Superfluity of Succession in the Deterministic Schemes

  • Milič Čapek
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 7)


Such historical connection of rigorous determinism and the timeless view was hardly accidental. For we have seen that for both naturalistic and idealistic (or theological) determinism the future is logically implied by the present or by any previous moment. Every logical implication is admittedly timeless. It is a commonplace in logic to distinguish between the implication itself which is beyond time — ‘tenseless’ as it is fashionable to say today — and the psychological process of inference with its distinctive successive phases. The words ‘antecedent’, ‘consequent’, ‘it follows’, etc. are essentially metaphorical and misleading because of their obvious temporal connotations. The simultaneity of the conclusion with the premises may be illustrated and even visualized by analyzing the traditional categorical syllogism: All M are P, all S are M; therefore all S are P. By drawing conventional Euler’s diagrams it becomes immediately obvious that the inclusion of the class S into P coexists with two previous inclusions, M in P and S in M. There is no succession here, not a trace of any movement, except the shifting movement of our attention which, after first noticing the first two inclusions, perceives finally the simultaneous inclusion of S into P. In other words, the conclusion does not follow from the premises in a temporal sense; on the contrary, it is tenselessly contained in them.


Irreducible Character Logical Implication Real Succession Causal Determinism Deterministic Scheme 
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© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1971

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  • Milič Čapek

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