Embracing Life Without Free Will: A Fatalistic Proposal

Part of the Münster Lectures in Philosophy book series (MUELP, volume 4)


Peter van Inwagen is well known for holding an incompatibilist position, which consists in assuming free will and rejecting determinism. The paper critically discusses his position and contrasts it with fatalism, an alternative version of incompatibilism that consists in the rejection of free will in favor of determinism. Fatalism is often neglected, because many authors charge it to be inconsistent. The paper argues, first, that fatalism is consistent and, second, that it is even plausible on the basis of Humean skepticism. In the end, there will be outlined a specific notion of fatalistic incompatibilism which embraces ancient stoicism.


Compatibilism Consolation Determinism Epictetus Fatalism Free will David Hume Incompatibilism Peter van Inwagen Skepticism Stoicism 



With best thanks to the discussion group on Peter van Inwagen’s papers on free will, especially Stefan Becker, Dongbeom Seo and Christian Weidemann for constructive discussions and critical remarks. Also many thanks to Georgia Buckley, Lea A. Schroeder, Dennis Gehlmann and Ludger Jansen for discussion and helpful advice in terms of language and final redaction of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWWU MünsterMünsterGermany

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