June 3, 2020

The Council

A modern day council!

PSR, FreeWill, and Foreknowledge

There was a defense of free will written over on InspringPhilosophy’s blog. I won’t comment on every part but merely a couple of things.

The issue of quantum mechanics doesn’t interest me much because of my commitment to the non-realist side in regard to the philosophy of science. These arguments just fall prey to issues of underdetermination.


The article comments on the foreknowledge argument for determinism:

It argues that God’s knowledge of choices is what determines choices and therefore free will doesn’t exist. To be honest, out of all the arguments for determinism this is perhaps the weakest as it ignores the fact that omniscience is not the same as meticulous providence (the view that God directly causes all events). Rather God would be outside of time and actualize all things at once so then the free choices of creates is what determines Gods knowledge not the other way around. 

Furthermore, having knowledge of something doesn’t mean your knowledge determined it rather it was the thing that you already know about that determined your knowledge. In other words, the free will of creates is what determines God’s knowledge of those choices. Since if there are no choices to be made, then God would not know them since those choices do not exist. Free will has to exist for God to know about it otherwise he wouldn’t have the knowledge of free choices in the first place. This idea does not in any way provide evidence for determinism so not much more can be said on it. 

This just fundamentally misunderstands the argument from foreknowledge. God’s knowledge doesn’t determine states of affairs, but rather,  the argument is if God’s knowledge of affairs are unalterable then those events are unalterable. 

The other issue is that if God’s knowledge is derivative of something other than himself(e.g. free choices), then how is God a se? God would be dependent upon some aspect of the world for him to be what he is. This also leads to the grounding problem: What makes a free choice a truth-maker when the decision hadn’t occurred?  

Another topic is that of Libertarian Freedom being intuitive. This becomes a topic of where intuition plays a role in one’s epistemology. The answer to that bodes different per the person asked. I don’t think because a position is intuitive that anyone is obligated to prove one’s intuition false. Intuitions have suffered from being both fallible and different and subjective given different times, places, and cultures:


The other problem is that this is written from the metaphysical standpoint that everything is metal projection of God. 



The issue of the PSR is dealt and it seemed that Kyle Alander didn’t have an answer to Jacob Brunton on the issue of whether any sufficient causal explanation exists for our choices. I don’t think a distinction between freewill and meta-freewill solves the issue in those regards. 

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