Divine Knowledge and Human Freedom

William Hasker

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399691
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Divine Knowledge and Human Freedom


This article focuses on the problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom, which has been the most discussed problem in this area in recent philosophy. It begins with a formal statement of the standard historical argument for the incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and human free will, an argument based on the idea that if God has foreknowledge of all future events and God's foreknowledge is infallible, then agents cannot act other than they actually do. It examines the most prominent proposed solutions to this problem, including the Eternalist solution, which appeals to the notion that God's knowledge is timeless; the Ockhamist solution, which holds that God's past beliefs are not accidentally necessary; and the Molinist solution, which relies on God's “middle knowledge” that every creature would freely choose to do in any situation of libertarian free choice.

Keywords: philosophy; incompatibility; God's foreknowledge; free will; Ockhamist solution; Molinist; Eternalist solution

Article.  8247 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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