Thinking Ahead

If James cannot decide whether to marry Alice or Jane, he simply travels to the future and learns that he is to choose Alice; he then chooses her for this reason. One wants to object that the decision to marry Alice was never really made at all! But this is not true; the decision was made — as a result of the knowledge that this was the decision … It is not the case that the prospective bridegroom could visit the future and compare the results of marrying Alice with those of marrying Jane in order to decide between the alternatives. For if he visits the future, he will learn only that in fact he chose Alice, for better or for worse!

— Gilbert Fulmer, “Understanding Time Travel,” Southwestern Journal of Philosophy 11:1 (1980), 151-156, via Paul J. Nahin, Time Machine Tales, 2016