Our Fate

John Martin Fischer

Published in print February 2016 | ISBN: 9780199311293
Published online June 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190454517 | DOI:
Our Fate

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This book collects John Martin Fischer’s previously published articles on the relationship between God’s foreknowledge and human freedom. It contains a substantial and previously unpublished introductory essay that both brings all the pieces together into an analytic framework and also breaks some new ground. Part of the new material is a new and highly original theory that explains how God could have genuine and certain foreknowledge of future events involving human behavior in a causally indeterministic world. (This is a bold and controversial approach, presented for the first time in the introductory essay.) The primary focus of the book is the basic argument for the incompatibility of God’s foreknowledge with human freedom to do otherwise (theological incompatibilism). Fischer discusses various different formulations of this argument and also various different putative responses to it, such as Ockhamism, Scotism, and Molinism. Fischer also discusses the relationship between the argument for theological incompatibilism and the parallel arguments for fatalism and for the incompatibility of causal determinism and human freedom. Fischer defends semicompatibilism about God’s foreknowledge and moral responsibility, just as he has elsewhere defended semicompatibilism about causal determinism and moral responsibility. Semicompatibilism about God’s foreknowledge and moral responsibility is the doctrine that God’s foreknowledge is fully compatible with humans being morally responsible for their behavior, even if His foreknowledge rules out human freedom to do otherwise.

Keywords: causal determinism; fatalism; God’s foreknowledge; human freedom; moral responsibility; Ockhamism; Scotism; Molinism; semicompatibilism; theological incompatibilism

Book.  256 pages. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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