Revealing the counterfactuals: Molinism, stubbornness, and deception

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Abstract

This paper argues that the possibility of revealing counterfactuals of creaturely freedom to agents in possible worlds forming part of God’s natural knowledge poses a new problem for Molinism. This problem best comes to light when considering the phenomenon of stubbornness, i.e., the conscious refusal of fulfilling the providential plan revealed to and intended for us by another agent. The reason why this problem has gone unnoticed is that the usual instances of prophecy dealt with by Molinists (especially the story of Peter’s denial) are highly specific cases. These cases are special for three reasons: (1) because the content of the revelations does not include the relevant counterfactuals of creaturely freedom, (2) because the specific revelation plays no causal role in the immediate circumstances of the action that the agent is performing, and (3) because the agent is not intent on consciously refusing the providential plan intended by the relevant counterfactual. I explore possible worlds where one or more of these three conditions do not obtain and demonstrate the consequences these possible worlds have for Molinists.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal for Philosophy of Religion
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2021

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