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Barnes, Elizabeth, Ross Cameron. Back to the Open Future
2011, Philosophical Perspectives 25(1): 1-26.
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Added by: Emily Paul
Abstract: Many of us are tempted by the thought that the future is open, whereas the past is not. The future might unfold one way, or it might unfold another; but the past, having occurred, is now settled. In previous work we presented an account of what openness consists in: roughly, that the openness of the future is a matter of it being metaphysically indeterminate how things will turn out to be. We were previously concerned merely with presenting the view and exploring its consequences; we did not attempt to argue for it over rival accounts. That is what we will aim to do in this paper.

Comment: This could be set as a further reading in an undergraduate metaphysics course, or an undergraduate course on the metaphysics of time. It would also work well as a core reading in a postgraduate course on the metaphysics of time paired with the authors' 'The Open Future: Bivalence, Determinism, and Ontology'.

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