Michael Dummett, Reasons to Act, and Bringing About the Past

  title={Michael Dummett, Reasons to Act, and Bringing About the Past},
  author={Brian Garrett},
  • B. Garrett
  • Published 1 April 2020
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophia
My intention in this paper is to outline and criticise some of the main ideas in Michael Dummett’s classic article “Bringing about the Past”. From Dummett’s remarks we can (I think) reconstruct two sceptical arguments designed to show that it can never be rational to attempt to bring about past events. Dummett is critical of both arguments. Though happy with Dummett’s reply to the first sceptical argument, I disagree with his reply to the second. 
2 Citations
A note on means-end reasoning: knowledge, reasons and fate
  • B. Garrett
  • Philosophy
    Asian Journal of Philosophy
  • 2022
In this note, I argue that knowledge of an action’s effect undermines an agent’s reason to act. This undermining occurs in some cases of bringing about the past, but also in some cases of forwards
Affecting the Past


Fatalism and the Logic of Unconditionals
In this paper, I consider a variant of the ancient Idle Argument involving so-called “unconditionals” with interrogative wh-antecedents. This new Idle Argument provides an ideal setting for probing
Indicative conditionals
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