• Comment on Monroe Beardsley’s ‘Inevitability in History’

      Krieger, Leonard; Columbia University (1971-01-01)
      There seem to be inevitabilities both within and without history. Thus, Monroe Beardsley’s analysis of historical inevitability raises this question: what is the relationship between the extra-historical and the historical inevitability? There seems to be an assumption that the concept of inevitability is the same within and without history. I wish to question that assumption. There are distinctively historical forms of inevitability that cannot be assimilated to other kinds of inevitability.
    • Determinism and Inevitability

      Danto, Arthur C.; Columbia University (1971-01-01)
      Monroe Beardsley’s analysis of historical inevitability is simply an analysis of determinism. Thus, he has not specified what, in excess of determinism, is implied by assertions of historical inevitability.
    • Inevitability in History

      Beardsley, Monroe C.; Temple University (1971-01-01)
      Historians sometimes say that one event or set of events made another event inevitable. This paper proposes an analysis of the concept of inevitability that is employed in such claims. To say that one event E made another event F inevitable is to say that: (1) E and F occurred, and in that temporal order, and (2) After E, and because of E, no action within the power of any living person or persons who desired F not to occur would have been followed by the nonoccurrence of F. One of the corollaries of this analysis is that anyone who asserts an inevitability statement is thereby committed to a true generalization to the effect that conditions like E cause conditions like F
    • Responsibility in a World of Causes

      Vargas, Manuel; University of San Francisco (2010-09-01)
      A familiar chain of reasoning goes like this: if everything is caused, then no one is genuinely free; if no one is genuinely free, then no one can be morally responsible for anything; so if everything is caused, then no one can be morally responsible for anything. This paper will challenge the part of this reasoning that concerns moral responsibility. What is at stake for us when we ascribe moral responsibility to ourselves and others? This paper will argue that we can reconcile the idea of moral responsibility with a broadly scientific worldview.