Reichenbach on indeterminism and becoming
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In this paper, I criticize a common misinterpretation of Hans Reichenbach’s argument that indeterminism is both necessary and sufficient for temporal becoming. I show that Reichenbach’s argument rests on the assumption of a particular variety of verificationism (which I call ‘Weak Probabilistic Verificationism’) and that Reichenbach’s critics have failed to notice this premise. The purpose of the paper is not to defend Reichenbach’s thesis—I offer no argument in support of this verificationist premise. My aim is simply to set the historical record straight by correcting a prevalent misinterpretation of Reichenbach’s argument. The argument, as I reconstruct it, is not only valid but also far more ingenious than is commonly allowed. Correct or not, I believe it remains worthy of study.
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