As promised at the end of my last article, this article explores a persistent problem which has plagued philosophers of metaphysics, epistemology, and religion over the millennia: is it possible for an omniscient being to coexist with free will? Omniscient beings, after all, have infallible divine foreknowledge of all future events. Thus, it is literally impossible for them to be wrong about what (for instance) you will do in the moment following this one—which seems to indicate that you have no choice in the matter.
There are mountains of highly technical literature on this and related questions—with infinitely debatable minutiae (and this question’s own camps of more esoteric compatibilists and incompatibilists). But I will merely be skimming the surface to provide a brief tour of this topic. In the interest of that brevity, I would like to note that any use of the words ‘compatibilism’ and ‘incompatibilism’ below refer strictly to the sense in which they were used last week, concerning determinism and free will (rather than concerning infallible foreknowledge and free will).
My reason for providing this tour is in the interest of further clarifying the perceptual model of free will (employed by some compatibilists) which was introduced in the prior post, and to come at my notion of the ‘inescapable practical illusion of free will’ from another angle.
The Foreseeable Future: