Open future in eternalist universe



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Tartu Ülikool


In this thesis, will take up the question of open future in eternalist universe. At first glance, eternalism seems to exclude the possibility of open future, since all temporal locations exist on a par, and what ever will be the case in a future time t, is already the case in t. However, we have very strong intuitions about our future being open.Therefore, this Master’s Thesis attempts to find an answer to two research questions: (i) is any notion of open future compatible with eternalist universe; and (ii) if yes, then what would that notion of open future be? I phrase a tentative definition of open future: the future is open if it is not fixed. I will call this tentative notion the strong sense of open future.I will argue that we can have open future in a strong sense if we are willing to accept branching spacetime. If we are not willing to accept branching spacetime, then we can still construenotionof open future, albeitin a weak sense, that is compatible with eternalism. Then, I will argue, our future is open by virtue of decision-making.



philosophy, metaphysics, time