Ability, Foreknowledge, and Explanatory Dependence

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):658-671 (2016)
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Many philosophers maintain that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with comprehensive divine foreknowledge but incompatible with the truth of causal determinism. But the Fixity of the Past principle underlying the rejection of compatibilism about the ability to do otherwise and determinism appears to generate an argument also for the incompatibility of the ability to do otherwise and divine foreknowledge. By developing an account of ability that appeals to the notion of explanatory dependence, we can replace the Fixity of the Past with a principle that does not generate this difficulty. I develop such an account and defend it from objections. I also explore some of the account's implications, including whether the account is consistent with presentism.
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