Temporal actualism and singular foreknowledge

Philosophical Perspectives 5:475-507 (1991)
Suppose we believe that God created the world. Then surely we want it to be the case that he intended, in some sense at least, to create THIS world. Moreover, most theists want to hold that God didn't just guess or hope that the world would take one course or another; rather, he KNEW precisely what was going to take place in the world he planned to create. In particular, of each person P, God knew that P was to exist. Call this the "standard" conception. Most theists find the standard conception appealing. Unfortunately, the view seems to conflict with the equally appealing idea — call it "temporal actualism" — that there are no "future" individuals beyond those that already exist in the present moment. For, on this view, for any historical person P, prior to creation, there was no such person as P and hence nothing about P for God to know. Hence, in particular, God couldn't have known that P was to exist. This is of course not a new problem. But past solutions to it are highly problematic. In this paper, after canvassing previous approaches, I will propose a solution that seems to preserve both temporal actualism and a suitably robust form of the standard conception while avoiding the pitfalls of the past.
Keywords actualism  presentism  divine foreknowledge  haecceitism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/2214106
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,248
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Nature of Necessity.Brian Leftow - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (3):359-383.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Singular Propositions and Modal Logic.Christopher Menzel - 1993 - Philosophical Topics 21 (2):113-148.
Timeless Troubles.John J. Fitzgerald - 2008 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:203-215.
Spinoza's Temporal Argument for Actualism.Harold Zellner - 1988 - Philosophy Research Archives 14:303-309.
Time and Foreknowledge: A Critique of Zagzebski.L. Nathan Oaklander - 1995 - Religious Studies 31 (1):101 - 103.
Foreknowledge and Human Freedom in Augustine.Vance G. Morgan - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:223-242.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
212 ( #19,335 of 2,193,089 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #95,811 of 2,193,089 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature