Foreknowledge requires determinism

Abstract

There is a longstanding argument that purports to show that divine foreknowledge is inconsistent with human freedom to do otherwise. Proponents of this argument, however, have for some time been met with the following reply: the argument posits what would have to be a mysterious non-causal constraint on freedom. In this paper, I argue that this objection is misguided – not because after all there can indeed be non-causal constraints on freedom (as in Pike, Fischer, and Hunt), but because the success of the incompatibilist’s argument does not require the real possibility of non-causal constraints on freedom. I contend that the incompatibilist’s argument is best seen as showing that, given divine foreknowledge, something makes one unfree – and that this something is most plausibly identified, not with the foreknowledge itself, but with the causally deterministic factors that would have to be in place in order for there to be infallible foreknowledge in the first place.

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Patrick Todd
University of Edinburgh

References found in this work

Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):494-497.
Paradoxes of Time Travel.Ryan Wasserman - 2017 - Oxford University Press.

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