David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:221-235 (2001)
Aquinas teaches that human acts are caused by God. Assuming that such causation entails theological determinism, philosophers with libertarian intuitions tend either to read around Aquinas’s teaching on the relation of divine causality and human action, or to reject that teaching altogether. Unfortunately, the arguments most often used by Aquinas and his contemporary defenders to show that his teaching is compatible with human freedom fail to address thelibertarian’s main concerns. In part one of this essay, I consider these arguments and show why they fail. In part two, I attempt to address the libertarian’s concerns more directly by arguing that Aquinas should not be thought of as a theological determinist. I will show that theological determinism presupposes acertain logic or explanatory scheme, which Aquinas’s understanding of God, and in particular of divine simplicity, will not accommodate. Hence, the kinds ofinferences needed to make theological determinism intelligible do not apply in Aquinas’s case
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