterize what anti-skepticism about future contingency comes down to. I then work out the consequences of the anti-skeptical position within two different logical settings: a standard relational semantics and a possibility semantics inspired by Humberstone's work on possibility semantics for modal logic.