Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2023-24: Session 19

Theological Fatalism, Closure, and the Contingent a priori

Fabio Lampert (University of Vienna)


26 April 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão [C201.J] (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: I will present new reasons for being suspicious of what I think is the best argument for theological fatalism. I will argue that by considering divine knowledge of contingent a priori truths, divine foreknowledge is not required for an argument from divine omniscience against free will. Moreover, I show that this argument can be generalized in such a way that ordinary human knowledge of contingent a priori truths also leads to an argument against free will. But if there is something wrong with this argument, there would seem to be something wrong, too, with the main argument for theological fatalism. Though there is a range of possible responses, I suggest that what is amiss in all cases is a closure principle, according to which having no choice about a truth is closed under entailment (or strict implication).