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Freedom and the SelfEssays on the Philosophy of David Foster Wallace$
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Steven Cahn and Maureen Eckert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161534

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161534.001.0001

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David Foster Wallace and the Fallacies of “Fatalism”

David Foster Wallace and the Fallacies of “Fatalism”

(p.1) 1 David Foster Wallace and the Fallacies of “Fatalism”
Freedom and the Self

William Hasker

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents David Foster Wallace's argument against John Turk Saunders' criticism of fatalism in Richard Taylor's essay “The Problem of Future Contingencies.” The essay was a carefully argued defense of Aristotle's view that assertions concerning future contingent events are neither true nor false, in which Taylor stated that fatalists do not concern themselves of the future, which is deemed uncontrollable. Saunders criticized this argument, saying that a person has the power to do something for the future. Despite being a critic of fatalism himself, Wallace claimed that Saunders' argument did not really succeed in refuting the notion of fatalist intuition. Even though Saunders' claim points out that Taylor's argument has implications that oppose people's intuitions about the world and about language, fatalists have their own intuition about the world.

Keywords:   David Foster Wallace, future contingent events, John Turk Saunders, fatalism, fatalist intuition

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