Determinism, indeterminism and the flow of time

Erkenntnis 56 (2):123 - 150 (2002)
A set of axioms implicitly defining the standard, though not instant-based but interval-based, time topology is used as a basis to build a temporal modal logic of events. The whole apparatus contains neither past, present, and future operators nor indexicals, but only B-series relations and modal operators interpreted in the standard way. Determinism and indeterminism are then introduced into the logic of events via corresponding axioms. It is shown that, if determinism and indeterminism are understood in accordance with their core meaning, the way in which they are formally introduced here represents the only right way to do this, given that we restrict ourselves to one real world and make no use of the many real worlds assumption. But then the result is that the very truth conditions for sentences about indeterministic events imply the existence of tensed truths, in spite of the fact that these conditions are formulated (in the indeterministic axiom) in terms of tenseless language. The tenseless theory of time implies determinism, while indeterminism requires the flow of time assumption.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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DOI 10.2307/20013112
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