Why God's beliefs are not hard-type soft facts

Religious Studies 38 (1):77-88 (2002)
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John Fischer has attacked the Ockhamistic solution to the freedom–foreknowledge dilemma by arguing that: (1) God's prior beliefs about the future, though being soft facts about the past, are soft facts of a special sort, what he calls ‘hard-type soft facts’, i.e. soft facts, the constitutive properties of which are ‘hard’, or ‘temporally non-relational properties’; (2) in this respect, such facts are like regular past facts which are subject to the fixity of the past. In this paper, I take issue with this argument by Fischer, claiming that it does not succeed for two reasons: (i) Fischer's account of the notion of a hard property is unsatisfactory; (ii) his notion of a hard-type soft fact is incoherent. Despite this criticism, I agree with Fischer that there is a fundamental difference between God's beliefs about the future and regular soft facts with regard to their fixity-status, but I argue that the reason for this difference is that God's forebeliefs are plain hard facts about the past.

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David Widerker
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

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References found in this work

Causality and properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause. D. Reidel. pp. 109-35.
Causality and Properties.Sidney Shoemaker - 1980 - In D. H. Mellor & Alex Oliver (eds.), Properties. Oxford University Press.
The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge.Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski - 1991 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On Ockham’s Way Out.Alvin Plantinga - 1986 - Faith and Philosophy 3 (3):235-269.

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