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The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge by Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge


The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge by Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

This original analysis examines the three leading traditional solutions to the dilemma of divine foreknowledge and human free will-those arising from Boethius, from Ockham, and from Molina. Though all three solutions are rejected in their best-known forms, three new solutions are proposed, and Zagzebski concludes that divine foreknowledge is compatible with human freedom. The discussion includes the relation between the foreknowledge dilemma and problems about the nature of time and the causal relation; the logic of counterfactual conditionals; and the differences between divine and human knowing states. An appendix introduces a new foreknowledge dilemma that purports to show that omniscient foreknowledge conflicts with deep intuitions about temporal asymmetry, quite apart from considerations of free will. Zagzebski shows that only a narrow range of solutions can handle this new dilemma. A compelling contribution to the field, The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge will appeal to students and scholars of theistic philosophy and the philosophy of religion.


This work is a welcome addition. It is one of the two or three best book-length treatments of the subject of the past two decades and is especially useful as an introduction to the recent literature ... Zagzebski's interpretations and criticisms of various theories are sometimes controversial, but always stimulating ... it is an interesting work, informative and thought-provoking, and is highly recommended to those who want to familiarize themselves with the latest work on this perennially fascinating topic. * MIND * As will be apparent, the sensitive eliciting and application of various intuitions plays an important role in Zagzebski's book. I believe this is a real strength of the work....This is a remarkably inventive book, and in addition a genuine pleasure to read. It should be enjoyed by all philosophers who are even mildly interested in the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge.:Philosophy of Religion I know of no other book that so clearly sets forth the full range of traditional and contemporary perspectives on the foreknowledge dilemma. It will therefore prove to be of great value to the philosophical community. -Review of Metaphysics Zagzebski is a rigorous, careful thinker. She has produced a truly stimulating book. It deserves close attention and will amply repay it. -Ethics A reliable, often insightful, introduction to these debates. -Times Literary Supplement A competent, technically detailed, and unpolemical exposition of contemporary currents of thought on this perenially engaging topic....Rewards the reader with frequent bursts of incisive commentary. -The Thomist The most balanced, thorough, and compelling treatment of the issues to date....This is an important study and will be a standard reference for years to come. -Choice Informed, clear, and highly illuminating discussion. -Philosophical Review

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

25th April 1996


Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

More books by Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski
Author 'Like for Like'


Oxford University Press Inc


224 pages


Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology




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