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Single Idea 21668

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 2. Excluded Middle]

Full Idea

Epicurus said that not every proposition is either true or false. ...Epicurus was afraid that if he admits that every proposition is true or false he will also have to admit that all events are caused by fate (if they are so from all eternity).

Gist of Idea

Epicurus rejected excluded middle, because accepting it for events is fatalistic


report of Epicurus (fragments/reports [c.289 BCE]) by M. Tullius Cicero - On Fate ('De fato') 10.21

Book Reference

Cicero: 'On Fate, Stoic Paradoxes, Oratory', ed/tr. Rackham,H. [Harvard Loeb 1942], p.217

A Reaction

Epicurus proposed his 'swerve' in the movements of atoms to avoid this fatalism. Epicurus is agreeing with Aristotle, who did not accept excluded middle for a future contingent sea-fight.