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Openness and Indeterminacy (Amy Seymour)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on November 12th from 4:15-6:15 in room 6494 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Amy Seymour (Fordham).

Title: Openness and Indeterminacy

AbstractThere are competing accounts of the openness of the future, which are structurally similar to competing analyses of ‘can’ and ‘able to do otherwise’. I argue metaphysical openness regarding the future requires the rejection of the commonly assumed tense logic axiom of Kt, (HF): p → HFp. (That is: If p, then it has always been the case that it will be that p). This account of openness both captures the core intuitions in the open future debates and is isomorphic to the libertarian’s account of the ability to do otherwise. Rejecting this axiom does not require a rejection of bivalence. However, a common assumption is that metaphysical future openness requires at least some kind of ontic vagueness. Otherwise, there would be no way to properly account for claims about what the future might hold. I argue this assumption is false: While indeterminism is a necessary feature of the account, indeterminism does not require indeterminacy.

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