Skip to main content Accessibility help

Time, foreknowledge, and alternative possibilities



In this article we respond to arguments from William Hasker and David Kyle Johnson that free will is incompatible with both divine foreknowledge and eternalism (what we refer to as isotemporalism). In particular, we sketch an Anselmian account of time and freedom, briefly defend the view against Hasker's critique, and then respond in more depth to Johnson's claim that Anselmian freedom is incompatible with free will because it entails that our actions are ‘ontologically necessary’. In defending Anselmian freedom we argue that our ordinary intuitions do not support Johnson's case and that Anselmian freedom is compatible with deliberation.



Hide All
Green, J. (2007) ‘Work for a new theory of modality’, dissertation, University of Notre Dame.
Hasker, W. (2002) ‘The absence of a timeless God’, in Ganssle, G. & Woodruff, D. (eds) God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature (Oxford: University Press, Oxford).
Hasker, W. (2009) review of Katherin A. Rogers’s Anselm on Freedom, Religious Studies, 45, 499504.
Johnson, D. K. (2009) ‘God, fatalism, and temporal ontology’, Religious Studies, 45, 435454.
Kane, R. (1996) The Significance of Free Will (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Lewis, D. (1996) ‘Elusive knowledge’, The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 74, 549567. Reprinted in D. Lewis, Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
McTaggart, J. (1908) ‘The unreality of time’, Mind, 17, 457474.
Merricks, T. (2006) ‘Good-bye growing block’, in Zimmerman, D. (ed.) Oxford Studies in Metaphysics (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Merricks, T. (2009) ‘Truth and freedom’, Philosophical Review, 118, 2957.
Rogers, K. (1996) ‘Omniscience, eternity, and freedom’, International Philosophical Quarterly, 36, 399412.
Rogers, K. (2008) Anselm on Freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Rogers, K. (2009) ‘Back to eternalism: a response to Leftow's “Anselmian presentism”’, Faith and Philosophy, 26, 320338.
Rogers, K. & Hasker, W. (2011) ‘Anselm and the classical idea of God: a debate’, in Jordan, J. J. (ed.) Philosophy of Religion: The Key Thinkers (New York: Continuum International Publishing Group).
van Inwagen, P. (1998) ‘Modal epistemology’, Philosophical Studies, 92, 6784. Reprinted in P. van Inwagen, Ontology, Identity, and Modality: Essays in Metaphysics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Time, foreknowledge, and alternative possibilities



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed