SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Fatalism is not (just) a logico-semantic doctrine
(Metaphysics and Ontology, English)

Inwagen defines fatalism as a thesis about the logical or conceptual necessity of everything that is performed by any agent. In the author's words: Fatalism, as I shall use the term, is the thesis that it is a logical or conceptual truth that no one is able to act otherwise than he in fact does (Inwagen, 1986, p. 23). Taylor defines it as a thesis about the inevitability of all facts and events (Taylor, 2015, p. 42). Inwagen criticises Taylor's definition, considering it inadequate. His reasons are especially connected with two senses of 'inevitable', that the fatalist might have in mind: a strong sense and a weak sense. In the strong sense, a state of affairs is inevitable when it comes about regardless of what one might do. For instance, when my attitudes have no relevance or no causal connection with what happens to me; so that the states of affairs that become actual and what I myself do are totally independent. The weak sense corresponds to the idea that, if something is inevitable, and one has tried to avoid its coming about, by taking the attitudes one considers preventive, then it is necessary that one should take the wrong attitudes. In that case, ignorance on how to proceed would itself be inevitable in the strong sense, i.e., ignorance would be the case no matter what, without any possibility of it being avoided by me (Inwagen, 1986, p. 25). In this article, I will defend Taylor's approach on what 'fatalism' means, address Inwagen's notion and try to explain how we can understand the notion of inevitability.


Chair: André Ferreira
Time: 10:00-10:30, 19 September 2019 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.003

Elton Marques 
(Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Center of Philosophy of University of Lisbon, Brazil)

Elton mainly works on the metaphysics of time, relationalism, and substantivism. He has experience in philosophy of science and contemporary philosophy of time in general. As a PhD student at the University of Lisbon, he is working on a thesis on the relation between determinism and eternalism. He is a member of the international research group Lancog and a full doctorate fellowship by Cnpq, Brasil.

Testability and Meaning deco