A puzzle about the fixity of the past

Analysis 82 (3):426-434 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 knowledge and the semantics for ‘actually’. I also consider many possible responses to the argument.

Similar books and articles

The fixity of reasons.Andre Norman Gallois - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):233 - 248.
Ability, relevant possibilities, and the fixity of the past.Penelope Mackie - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1873-1892.
From the fixity of the past to the fixity of the independent.Andrew Law - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1301-1314.
Counterfactuals and the fixity of the past.Penelope Mackie - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):1-19.
Modal principles in the metaphysics of free will.Tomis Kapitan - 1996 - Philosophical Perspectives 10:419-45.
Freedom, Foreknowledge, and the Necessity of the Past.Larry Wayne Hohm - 1984 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
How many notions of necessity?Jordan Stein - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):605-627.
B-theory, fixity, and fatalism.Joseph Diekemper - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):429–452.
Ability, Foreknowledge, and Explanatory Dependence.Philip Swenson - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):658-671.
Fatalism and Freedom.Bruce Reichenbach - 1988 - International Philosophical Quarterly 28 (3):271-285.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-12-23

Downloads
422 (#44,820)

6 months
139 (#22,977)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Fabio Lampert
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

A problem with the fixed past fixed.Jacek Wawer - 2023 - Synthese 202 (5):1-15.
Lampert on the Fixity of the Past.Jeremiah Joven Joaquin & Brian Garrett - 2024 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 31 (1):90-93.

Add more citations

References found in this work

On Action.Carl Ginet - 1990 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
On Action.Carl Ginet - 1990 - Mind 100 (3):390-394.
The Metaphysics of Free Will: an Essay on Control.John Martin Fischer - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):373-381.
Actuality and knowability.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):411-419.
Soft facts and ontological dependence.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):829-844.

View all 11 references / Add more references