Personal responsibility and middle knowledge: A challenge for the Molinist

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Personal responsibility and middle knowledge: A challenge for the Molinist

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dc.contributor.author Shieber, Joseph
dc.date.accessioned 2010-11-16T16:28:39Z
dc.date.available 2010-11-16T16:28:39Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Shieber, J. (2009) "Personal responsibility and middle knowledge: A challenge for the Molinist." International journal for philosophy of religion 66 (2): 61-70. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11153-008-9194-5
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10385/749
dc.description.abstract In this paper, I develop and discuss an argument intended to demonstrate that the Molinist notion of middle knowledge, and in particular the concept of counterfactuals of freedom, is incompatible with the notion of personal responsibility (for created creatures). In Section 1, I discuss the Molinist concepts of middle knowledge and counterfactuals of freedom. In Section 2, I develop an argument(henceforth, the Transfer of Negative Responsibility Argument, or TNRA) to the effect that, due to their construal of the concepts of middle knowledge and counterfactuals of freedom, Molinists are not entitled to the notion that individuals are personally responsible—- even for those actions that they freely perform. I then discuss the only two promising strategies for rejecting the argument in Sections 3 and 4. Finally, in Section 5, I contend that, although TNRA may be unsuccessful as an internal argument against the Molinist, either of the possible strategies for rejecting TNRA poses a difficulty for the Molinist. Both response strategies force the Molinist into adopting a popular compatibilist strategy for rejecting a common negative argument against compatibilism. Thus, to the extent that Molinism represents a libertarian-—i.e., incompatibilist—-account of human freedom, as Thomas Flint, in his Divine Providence: The Molinist Account(1999) suggests when he identifies libertarianism as one of the "twin bases of Molinism," TNRA poses, if not a dilemma, at the very least a serious challenge for the Molinist. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher International Journal for Philosophy of Religion en_US
dc.subject Molinism en_US
dc.subject free will en_US
dc.subject responsibility en_US
dc.subject foreknowledge en_US
dc.subject problem of evil en_US
dc.subject compatibilism en_US
dc.subject Molina en_US
dc.subject Plantinga en_US
dc.title Personal responsibility and middle knowledge: A challenge for the Molinist en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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