December 31, 2021

Future Contingency and Classical Indeterminism

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A position that has been called ‘classical indeterminism’ has recently been developed in order to model vagueness: this approach appeals to an object-language ‘determinately’ operator, the semantics of which are defined in such a way as to preserve the principle of bivalence. I suggest that a prominent argument against this strategy, which I call the Field–Williamson argument, fails. The classical indeterminist position in its general form was anticipated by the Aristotelian commentators in their discussions of Aristotle’s famous ‘sea battle’ passage concerning future contingency. But I maintain that, ironically enough, the strategy is less happily applied in this case, where a version of the Field–Williamson argument succeeds.

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