The Open Future

Edited by Sam Baron (University of Western Australia)
Assistant editor: James Darcy (University of Virginia)
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  1. added 2018-09-01
    The Problem of Future Contingents: Scoping Out a Solution.Patrick Todd - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Various philosophers have long since been attracted to the doctrine that future contingent propositions systematically fail to be true - what is sometimes called the doctrine of the open future. However, open futurists have always struggled to articulate how their view interacts with standard principles of classical logic - most notably, with the Law of Excluded Middle (LEM). For consider the following two claims: (a) Trump will be impeached tomorrow; (b) Trump will not be impeached tomorrow. According to the kind (...)
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  2. added 2017-07-13
    Ruyer and Simondon on Technological Inventiveness and Form Outlasting its Medium.Philippe Gagnon - 2017 - Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 11 (4):538-554.
    A summary is provided of Ruyer's important contribution, also a reversal from some conclusions held in his secondary doctoral dissertation, about the limits inherent in technological progress, and an attempt is made to show the coherence of this position to Ruyer's metaphysics. Simondon's response is also presented, and subsequently analyzed especially as it culminates in a concept of concretizations. As Simondon indicated, and with a displacement in Ruyer's limitating framework on unconditional growth, we end up searching for what represents the (...)
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  3. added 2017-04-11
    Future Contingents and the Logic of Temporal Omniscience.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - manuscript
    At least since Aristotle’s famous 'sea-battle' passages in On Interpretation 9, some substantial minority of philosophers has been attracted to the doctrine of the open future--the doctrine that future contingent statements are not true. But, prima facie, such views seem inconsistent with the following intuition: if something has happened, then (looking back) it was the case that it would happen. How can it be that, looking forwards, it isn’t true that there will be a sea battle, while also being true (...)
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  4. added 2017-02-27
    Future Contingents and Aristotle’s Fantasy.Andrea Iacona - 2007 - Critica 39 (117):45-60.
    This paper deals with the problem of future contingents, and focuses on two classical logical principles, excluded middle and bivalence. One may think that different attitudes are to be adopted towards these two principles in order to solve the problem. According to what seems to be a widely held hypothesis, excluded middle must be accepted while bivalence must be rejected. The paper goes against that line of thought. In the first place, it shows how the rejection of bivalence leads to (...)
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  5. added 2017-02-11
    No (New) Troubles with Ockhamism.Garrett Pendergraft & D. Justin Coates - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 5:185-208.
    The Ockhamist claims that our ability to do otherwise is not endangered by God’s foreknowledge because facts about God’s past beliefs regarding future contingents are soft facts about the past—i.e., temporally relational facts that depend in some sense on what happens in the future. But if our freedom, given God’s foreknowledge, requires altering some fact about the past that is clearly a hard fact, then Ockhamism fails even if facts about God’s past beliefs are soft. Recent opponents of Ockhamism, including (...)
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  6. added 2016-07-13
    On Behalf of a Mutable Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2077-2095.
    Everyone agrees that we can’t change the past. But what about the future? Though the thought that we can change the future is familiar from popular discourse, it enjoys virtually no support from philosophers, contemporary or otherwise. In this paper, I argue that the thesis that the future is mutable has far more going for it than anyone has yet realized. The view, I hope to show, gains support from the nature of prevention, can provide a new way of responding (...)
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  7. added 2016-06-10
    Causal and Moral Indeterminacy.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):434-447.
    This paper argues that several sorts of metaphysical and semantic indeterminacy afflict the causal relation. If, as it is plausible to hold, there is a relationship between causation and moral responsibility, then indeterminacy in the causal relation results in indeterminacy of moral responsibility more generally.
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  8. added 2015-11-26
    Will Done Better: Selection Semantics, Future Credence, and Indeterminacy.Fabrizio Cariani & Paolo Santorio - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):129-165.
    Statements about the future are central in everyday conversation and reasoning. How should we understand their meaning? The received view among philosophers treats will as a tense: in ‘Cynthia will pass her exam’, will shifts the reference time forward. Linguists, however, have produced substantial evidence for the view that will is a modal, on a par with must and would. The different accounts are designed to satisfy different theoretical constraints, apparently pulling in opposite directions. We show that these constraints are (...)
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  9. added 2015-11-16
    METAPHYSIQUE DU TEMPS CHEZ ARISTOTE - I - Recherches historiques sur les conceptions mythologiques et astronomiques précédant la philosophie aristotélicienne.Régis Laurent (ed.) - 16/04/2009 - VILLEGAGNONS-PLAISANCE.
    Notre étude sur le temps grec précédant la pensée d Aristote commencera d'abord par un commentaire de son premier texte, le Protreptique. Nous verrons se dégager deux temps distincts : l'un initiatique, circulaire et d'inspiration platonicienne, et l'autre diamétralement opposé dont Aristote serait le défenseur. Afin d'interroger cette dichotomie, nous retournerons aux conceptions poétiques. Les Tragiques nous permettront d'offrir une première esquisse de cette notion dans l'univers grec (Du destin...). Ensuite, l'oeuvre épique d'Homère sera l'occasion de mieux saisir le nouage (...)
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  10. added 2015-11-08
    Against the Russellian Open Future.Anders J. Schoubye & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237.
    Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further (...)
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  11. added 2015-08-25
    Towards a New Theory of Historical Counterfactuals.Jacek Wawer & Leszek Wroński - 2015 - In Pavel Arazim & Michal Dancak (eds.), Logica Yearbook 2014. College Publications. pp. 293-310.
    We investigate the semantics of historical counterfactuals in indeterministic contexts. We claim that "plain" and "necessitated" counterfactuals differ in meaning. To substantiate this claim, we propose a new semantic treatment of historical counterfactuals in the Branching Time framework. We supplement our semantics with supervaluationist postsemantics, thanks to which we can explain away the intuitions which seem to talk in favor of the identification of "would" with "would necessarily".
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  12. added 2015-04-17
    Introduction.Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer - 2015 - In John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.), Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 01-38.
    This Introduction has three sections, on "logical fatalism," "theological fatalism," and the problem of future contingents, respectively. In the first two sections, we focus on the crucial idea of "dependence" and the role it plays it fatalistic arguments. Arguably, the primary response to the problems of logical and theological fatalism invokes the claim that the relevant past truths or divine beliefs depend on what we do, and therefore needn't be held fixed when evaluating what we can do. We call the (...)
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  13. added 2015-03-25
    The Puzzle of the Changing Past.Luca Barlassina & Fabio Del Prete - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):59-67.
    If you utter sentence ‘Obama was born in 1961’ now, you say something true about the past. Since the past will always be such that the year 1961 has the property of being a time in which Obama was born, it seems impossible that could ever be false in a future context of utterance. We shall consider the case of a sentence about the past exactly like , but which was true when uttered a few years ago and is no (...)
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  14. added 2015-02-08
    Tensed Ontology Based on Simple Partial Logic.Daisuke Kachi - 2002 - Proceedings of Ninth International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning: TIME-02:141-145.
    Simple partial logic (=SPL) is, broadly speaking, an extensional logic which allows for the truth-value gap. First I give a system of propositional SPL by partializing classical logic, as well as extending it with several non-classical truth-functional operators. Second I show a way based on SPL to construct a system of tensed ontology, by representing tensed statements as two kinds of necessary statements in a linear model that consists of the present and future worlds. Finally I compare that way with (...)
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  15. added 2014-10-08
    Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):775-798.
    There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent propositions are (...)
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  16. added 2014-05-29
    Ontologia del temps: dos debats en la tradició analítica.Joan Ferrarons-Llagostera - 2012 - Alia: Revista de Estudios Transversales 1:67-80.
    En aquest article es presenten dues teories sobre la naturalesa del temps i s’analitzen objeccions que s’hi han presentat els darrers anys en el marc de la filosofia analítica. La primera sosté que el passat i el futur no són reals, i presenta el problema de com es poden expressar proposicions veritables sobre temps no presents. D’acord amb la segona teoria, per contra, tots els temps —present, passat i futur— són igual de reals, però això sembla implicar que el futur (...)
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  17. added 2014-05-14
    Reflection, Conditionalization and Indeterminacy About the Future.Michael J. Shaffer - 2014 - The Reasoner 8:65-66.
    This paper shows that any view of future contingent claims that treats such claims as having indeterminate truth values or as simply being false implies probabilistic irrationality. This is because such views of the future imply violations of reflection, special reflection and conditionalization.
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  18. added 2014-05-05
    No-Futurism and Metaphysical Contingentism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):483-497.
    According to no-futurism, past and present entities are real, but future ones are not. This view faces a skeptical challenge (Bourne 2002, 2006, Braddon-Mitchell, 2004): if no-futurism is true, how do you know you are present? I shall propose a new skeptical argument based on the physical possibility of Gödelian worlds (1949). This argument shows that a no-futurist has to endorse a metaphysical contingentist reading of no-futurism, the view that no-futurism is contingently true. But then, the no-futurist has to face (...)
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  19. added 2014-04-14
    Scientific Practice and Necessary Connections.Andreas Hüttemann - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):29-39.
    In this paper I will introduce a problem for at least those Humeans who believe that the future is open.More particularly, I will argue that the following aspect of scientific practice cannot be explained by openfuture- Humeanism: There is a distinction between states that we cannot bring about (which are represented in scientific models as nomologically impossible) and states that we merely happen not to bring about. Open-future-Humeanism has no convincing account of this distinction. Therefore it fails to explain why (...)
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  20. added 2014-04-02
    Against Rea on Presentism and Fatalism.Andrew Moon - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 15:159-166.
    T In [Rea 2006], Michael Rea presents an argument that presentism is incompatible with a libertarian view of human freedom and the unrestricted principle of bivalence. I aim to show that Rea’s argument fails. The outline of my paper is as follows. In Part I, I briefly explain the above three views and I present Rea’sargument. In Part II, I argue that one of the premises of the argument is unjustified.
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  21. added 2014-03-27
    The Open Past.Ned Markosian - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 79 (1):95 - 105.
    This paper is about the open future response to fatalistic arguments. I first present a typical fatalistic argument and then spell out the open future response as a response to that argument. Then I raise the question of how the open future response can be independently justified. I consider some possible ways in which the response might be defended, and I try to show that none of these is a plausible, non-question-begging defense. Next I formulate what I take to be (...)
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  22. added 2014-03-14
    Time Travel and the Open Future.Kristie Miller - 2005 - Disputatio 1 (19):223 - 232.
    In this paper, I argue that the thesis that time travel is logically possible, is inconsistent with the necessary truth of any of the usual ‘open futureobjective present’ models of the universe. It has been relatively uncontroversial until recently to hold that presentism is inconsistent with the possibility of time travel. I argue that recent arguments to the contrary do not show that presentism is consistent with time travel. Moreover, the necessary truth of other open future-objective present models which we (...)
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  23. added 2014-01-12
    Ockhamism and Quantified Modal Logic.Andrea Iacona - 2015 - Logique Et Analyse 58:353-370.
    This paper outlines a formal account of tensed sentences that is consistent with Ockhamism, a view according to which future contingents are either true or false. The account outlined substantively differs from the attempts that have been made so far to provide a formal apparatus for such a view in terms of some expressly modified version of branching time semantics. The system on which it is based is the simplest quantified modal logic.
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  24. added 2014-01-12
    Ockhamism Without Thin Red Lines.Andrea Iacona - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2633-2652.
    This paper investigates the logic of Ockhamism, a view according to which future contingents are either true or false. Several attempts have been made to give rigorous shape to this view by defining a suitable formal semantics, but arguably none of them is fully satisfactory. The paper draws attention to some problems that beset such attempts, and suggests that these problems are different symptoms of the same initial confusion, in that they stem from the unjustified assumption that the actual course (...)
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  25. added 2013-11-11
    Back to the Present: Defending Presentist Time Travel.Paul Richard Daniels - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (33):469 - 484.
    Here I defend the compatibility of presentism and time travel against a few objections. Keller and Nelson argue that, if presentism is at all plausible, presentism and time travel are as compatible as eternalism and time travel. But Miller and Sider are not convinced. I reply that for their concerns to have merit, Miller and Sider must assume presentists are committed to positions they need not be; I explain why presentists are not so committed and, in the process, defend Keller (...)
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  26. added 2013-11-11
    The Real Truth About the Unreal Future.Rachael Briggs & Graeme A. Forbes - 2012 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 7.
    Growing-Block theorists hold that past and present things are real, while future things do not yet exist. This generates a puzzle: how can Growing-Block theorists explain the fact that some sentences about the future appear to be true? Briggs and Forbes develop a modal ersatzist framework, on which the concrete actual world is associated with a branching-time structure of ersatz possible worlds. They then show how this branching structure might be used to determine the truth values of future contingents. They (...)
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  27. added 2013-04-08
    The Truth About the Future.Jacek Wawer - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):365-401.
    There is a long-standing disagreement among Branching-Time theorists. Even though they all believe that the branching representation accurately grasps the idea that the future, contrary to the past, is open, they argue whether this representation is compatible with the claim that one among many possible futures is distinguished—the single future that will come to be. This disagreement is paralleled in an argument about the bivalence of future contingents. The single, privileged future is often called the Thin Red Line. I reconstruct (...)
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  28. added 2013-03-04
    Indeterminate Actuality and the Open Future.Roberto Loss - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):248-260.
    The aim of this article is to propose a novel supervaluationist theory of ‘actually’ in the open future. First, I will argue that any adequate theory of actuality in a branching setting must comply with three main desiderata. Second, I will prove that none of the actuality operators that have been proposed in the literature is up to the task. Finally, I will propose a novel theory of actuality in the open future combining one of the existing definitions of the (...)
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  29. added 2012-11-21
    The Truth About the Past and the Future.Ned Markosian - 2013 - In Fabrice Correia & Andrea Iacona (eds.), Around the Tree: Semantic and Metaphysical Issues Concerning Branching Time and the Open Future. Springer. pp. 127-141.
    This paper is about The Truthmaker Problem for Presentism. I spell out a solution to the problem that involves appealing to indeterministic laws of nature and branching semantics for past- and future-tensed sentences. Then I discuss a potential glitch for this solution, and propose a way to get around that glitch. Finally, I consider some likely objections to the view offered here, as well as replies to those objections.
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  30. added 2012-10-22
    A New Theory of Free Will.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (1):1-48.
    This paper shows that several live philosophical and scientific hypotheses – including the holographic principle and multiverse theory in quantum physics, and eternalism and mind-body dualism in philosophy – jointly imply an audacious new theory of free will. This new theory, "Libertarian Compatibilism", holds that the physical world is an eternally existing array of two-dimensional information – a vast number of possible pasts, presents, and futures – and the mind a nonphysical entity or set of properties that "read" that physical (...)
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  31. added 2012-10-04
    Branching Time, Actuality and the Puzzle of Retrospective Determinacy.Roberto Loss - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):16-25.
    The supervaluationist approach to branching time (‘SBT-theory’) appears to be threatened by the puzzle of retrospective determinacy: if yesterday I uttered the sentence ‘It will be sunny tomorrow’ and only in some worlds overlapping at the context of utterance it is sunny the next day, my utterance is to be assessed as neither true nor false even if today is indeed a sunny day. John MacFarlane (“Truth in the Garden of Forking Paths” 81) has recently criticized a promising solution to (...)
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  32. added 2012-05-18
    Branching and (in)Determinism.Jiri Benovsky - 2013 - Philosophical Papers 42 (2):151-173.
    At a first glance, and even at a second one, it seems that if time is linear the threat of determinism is more severe than if time is branching, since in the latter case the future is open in a way it is not in the former one where, so to speak, there exists only one branch – one future. In this paper, I want to give a 'third glance' at this claim. I acknowledge that such a claim is intuitive (...)
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  33. added 2012-02-09
    Geachianism.Patrick Todd - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 3:222-251.
    The plane was going to crash, but it didn't. Johnny was going to bleed to death, but he didn't. Geach sees here a changing future. In this paper, I develop Geach's primary argument for the (almost universally rejected) thesis that the future is mutable (an argument from the nature of prevention), respond to the most serious objections such a view faces, and consider how Geach's view bears on traditional debates concerning divine foreknowledge and human freedom. As I hope to show, (...)
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  34. added 2011-11-20
    On A- and B-Theoretic Elements of Branching Spacetimes.Matt Farr - 2012 - Synthese 188 (1):85-116.
    This paper assesses branching spacetime theories in light of metaphysical considerations concerning time. I present the A, B, and C series in terms of the temporal structure they impose on sets of events, and raise problems for two elements of extant branching spacetime theories—McCall’s ‘branch attrition’, and the ‘no backward branching’ feature of Belnap’s ‘branching space-time’—in terms of their respective A- and B-theoretic nature. I argue that McCall’s presentation of branch attrition can only be coherently formulated on a model with (...)
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  35. added 2011-09-15
    It Doesn't Matter What We Do: From Metaphysics to Ethics in Lost's Time Travel.Jeremy Pierce - 2010 - In Sharon Kaye (ed.), Ultimate Lost and Philosophy: Think Together, Die Alone. Wiley/Blackwell.
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  36. added 2008-12-31
    Aristotelian Indeterminacy and the Open Future.Robert Williams - manuscript
    I explore the thesis that the future is open, in the sense that future contingents are neither true nor false. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first, I survey how the thesis arises on a variety of contemporary views on the metaphysics of time. In the second, I explore the consequences for rational belief of the ‘Aristotelian’ view that indeterminacy is characterized by truth-value gaps. In the third, I outline one line of defence for the Aristotelian against (...)
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