The open future, bivalence and assertion

Besson, Corine and Hattiangadi, Anandi (2014) The open future, bivalence and assertion. Philosophical Studies. ISSN 1573-0883

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It is highly intuitive that the future is open and the past is closed now—whereas it is unsettled now whether there will be a fourth world war, it is settled that there was a first. Recently, it has become increasingly popular to claim that the intuitive openness of the future implies that contingent statements about the future, such as ‘There will be a sea battle tomorrow,’ are nonbivalent (neither true nor false). In this paper, we argue that the non-bivalence of future contingents is at odds with our pre-theoretic intuitions about the openness of the future. These intuitions are revealed by our pragmatic judgments concerning the correctness and incorrectness of assertions of future contingents. We argue that the pragmatic data together with a plausible account of assertion shows that in many cases we take future contingents to be true (or to be false), though we take the future to be open in relevant respects. It follows that appeals to intuition to support the non-bivalence of future contingents are untenable. Intuition favours bivalence.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Depositing User: Corine Besson
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2013 20:58
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 14:05

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