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ABSTRACT. Fatalism is the idea that something’s going to happen no matter what you do. Determinism is the idea that what you do depends. What happens depends on what you do, what you do depends on what you know, what you know depends on what you’re caused to know, and so forth – but still, what you do matters. There’s a big difference between that and fatalism. Fatalism is determinism with you left out. If I accomplish one thing in this paper, I want to break the bad habit of putting determinism and inevitability together. Inevitability means unavoidability, and if you think about what avoiding means, then you realize that in a deterministic world there’s lots of avoidance. The capacity to avoid has been evolving for billions of years. There are very good avoiders now. There’s no conflict between being an avoider and living in a deterministic world. There’s been a veritable explosion of evitability on this planet, and it’s all independent of determinism. Determinism is the idea that what you do depends. What happens depends on what you do, what you do depends on what you know, what you know depends on what you’re caused to know, and so forth – but still, what you do matters. There’s a big difference between that and fatalism. Fatalism is determinism with you left out. pp. 125–132

Keywords: fatalism, determinism, inevitability, avoider, knowledge, agent

 

TIBOR R. MACHAN
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Chapman University

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