The Antinomy of Future Contingent Events

Keywords: time; cause; contingent; sea-battle tomorrow; foreknowledge; future contingents


The antinomy of future contingents is here understood as a trilemma whose horns are (a) the thesis of the closed past, (b) the thesis of the open future, and (c) the thesis that all events can be represented at any time. The latter thesis can take different forms, like the principle of bivalence or the thesis of divine foreknowledge. Different versions of (c) lead to different versions of the antinomy itself. The antinomy has been formalized. It has been proven that the theses (a), (b), and (c) make up an inconsistent set but are consistent with each other. Possible solutions have been considered. It has been argued that there are only two global solutions to the antinomy: radical determinism (fatalism) and retroactive causality. The latter solution has been recommended and developed.


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