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Profile: Patrick Todd (University of Edinburgh)
  1. Patrick Todd (forthcoming). Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future. Mind.
    There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial (and unnoticed) connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent (...)
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  2. Patrick Todd (forthcoming). The Greatest Possible Being Needn't Be Anything Impossible. Religious Studies.
    There are various argumentative strategies for advancing the claim that God does not exist. One such strategy is this. First, one notes that God is meant to have a certain divine attribute (such as omniscience). One then argues that having the relevant attribute is impossible. One concludes that God doesn't exist. For instance, Dennis Whitcomb's recent paper, ‘Grounding and omniscience’, proceeds in exactly this way. As Whitcomb says, ‘I'm going to argue that omniscience is impossible and that therefore there is (...)
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  3. Patrick Todd (2014). Against Limited Foreknowledge. Philosophia 42 (2):523-538.
    Theological fatalists contend that if God knows everything, then no human action is free, and that since God does know everything, no human action is free. One reply to such arguments that has become popular recently— a way favored by William Hasker and Peter van Inwagen—agrees that if God knows everything, no human action is free. The distinctive response of these philosophers is simply to say that therefore God does not know everything. On this view, what the fatalist arguments in (...)
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  4. Patrick Todd (2014). Review: K. E. Boxer, Rethinking Responsibility. [REVIEW] Ethics 125 (1):244-249,.
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  5. Patrick Todd (2013). Defending (a Modified Version of) the Zygote Argument. Philosophical Studies 164 (1):189-203.
    Think of the last thing someone did to you to seriously harm or offend you. And now imagine, so far as you can, becoming fully aware of the fact that his or her action was the causally inevitable result of a plan set into motion before he or she was ever even born, a plan that had no chance of failing. Should you continue to regard him or her as being morally responsible—blameworthy, in this case—for what he or she did? (...)
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  6. Patrick Todd, Manipulation. International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
  7. Patrick Todd (2013). Prepunishment and Explanatory Dependence: A New Argument for Incompatibilism About Foreknowledge and Freedom. Philosophical Review 122 (4):619-639.
    The most promising way of responding to arguments for the incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom (in one way or another) invokes a claim about the order of explanation: God knew (or believed) that you would perform a given action because you would, in fact, perform it, and not the other way around. Once we see this result, many suppose, we'll see that divine foreknowledge ultimately poses no threat to human freedom. This essay argues that matters are not so (...)
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  8. Patrick Todd (2013). Soft Facts and Ontological Dependence. Philosophical Studies 164 (3):829-844.
    In the literature on free will, fatalism, and determinism, a distinction is commonly made between temporally intrinsic (‘hard’) and temporally relational (‘soft’) facts at times; determinism, for instance, is the thesis that the temporally intrinsic state of the world at some given past time, together with the laws, entails a unique future (relative to that time). Further, it is commonly supposed by incompatibilists that only the ‘hard facts’ about the past are fixed and beyond our control, whereas the ‘soft facts’ (...)
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  9. Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer (2013). The Truth About Foreknowledge. Faith and Philosophy 30 (3):286-301.
    In this paper we critically evaluate Trenton Merricks’s recent attempt to provide a “new” way of defending compatibilism about divine foreknowledge and human freedom. We take issue with Merricks’s claim that his approach is fundamentally different from Ockhamism. We also seek to highlight the implausibility of Merricks’s rejection of the assumption of the fixity of the past, and we also develop a critique of the Merricks’s crucial notion of “dependence.”.
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  10. Patrick Todd (2012). Manipulation and Moral Standing: An Argument for Incompatibilism. Philosophers' Imprint 12 (7).
    A prominent recent strategy for advancing the thesis that moral responsibility is incompatible with causal determinism has been to argue that agents who meet compatibilist conditions for responsibility could nevertheless be subject to certain sorts of deterministic manipulation, so that an agent could meet the compatibilist’s conditions for responsibility, but also be living a life the precise details of which someone else determined that she should live. According to the incompatibilist, however, once we became aware that agents had been manipulated (...)
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  11. Patrick Todd (2011). A New Approach to Manipulation Arguments. Philosophical Studies 152 (1):127-133.
    There are several argumentative strategies for advancing the thesis that moral responsibility is incompatible with causal determinism. One prominent such strategy is to argue that agents who meet compatibilist conditions for moral responsibility can nevertheless be subject to responsibility-undermining manipulation. In this paper, I argue that incompatibilists advancing manipulation arguments against compatibilism have been shouldering an unnecessarily heavy dialectical burden. Traditional manipulation arguments present cases in which manipulated agents meet all compatibilist conditions for moral responsibility, but are (allegedly) not responsible (...)
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  12. Patrick Todd (2011). Geachianism. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 3:222-251.
    The plane was going to crash, but it didn't. Johnny was going to bleed to death, but he didn't. Geach sees here a changing future. In this paper, I develop Geach's primary argument for the (almost universally rejected) thesis that the future is mutable (an argument from the nature of prevention), respond to the most serious objections such a view faces, and consider how Geach's view bears on traditional debates concerning divine foreknowledge and human freedom. As I hope to show, (...)
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  13. Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer (2011). The Truth About Freedom: A Reply to Merricks. Philosophical Review 120 (1):97 - 115.
    In his recent essay in the Philosophical Review, “Truth and Freedom,” Trenton Merricks contends (among other things) that the basic argument for the incompatibility of God's foreknowledge and human freedom is question-begging. He relies on a “truism” to the effect that truth depends on the world and not the other way around. The present essay argues that mere invocation of this truism does not establish that the basic argument for incompatibilism is question-begging. Further, it seeks to clarify important elements of (...)
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  14. Neal Tognazzini, Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer (2011). Engaging with Pike: God, Freedom, and Time. Philosophical Papers 38 (2):247-270.
  15. John Martin Fischer, Patrick Todd & Neal Tognazzini (2009). Nelson Pike,'Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action'(1965). Philosophical Papers 38 (2):247-270.
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  16. Patrick Todd & Neal A. Tognazzini (2008). A Problem for Guidance Control. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):685-692.
    Central to Fischer and Ravizza's theory of moral responsibility is the concept of guidance control, which involves two conditions: (1) moderate reasons-responsiveness, and (2) mechanism ownership. We raise a worry for Fischer and Ravizza's account of (1). If an agent acts contrary to reasons which he could not recognize, this should lead us to conclude that he is not morally responsible for his behaviour; but according to Fischer and Ravizza's account, he satisfies the conditions for guidance control and is therefore (...)
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