Two More Solutions of My Own

Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

in The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge

Published in print June 1996 | ISBN: 9780195107630
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852956 | DOI:
Two More Solutions of My Own

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This chapter proposes two more solutions to the dilemma of divine foreknowledge and argues that they solve both the Accidental Necessity Version of the dilemma and what is termed the Timeless Knowledge Dilemma. It revisits the argument against free will from accidental necessity, which includes the statement “If when I bring about an act I cannot do otherwise, I do not bring it about freely.” It proposes a solution that denies this proposition. It asserts that even if all of a person's acts are accidentally necessary, they can still be done freely in a sense of the “free” that is incompatible with determinism. Harry Frankfurt has introduced a class of examples that can be taken to be counterexamples to the proposition mentioned above. The focus of his discussion is on the relationship between the ability to do otherwise and moral responsibility, but his examples can also be used to illustrate the relationship between the ability to do otherwise and acting freely.

Keywords: dilemma; divine foreknowledge; Accidental Necessity Version; Timeless Knowledge Dilemma; free will; determinism; Harry Frankfurt; accidental necessity

Chapter.  12815 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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