On topological issues of indeterminism

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Synthese, ISSN: 1573-0964

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Placek, Tomasz; Belnap, Nuel; Kishida, Kohei
Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
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Indeterminism, understood as a notion that an event may be continued in a few alternative ways, invokes the question what a region of chanciness looks like. We concern ourselves with its topological and spatiotemporal aspects, abstracting from a nature or mechanism of chancy processes. We first argue that the question arises in Montague-Lewis-Earman conceptualization of indeterminism as well as in the branching tradition of Prior, Thomason and Belnap. As the resources of the former school are not rich enough to study topological issues, we investigate the question in the framework of branching space-times of Belnap (1992). We introduce a topology on a branching model as well as a topology on a history in a branching model. We define light-cones and assume four conditions that guarantee the light cones so defined behave like light-cones of physical space-times. From among various topological separation properties that are relevant to our question, we investigate the Hausdorff property. We prove, against an objection of Earman (2008), that each history in a branching model satisfies the Hausdorff property. As for the satisfaction of Hausdorff property in the entire branching model, we prove that it is related to the phe-