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Unformatted text preview: SIDEBAR ON FREE WILL VS. DETERMINISM Many have thought that divine foreknowledge is inconsistent with free will. In the case of the block view of time, it is the determinate future that is supposed to render free will otiose. But this position depends upon a certain interpretation of ‘free will’. In this, I will try to show that to be mistaken. It is often said that to have free will is to be able to do otherwise. That is, though I may in fact perform a particular act, my freedom lies in my having the power to have performed a different act. This can be described using a counterfactual, as in, “Even though I did X, if I had wanted to, I could have done Y.” Now, let us examine how this might be affected by a determinate future. Suppose it is true that tomorrow I do X. Could I do Y? No, if that means “Do I do Y tomorrow?” But consider the sentence, “If I wanted to, I could do Y tomorrow.” This does seem true. For why will I do X tomorrow? Because I want to. And if I wanted (willed) to do Y, then I would, but I don’t, and won’t,tomorrow?...
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- Spring '11
- Metaphysics, Causality, initial state, determinate future