Synthese

, Volume 188, Issue 3, pp 469–485

A letter on the present state of affairs

Prior, indeterminism and relativity 40 years later

Authors

    • Department of PhilosophyUtrecht University
  • Niko Strobach
    • Philosophisches Institut, Universität des Saarlandes

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-011-9939-z

Abstract

The paper re-evaluates Prior’s tenets about indeterminism and relativity from the point of view of the current state of the debate. We first discuss Prior’s claims about indeterministic tense logic and about relativity separately and confront them with new technical developments. Then we combine the two topics in a discussion of indeterministic approaches to space–time logics. Finally we show why Prior would not have to “dig his heels in” when it comes to relativity: We point out a way of combining the existential import of the distinction between past, present, and future with a frame-relative notion of the present.

Keywords

Philosophy of time A-theory Relativity theory Arthur Prior

Acknowledgments

T.M. acknowledges support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Thanks to Nuel Belnap and to an anonymous referee for helpful comments on a previous draft.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011