determinism

[From English determine: to ordain or fix beforehand; derived from Latin determinare: to limit or bound.]

  1. (metaphysics) The belief that all physical events and human actions are fixed or ordained by external forces before they happen. Determinists deny the existence of human choice ("free will"), and the more consistent determinists even deny that people bear any responsibility for their actions, contrary to ascriptivism. Determinists are usually adherents of materialism, although some social or economic determinists are more influenced by Marxism than by the advance of physics, chemistry, and biology. In popular usage, determinism has connotations of fatalism. In more technical discussions, determinism is sometimes called necessitarianism, in opposition to metaphysical libertarianism.

The Ism Book by Peter Saint-Andre

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