Nature and Necessity

  • Guy Robinson
Part of the Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures book series (RIPL)


Determinism is a spectre that has haunted our scientifically-oriented culture from the beginning. I happen to think that it is literally a ‘spectre’, a trick of the vision, an appearance with an internal cause only, and that it is no more than the ghost of our own conceptual determinations projected outward into a world in which it has no place and no proper being. From one point of view it is no more than an alienated fantasy involving a number of incoherent assumptions. Of these, one of the most important, and one of the most deeply eroded by much contemporary work, is the assumption that science and scientific understanding is a potentially completable system. From another point of view, however, the deterministic picture seems an inevitable product of scientific activity.


Rigid Designator Conceptual Determination Aristotelian Concept Individual Thing Modal Notion 
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Copyright information

© Royal Institute of Philosophy 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy Robinson

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