David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (2):250 (1999)
A perennial subject of dispute in the Western philosophical tradition is whether human agents can be responsible for their actions even if determinism is true. By determinism, I mean the view that everything that happens is completely determined by antecedent causes. One of the least impressive objections that is leveled against determinism confuses determinism with a very different view that has come to be known as “fatalism”: this is the view that everything is determined to happen independently of human choices, efforts, and deliberations. It is a common fallacy, among students contemplating the implications of determinism for the first time, to argue: “But if everything is determined in advance, then it doesn't matter what we decide to do; what is determined to happen will happen no matter what.” This argument fallaciously infers fatalism from determinism
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