Lack of Actual Possibilities: The Upshot

Or “How the Exis­tence of Real Alter­nate Pos­si­bil­i­ties The­o­ret­i­cally Grounds Free Will”.

I recently dis­cussed the non-​​existence of actual alter­nate pos­si­bil­i­ties, where “actual” describes that which obtains in the actual world. My view is sim­ply that the actual world is sin­gu­lar, and propo­si­tions con­cern­ing it are either true or false.

This view, that propo­si­tions con­cern­ing the actual world each have a truth value, has the amaz­ing impli­ca­tion that the future can be known. This is because, included among all propo­si­tions con­cern­ing the actual world are propo­si­tions con­cern­ing that part of the actual world which has not yet come to pass. And so, that propo­si­tions con­cern­ing our future each have a truth value mean that they too can be known.

There may be dif­fi­cul­ties in procur­ing knowl­edge of the future of course, and so posit­ing pre­science may require one to also posit some prac­ti­cal mech­a­nism for obtain­ing it. But the impor­tant point here is that one may know things con­cern­ing the future, because the future has no actual alternatives.

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