Deep Indeterminacy in Physics and Fiction

Martin Pickup, George Darby, Jon Robson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on two areas where discussion of various kinds of indeterminacy has been commonplace: physics and fiction. It proposes a new model for understanding indeterminacy across these domains and argues that it has some notable advantages when compared to earlier accounts. Treating physics and fiction cases univocally also indicates an interesting connection between indeterminacy in these two areas. Metaphysical indeterminacy is indeterminacy that is non-representational. The most prominent kind of fictional indeterminacy involves a fairly straightforward kind of fictional incompleteness. Lewis's account of fictional truth also seems very well-placed to deal with certain kinds of fictional indeterminacy. There are versions of both metaphysical and fictional indeterminacy that are particularly resistant to domestication. Deep fictional indeterminacy is indeterminacy in fiction where the structure of the fiction itself is the source of the indeterminacy. The Barnes-Williams (BW) model therefore treats metaphysical indeterminacy in much the way that supervaluationists treat representational indeterminacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThinking about Science, Reflecting on Art
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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