Fatalism

Edited by Jonah Nagashima (University of California, Riverside)
About this topic
Summary According to fatalists, our actions are not merely determined but fated. If our actions are determined, then it is in some sense already settled how we will decide to act; if our actions are fated, then what we will do is already settled regardless of how we will decide. Most philosophers think that fatalism is a confusion and of no relevance to the free will debate, but there is a substantive problem concerning logical fatalism. A sentence concerning some future event seems to have a truth value prior to the event's occurrence, but if the sentence is to have a truth-value prior to the event's occurrence it seems that the event must be fated to occur.
Key works The problem of logical fatalism has its canonical statement in Aristotle forthcoming. Some solutions to the problem of foreknowledge and free will also serve as solutions to the problem of logical fatalism: for instance Ockham's distinction between hard and soft facts, where only the former concern the past alone: Ockham 1969. A much more recent argument for fatalism is Taylor 1962.
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335 found
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1 — 50 / 335
  1. Hypertemporal Humeanism and the Open Future.Benjamin Smart - manuscript
    Take strong open-future Humeanism (OFH) to comprise the following three tenets: (i) that truth supervenes on being (ii) that there is a dynamic present moment, and (iii) that there are no future facts; that is, contingent propositions about the future obtain truth values only when their referents are actualised (Tooley 1997). On the face of it this is a deeply problematic metaphysic - if there are no future facts then prima facie the Humean can neither provide laws of nature, nor (...)
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  2. Context, conditionals, fatalism, freedom & time travel.John Carroll - manuscript
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  3. Fatalism and False Futures in De Interpretatione 9.Jason W. Carter - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy.
    In De interpretatione 9, Aristotle argues against the fatalist view that if statements about future contingent singular events (e.g. ‘There will be a sea battle tomorrow,’ ‘There will not be a sea battle tomorrow’) are already true or false, then the events to which those statements refer will necessarily occur or necessarily not occur. Scholars have generally held that, to refute this argument, Aristotle allows that future contingent statements are exempt from either the principle of bivalence, or the law of (...)
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  4. Political fatalism and the (im)possibility of social transformation.Lukas Slothuus - forthcoming - Contemporary Political Theory:1-19.
    How can the world be improved if the people inhabiting it do not believe they can transform it? A belief in such political fatalism is an important obstacle to social transformation, yet underexplored in the contemporary political theory literature. Political fatalism can be understood as a commitment to the belief that human agency cannot effectuate social transformation. In this article, I provide a typology of such political fatalism, considering its two main forms: fatalism of inevitability as the positive version that (...)
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  5. Decision and foreknowledge.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2024 - Noûs 58 (1):77-105.
    My topic is how to make decisions when you possess foreknowledge of the consequences of your choice. Many have thought that these kinds of decisions pose a distinctive and novel problem for causal decision theory (CDT). My thesis is that foreknowledge poses no new problems for CDT. Some of the purported problems are not problems. Others are problems, but they are not problems for CDT. Rather, they are problems for our theories of subjunctive supposition. Others are problems, but they are (...)
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  6. Freedom and the open future.Yishai Cohen - 2023 - Analytic Philosophy 64 (3):228-255.
    I draw upon Helen Steward's concept of agential settling to argue that freedom requires an ability to change the truth‐value of tenseless future contingents over time from false to true and that this ability requires a metaphysically open future.
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  7. Bahala Na: Fatalism or an Open Future?Jeremiah Joven Joaquin - 2023 - In Soraj Hongladarom, Jeremiah Joven Joaquin & Frank J. Hoffman (eds.), Philosophies of Appropriated Religions: Perspectives from Southeast Asia. Springer Nature Singapore. pp. 81-91.
    This paper discusses two conceptions of the Filipino expression bahala na. The first implies a fatalistic attitude, while the second implies an open-minded attitude toward an uncertain future. We explore how these two conceptions may be used to frame and address the familiar philosophical puzzle about the compatibility of divine omniscience and human free will.
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  8. Nietzsche and the Myth of Free Will: What Your Belief About Free Will Says About You.Donovan Miyasaki - 2023 - Iai News, Institute for Art and Ideas.
    The idea that free will is an illusion is rife. Everyone from neuroscientists to philosophers, podcasters to mystics, is arguing that the idea we are truly in control of our decisions and actions is nothing more than a persistent illusion. Others are not so sure, the feeling we control our lives cannot be outdone by argument alone – experience is a source of knowledge too. Donovan Miyasaki argues that more important than whether we have free will or not, is why (...)
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  9. Presentism, Actualism, and Fatalism.Bradley Rettler - 2023 - Metaphysics 6 (1):13-23.
    In recent papers, Philip Swenson (2016) has argued that presentism is incompatible with the conjunction of libertarianism and divine foreknowledge, and Michael Rea (2006) has argued that presentism is incompatible with the conjunction of libertarianism and bivalence. In this paper, I respond to Swenson’s and Rea’s arguments. In each case, I develop a parody argument that seeks to show that actualism -- the view that everything is actual -- is inconsistent with the conjunction of (in the case of Rea) libertarianism (...)
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  10. A problem with the fixed past fixed.Jacek Wawer - 2023 - Synthese 202 (5):1-15.
    A novel fatalistic argument that combines elements of modal, temporal, and epistemic logic to prove that the fixed past is not compatible with the open future has recently been presented by Lampert (Analysis 82(3):426–434, 2022). By the construction of a countermodel, it is shown that his line of reasoning is defective. However, it is also explained how Lampert’s argument could be corrected if it were supported with an extra premise regarding the temporal status of a priori knowledge. This additional assumption—which (...)
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  11. Foreknowledge and Free Will.Hunt David & Zagzebski Linda - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  12. Autenticità e Alterità: Il ruolo dell’esemplarità nella trasformazione morale di sé .Roberta Guccinelli - 2022 - DYNAMIS. Rivista Di Filosofia E Pratiche Educative 1 (1):21–33.
    The terms “destiny” and “fate” are often used interchangeably in common parlance. In the course of history, in its relation to morality and religion, fate has sometimes prevailed over destiny as an irrational law or necessity capable of determining the course of events according to an inscrutable order. Scheler— whose philosophy inspired this contribution on authenticity as a fundamental quality of one’s identity—excludes all possible forms of fatalism. In this regard, he phenomenologically distinguishes “destiny” from “individual destination” or “vocation” (individuelle (...)
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  13. The Problem of Theological Fatalism in Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy.Eunjin Hong - 2022 - philosophia medii aevi 28:5-48.
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  14. A puzzle about the fixity of the past.Fabio Lampert - 2022 - Analysis 82 (3):426-434.
    It is a widely held principle that no one is able to do something that would require the past to have been different from how it actually is. This principle of the fixity of the past has been presented in numerous ways, playing a crucial role in arguments for logical and theological fatalism, and for the incompatibility of causal determinism and the ability to do otherwise. I will argue that, assuming bivalence, this principle is in conflict with standard views about (...)
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  15. Naming and Free Will.Pedro Merlussi & Fabio Lampert - 2022 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 99 (4):475-484.
    Rigidity does interesting philosophical work, with important consequences felt throughout metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and so on. The authors’ aim in this article is to show that rigidity has yet another role to play, with surprising consequences for the problem of free will and determinism, for the phenomenon of rigidity has the upshot that some metaphysically necessary truths are up to us. The significance of this claim is shown in the context of influential arguments against free will. The authors (...)
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  16. Nietzsche's Immoralism: Politics as First Philosophy (Vol 1/2, paperback edition scheduled for 11/23).Donovan Miyasaki - 2022 - Palgrave Macmillan.
    Nietzsche’s Immoralism begins a two-volume critical reconstruction of a socialist, democratic, and non-liberal Nietzschean politics. Nietzsche’s ideal of amor fati (love of fate) cannot be individually adopted because it is incompatible with deep freedom of agency. However, we can create its social conditions thanks to an under-appreciated aspect of his will-to-power psychology. We are driven not toward domination and conquest but toward resistance, contest, and play―a heightened feeling of power provoked by equal challenges that enables the non-instrumental affirmation of suffering. (...)
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  17. Cynicism, Denialism, and Fatalism: The Triple Pandemism of Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories.Al Chukwuma Okoli & Peter Sule - 2022 - Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 11 (2):43-60.
    Humanity is under siege with Covid-19. Whilst the crisis aggravates, the world is also grappling with yet another challenge - a global misinformation conundrum. This arises from the spread of contagious conspiracy theories that obfuscate understanding the pandemic at best. Incidentally, the conspiracy theories have gone as viral as Covid-19 itself, spreading just as swiftly digitally as the virus does physically. The outcome has been a spectrum of attitudinal patterns, ranging from cynicism and skepticism to outright denialism and fatalism. Using (...)
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  18. Cynicism, Denialism, and Fatalism.Al Chukwuma Okoli & Peter Sule - 2022 - Filosofia Theoretica 11 (2):43-60.
    Humanity is under siege with Covid-19. Whilst the crisis aggravates, the world is also grappling with yet another challenge - a global misinformation conundrum. This arises from the spread of contagious conspiracy theories that obfuscate understanding the pandemic at best. Incidentally, the conspiracy theories have gone as viral as Covid-19 itself, spreading just as swiftly digitally as the virus does physically. The outcome has been a spectrum of attitudinal patterns, ranging from cynicism and skepticism to outright denialism and fatalism. Using (...)
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  19. Free Will and Human Agency: 50 Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Thought Experiments.Garrett Pendergraft - 2022 - Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Thought Experiments in Philosophy.
    In this new kind of entrée to discussions of free will and human agency, Pendergraft illuminates 50 puzzles, paradoxes, and thought experiments. Assuming no familiarity with the topic, each chapter describes a case, explains the questions that it raises, summarizes some of the key responses, and provides suggested readings.
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  20. Free Will and the Tragic Predicament: Making Sense of Williams.Paul Russell - 2022 - In András Szigeti & Matthew Talbert (eds.), Morality and Agency: Themes From Bernard Williams. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 163-183.
    Free Will & The Tragic Predicament : Making Sense of Williams -/- The discussion in this paper aims to make better sense of free will and moral responsibility by way of making sense of Bernard Williams’ significant and substantial contribution to this subject. Williams’ fundamental objective is to vindicate moral responsibility by way of freeing it from the distortions and misrepresentations imposed on it by “the morality system”. What Williams rejects, in particular, are the efforts of “morality” to further “deepen” (...)
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  21. Moral Responsibility and Existential Attitudes.Paul Russell - 2022 - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 519-543.
    We might describe the philosophical issue of human freedom and moral responsibility as an existential metaphysical problem. Problems of this kind are not just a matter of theoretical interest and curiosity: They address issues that we care about and that affect us. They are, more specifically, relevant to the significance and value that we attach to our lives and the way that we lead them. According to the orthodox view, there is a tidy connection between skepticism and pessimism. Skepticism threatens (...)
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  22. Foreknowledge requires determinism.Patrick Todd - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):125-146.
    There is a longstanding argument that purports to show that divine foreknowledge is inconsistent with human freedom to do otherwise. Proponents of this argument, however, have for some time been met with the following reply: the argument posits what would have to be a mysterious non-causal constraint on freedom. In this paper, I argue that this objection is misguided – not because after all there can indeed be non-causal constraints on freedom (as in Pike, Fischer, and Hunt), but because the (...)
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  23. Concept of Fate among the Turks.Mehmet Karabela - 2021 - In Islamic Thought Through Protestant Eyes. New York: Routledge. pp. 161-177.
    German Lutheran scholar Johann Friedrich Weitenkampf (d.1758) sets out to explain and refute the Turkish concept of fate, dividing his dissertation into two sections: the first outlining the Turkish-Muslim view of fate; and the second seeking to prove the invalidity of the Muslim concept of fate with philosophical argumentation. He begins with some brief notes on the historical origin of the Turks, turning then to the backstory of the Qur’an, which he claims can be divided into six sections or topics, (...)
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  24. How to Limit Fatalism? A Comparison Between Alexander of Aphrodisias and Bardaisan.Isabelle Koch - 2021 - In Isabelle Chouinard, Zoe McConaughey, Aline Medeiros Ramos & Roxane Noël (eds.), Women’s Perspectives on Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. Springer Verlag. pp. 161-167.
    Alexander of Aphrodisias and Bardaisan, at the end of the second/beginning of the third century CE, are part of a cultural context where astrology, beyond popular or civic beliefs, is integrated into a cosmological reflection on the principles of reality. In such a context, they analyse the concepts of nature and free choice with the project of limiting the influence of fate, in the face of adversaries who submit everything to destiny. In both cases, the aim is not to deny (...)
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  25. The Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy With and Without Compassion on Spiritual Fatalism and Depression in Diabetic Patients.Tahereh Panahi, Fatemeh Shahabizadeh & Alireza Mahmoudirad - 2021 - Health, Spirituality and Medical Ethics 8 (2):85-94.
    Background and Objectives: There exists a relationship between spirituality and depression. Moreover, psychological interventions are effective in this regard. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with and without compassion on spiritual fatalism and depression in non-clinically depressed diabetic patients. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study with a pre-test, post-test and follow-up and a control group design. The statistical population included all non-clinical depressed patients with type 2 diabetes in the welfare centers of Mashhad (...)
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  26. The Open Future: Why Future Contingents Are All False.Patrick Todd - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book launches a sustained defense of a radical interpretation of the doctrine of the open future. Patrick Todd argues that all claims about undetermined aspects of the future are simply false.
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  27. Fatalism for Presentists.David P. Hunt - 2020 - In Per Hasle, David Jakobsen & Peter Ohstrom (eds.), The Metaphysics of Time: Themes on Prior. Aalborg University Press. pp. 299-316.
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  28. A Theory of Evolution as a Process of Unfolding.Agustin Ostachuk - 2020 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 16 (1):347-379.
    In this work I propose a theory of evolution as a process of unfolding. This theory is based on four logically concatenated principles. The principle of evolutionary order establishes that the more complex cannot be generated from the simpler. The principle of origin establishes that there must be a maximum complexity that originates the others by logical deduction. Finally, the principle of unfolding and the principle of actualization guarantee the development of the evolutionary process from the simplest to the most (...)
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  29. The Independence Solution to the Problem of Theological Fatalism.Ryan Wasserman - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):66-77.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 104, Issue 1, Page 66-77, January 2022.
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  30. Destiny and Fatalism in Convicts.Ahmet Albayrak & Beyza Akdümbek Atan - 2019 - Kader 17 (1):124-152.
    Divine providence is one of the most intriguing topics of today. Despite the scientific progress, individuals are aware that they cannot lead a life isolated from destiny. It is explained by social scientists from different perspectives. This study focuses on the knowledge of destiny and fatalism tendencies of people who are convicted of different crimes. The research has been conducted on 114 people who are convicted of different crimes at the General Directorate Probation in Bursa. Knowledge of destiny and fatalism (...)
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  31. Fatalism and Future Contingents.Giacomo Andreoletti - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):1-14.
    In this paper I address issues related to the problem of future contingents and the metaphysical doctrine of fatalism. Two classical responses to the problem of future contingents are the third truth value view and the all-false view. According to the former, future contingents take a third truth value which goes beyond truth and falsity. According to the latter, they are all false. I here illustrate and discuss two ways to respectively argue for those two views. Both ways are similar (...)
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  32. How is the asymmetry between the open future and the fixed past to be characterized?Vincent Grandjean - 2019 - Synthese (3):1-24.
    A basic intuition we have regarding the nature of time is that the future is open whereas the past is fixed. For example, whereas we think that there are things we can do to affect how the future will unfold, we think that there are not things we can do to affect how the past unfolded. However, although this intuition is largely shared, it is not a straightforward matter to determine the nature of the asymmetry it reflects. So, in this (...)
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  33. From modal fallacies to a new argument for fatalism.Pedro Merlussi - 2019 - Manuscrito 42 (3):86-107.
    Do incompatibilist arguments, like some fatalist arguments, rest on modal fallacies? If Westphal (2012) is right, then one popular argument for incompatibilism van Inwagen’s “First Formal Argument” does rest on a modal fallacy. Similarly, Warfield (2000) claims that the standard modal formulation of the master argument for incompatibilism is a modal fallacy. Here, I refute both claims. Contra Westphal, I show that the mistake in van Inwagen’s "First Formal Argument" is no modal fallacy. After that, I argue that Warfield’s charge (...)
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  34. The problem of free will and determinism: An abductive approach.Kristin M. Mickelson - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):154-172.
    This essay begins by dividing the traditional problem of free will and determinism into a “correlation” problem and an “explanation” problem. I then focus on the explanation problem, and argue that a standard form of abductive (i.e. inference to the best-explanation) reasoning may be useful in solving it. To demonstrate the fruitfulness of the abductive approach, I apply it to three standard accounts of free will. While each account implies the same solution to the correlation problem, each implies a unique (...)
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  35. The Reification of Fate in Early China.Mercedes Valmisa - 2019 - Early China 1 (42):147-199.
    Early Chinese texts make us witnesses to debates about the power, or lack thereof, that humans had over the course of events, the outcomes of their actions, and their own lives. In the midst of these discourses on the limits of the efficacy of human agency, the notion of ming 命 took a central position. In this article, I present a common pattern of thinking about the relationship between the person and the world in early China. I call it the (...)
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  36. Timelessness and freedom.Taylor W. Cyr - 2018 - Synthese:1-15.
    One way that philosophers have attempted to defend free will against the threat of fatalism and against the threat from divine beliefs has been to endorse timelessness views. In this paper, I argue that, in order to respond to general worries about fatalism and divine beliefs, timelessness views must appeal to the notion of dependence. Once they do this, however, their distinctive position as timelessness views becomes otiose, for the appeal to dependence, if it helps at all, would itself be (...)
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  37. Theological Fatalism as an Aporetic Problem.David P. Hunt - 2017 - In Free Will and Classical Theism: The Significance of Freedom in Perfect Being Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 23-41.
  38. John Martin Fischer on the Puzzle of Theological Fatalism.David P. Hunt - 2017 - Science, Religion and Culture 4 (2):15-26.
    This is a contribution to an Author Meets Critics special issue on John Martin Fischer's _Our Fate: Essays on God and Free Will_.
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  39. Fischer's Fate With Fatalism.Christoph Jäger - 2017 - European Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 9 (4):25-38.
    John Martin Fischer’s core project in Our Fate (2016) is to develop and defend Pike-style arguments for theological incompatibilism, i. e., for the view that divine omniscience is incompatible with human free will. Against Ockhamist attacks on such arguments, Fischer maintains that divine forebeliefs constitute so-called hard facts about the times at which they occur, or at least facts with hard ‘kernel elements’. I reconstruct Fischer’s argument and outline its structural analogies with an argument for logical fatalism. I then point (...)
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  40. Toward a Demarcation of Forms of Determinism.Vladimir Marko - 2017 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 24 (1):54-84.
    In the current philosophical literature, determinism is rarely defined explicitly. This paper attempts to show that there are in fact many forms of determinism, most of which are familiar, and that these can be differentiated according to their particular components. Recognizing the composite character of determinism is thus central to demarcating its various forms.
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  41. The Truth About Osmo.E. J. M. Marques - 2017 - Logic and Philosophy of Time: Themes From Prior, Volume 1.
    (...)
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  42. A Blast From The Past.Kristie Miller - 2017 - The Philosophers' Magazine 77:82-86.
    That we find the idea of travelling in time, and in particular travelling backwards in time, fascinating, is evidenced by the plethora of new science fictions shows depicting time travel that hit our TV screens in 2016. I love time travel shows, and I can hardly keep up. In almost all cases these shows depict what philosophers call inconsistent time travel stories: stories that commit what my colleague Nick Smith (The University of Sydney) calls the second time around fallacy. These (...)
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  43. Free Will Pessimism.Paul Russell - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 93-120..
    The immediate aim of this paper is to articulate the essential features of an alternative compatibilist position, one that is responsive to sources of resistance to the compatibilist program based on considerations of fate and luck. The approach taken relies on distinguishing carefully between issues of skepticism and pessimism as they arise in this context. A compatibilism that is properly responsive to concerns about fate and luck is committed to what I describe as free will pessimism, which is to be (...)
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  44. The Limits of Free Will: Selected Essays.Paul Russell - 2017 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    The Limits of Free Will presents influential articles by Paul Russell concerning free will and moral responsibility. The problems arising in this field of philosophy, which are deeply rooted in the history of the subject, are also intimately related to a wide range of other fields, such as law and criminology, moral psychology, theology, and, more recently, neuroscience. These articles were written and published over a period of three decades, although most have appeared in the past decade. Among the topics (...)
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  45. 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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  46. Why compatibilist intuitions are not mistaken: A reply to Feltz and Millan.James Andow & Florian Cova - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):550-566.
    In the past decade, a number of empirical researchers have suggested that laypeople have compatibilist intuitions. In a recent paper, Feltz and Millan have challenged this conclusion by claiming that most laypeople are only compatibilists in appearance and are in fact willing to attribute free will to people no matter what. As evidence for this claim, they have shown that an important proportion of laypeople still attribute free will to agents in fatalistic universes. In this paper, we first argue that (...)
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  47. Astrology, Fate and Causation.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2016 - Philosophical Pathways (200).
    Some philosophers assert that astrology is a false theory. The simplest way to argue against all astrology is to identify a proposition that any kind of astrology must be committed to and then show that this proposition is false. In this paper I draw attention to some misconceptions about which propositions are essential to astrology.
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  48. Time and Tense: Unifying the Old and the New.Stamatios Gerogiorgakis - 2016 - Munich: Philosophia.
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  49. Fatalism as a Metaphysical Thesis.Ulrich Meyer - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (4):203-223.
    ABSTRACT Even though fatalism has been an intermittent topic of philosophy since Greek antiquity, this paper argues that fate ought to be of little concern to metaphysicians. Fatalism is neither an interesting metaphysical thesis in its own right, nor can it be identified with theses that are, such as realism about the future or determinism.
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  50. The Stoics on Fate and Freedom.Tim O'Keefe - 2016 - In Meghan Griffith, Neil Levy & Kevin Timpe (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge. pp. 236-246.
    Overview of the Stoic position. Looks at the roots of their determinism in their theology, their response to the 'lazy argument' that believing that all things are fated makes action pointless, their analysis of human action and how it allows actions to be 'up to us,' their rejection of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities, their rejection of anger and other negative reactive attitudes, and their contention that submission to god's will brings true freedom.
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