Predeterminism as a category error: Why Aribiah Attoe got it wrong

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Abstract

I aim to establish in this article why Aribiah Attoe, like other determinists before him, got it wrong in arguing for the possibility of predeterminism in a materially evolving universe. I will do this by proving two things: I will first establish the inconsistency of the idea of predeterminism in an evolving universe. Then, I argue that the adirectionality presupposed by an evolutionary universe gives room for free will and negates the argument for a predeterministic universe. I aim to achieve the above by exposing why the view which upholds the universe and all existents within it as lacking free will – or the possibility of adirectionality – stems from a category error on the part of the determinists. Lastly, I defend the position that for predeterminism to stand a chance against the free will of animate things-in-the-world, it must deny the possibility of an evolving/expanding universe that is adirectional and suggestive of boundlessness, and the possibility that some events are not fundamentally necessary reactions to previous states of affairs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalSouth African Journal of Philosophy
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2023

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