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Summary The central issue in the free will debate is whether freedom is compatible with causal determinism. Closely parallel issues are raised by considering God's foreknowledge. God is usually held to be omniscient, and His omniscience extends to knowing how agents will act in future. The problem of freedom and foreknowledge is the problem of reconciling our freedom to act with the claim that God knows how we will act prior to our acting. If God knows how I will act before I will, it appears that I must act in the way God predicts and therefore lack the freedom to do otherwise.
Key works The problem of freedom and foreknowledge was and remains central to the philosophy of religion, beginning in the 6th century with Boethius 1962, who argued that God was outside of time and therefore it is false that God's knowledge of how I will act precedes my acting.Ockham 1983 distinguished between hard and soft facts, where hard facts alone are entirely about the past. Since God's foreknowledge consists of soft facts which is supposed to undermine its having a kind of necessity that threatens free will. The Molinist solution - Molina 1988 - turns on the claim that foreknowledge is "middle knowledge", consisting of a set of counterfactuals concerning how every free being would act in particular circumstances.
Introductions Zagzebski 1997
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  1. An Alternative Free Will Defence.Robert Ackermann - 1982 - Religious Studies 18 (3):365 - 372.
    Many philosophers have written in the past as though it were nearly obvious to rational reflection that the existence of evil in this world is incompatible with the presumed properties of the Christian God, and they have assumed a proof of incompatibility to be easy to construct. An informal underpinning for this line of thought is easy to develop. Surely God in his benevolence finds evil to be evil, and hence has both the desire and the means, provided by his (...)
  2. The Problem of God's Foreknowledge and Free Will in Boethius and William Ockham.Marilyn Mccord Adams - 1967 - Dissertation, Cornell University
  3. Mittleres Wissen und das Problem des Übels [Middle knowledge and the problem of evil].Robert Merrihew Adams & Vincent C. Müller - 1998 - In Christian Jäger (ed.), Analytische Religionsphilosophie. Ferdinand Schöningh. pp. 253-272.
    Wenn Präsident Kennedy nicht erschossen worden wäre, hätte er dann Nordvietnam bombardiert? Das weiß Gott allein. Oder doch nicht? Weiß wenigstens Er, was Kennedy getan hätte? ... Die Jesuiten behaupteten unter anderem, daß viele menschliche Handlungen in dem Sinne frei seien, daß die Ausführenden nicht logisch oder kausal gezwungen seien, sie auszuführen. („Frei“ wird im vorliegenden Aufsatz stets in diesem Sinne verwendet werden.) Wie behält Gott dann die Kontrolle über die menschliche Geschichte? Nicht dadurch, daß Er menschliche Handlungen kausal determiniert, (...)
  4. Predestination and Free Will!Warwick Aiken - 1973 - [Charlston, S.C..
  5. Plantinga's Free Will Defence: Critical Note.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Some atheistic philosophers have argued that God could have created a world with free moral agents and yet absent of moral evil. Using possible world semantics, Alvin Plantinga sought to defuse this logical form of the problem of evil. In this critical note, Leslie Allan examines the adequacy of Plantinga's argument that the existence of God is logically compatible with the existence of moral evil. The veracity of Plantinga's argument turns on whether his essential use of counterfactual conditionals preserves the (...)
  6. Ideal Worlds and the Transworld Untrustworthy.Michael J. Almeida - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (1):113-123.
    The celebrated free-will defence was designed to show that the ideal-world thesis presents no challenge to theism. The ideal-world thesis states that, in any world in which God exists, He can actualize a world containing moral good and no moral evil. I consider an intriguing two-stage argument that Michael Bergmann advances for the free-will defence, and show that the argument provides atheologians with no reason to abandon the ideal-world thesis. I show next that the existence of worlds in which every (...)
  7. Free Will and the Christian Faith.W. S. Anglin - 1990 - Oxford University Press.
    Libertarians such as J.R. Lucas have abandoned traditional Christian doctrines because they cannot reconcile them with the freedom of the will. Traditional Christian thinkers such as Augustine have repudiated libertarianism because they cannot reconcile it with the dogmas of the Faith. In Free Will and the Christian Faith, W.S. Anglin demonstrates that free will and traditional Christianity are ineed compatible. He examines, and solves, puzzles about the relationships between free will and omnipotence, omniscience, and God's goodness, using the idea of (...)
  8. Reply to O'Connor.Steven S. Aspenson - 1989 - Faith and Philosophy 6 (1):95-98.
    In this reply I consider David O’Connor’s article “A Variation on the Free Will Defense” in which he tries to show that natural evil is necessary for free will by showing that it is required for the possibility of “morally creditable free choice.” I argue that O’Connor’s reply to an anticipated objection was unsuccessful in showing that humans can be moral without the property he calls “p.” that an altered understanding of what “morally creditable free choice” is would not help. (...)
  9. God's Foreknowledge and Free Will. Augustine - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy of Religion: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
  10. Divine Foreknowledge – so What?Deane-Peter Baker - 2005 - Heythrop Journal 46 (1):60–65.
  11. God, Foreknowledge and Responsibility.A. Zvie Bar-On - 1992 - NTU Philosophical Review 15:163-180.
  12. Process Theism Versus Free-Will Theism.David Basinger - 1991 - Process Studies 20 (4):204-220.
  13. Divine Omniscience and the Best of All Possible Worlds.David Basinger - 1982 - Journal of Value Inquiry 16 (2):143-148.
  14. Divine Determinateness and the Free Will Defense.David Basinger & Randall Basinger - 1982 - Philosophy Research Archives 8:531-534.
    Proponents of The Free Will Defense frequently argue that it is necessary for God to create self-directing beings who possess the capacity for producing evil because, in the words of F.R. Tennant, “moral goodness must be the result of a self-directing developmental process.” But if this is true, David Paulsen has recently argued, then the proponent of the Free Will Defense cannot claim that God has an eternally determinate nature. For if God has an eternally determinatenature and moral goodness must (...)
  15. A Rejoinder to O'Connor.Lawrence C. Becker - 1975 - Mind 84 (333):95.
    Continuation of the discussion of the author's paper "Foreknowledge and Predestination." Mind 81 (1972): 138-41.
  16. Foreknowledge and Predestination.Lawrence C. Becker - 1972 - Mind 81 (321):138-141.
  17. Leibniz on Determinism and Divine Foreknowledge.Endre Begby - 2005 - Studia Leibnitiana 37 (1):83-98.
    Nach Michael J. Murrays Aufsatz „Leibniz on Divine Foreknowledge of Future Contingents and Human Freedom" ist Leibniz nicht als Kompatibilist zu verstehen. Die göttliche Vorhersehung beruhe nicht darauf, dass menschliche Handlungen mechanischen Gesetzen von Ursache und Wirkung (causa efficiens) gehorchen, sondern auf den für diese Handlungen spezifischen geistigen Gesetzen (causa finalis, moralische Gesetze, etc.). In diesem Aufsatz argumentiere ich, dass Murray die Tragweite des Grundsatzes vom hinreichenden Grund in Leibniz' Philosophie nicht richtig versteht. Des Weiteren zeige ich, dass die Unterscheidung (...)
  18. Free Will and Foreknowledge: A Fresh Approach to a Classic Problem.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 1988 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (153):486-490.
  19. Might-Counterfactuals, Transworld Untrustworthiness and Plantinga's Free Will Defence.Michael Bergmann - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):336-351.
    Plantinga’s Free Will Defense (FWD) employs the following proposition as a premise:◊TD. Possibly, every essence is transworld depraved.I argue that he fails to establish his intended conclusion because the denial of ◊TD is epistemically possible. I then consider an improved version of the FWD which relies on◊TU. Possibly, every essence is transworld untrustworthy.(The notion of transworld untrustworthiness is the might-counterfactual counterpart to Plantinga’s would-counterfactual notion of transworld depravity.) I argue that the denial of ◊TU is also epistemically possible and, therefore, (...)
  20. A Simpler Free Will Defence.C’Zar Bernstein & Nathaniel Helms - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (3):197-203.
    Otte :165–177, 2009) and Pruss :400–415, 2012) have produced counterexamples to Plantinga’s famous free will defence against the logical version of the problem of evil. The target of this criticism is the possibility of universal transworld depravity, which is crucial to Plantinga’s defence. In this paper, we argue that there is a simpler and more plausible free will defence that does not require the possibility of universal transworld depravity or the truth of counterfactuals of creaturely freedom. We assume only that (...)
  21. I. Foreknowledge.Bernard Berofsky - 2015 - In Determinism. Princeton University Press. pp. 9-27.
  22. Free Will and Theodicy in Augustine: An Exposition and Critique.Fred Berthold - 1981 - Religious Studies 17 (4):525.
    Not only for Augustine, but for virtually all Christian theologians, the doctrine of free will is of critical importance for theodicy. The reason for this is easy to state: these theologians trace either all or much evil to human sin, which in turn is understood as an abuse of the free will with which human beings were endowed by their Creator. Augustine sums it very well: ‘… all that we call evil is either sin or punishment for sin’. The argument (...)
  23. Free Will and Determinism.Abdur Rashid Bhat - 2006 - Journal of Islamic Philosophy 2 (1):7-24.
  24. Foreknowledge and Free Will.Alex Blum - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (1):55-57.
    We contend that since what is true cannot be false, foreknowledge is transparently incompatible with free will. We argue that what is crucial to the conflict is the role of truth in foreknowledge and that the identity of the one who foreknows is irrelevant.
  25. The Irrelevance of the Free Will Defence.Steven E. Boër - 1978 - Analysis 38 (2):110 - 112.
  26. Human and Divine Freedom in the Theology of Bernard of Clairvaux: A Systematic Analysis.Nico Den Bok - 1993 - Bijdragen 54 (3):271-295.
  27. Non-Moral Evil and the Free Will Defense.Kenneth Boyce - 2011 - Faith and Philosophy 28 (4):371-384.
    Paradigmatic examples of logical arguments from evil are attempts to establish that the following claims are inconsistent with one another: (1) God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good. (2) There is evil in the world. Alvin Plantinga’s free will defense resists such arguments by providing a positive case that (1) and (2) are consistent. A weakness in Plantinga’s free will defense, however, is that it does not show that theism is consistent with the proposition that there are non-moral evils in (...)
  28. The Open Future, Free Will and Divine Assurance: Responding to Three Common Objections to the Open View.Boyd Gregory - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (3):207--222.
    In this essay I respond to three of the most forceful objections to the open view of the future. It is argued that a) open view advocates must deny bivalence; b) the open view offers no theodicy advantages over classical theism; and c) the open view can’t assure believers that God can work all things to the better. I argue that the first objection is premised on an inadequate assessment of future tensed propositions, the second is rooted in an inadequate (...)
  29. The Open Future, Free Will and Divine Assurance.Boyd Gregory - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (3):207-222.
    In this essay I respond to three of the most forceful objections to the open view of the future. It is argued that a) open view advocates must deny bivalence; b) the open view offers no theodicy advantages over classical theism; and c) the open view can’t assure believers that God can work all things to the better. I argue that the first objection is premised on an inadequate assessment of future tensed propositions, the second is rooted in an inadequate (...)
  30. The Philosophical Implications of Foreknowledge.C. D. Broad - 1937 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 16 (1):177 - 209.
  31. Divine Omniscience, Immutability, Aseity and Human Free Will.Robert F. Brown - 1991 - Religious Studies 27 (3):285-295.
  32. On an Attempt to Demonstrate the Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom.Anthony Brueckner - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (1):132-134.
    Ted A. Warfield seeks to establish the compatibility in question by getting the incompatibilist to reject an unpersuasive argument from fatalism to the conclusion that a given action is not freely done. He maintains that such a rejection requires the the incompatibilist to hold that there is a possible world in which the fatalist’s premise is true and in which the conclusion is false (and so the given action is freely done). If a foreknowing God exists in that world, then (...)
  33. How Molinists Can Have Their Cake and Eat It Too.Godehard Brüntrup & Ruben Schneider - 2011 - In Christian Kanzian Kanzian, Winfried Löffler & Josef Quitterer (eds.), The Ways Things Are: Studies in Ontology. ontos. pp. 221-240.
    Paper on divine foreknowledge and human freedom.
  34. The Beautiful Mind: A Reaffirmation and Reconstruction of the Classical Reformed Doctrines of the Divine Omniscience, Prescience, and Human Freedom.Travis J. Campbell - 2004 - Dissertation, Westminster Theological Seminary
    This dissertation explores the various conceptions of divine omniscience and their relationship to human freedom. Chapters 1--3 explore the various biblical, theological, and philosophical arguments offered by so-called open theists to show that the biblical God lacks an exhaustive foreknowledge of future contingencies. Each argument analyzed in these chapters is shown to be fallacious. Chapters 4--5 offer biblical, theological, and philosophical arguments suggesting that the God of biblical theism does, in fact, possess an exhaustive knowledge of the future. In chapter (...)
  35. Book Review:God, Free Will, and Morality. Robert J. Richman. [REVIEW]Hugh S. Chandler - 1985 - Ethics 95 (3):743-.
  36. On the Free Choice of the Will, On Grace and Free Choice, and Other Writings. [REVIEW]Ian Clausen - 2011 - Augustinian Studies 42 (1):123-125.
  37. Could God Know What I Would Freely Do?Richard H. Corrigan - forthcoming - Philosophical Frontiers: Essays and Emerging Thoughts.
  38. In Defence of Free Will Theodicy.Michael J. Coughlan - 1987 - Religious Studies 23 (4):543 - 554.
  39. Compatibilism and the Sinlessness of the Redeemed in Heaven.Steven B. Cowan - 2011 - Faith and Philosophy 28 (4):416-431.
    In a recent issue of Faith and Philosophy, Timothy Pawl and Kevin Timpe seek to respond to the so-called “Problem of Heavenly Freedom,” the problem ofexplaining how the redeemed in heaven can be free yet incapable of sinning. In the course of offering their solution, they argue that compatibilism is inadequateas a solution because it (1) undermines the free will defense against the logical problem of evil, and (2) exacerbates the problem of evil by making God the “author of sin.” (...)
  40. Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom.William Lane Craig - 1990 - London: Brill.
  41. Divine Foreknowledge and Newcomb's Paradox.William Lane Craig - 1987 - Philosophia 17 (3):331-350.
    Newcomb's Paradox thus serves as an illustrative vindication of the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom. A proper understanding of the counterfactual conditionals involved enables us to see that the pastness of God's knowledge serves neither to make God's beliefs counterfactually closed nor to rob us of genuine freedom. It is evident that our decisions determine God's past beliefs about those decisions and do so without invoking an objectionable backward causation. It is also clear that in the context of (...)
  42. Temporal Necessity; Hard Facts/Soft Facts.William Lane Craig - 1986 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 20 (2/3):65 - 91.
    In conclusion, then, the notion of temporal necessity is certainly queer and perhaps a misnomer. It really has little to do with temporality per se and everything to do with counterfactual openness or closedness. We have seen that the future is as unalterable as the past, but that this purely logical truth is not antithetical to freedom or contingency. Moreover, we have found certain past facts are counterfactually open in that were future events or actualities to be other than they (...)
  43. Augustine on Foreknowledge and Free Will.William Lane Craig - 1984 - Augustinian Studies 15:41-63.
  44. Divine and Human Knowledge in the Plotiniana Arabica».Crjstina D'’Ancona - 1997 - In John J. Cleary (ed.), The Perennial Tradition of Neoplatonism. Leuven University Press.
  45. Timelessness, Foreknowledge, and Free Will.Dennis Danielson - 1977 - Mind 86 (343):430-432.
  46. Boethius and Others on Divine Foreknowledge.Martin Davies - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (4):313.
  47. A Defence of the Free Will Defence.Stephen T. Davis - 1972 - Religious Studies 8 (4):335 - 343.
  48. Free Will and Predestination in Iislamic Thought: Theoretical Compromises in the Works of Avicenna, Ghazali and Ibn Arabi.Maria De Cillis - 2014 - Routledge.
  49. A Note on Eternity.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - forthcoming - Topoi:1-8.
    The timeless solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom has many advantages. Still, the relationship between a timeless God and temporal beings is problematic in a number of ways. In this paper, we focus on the specific problems the timeless view has to deal with when certain assumptions on the metaphysics of time are taken on board. It is shown that on static conception of time God’s omniscience is easily accounted for, but human freedom is threatened, while (...)
  50. The Costs of Ockhamism.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (4):489-507.
    This paper has a twofold aim. The first is to offer a precise definition of soft fact. Without such definition it is impossible to assess the Ockhamist solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom in an accurate way. The second purpose is to identify the costs of such a solution, distinguishing them from some of the other costs usually ascribed to Ockhamism, which Ockhamism does not actually need to pay. In particular, it is argued that Ockhamism is (...)
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