Future Truth, Foreknowledge, Prophecy and Glossolalia: Some Puzzles Concerning Future Contingents in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

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It is common sense that we can influence the future but not the past. Accordingly, we make plans for tomorrow rather than for yesterday. While no one has a choice over what they have already done, we hold ourselves responsible for our future actions on the premise that we can choose otherwise. Contrary to common sense, philosophers and theologians describe arguments that we cannot influence the future any more than the past such that planning, responsibility and freedom of choice turn out to be illusory. In this thesis, I consider some so-called “fatalist” arguments as well as four puzzles that they give rise to in Ancient and medieval philosophy. The thesis begins with a puzzle concerning the truth of statements about the future. I defend a new interpretation of Aristotle’s famous “Sea-Battle argument” that sheds light on his much-debated response to the argument. In the second chapter, I look into Peter Auriol’s solution to the puzzle of foreknowledge and maintain that Auriol’s views are more coherent but, also, more controversial than scholars typically think. The third chapter examines the puzzle of prophecy in William of Ockham. I argue that Ockham’s two solutions are more plausible and more closely related than has been thought so far. The thesis ends with an inquiry into the lesser-known puzzle of glossolalia. After explaining Thomas Buckingham’s counterintuitive views on meaning and divine revelation, I show that contemporary theories of meaning favor Buckingham’s line of reasoning.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Begeleider(s)/adviseur
  • Nawar, Tamer, Supervisor
  • Maier, Emar, Supervisor
Datum van toekenning30-mei-2024
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
Uitgever
DOI's
StatusPublished - 2024

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