The bulk of the essay “Truth and Freedom” (Philosophical Review 118 : 29–57) opposes fatalism, which is the claim that if there is a true proposition to the effect that an action A will occur, then A will not be free. But that essay also offers a new way to reconcile divine foreknowledge and human freedom. In “The Truth about Freedom: A Reply to Merricks” (Philosophical Review 120 : 97–115), John Martin Fischer and Patrick Todd raise a number of objections to “Truth and Freedom,” most of which are objections to its treatment of foreknowledge. Their central complaint seems to be that that treatment is, despite its claims to the contrary, merely a form of Ockhamism—and a poorly developed form of Ockhamism at that. This essay replies to Fischer and Todd's specific objections. But, more importantly, it further clarifies the fundamental differences between the way it reconciles divine foreknowledge and human freedom and the Ockhamist's way. In particular, this essay further demonstrates that when it comes to divine foreknowledge's compatibility with human freedom, the fundamental question is not the Ockhamist's question of whether God's beliefs about what an agent will do in the future are “hard facts.” Rather, the fundamental question is whether God's beliefs about what an agent will do in the future depend on what that agent will do in the future.
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Trenton Merricks; Foreknowledge and Freedom. The Philosophical Review 1 October 2011; 120 (4): 567–586. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-1334487
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