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The future, and what might have been

Briggs, R.A., Forbes, Graeme A (2018) The future, and what might have been. Philosophical Studies, 176 . pp. 505-532. ISSN 0031-8116. E-ISSN 1573-0883. (doi:10.1007/s11098-017-1026-y) (KAR id:65818)


We show that five important elements of the ‘nomological package’— laws, counterfactuals, chances, dispositions, and counterfactuals—needn’t be a problem for the Growing-Block view. We begin with the framework given in Briggsand Forbes (in The real truth about the unreal future. Oxford studies in metaphysics. Oxford University Press, Oxford,2012), and, taking laws as primitive, we show that the Growing-Block view has the resources to provide an account of possibility, and a natural semantics for non-backtracking causal counterfactuals. We show how objective chances might ground a more fine-grained concept of feasibility, and furnished a places in the structure where causation and dispositions might fit. The Growing-Block view, thus understood, provides the resources to explain the close link between modality and tense, so that it predicts modal change as time passes.This account lets us capture not only what the future might hold for us, and also what might have been.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11098-017-1026-y
Uncontrolled keywords: Growing-Block, Laws, Counterfactuals, Chance, Dispositions, Causation, Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Graeme Forbes
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2018 15:45 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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