, Volume 188, Issue 3, pp 469–485

A letter on the present state of affairs

Prior, indeterminism and relativity 40 years later


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

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-011-9939-z


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.


Philosophy of time A-theory Relativity theory Arthur Prior


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

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© The Author(s) 2011