Recent Work on Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will

Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195178548
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Recent Work on Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will


This article discusses the foreknowledge dilemma and some proposed solutions. During the last few decades, the statement of the foreknowledge dilemma has been refined and the key premises and definitions clarified. The problem is usually posed by defining infallible belief and then considering three sequential moments of time: some random moment in the past; the present; and some arbitrary moment in the future in which an act that is a good candidate for a free act will be performed. Solutions for the dilemma include the Boethian solution, the Ockahmist solution, the Molinist solution, and the Frankfurtian/Augustinian solution. The article also considers a recent theory being promoted by a group of philosophers and theologians called the “openness of God” theory, or alternatively, “free will theism.” Their claim is that the classical Christian view of a God who knows the contingent future is problematic both philosophically and biblically.

Keywords: foreknowledge; fatalism; infallible belief; Boethian solution; Ockahmist solution; Molinist solution; Frankfurtian/Augustinian solution; openness of God; free will theism

Article.  9049 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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