# Does the law of bivalence demand that a proposition IS either true or false today? What if the truth or falsity of this proposition is a correspondence to a future event that has yet to occur?

I take it that by "bivalence", you mean the principle that every proposition is either true or false. And if we take that principle in unrestricted form---we really do mean every proposition---then, well, it's hard to see how it could fail to imply that the proposition expressed by "There will be a riot in London on 13 January 2076" is either true or false. If you don't like that conclusion, then you have to abandon bivalence---or, perhaps, the claim that the sentence in question expresses a proposition, though that seems rather worse. But note that you do not have to abandon bivalence, so to speak, across the board. You might still think that every mathematical proposition is either true or false, or that every proposition about the past is either true or false, or.... Perhaps there is something special about the future here. As you probably know, Michael Dummett argued that one way to understand debates over "realism" takes them to turn upon our attitude towards bivalence regarding...

# In question 630 about the future, one answer was that "If it's true now that you will lose a finger next year, then you will lose a finger next year and zipping into the future isn't going to change that." What if the person cut his/her whole hand off? This would obviously show the loss of the finger, but with a new addition (or subtraction, ha ha!) to the picture: a missing hand. Wouldn't this prove that one could alter the future if it was seen?

The short answer is this: If it's true now that you're going to lose a finger next year, and if it's impossible to lose a finger unless you have a hand, then it is true now that you are not going to cut your hand off before next year. Or more simply: If it's true now that you are going to have a hand next year, then you are not going to cut off your hand before next year. Obviously, this poses a familiar question about free will: If it's true now that you are not going to cut your hand off before next year, isn't it also true that you do not now have a choice whether to cut off your hand? I think it's probably fair to say that most philosophers would answer "No" to this question: You do have a choice. But that's a somewhat different problem.

# If time is not an object how can the phrase "I don't have enough time" be considered possessive?

The word "time", in this use, is what we call a "mass term", as opposed to a "count noun". It's like "gold" or "water" rather than like "tree" or "dog". Note that you can't say "I don't have enough dog", unless you're serving dog for dinner. You would have to say, "I don't have enough dogs", perhaps, to run the Iditarod. Similarly, if you say, "I don't have enough times", then you mean something quite different. For example, you might mean there aren't enough appointment slots to see all the students. Exactly how we should understand the behavior of such expressions is a difficult question, but one doesn't suppose that "gold" refers to an object just because one can say, "I don't have enough gold". The other thing to say is that the relation indicated by "have" in such constructions is incredibly various. This point has often been made with respect to the possessive that is indicated by "'s". So, if we speak of "John's bike", the relation between John and the bike can be many things: It may be the...

# Is time infinitely divisible or is it composed of individual moments? Seth

Philosophers are not well placed to answer this kind of question. It's really a question for physicists, who would conceive it, I believe, as the question whether time is quantized.

# If we do not experience* time when we are asleep then does that prove that time is subjective? *Meaning that when we are asleep we do not acknowledge the time that passes in the same way in which those who are awake do. Steve, 17

No, it doesn't prove that time is subjective. It just proves that we're not aware of it when we sleep. Indeed, since time clearly does pass while we're asleep, that would seem to suggest that time isn't subjective in the strong sense you are suggesting it is.

# I understand points as entities with zero extension. (Is this correct?) Yet infinitely many points are said to compose space. It seems like even infinitely many zeros could never add up to a finite non-zero value. So, what's up with points? If they don't have any extension, what are they? As a follow up, does it make sense to think about points in space in a different way from how we think about points in time?

Yes, a point has length, depth, and height zero. So do two points, three points, and even as many points as there are natural numbers. But if you have as many points as there are real numbers (of which there are more than there are natural numbers), then that set of points may have some positive length, depth, or height, though it may not. (In that case, they will not have zero length, depth, and height but may have no assignable length, depth, or height.) The branch of mathematics in which such things are studied is called "measure theory". Exactly what a point is is another question. In mathematics, points may be regarded in a wide variety of ways, as is convenient. Are there any points in space itself? That's a disputed question, and an empirical one, not one on which philosophers can pronounce.

# Hello. I wonder what you think about the following: About 13.7 billion years ago, there probably was a Big Bang. The astronomers start their counting of time from that. What do the philosophers think of what happened before the Big Bang? JB from Sweden

Well, I've answered other similar questions despite my not being terribly well-informed about science, so I'll take a stab at this one, too. The answer to this question depends partly upon whether the universe is "open" or "closed", that is, upon whether the expansion of matter will eventually cease, the universe will start contracting, and everything will end in a "Big Crunch". If so, then it is my understanding that the energy so generated would lead to another Big Bang, and the whole process would start again. If that's how things are, then, before the Big Bang, that may have been how things were. So suppose things weren't like that. Then I believe current physical theory implies that there wasn't any "before the Big Bang". Astronomers start counting time with the beginning of the Big Bang because time itself began with the Big Bang. If that seems bizarre, well, the theory of relativity does have a way of upsetting one's everyday assumptions about time. Someone who knows more about...