Analysis (forthcoming)

Fabio Lampert
University of Greifswald
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.
Keywords Fixity of the Past  Free will  Ability  Knowledge  Actuality  Contingent A Priori  Necessity  Incompatibilism  Fatalism  Theological Fatalism  Modal Logic
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/analys/anab092
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

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.
Our Fate: Essays on God and Free Will.John Martin Fischer - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
Soft Facts and Ontological Dependence.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):829-844.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Fixity of Reasons.Andre Norman Gallois - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):233 - 248.
From the Fixity of the Past to the Fixity of the Independent.Andrew Law - 2021 - 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.


Added to PP index

Total views
132 ( #87,393 of 2,499,299 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
132 ( #4,923 of 2,499,299 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes