The Open Future

Philosophy Compass 6 (5):360-373 (2011)
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A commonly held idea regarding the nature of time is that the future is open and the past is fixed or closed. This article investigates the notion that there is an asymmetry in openness between the past and the future. The following questions are considered: How exactly is this asymmetry in openness to be understood? What is the relation between an open future and various ontological views about the future? Is an open future a branching future? What is the relation between an open future and the question of whether contingent statements about the future are true or false? Is an open future compatible with a single determinate future?

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Stephan Torre
University of Aberdeen


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