l> Fatalism
The Info List - Fatalism

--- Advertisement ---

Related concepts and fundamentals:

Agnosticism Epistemology Presupposition Probability

v t e

Fatalism is a philosophical doctrine that stresses the subjugation of all events or actions to destiny. Fatalism generally refers to any of the following ideas:

The view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do.[1] Included in this is that humans have no power to influence the future, or indeed, their own actions.[2] This belief is very similar to predeterminism. An attitude of resignation in the face of some future event or events which are thought to be inevitable. Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
named this idea "Turkish fatalism"[3] in his book The Wanderer and His Shadow.[4] That acceptance is appropriate, rather than resistance against inevitability. This belief is very similar to defeatism.


1 Antiquity 2 Determinism
and predeterminism 3 Idle Argument 4 Logical fatalism and the argument from bivalence 5 Criticism

5.1 Semantic equivocation

6 See also 7 References 8 External links


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

(also written Ajivika or Ajivaka, literally meaning "living" in Sanskrit) was a system of ancient Indian philosophy
Indian philosophy
and an ascetic movement of the Mahajanapada
period in the Indian subcontinent. Ājīvika
followers believed that a cycle of reincarnation of the soul was determined by a precise and non-personal cosmic principle called niyati (destiny or fate) that was completely independent of the person's actions. The same sources therefore make them out to be strict fatalists, who did not believe in karma. "If all future occurrences are rigidly determined ..., coming events may in some sense be said to exist already. The future exists in the present, and both exist in the past. Time
is thus on ultimate analysis illusory". "Every phase of a process is always present. ... in a soul which has attained salvation its earthly births are still present. Nothing is destroyed and nothing is produced. ... Not only are all things determined, but their change and development is a cosmic illusion."[citation needed] Makkhali Gosala
Makkhali Gosala
(Pāli; BHS: Maskarin Gośāla; Jain Prakrit sources: Gosala Mankhaliputta) was an ascetic teacher of ancient India. He is regarded to have been born in 484 BCE and was a contemporary of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, and of Mahavira, the last and 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. Determinism
and predeterminism[edit]

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

While the terms are often used interchangeably, fatalism, determinism, and predeterminism are discrete in stressing different aspects of the futility of human will or the foreordination of destiny. However, all these doctrines share common ground. Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events. Their view does not accentuate a "submission" to fate or destiny, whereas fatalists stress an acceptance of future events as inevitable. Determinists believe the future is fixed specifically due to causality; fatalists and predeterminists believe that some or all aspects of the future are inescapable, but, for fatalists, not necessarily due to causality. Fatalism is a looser term than determinism. The presence of historical "indeterminisms" or chances, i.e. events that could not be predicted by sole knowledge of other events, is an idea still compatible with fatalism. Necessity (such as a law of nature) will happen just as inevitably as a chance—both can be imagined as sovereign. Likewise, determinism is a broader term than predeterminism. Predeterminists, as a specific type of determinists, believe that every single event or effect is caused by an uninterrupted chain of events that goes back to the origin of the universe. Determinists, holding a more generic view, meanwhile, believe that each event is at least caused by recent prior events, if not also by such far-extending and unbroken events as those going back in time to the universe's very origins. Fatalism, by referring to the personal "fate" or to "predestined events" strongly imply the existence of a someone or something that has set the "predestination." This is usually interpreted to mean a conscious, omniscient being or force who has personally planned—and therefore knows at all times—the exact succession of every event in the past, present, and future, none of which can be altered. Idle Argument[edit] One famous ancient argument regarding fatalism was the so-called Idle Argument. It argues that if something is fated, then it would be pointless or futile to make any effort to bring it about. The Idle Argument was described by Origen
and Cicero
and it went like this:

If it is fated for you to recover from this illness, then you will recover whether you call a doctor or not. Likewise, if you are fated not to recover, you will not do so whether you call a doctor or not. But either it is fated that you will recover from this illness, or it is fated that you will not recover. Therefore, it is futile to consult a doctor.[5][6]

The Idle Argument was anticipated by Aristotle
in his De Interpretatione chapter 9. The Stoics
considered it to be a sophism and the Stoic Chrysippus
attempted to refute it by pointing out that consulting the doctor would be as much fated as recovering. He seems to have introduced the idea that in cases like that at issue two events can be co-fated, so that one cannot occur without the other.[7] It is, however, a false argument because it fails to consider that those fated to recover may be those fated to consult a doctor. Logical fatalism and the argument from bivalence[edit] Another famous argument for fatalism that goes back to antiquity is one that depends not on causation or physical circumstances but rather is based on presumed logical truths. There are numerous versions of this argument, including those by Aristotle[8] and Richard Taylor.[2] These have been objected to and elaborated on[1] but do not enjoy mainstream support.[citation needed] The key idea of logical fatalism is that there is a body of true propositions (statements) about what is going to happen, and these are true regardless of when they are made. So, for example, if it is true today that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, then there cannot fail to be a sea battle tomorrow, since otherwise it would not be true today that such a battle will take place tomorrow. The argument relies heavily on the principle of bivalence: the idea that any proposition is either true or false. As a result of this principle, if it is not false that there will be a sea battle, then it is true; there is no in-between. However, rejecting the principle of bivalence—perhaps by saying that the truth of a proposition regarding the future is indeterminate—is a controversial view since the principle is an accepted part of classical logic. Criticism[edit] Semantic equivocation[edit] The basic logical structure of logical fatalism is criticized as false. The structure of its argument is "Either a certain event happens or it doesn't happen. If it happens, there is nothing to be done to prevent it. If it doesn't happen, there is nothing to be done to enable it." The problem in the argument arises with the semantics of "if". The argument fails because it uses "if" to imply that the event will happen with absolute certainty, when there is only certainty that the event either happens or doesn't, when both options are considered. Neither option by itself is certain, even though both options together are certain. The use of the word "if" in this way frames the sentence as "if the event is certain to happen, then there is nothing to be done to prevent it", but there is no certainty that the event will happen. Thus this type of fatalism relies on circular reasoning.[9] Another criticism comes from the novelist David Foster Wallace, who in a 1985 paper "Richard Taylor's Fatalism and the Semantics of Physical Modality" suggests that Taylor reached his conclusion of fatalism only because his argument involved two different and inconsistent notions of impossibility.[10] Wallace did not reject fatalism per se, as he wrote in his closing passage, "if Taylor and the fatalists want to force upon us a metaphysical conclusion, they must do metaphysics, not semantics. And this seems entirely appropriate."[10] Willem deVries and Jay Garfield, both of whom were advisers on Wallace’s thesis, expressed regret that Wallace never published his argument.[10] In 2010, the thesis was, however, published posthumously as Time, Fate, and Language: An Essay on Free Will. See also[edit]


Accidental Necessity Amor fati Calvinism Defeatism Determinism Jansenism Libertarianism (metaphysics) Predestination Problem of future contingents Probability
Theory Shikata ga nai Theological determinism Theological fatalism


^ a b Hugh Rice (October 11, 2010). "Fatalism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]. Retrieved December 2, 2010.  ^ a b Richard Taylor (January 1962). "Fatalism". The Philosophical Review. Duke University Press. 71 (1): 56–66. JSTOR 2183681.  ^ Metheus ^ Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow, 1880, Türkenfatalismus ^ Origen
Contra Celsum II 20 ^ Cicero
De Fato 28-9 ^ Susanne Bobzien, Determinism
and Freedom in Stoic Philosophy, Oxford 1998, chapter 5 ^ Aristotle, De Interpretatione, 9 ^ Dummett, Michael (1996), The Seas of Language, Clarendon Press Oxford, pp. 352–358  ^ a b c Ryerson, James (December 12, 2008). "Consider the Philosopher". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Fate

Look up fatalism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Fatalism vs. Free Will from Project Worldview

v t e


General terms and concepts

Chronology protection conjecture Closed timelike curve Novikov self-consistency principle Self-fulfilling prophecy Quantum mechanics of time travel

Time travel
Time travel
in fiction

Timelines in fiction

in science fiction in games television series that include time travel

Temporal paradoxes

Grandfather paradox Causal loop
Causal loop
(predestination paradox)

Parallel timelines

Alternative future Alternate history Many-worlds interpretation Multiverse Parallel universe (fiction)

of space and time

Butterfly effect Determinism Eternalism Fatalism Free will Predestination

Spacetimes in general relativity that can contain closed timelike curves

Alcubierre metric BTZ black hole Gödel metric Kerr metric Krasnikov tube Misner space Tipler cylinder van Stockum dust Traversable wormholes

Time travel
Time travel
claims and urban legends

Moberly–Jourdain incident Philadelphia Experiment Montauk Project Chronovisor Billy Meier Rudolph Fentz John Titor

v t e






Epistemology Logic Ethics Aesthetics


Action Art

Culture Design Music Film

Business Color Cosmos Dialogue Education Environment Futility Happiness Healthcare History Human nature Humor Feminism Language Life Literature Mathematics Mind

Pain Psychology

of psychiatry Philosophy
of perception Philosophy Religion Science

Physics Chemistry Biology Geography

Sexuality Social science

Culture Economics Justice Law Politics Society

Space and time Sport Technology

Artificial intelligence Computer science Engineering Information


Schools of thought

By era

Ancient Western

Medieval Renaissance Early modern Modern Contemporary



Agriculturalism Confucianism Legalism Logicians Mohism Chinese naturalism Neotaoism Taoism Yangism Zen


Aristotelianism Atomism Cynicism Cyrenaics Eleatics Eretrian school Epicureanism Hermeneutics Ionian

Ephesian Milesian

Megarian school Neoplatonism Peripatetic Platonism Pluralism Presocratic Pyrrhonism Pythagoreanism Neopythagoreanism Sophistic Stoicism


Samkhya Nyaya Vaisheshika Yoga Mīmāṃsā Ājīvika Ajñana Cārvāka Jain

Anekantavada Syādvāda


Śūnyatā Madhyamaka Yogacara Sautrāntika Svatantrika


Mazdakism Zoroastrianism Zurvanism



Christian philosophy Scholasticism Thomism Renaissance humanism

East Asian

Korean Confucianism Edo Neo-Confucianism Neo-Confucianism



Acintya bheda abheda Advaita Bhedabheda Dvaita Dvaitadvaita Shuddhadvaita Vishishtadvaita



Averroism Avicennism Illuminationism ʿIlm al-Kalām Sufi





Cartesianism Kantianism Neo-Kantianism Hegelianism Marxism Spinozism


Anarchism Classical Realism Liberalism Collectivism Conservatism Determinism Dualism Empiricism Existentialism Foundationalism Historicism Holism Humanism Idealism

Absolute British German Objective Subjective Transcendental

Individualism Kokugaku Materialism Modernism Monism Naturalism Natural law Nihilism New Confucianism Neo-Scholasticism Pragmatism Phenomenology Positivism Reductionism Rationalism Social contract Socialism Transcendentalism Utilitarianism



Applied ethics Analytic feminism Analytical Marxism Communitarianism Consequentialism Critical rationalism Experimental philosophy Falsificationism Foundationalism / Coherentism Generative linguistics Internalism and Externalism Logical positivism Legal positivism Normative ethics Meta-ethics Moral realism Neo-Aristotelian Quinean naturalism Ordinary language philosophy Postanalytic philosophy Quietism Rawlsian Reformed epistemology Systemics Scientism Scientific realism Scientific skepticism Contemporary utilitarianism Vienna Circle Wittgensteinian


Critical theory Deconstruction Existentialism Feminist Frankfurt School New Historicism Hermeneutics Neo-Marxism Phenomenology Postmodernism Post-structuralism Social constructionism Structuralism Western Marxism


Kyoto School Objectivism Russian cosmism more...



Formalism Institutionalism Aesthetic response


Consequentialism Deontology Virtue

Free will

Compatibilism Determinism Libertarianism


Atomism Dualism Monism Naturalism


Constructivism Empiricism Idealism Particularism Fideism Rationalism / Reasonism Skepticism Solipsism


Behaviorism Emergentism Eliminativism Epiphenomenalism Functionalism Objectivism Subjectivism


Absolutism Particularism Relativism Nihilism Skepticism Universalism


Action Event Process


Anti-realism Conceptualism Idealism Materialism Naturalism Nominalism Physicalism Realism

by region Philosophy-related lists Miscellaneous

By region

African Ethiopian Aztec Native America Eastern Chinese Egyptian Czech Indian Indonesian Iranian Japanese Korean Vietnam Pakistani Western American Australian British Danish French German Greek Italian Polish Romanian Russian Slovene Spanish Turkish


Outline Index Years Problems Schools Glossary Philosophers Movements Publications


Women in philosophy Sage (philosophy)

Portal Category Book

v t e

of time

Concepts in time

Time A priori and a posteriori A-series and B-series Action Deterministic system Duration Eternal return Eternity Event Free will Growing block universe Imaginary time Multiple time dimensions Temporal parts


Theories of time

B- Theory
of time Compatibilism
and incompatibilism Determinism Endurantism Eternalism Four dimensionalism Fatalism Temporal finitism Indeterminism Perdurantism Presentism Static interpretation of time

Related articles

Etiology Metaphysics Post hoc ergo propter hoc Teleology The Unreality of Time The Singular Universe and the Reality
of Time An Experiment with Time

Authority control


Time at 25449599.883333, Busy percent: 30
***************** NOT Too Busy at 25449599.883333 3../logs/periodic-service_log.txt
1440 = task['interval'];
25450838.316667 = task['next-exec'];
0 = task['last-exec'];
daily-work.php = task['exec'];
25449599.883333 Time.

10080 = task['interval'];
25459478.316667 = task['next-exec'];
0 = task['last-exec'];
weekly-work.php = task['exec'];
25449599.883333 Time.

30 = task['interval'];
25449608.966667 = task['next-exec'];
25449578.966667 = task['last-exec'];
PeriodicStats.php = task['exec'];
25449599.883333 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25450838.316667 = task['next-exec'];
0 = task['last-exec'];
PeriodicBuild.php = task['exec'];
25449599.883333 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25450838.316667 = task['next-exec'];
0 = task['last-exec'];
build-sitemap-xml.php = task['exec'];
25449599.883333 Time.

60 = task['interval'];
25449638.483333 = task['next-exec'];
25449578.483333 = task['last-exec'];
cleanup.php = task['exec'];
25449599.883333 Time.

15 = task['interval'];
25449609.4 = task['next-exec'];
25449594.4 = task['last-exec'];
parse-contents.php = task['exec'];
25449599.883333 Time.