|Review of J.R.Lucas's 'The Future'|
|Source: Mind, Vol. 100, No. 1, Jan., 1991, pp. 157-161|
|Paper - Abstract|
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There is much to interest even a proponent of the block-universe in the first two ideas. Lucas's account of sub-tree semantics leaves much to be desired.
Advocates of a block universe won't be persuaded by this book, nor does it aim to persuade them. Even those sympathetic to a dynamic view will find it somewhat parochial. The extensionalist programme rekindled by Davidson isn't engaged, only specialists will recognise fundamental semantic issues on which Lucas diverges from Prior, and while Lucasiewicz's anti-realism about the past gets a mention Dummett's doesn't. Nor does the backwards causation3 which would undermine the asymmetry between past and future on which Lucas relies. The book would have been improved by explicit familiarity with Evans's seminal discussion of tense-logic. Lucas says in the Preface that "I ought at this stage to go public, sharing any good ideas I have with a wider audience, and exposing my bad ones to further criticism". His timing is about right – just.
Review of "Lucas (J.R.) - The Future - An Essay on God, Temporality and Truth".
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