Determinism

Edited by Jonah Nagashima (University of California, Riverside)
About this topic
Summary Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature. Events are determined if the laws of nature, together with the total set of facts prevailing at a moment in time, are sufficient to settle precisely what happens at the next and each subsequent moment of time. Determinism thus rules out chanciness in a central sense of that word. The free will debate has been centrally concerned with whether determinism is incompatible with freedom: many philosophers worry that if how agents act is always settled prior to their action (settled even prior to their birth) than we lack free will.
Key works The key works on the compatibility question are more or less coextensive with the key works on free will, since the first issue has been so central to the second. I shall not list those works here. Important papers that explore the nature of determinism itself as it pertains to free will includeBerofsky 1971; the two volumes of Honderich 1988 and Earman 2004.
Introductions Honderich 1973;Kane 2002
Related categories

678 found
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1 — 50 / 678
  1. added 2020-06-01
    The Ability to Do Otherwise and the New Dispositionalism.Romy Jaster - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    According to the New Dispositionalist’s response to the Frankfurt Cases, Jones can do otherwise because Black merely masks (or finks), but does not deprive Jones of that ability. This reasoning stands in the tradition of a line of thought according to which an informed view of the truth conditions of ability attributions allows for a compatibilist stance. The promise is that once we understand how abilities work, it turns out that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with determinism, or (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-26
    Free Will as Private Determinism.J. S. Markovitch - manuscript
    This article suggests that our sense of free will is formed when others react to our behavior with surprise, even though our private knowledge tells us our behavior was determined by our preferences. Such surprised reactions, even when our behavior is from our perspective fully determined, lead us to infer that we exercise free will. -/- .
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  3. added 2020-05-17
    Free Will, Control, and the Possibility to Do Otherwise From a Causal Modeler's Perspective.Alexander Gebharter, Maria Sekatskaya & Gerhard Schurz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    Strong notions of free will are closely connected to the possibility to do otherwise as well as to an agent's ability to causally influence her environment via her decisions controlling her actions. In this paper we employ techniques from the causal modeling literature to investigate whether a notion of free will subscribing to one or both of these requirements is compatible with naturalistic views of the world such as non-reductive physicalism to the background of determinism and indeterminism. We argue that (...)
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  4. added 2020-05-11
    Free Love? On the Relation Between Belief in Free Will, Determinism, and Passionate Love.Jordane Boudesseul, Anthony Lantian, Florian Cova & Laurent Bègue - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 46:47-59.
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  5. added 2020-03-24
    1. Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - In John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (eds.), Perspectives on Moral Responsibility. Cornell University Press. pp. 1-25.
  6. added 2020-03-10
    Back to the actual future.Jacek Wawer & Alex Malpass - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2193-2213.
    The purpose of the paper is to rethink the role of actuality in the branching model of possibilities. We investigate the idea that the model should be enriched with an additional factor—the so-called Thin Red Line—which is supposed to represent the single possible course of events that gets actualized in time. We believe that this idea was often misconceived which prompted some unfortunate reactions. On the one hand, it suggested problematic semantic models of future tense and and on the other, (...)
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  7. added 2020-03-10
    Some Problems with the Russellian Open Future.Jacek Wawer - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):413-425.
    In a recently published paper, Patrick Todd (2016, 'Future contingents are all false! On behalf of a Russellian open future') advocates a novel treatment of future contingents. On his view, all statements concerning the contingent future are false. He motivates his semantic postulates by considerations in philosophy of time and modality, in particular by the claim that there is no actual future. I present a number of highly controversial consequences of Todd’s theory. Inadequacy of his semantics might indirectly serve as (...)
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  8. added 2020-02-20
    La providencia en santo Tomás de Aquino.David Torrijos-Castrillejo - 2019 - Revista Española de Teología 79:419-454.
    According to Aquinas, divine omniscience, omnipotence and providence, do not contradict the existence of either true contingency in the natural world or freedom but, on the contrary, they support them. In short, the two peculiarities of the doctrine of providence in St. Thomas here exposed are: first, that God's will is the ultimate foundation of all contingency (and not merely the deficiency of secondary causes); second, that the divine causality cannot be reduced to any of the two groups of created (...)
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  9. added 2020-02-18
    A New Puppet Puzzle.Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
    We develop a new puzzle concerning a material being's relationship to the smallest parts of the material world. In particular, we investigate how a being could be responsible for anything if its behavior is completely determined by the behavior of those small parts. Many discussions of determinism and responsibility have focused on a determinism that moves from past to future. The determination at issue in our paper is importantly different: it moves from the bottom up.
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  10. added 2020-02-18
    Freedom in a Physical World.Andrew M. Bailey - 2020 - Philosophical Papers 49 (1):31-39.
    Making room for agency in a physical world is no easy task. Can it be done at all? In this article, I consider and reject an argument in the negative.
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  11. added 2020-02-12
    Determinism and Freedom in the Age of Modern Science.Arthur C. Danto - 1959 - Journal of Philosophy 56 (8):369-373.
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  12. added 2020-01-26
    Metaphysics and the Paradox of Time.Alex V. Halapsis - 2007 - Philosophy, Culture, Life 29:202-213.
    The article considers the problem of self-determination of metaphysics in the contemporaneity. The author argues that resolving the paradox of time is one of the main tasks of post-non-classical metaphysics. To work on this topic, it will have to revise many of its premises and assumptions, taking into account and critically assessing existing scientific concepts, using their most productive elements if necessary.
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  13. added 2020-01-17
    McTaggart’s Logical Determinism.Nicholas Rescher - 1982 - Idealistic Studies 12 (3):231-241.
    One of the most notable theses of McTaggart’s system is his doctrine of logical determinism, the contention that—on grounds of fundamental logical principle—everything in the world must of necessity be just exactly as it is, that nothing could possibly differ in any particular from its actual condition. McTaggart holds that given that any substance in the world is what it in fact is, every substance must be just as is. And so “all that exists, both substances and [their] characteristics, are (...)
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  14. added 2020-01-15
    Free Will of an Ontologically Open Mind.Jan Scheffel - manuscript
    The problem of free will has persistently resisted a solution throughout centuries. There is reason to believe that new elements need to be introduced into the analysis in order to make progress. In the present physicalist approach, these elements are emergence and information theory in relation to universal limits set by quantum physics. Furthermore, the common, but vague, characterization of having free will as "being able to act differently" is, in the spirit of Carnap, rephrased into an explicatum more suitable (...)
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  15. added 2020-01-15
    Determinism as a Thesis About the State of the World From Moment to Moment.Don S. Levi - 2007 - Philosophy 82 (3):399-419.
    Determinism, as the thesis that given the state of the world at a moment there is only one way it can be at the next moment, is problematic. After explaining why the thesis is defined as it is, the paper goes on to raise questions about the terms in which it is defined. Is the ‘world’ to be understood as constituted by whatever figures in our talk or thought, or to what is reconstituted by an ontology seemingly derived from the (...)
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  16. added 2019-12-30
    A dialogue about possibilities: a philosophical discussion on determinism and possibilities / Diálogo sobre a Possibilidade: uma discussão filosófica sobre o determinismo e as possibilidades.Rodrigo Cid - 2010 - Revista da Faculdade de Letras. Série Filosofia 26:163-172.
    O objetivo deste artigo é ser uma introdução aos diversos tipos de possibilidades e mostrar o caminho que a discussão sobre a existência de possibilidades não-atuais deve seguir a partir da aceitação do determinismo. E essa discussão é relevante porque sua resposta tem bastante infl uência em nossos pensamentos e lógicas sobre as modalidades da necessidade e da possibilidade. Cumprimos tal objetivo através de um diálogo a respeito das possibilidades. Este formato de texto tem a vantagem de ser mais pedagógico (...)
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  17. added 2019-12-28
    Free Will and Compatibilism.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author mounts a case against the libertarian and hard determinist's thesis that free will is impossible in a deterministic world. He charges incompatibilists with misconstruing ordinary 'free will' talk by overlaying common language with their own metaphysical presuppositions. Through a review of ordinary discourse and recent developments in jurisprudence and the sciences, he draws together the four key factors required for an act to be free. He then puts his 4C theory to work in giving a credible account of (...)
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  18. added 2019-12-28
    Frankfurt Cases and 'Could Have Done Otherwise'.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    In his seminal essay, Harry Frankfurt argued that our exercise of free will and allocation of moral responsibility do not depend on us being able to do other than we did. Leslie Allan defends this moral maxim from Frankfurt's attack. Applying his character-based counterfactual conditional analysis of free acts to Frankfurt's counterexamples, Allan unpacks the confusions that lie at the heart of Frankfurt's argument. The author also explores how his 4C compatibilist theory measures up against Frankfurt’s conclusions.
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  19. added 2019-12-25
    Why Frankfurt-Examples Don’T Need to Succeed to Succeed.Felipe Leon & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):551-565.
    In this paper we argue that defenders of Frankfurt-style counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities do not need to construct a metaphysically possible scenario in which an agent is morally responsible despite lacking the ability to do otherwise. Rather, there is a weaker (but equally legitimate) sense in which Frankfurt-style counterexamples can succeed. All that's needed is the claim that the ability to do otherwise is no part of what grounds moral responsibility, when the agent is indeed morally responsible.
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  20. added 2019-12-18
    Determinism and Judgment. A Critique of the Indirect Epistemic Transcendental Argument for Freedom.Luca Zanetti - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):33-54.
    In a recent book entitled Free Will and Epistemology. A Defence of the Transcendental Argument for Freedom, Robert Lockie argues that the belief in determinism is self-defeating. Lockie’s argument hinges on the contention that we are bound to assess whether our beliefs are justified by relying on an internalist deontological conception of justification. However, the determinist denies the existence of the free will that is required in order to form justified beliefs according to such deontological conception of justification. As a (...)
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  21. added 2019-12-18
    To Be Able to, or to Be Able Not To? That is the Question. A Problem for the Transcendental Argument for Freedom.Nadine Elzein & Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):13-32.
    A type of transcendental argument for libertarian free will maintains that if acting freely requires the availability of alternative possibilities, and determinism holds, then one is not justified in asserting that there is no free will. More precisely: if an agent A is to be justified in asserting a proposition P (e.g. "there is no free will"), then A must also be able to assert not-P. Thus, if A is unable to assert not-P, due to determinism, then A is not (...)
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  22. added 2019-12-18
    Can Self-Determined Actions Be Predictable?Amit Pundik - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):121-140.
    This paper examines Lockie’s theory of libertarian self-determinism in light of the question of prediction: “Can we know (or justifiably believe) how an agent will act, or is likely to act, freely?” I argue that, when Lockie's theory is taken to its full logical extent, free actions cannot be predicted to any degree of accuracy because, even if they have probabilities, these cannot be known. However, I suggest that this implication of his theory is actually advantageous, because it is able (...)
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  23. added 2019-12-16
    Determinism and Behaviorist Epistemology: A Conditioned Response to a Hinman Stimulus.Bruce N. Waller - 1982 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):513-532.
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  24. added 2019-12-08
    Defining Determinism.Thomas Müller & Tomasz Placek - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69:215-252.
    The article puts forward a branching-style framework for the analysis of determinism and indeterminism of scientific theories, starting from the core idea that an indeterministic system is one whose present allows for more than one alternative possible future. We describe how a definition of determinism stated in terms of branching models supplements and improves current treatments of determinism of theories of physics. In these treatments, we identify three main approaches: one based on the study of equations, one based on mappings (...)
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  25. added 2019-11-12
    How Physics Makes Us Free (Jenann Ismael). [REVIEW]Beñat Esnaola - 2019 - Gogoa 20.
    Fisikak duen munduaren ulerkera eta askatasuna (edo nork bere burua gobernatzeko gaitasuna) uztartu daitezkeela defendatu nahi du Ismaelek liburuan. Askatasuna ez dago modan, ordea. Fatalismoa da nagusi. Alde handia dago bizi dugun munduaren eta fisikak deskribatzen duenaren artean, eta ohikoa da “Bizi duguna fisikak ilusioa dela erakusten du” eta horrelakoak entzutea. Beste askori, askatasunaren defentsa metafisikoa lekuz kanpokoa irudituko zaio. Horiek, askatasuna orain eta hemen behar dela defendatuko dute. Ez duela inongo zentzurik askatasuna termino horietan pentsatzeak.
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  26. added 2019-11-07
    Karma Theory, Determinism, Fatalism and Freedom of Will.Ricardo Sousa Silvestre - 2017 - Logica Universalis 11 (1):35-60.
    The so-called theory of karma is one of the distinguishing aspects of Hinduism and other non-Hindu south-Asian traditions. At the same time that the theory can be seen as closely connected with the freedom of will and action that we humans supposedly have, it has many times been said to be determinist and fatalist. The purpose of this paper is to analyze in some deepness the relations that are between the theory of karma on one side and determinism, fatalism and (...)
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  27. added 2019-11-07
    Replies to Randolph Clarke, John Bishop, and Helen Beebee.Helen Steward - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):547-557.
    Contains the author's responses to comments by the three named authors on her book, 'A Metaphysics for Freedom'.
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  28. added 2019-10-12
    Causal Decision Theory’s Predetermination Problem.Toby Charles Penhallurick Solomon - forthcoming - Synthese:1-32.
    It has often been noted that there is some tension between engaging in decision-making and believing that one’s choices might be predetermined. The possibility that our choices are predetermined forces us to consider, in our decisions, act-state pairs which are inconsistent, and hence to which we cannot assign sensible utilities. But the reasoning which justifies two-boxing in Newcomb’s problem also justifies associating a non-zero causal probability with these inconsistent act-state pairs. Put together these undefined utilities and non-zero probabilities entail that (...)
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  29. added 2019-09-17
    Que tipo de determinação é compatível com que tipo de liberdade? – Uma resposta a Marcelo Fischborn.Gilberto Gomes - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 2 (20):113-127.
    While agreeing with Fischborn’s (2018) contention that, according to one traditional definition of compatibilism, my position should be classified as that of a libertarian incompatibilist, I argue here for a different view of compatibilism. This view involves, on the one hand, local probabilistic causation of decisions (rather than universal strict determinism) and, on the other, free will conceived as involving decisions generated by a decision-making process carried out by the brain, which consciously contemplates different alternatives and could in principle have (...)
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  30. added 2019-08-30
    Foreknowledge and Predestination Re-Examined.John O'Connor - 1975 - Mind 84 (333):94.
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  31. added 2019-08-16
    Freedom and Determinism: A Naturalistic Approach.David Thompson - manuscript
    It is above all in virtue of the will, or freedom of choice, that I understand myself to bear in some way the image or likeness of God. For ... God's will ... does not seem any greater than mine when considered as will in the essential and strict sense. This is because the will simply consists in our ability to do or not do something; ... or rather, it consists simply in the fact that when something is put forward (...)
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  32. added 2019-08-16
    On the Empirical Content of Determinism.D. Dieks - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (1):124-130.
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  33. added 2019-08-16
    Determinism.A. C. MacIntyre - 1957 - Mind 66 (261):28-41.
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  34. added 2019-08-09
    Obligability and Determinism: A Half-Asked Question.Robert J. Richman - 1972 - Journal of Social Philosophy 3 (3):12-14.
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  35. added 2019-08-09
    Determinism and Avoidability in Sociohistorical Analysis.Harry H. Bash - 1964 - Ethics 74 (3):186-200.
  36. added 2019-08-09
    The Status of Determinism.Jonathan Bennett - 1963 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 14 (54):106-119.
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  37. added 2019-08-09
    Freedom and Personality Again.A. E. Taylor - 1942 - Philosophy 17 (65):26 - 37.
    In an essay entitled “Freedom and Personality” I have contended that “intelligence is a principle of indetermination within us.” As I find that my argument, though to myself it appears incontrovertible, has not produced conviction in some quarters where I had hoped it might be effective, I can only suppose that, presumably by my own fault, it was not stated as clearly as it should have been. This must be my excuse for returning to the subject; in doing so I (...)
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  38. added 2019-08-09
    Determinism and Duty.L. S. Bevington - 1880 - Mind 5 (17):30-45.
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  39. added 2019-07-19
    Il Determinismo: Storia di Un'idea.Mariangela Priarolo - 2011 - Carocci.
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  40. added 2019-07-19
    The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge.Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski - 1991 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    A compelling contribution to the field, The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge will appeal to students and scholars of theistic philosophy and the philosophy ...
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  41. added 2019-07-19
    Determinism with Deliberation.Philip Pettit - 1989 - Analysis 49 (1):42 - 44.
  42. added 2019-07-19
    God, Freedom, and Foreknowledge.John Martin Fischer (ed.) - 1989 - Stanford, Ca: Stanford University Press.
  43. added 2019-07-19
    Time, Action and Necessity: A Proof of Free Will.Paul Fitzgerald - 1984 - Review of Metaphysics 37 (3):621-623.
    The central point of the book is this: We deliberate about what to do. This presupposes that what we are deliberating about is a real causal contingency; that it is not, as yet, either causally necessitated or precluded. But if determinism is true then there are no causal contingencies. So rational deliberators should reject determinism, on pain of inconsistency.
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  44. added 2019-07-19
    A Formulation of the Determinism Hypothesis.Pavel Materna - 1975 - Theory and Decision 6 (1):39-42.
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  45. added 2019-07-19
    The Paradox of Determinism.A. Aaron Snyder - 1972 - American Philosophical Quarterly 9 (4):353 - 356.
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  46. added 2019-07-19
    Causal Discontinuity in Fatalism and Indeterminism.H. Van Rensselaer Wilson - 1955 - Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):70 - 72.
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  47. added 2019-07-12
    A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought.Pavol Labuda - 2011 - Filozofia 66 (9):928-934.
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  48. added 2019-07-12
    17 The Fear of Determinism.Steven Pinker - 2008 - In John Baer, James C. Kaufman & Roy F. Baumeister (eds.), Are We Free?: Psychology and Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 311.
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  49. added 2019-07-12
    Implications of Determinism.Mecca Chiesa - 2003 - In Kennon A. Lattal (ed.), Behavior Theory and Philosophy. Springer. pp. 243--258.
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  50. added 2019-07-12
    What is Determinism?'.Phil Dowe - 2002 - In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton Uk: Imprint Academic. pp. 309--20.
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