Karma Theory, Determinism, Fatalism and Freedom of Will

Logica Universalis 11 (1):35-60 (2017)
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The so-called theory of karma is one of the distinguishing aspects of Hinduism and other non-Hindu south-Asian traditions. At the same time that the theory can be seen as closely connected with the freedom of will and action that we humans supposedly have, it has many times been said to be determinist and fatalist. The purpose of this paper is to analyze in some deepness the relations that are between the theory of karma on one side and determinism, fatalism and free-will on the other side. In order to do that, I shall use what has been described as the best formal approach we have to indeterminism: branching time theory. More specifically, I shall introduce a branching time semantic framework in which, among other things, statements such as “state of affairs e is a karmic effect of agent a”, “a wills it to be the case that e” and “e is inevitable” could be properly represented.

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Ricardo Silvestre
Federal University of Campina Grande


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