On the Incompatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom

Abstract

I argue that the simple foreknowledge view, according to which God knows at some time t 1 what an agent S will do at t 2 , is incompatible with human free will. I criticize two arguments in favor of the thesis that the simple foreknowledge view is consistent with human freedom, and conclude that, even if divine foreknowledge does not causally compel human action, foreknowledge is nevertheless relevantly similar to other cases in which human freedom is undermined. These cases include those in which certain human actions are logically, rather than causally, foreclosed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Hunt (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003).

  2. 2.

    Zagzebski (1991, 1997, 2000).

  3. 3.

    See Hunt (2001), pp. 75–76.

  4. 4.

    See Hunt (2001), pp. 86–91, and Zagzebski (2000).

  5. 5.

    Hunt (2001), pp. 89–90. Zagzebski (2000) and Zagzebski (1997) also appeal to Frankfurt cases.

  6. 6.

    Hunt (2001), p. 90.

  7. 7.

    Ibid.

  8. 8.

    See, e.g., Pereboom (2000) for a development of this distinction.

  9. 9.

    Zagzebski (1991), p. 154–62.

  10. 10.

    Fischer (1982), pp 33–34. See also Zagzebski (1991), p. 156.

  11. 11.

    On this independence criterion, see Zagzebski (1997), p. 295.

  12. 12.

    Zagzebski (1997), p. 295.

  13. 13.

    This argument is relevantly similar to that offered by Zagzebski (1991), pp. 154–61.

References

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Correspondence to Jason Wyckoff.

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Wyckoff, J. On the Incompatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom. SOPHIA 49, 333–341 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11841-010-0168-6

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Keywords

  • Divine foreknowledge
  • Free will
  • Frankfurt cases
  • Alternative possibilities