Molinism: Explaining our Freedom Away

Mind 131 (522):459-485 (2022)
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Molinists hold that there are contingently true counterfactuals about what agents would do if put in specific circumstances, that God knows these prior to creation, and that God uses this knowledge in choosing how to create. In this essay we critique Molinism, arguing that if these theses were true, agents would not be free. Consider Eve’s sinning upon being tempted by a serpent. We argue that if Molinism is true, then there is some set of facts that fully explains both Eve’s action and everything else Eve does that influences that action; and that if this is the case, Eve does not act freely. The first premise of this argument follows from the explanatory relations the Molinist is committed to, and the second premise follows from libertarian intuitions about free will.

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Author Profiles

Nevin Climenhaga
Australian Catholic University
Daniel Rubio
Toronto Metropolitan University

Citations of this work

Foreknowledge and Free Will.Linda Zagzebski - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:online.
Some Puzzles about Molinist Conditionals.Robert C. Koons - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):137-154.

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References found in this work

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Making Things Up.Karen Bennett - 2017 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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