Philosophical Studies

, Volume 176, Issue 3, pp 781–802 | Cite as

Chance, determinism, and unsettledness

  • Antony EagleEmail author


A previously unrecognised argument against deterministic chance is introduced. The argument rests on the twin ideas that determined outcomes are settled, while chancy outcomes are unsettled, thus making cases of determined but chancy outcomes impossible. Closer attention to tacit assumptions about settledness makes available some principled lines of resistance to the argument for compatibilists about chance and determinism. Yet the costs of maintaining compatibilism may be higher with respect to this argument than with respect to existing incompatibilist arguments.


Chance Determinism Unsettledness Indeterminacy Laws Undermining Context-dependence 



This paper has its origins in a talk presented at the Determinism, Probability and Conditionals workshop at the ANU in July 2015, supported by the Thinking Trust Endowment. The written version was prepared while I was visiting the Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy, supported by a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. I am grateful to the ANU audience, and to anonymous referees for this journal and another, for comments that have improved the paper.


Funding was provided by Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (AUS 1185645 HFST-E).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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