Open future and modal anti-realism

Philosophical Studies 168 (2):1-22 (2013)
Open future is incompatible with realism about possible worlds. Since realistically conceived (concrete or abstract) possible worlds are maximal in the sense that they contain/represent the full history of a possible spacetime, past and future included, if such a world is actual now, the future is fully settled now, which rules out openness. The kind of metaphysical indeterminacy required for open future is incompatible with the kind of maximality which is built into the concept of possible worlds. The paper discusses various modal realist responses and argues that they provide ersatz openness only, or they lead to incoherence, or they render the resulting theory inadequate as a theory of modality. The paper also considers various accounts of the open future, including rejection of bivalence, supervaluationism, and the ‘thin red line’ view (TRL), and claims that a version of (TRL) can avoid the incompatibility problem, but only at the cost of deflating the notion of openness
Keywords Anti-realism  Bivalence  Future contingents  Indeterminism  Modal abstractionism  Modal realism  Ontic vagueness  Open future  Supervaluationism  Thin red line  True future
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0137-3
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