Divine Omniscience and Human Free Will: A Logical and Metaphysical Analysis

Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag (2019)
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Abstract

This book deals with an old conundrum: if God knows what we will choose tomorrow, how can we be free to choose otherwise? If all our choices are already written, is our freedom simply an illusion? This book provides a precise analysis of this dilemma using the tools of modern ontology and the logic of time. With a focus on three intertwined concepts - God's nature, the formal structure of time, and the metaphysics of time, including the relationship between temporal entities and a timeless God - the chapters analyse various solutions to the problem of foreknowledge and freedom, revealing the advantages and drawbacks of each. Building on this analysis, the authors advance constructive solutions, showing under what conditions an entity can be omniscient in the presence of free agents, and whether an eternal entity can know the tensed futures of the world. The metaphysics of time, its topology and the semantics of future tensed sentences are shown to be invaluable topics in dealing with this issue. Combining investigations into the metaphysics of time with the discipline of temporal Logic this monograph brings about important advancements in the philosophical understanding of an ancient and fascinating problem. The answer, if any, is hidden in the folds of time, in the elusive nature of this feature of reality and in the infinite branching of our lives.

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Chapters

The Timeless Solution

In this last chapter, we consider the timeless solutions to the dilemma of foreknowledge. In particular, in the first part, we present the Timeless Eternalist view, in which a timeless God eternally sees a world as it is described by a B-theory of time. In the second part, we develop an original acc... see more

Molinism

This chapter analyses Molinism. We provide an overview of the fundamental concepts of this view, in particular, of conditionals of freedom. Then, we present a logical framework for Molinism, which is an enriched form of the Ockhamist framework. Molinism, however, has to pay some theoretical costs, w... see more

God Knows the True Future: Ockhamism

This chapter is devoted to Ockhamism. We present the main ingredients of this theory: the concepts of true future and soft fact. Then, we provide a semantics that characterizes the Ockhamist view. In the critical part, we scrutinize the notion of soft fact and we advance an argument against the comp... see more

Extreme Measures

In this chapter, we consider two families of solutions to the dilemma of foreknowledge: the Open Theism and the Theological Determinism. They can be seen as extreme solutions since they radically reinterpret the notions occurring in the problem. Specifically, open theists redefine the concept of omn... see more

Metaphysics and Logic of Time

This chapter is a presentation of the metaphysics and logic of time. We analyse the metaphysics of time according to three dimensions: the ontology of time , the dynamics of time and the topology of time . In the second part, we present some semantic frameworks of temporal logic, emphasizing the var... see more

The Battle for Free Will

The aim of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the dilemma of foreknowledge and human freedom. We present first the logical version of the problem—which dates back to Aristotle’s De Interpretatione—and then the theological version—which is the main theme of this book. We cast some light on th... see more

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Author Profiles

Ciro De Florio
Università Cattolica di Milano

Citations of this work

Divine Simplicity and Modal Collapse: A Persistent Problem.Ryan Mullins & Shannon Byrd - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1):21-52.
Fragmenting Modal Logic.Samuele Iaquinto, Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Foreknowledge and Free Will.Linda Zagzebski - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:online.

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References found in this work

Is There a Problem About Substitutional Quantification?Saul A. Kripke - 1976 - In Gareth Evans & John Henry McDowell (eds.), Truth and meaning: essays in semantics. Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press. pp. 324-419.

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