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Reason, Metaphysics, and MindNew Essays on the Philosophy of Alvin Plantinga$
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Kelly James Clark and Michael Rea

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766864

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766864.001.0001

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The Providential Usefulness of “Simple Foreknowledge”

The Providential Usefulness of “Simple Foreknowledge”

(p.174) The Providential Usefulness of “Simple Foreknowledge”
Reason, Metaphysics, and Mind

Dean Zimmerman

Oxford University Press

There are two ways to combine the doctrine of complete divine foreknowledge with the philosophical thesis of libertarianism (i.e., that freedom and determinism are incompatible): Molinism (which requires the truth of what Plantinga has called “counterfactuals of freedom”) and simple foreknowledge (which does not). David Hunt has ably defended simple foreknowledge against its many critics; and he has claimed that God would have more providential control over the course of history if simple foreknowledge were true than if open theism were true (i.e., than if God did not know the outcomes of free choices until they happened). I develop a framework for describing different views about the “stages” in complete divine foreknowledge, and examine the providential advantages Hunt describes.

Keywords:   foreknowledge, libertarianism, free will, providence, David Hunt

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