Chapter

Logical Determinism or Fatalism

J. R. LUCAS

in The Freedom of the Will

Published in print September 1970 | ISBN: 9780198243434
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680687 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198243434.003.0013
Logical Determinism or Fatalism

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Logical determinism fails through indefiniteness. The logician may be able to ascribe a truth-value to propositions before they have ‘come true’ (or not), but he cannot ascribe a definite one. Some poetic and popular expositions of fatalism speak of a Book of Destiny. If there really is a book, all written down already, then the case is altered. For then the predictions are definite. The pre-existence of truth in the future tense is supported. However, the Book of Destiny needs some further argument to authenticate it, perhaps theological, perhaps metaphysical. But then it ceases to be logical determinism. Logical determinism depends on purely logical arguments. And these, however expressed, are patently fallacious.

Keywords: fallacies; fatalism; logical determinism

Chapter.  1686 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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