PHIL 3600 -- Philosophy of Religion
Spring 2017
Prof. Chris Heathwood

University of Colorado Boulder

First Paper:

The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge and God's Eternality

50 points
(10% of your grade for the class)

due Thursday, February 23 in class

Philosophy Paper FAQ.  Read this first!  Though it is more applicable to our class' second paper, which will be a more open-ended one.  For this first paper, you will be writing on a pre-assigned topic.  I will be providing you with both the topic and the structure for the paper.

There are no specific word-limits for this paper.  Just do what is asked below and don't feel the need to add in anything extra.

The topic is the Edwardsian version of the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge, the Boethian reply to it, and Plantinga's rejoinder to this reply.  The thesis of your paper will take the following form:

Plantinga's rejoinder to the Boethian reply to the Edwardsian version of the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge {is / is not} a successful rejoinder to the Boethian reply.

Thus, there are two possible theses you can defend.  Defend whichever one you think is right.

Just to be sure, what I am here calling 'the Edwardsian version of the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge' is what the slide called 'Our Official Formulation of the DFF'.  These are the same argument.  Also, as for Plantinga's rejoinder, I am not talking about his view that the thesis that God is both atemporal and such that everything is present for him is incoherent.  I am talking about what he says immediately after that, in the second full paragraph on p. 239. 

Your paper should do these things:

  1. Have an introductory paragraph in which you tell the reader what your topic is and what your thesis is.
  2. Provide the necessary background.  To do this:
    1. Explain the Edwardsian version of the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge.  Do it as much as you can in your own words.  Call special attention to the part of the argument (and the principle behind it) that the Boethian reply will reject.
    2. Explain the Boethian reply to the Edwardsian argument.  Be sure to identify and explain the view of Boethius that is supposed to cast doubt on the Edwardsian argument, and clearly explain just what part of the Edwardsian argument this view is meant to undermine, and how it is supposed to do this.
    3. Explain Plantinga's rejoinder to the Boethian reply.  In doing so, identify which principle behind the Edwardsian argument Plantinga would revise, explain how he would revise it, and explain just how doing so enables Plantinga to reformulate the Edwardsian argument in a way that is not undermined by Boethius' view.
  3. Defend your thesis. 

Again, be sure to check and follow the guidelines on the Philosophy Paper FAQ