The Open Future

Abstract
Consider also what I shall call the asymmetry of openness: the obscure contrast we draw between the ‘open future’ and the ‘fixed past.’ We tend to regard the future as a multitude of alternative possibilities, a ‘garden of forking paths’ in Borges’ phrase, whereas we regard the past as a unique, settled, immutable actuality. These descriptions scarcely wear their meaning on their sleeves, yet do seem to capture some genuine and important difference between past and future. What can it be? (Lewis, 1979).
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