Sententiae 39 (2):29-45 (2020)

In the book “Freedom of the Will”, Jonathan Edwards put forward a strong ar-gument for theological fatalism. This argument, I suppose, can be considered as the universal basis for discussion between Fatalists and Anti-Fatalists in the 20th century, especially in the context of the most powerful argument for fatalism, introduced by Nelson Pike. The argument of Edwards rests upon the following principles: if something has been the case in the past, it has been the case necessarily ; if God knows something, it is not the case that ~A is possible. Hence, Edwards infers that if God had foreknowledge that A, then A is necessary, and it is not the case that someone could voluntarily choose ~A. The article argues that the Edwards` inference Kgp → □p rests upon the modal fallacy; the inference „God had a knowledge that p will happen, therefore „God had a knowledge that p will happen” is the proposition about the past, and hence, the necessarily true proposition“ is ambiguous; thus, it is not the case that this proposition necessarily entails the impossibility of ~p; it is not the case that p, being known by God, turns out to be necessary. Thus, we can avoid the inference of Edwards that if Kgp is a fact of the past, then we cannot freely choose ~p. It has also been shown that the main provisions of the argument of Edwards remain significant in the context of contemporary debates about free will and foreknowledge. Additionally, I introduce a new challenge for fatalism – argument from Brouwerian axiom.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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DOI 10.31649/sent39.02.029
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References found in this work BETA

Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action.Nelson Pike - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):27-46.
On Ockham’s Way Out.Alvin Plantinga - 1986 - Faith and Philosophy 3 (3):235-269.
The Formalities of Omniscience.A. N. Prior - 1962 - Philosophy 37 (140):114 - 129.
Is the Existence of God a "Hard" Fact?Marilyn McCord Adams - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (4):492-503.
Freedom of the Will.Jonathan Edwards - 1957 - Franklin Library.

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Our Fate: Essays on God and Free Will.John Martin Fischer - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
Foreknowledge and the Necessity of the Past.Dennis C. Holt - 1976 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):721 - 730.
Free Will, Foreknowledge, and Future‐Dependent Beliefs.Raphael van Riel - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):500-520.
Foreknowledge, Freedom, and Obligation.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):321-339.
Foreknowledge and Free Will.Norman M. Swartz - 2004 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Freedom of the Will.Jonathan Edwards - 1957 - Franklin Library.


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