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Kevin Timpe
Calvin College
  1. Incompatibilism, Sin, and Free Will in Heaven.Kevin Timpe & Timothy Pawl - 2009 - Faith and Philosophy 26 (4):396-417.
    The traditional view of heaven holds that the redeemed in heaven both have free will and are no longer capable of sinning. A number of philosophers have argued that the traditional view is problematic. How can someone be free and yet incapable of sinning? If the redeemed are kept from sinning, their wills must be reined in. And if their wills are reined in, it doesn’t seem right to say that they are free. Following James Sennett, we call this objection (...)
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  2. Pride in Christian Philosophy and Theology.Kevin Timpe & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2017 - In J. Adam Carter Emma C. Gordon (ed.), The Moral Psychology of Pride. London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 211-234.
    Our focus in this chapter will be the role the pride has played, both historically and contemporarily, in Christian theology and philosophical theology. We begin by delineating a number of different types of pride, since some types are positive (e.g., when a parent tells a daughter “I’m proud of you for being brave”), and others are negative (e.g., “Pride goes before a fall”) or even vicious. We then explore the role that the negative emotion and vice play in the history (...)
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  3.  48
    Free Will in Philosophical Theology.Kevin Timpe - 2013 - London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    Natural theology's name can be misleading, for it sounds like what is being done is a kind of theology, not philosophy. But natural theology is better understood to be primarily philosophical rather than theological for it is, most generally, the ...
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  4. Heavenly Freedom: A Response to Cowan.Timothy Pawl & Kevin Timpe - 2013 - Faith and Philosophy 30 (2):188-197.
  5. Free Will: Sourcehood and its Alternatives.Kevin Timpe - 2012 - London: Continuum.
  6. Tracing and the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility.Kevin Timpe - 2011 - Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2):5-28.
    In “The Trouble with Tracing,” Manuel Vargas argues that tracing-based approaches to moral responsibility are considerably more problematic than previously acknowledged. Vargas argues that many initially plausible tracing-based cases of moral responsibility turn out to be ones in which the epistemic condition for moral responsibility is not satisfied, thus suggesting that contrary to initial appearances the agent isn’t morally responsible for the action in question. In the present paper, I outline two different strategies for responding to Vargas’s trouble with tracing. (...)
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  7. Envy and Its Discontents.Timothy Perrine & Kevin Timpe - 2014 - In Kevin Timpe & Craig Boyd (eds.), Virtues and Their Vices. Oxford University Press. pp. 225-244.
    Envy is, roughly, the disposition to desire that another lose a perceived good so that one can, by comparison, feel better about one’s self. The divisiveness of envy follows not just from one’s willing against the good of the other, but also from the other vices that spring from it. It is for this second reason that envy is a capital vice. This chapter begins by arguing for a definition of envy similar to that given by Aquinas and then considers (...)
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  8.  13
    Building a Better Theory of Responsibility.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2635-2649.
    In Building Better Beings, Vargas develops and defends a naturalistic account of responsibility, whereby responsible agents must possess a feasibly situated capacity to detect and respond to moral considerations. As a preliminary step, he also offers a substantive account of how we might justify our practices of holding responsible—viz., by appeal to their efficacy in fostering a ‘valuable form of agency’ across the community at large, a form of agency that precisely encompasses sensitivity to moral considerations. But how do these (...)
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  9. Introduction to Virtues and Their Vices.Kevin Timpe & Craig Boyd - 2014 - In Kevin Timpe & Craig Boyd (eds.), Virtues and Their Vices. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-34.
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  10.  20
    Executive Function, Disability, and Agency.Kevin Timpe - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (4):767-796.
    This paper considers how a number of particular disabilities can impact agency primarily by affecting what psychologists refer to as ‘executive function.’ Some disabilities, I argue, could decrease agency even without fully undermining it. I see this argument as contributing to the growing literature that sees agency as coming in degrees. The first section gives a broad outline of a fairly standard approach to agency. The second section relates that framework to the existing literature, which suggests that agency comes in (...)
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  11.  19
    Quotational Higher-Order Thought Theory.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2705-2733.
    Due to their reliance on constitutive higher-order representing to generate the qualities of which the subject is consciously aware, I argue that the major existing higher-order representational theories of consciousness insulate us from our first-order sensory states. In fact on these views we are never properly conscious of our sensory states at all. In their place I offer a new higher-order theory of consciousness, with a view to making us suitably intimate with our sensory states in experience. This theory relies (...)
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  12.  13
    Doing Without Desert.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2625-2634.
    This paper is a critical discussion of Manuel Vargas’ Building Better Beings, focusing on the treatment of desert therein. By means of an analogy between morality and sport, I examine some seemingly peculiar implications of Vargas’ teleological and revisionary account of desert. I also consider some general questions of philosophical methodology provoked by revisionary approaches.
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  13. A Critique of Frankfurt-Libertarianism.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):189-202.
    Most libertarians think that some version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) is true. A number of libertarians, which I call ‘Frankfurt-libertarians,’ think that they need not embrace any version of PAP. In this paper, I examine the writings of one such Frankfurt-libertarian, Eleonore Stump, for her evaluation of the impact of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP. I show how, contrary to her own claims, Stump does need a PAP-like principle for her account of free action. I briefly argue (...)
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  14. Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns.Kevin Timpe & Daniel Speak (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford: Oxford University Press UK.
    This volume presents a systematic exploration of the relationship between religious beliefs and various accounts of free will in the contemporary domain. With a particular eye on how theological commitments might shape our views about the nature of free will, a team of leading experts in the field explores an important gap in the current debate. They focus their attention on this crucial point of intellectual intersection with surprising and illuminating results.
     
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  15.  65
    Moral Ecology, Disabilities, and Human Agency.Kevin Timpe - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (1):17-41.
    This paper argues that human agency is not simply a function of intrinsic properties about the agent, but that agency instead depends on the ecology that the agent is in. In particular, the paper examines ways that disabilities affect agency and shows how, by paying deliberate attention to structuring the social environment around people with disabilities, we can mitigate some of the agential impact of those disabilities. The paper then argues that the impact of one’s social environment on agency isn’t (...)
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  16. An Analogical Approach to Divine Freedom.Kevin Timpe - 2012 - Proceedings of the Irish Philosophical Society:88-99.
    Assuming an analogical account of religious predication, this paper utilizes recent work in the metaphysics of free will to build towards an account of divine freedom. I argue that what actions an agent is capable of freely performing depends on his or her moral character.
     
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  17.  51
    Freedom and the Incarnation.Timothy Pawl & Kevin Timpe - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):743-756.
    In this paper, we explore how free will should be understood within the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, particularly on the assumption of traditional Christology. We focus on two issues: reconciling Christ's free will with the claim that Christ's human will was subjected to the divine will in the Incarnation; and reconciling the claims that Christ was fully human and free with the belief that Christ, since God, could not sin.
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  18. Source Incompatibilism and its Alternatives.Kevin Timpe - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):143-155.
    In current debates about moral responsibility, it is common to differentiate two fundamentally different incompatibilist positions: Leeway Incompatibilism and Source Incompatibilism. The present paper argues that this is a bad dichotomy. Those forms of Leeway Incompatibilism that have no appeal to ‘origination’ or ‘ultimacy’ are problematic, which suggests that incompatibilists should prefer Source Incompatibilism. Two sub-classifications of Source Incompatibilism are then differentiated: Narrow Source Incompatibilism holds that alternative possibilities are outside the scope of what is required for moral responsibility, and (...)
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  19. God's Freedom, God's Character.Kevin Timpe - 2016 - In Kevin Timpe & Daniel Speak (eds.), Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns. Oxford University Press. pp. 277-293.
    My goal in this chapter is to consider the connection between an agent’s moral character and those actions that she is capable of freely performing. Most of these connections hold for all moral agents, but my particular focus will be on the specific case of divine agency. That is, I’m primarily interested in the connection between God’s moral character and His exercise of His free agency. As I will argue, even if an agent’s character determines her choices or actions, that (...)
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  20.  73
    Grace and Controlling What We Do Not Cause.Kevin Timpe - 2007 - Faith and Philosophy 24 (3):284-299.
    Eleonore Stump has recently articulated an account of grace which is neither deterministic nor Pelagian. Drawing on resources from Aquinas’s moral psychology, Stump’s account of grace affords the quiescence of the will a significant role in an individual’s coming to saving faith. In the present paper, I firstoutline Stump’s account and then raise a worry for that account. I conclude by suggesting a metaphysic that provides a way of resolving this worry. The resulting view allows one to maintain both (i) (...)
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  21. Introduction to Free Will and Theism.Kevin Timpe & Daniel Speak - 2016 - In Kevin Timpe & Daniel Speak (eds.), Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-26.
    Concerns both about the nature of free will and about the credibility of theistic belief and commitment have long preoccupied philosophers. This is just to make the obvious point that philosophical questions about whether we enjoy free will and about whether God exists are truly perennial. In addition, there can be no denying that the history of philosophical inquiry into these two questions has been dynamic and, at least to some degree, integrated. In a great many cases, classical answers to (...)
     
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  22. The Best Thing in Life is Free: The Compatibility of Divine Freedom and God's Essential Moral Perfection.Kevin Timpe - 2016 - In Hugh J. McCann (ed.), Free Will and Classical Theism: The Significance of Freedom in Perfect Being Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 133-151.
    A number of scholars have claimed that, on the assumption of incompati- bilism, there is a con ict between God's freedom and God's essential moral perfection. Jesse Couenhoven is one such example; Couenhoven, a com- patibilist, thinks that libertarian views of divine freedom are problematic given God's essential moral perfection. He writes, \libertarian accounts of God's freedom quickly run into a conceptual problem: their focus on con- tingent choices undermines their ability to celebrate divine freedom with regard to the essential (...)
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  23. Review of Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities: Essays on the Importance of Alternative Possibilities. [REVIEW]Kevin Timpe - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):138-141.
     
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  24.  85
    Oliver D. Crisp and Michael C. Rea Analytic Theology: New Essays in the Philosophy of Theology. . Pp. 336. £50.00, $99.00 . ISBN 978 0 19 920356 7, 0199203563. [REVIEW]Kevin Timpe - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (2):274.
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  25.  13
    Metaphysics and God: Essays in Honor of Eleonore Stump.Kevin Timpe (ed.) - 2009 - New York: Routledge.
    This volume focuses on contemporary issues in the philosophy of religion through an engagement with Eleonore Stump’s seminal work in the field. Topics covered include: the metaphysics of the divine nature ; the nature of love and God’s relation to human happiness; and the issue of human agency.
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  26.  16
    Self-Determination, Self-Transformation, and the Case of Jean Valjean: A Problem for Velleman.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2591-2598.
    According to reductionists about agency, an agent’s bringing something about is reducible to states and events involving the agent bringing something about. Many have worried that reductionism cannot accommodate robust forms of agency, such as self-determination. One common reductionist answer to this worry contends that self-determining agents are identified with certain states and events, and so these states and events causing a decision counts as the agent’s self-determining the decision. In this paper I discuss J. David Velleman’s identification reductionist theory, (...)
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  27.  27
    Disability and the Theodicy of Defeat.Aaron D. Cobb & Kevin Timpe - 2017 - Journal of Analytic Theology 5:100-120.
    Marilyn McCord Adams argues that God’s goodness to individuals requires God to defeat horrendous evils; it is not enough for God to outweigh these evils through compensatory goods. On her view, God defeats the evils experienced by an individual if and only if God’s goodness to the individual enables her to integrate the evil organically into a unified life story she perceives as good and meaningful. In this essay, we seek to apply Adams’s theodicy of defeat to a particular form (...)
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  28.  11
    Précis of Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2621-2623.
    The idea of moral responsibility is central to a wide range of our moral, social, and legal practices, and it underpins our basic notion of culpability. Yet the idea of moral responsibility is increasingly viewed with skepticism by researchers and scholars in psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and the law. Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility responds to these challenges, offering a new account of the justification of our practices and judgments of moral responsibility. Three distinctive ideas shape the account. (...)
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  29. Freedom as Sensitive to Reasons, Habits, and Character.Kevin Timpe - 2017 - In Gregory Peterson (ed.), Habits in Mind: Integrating Theology, Philosophy, and the Cognitive Science of Virtue, Emotion, and Character Formation. Brill. pp. 196-212.
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  30.  16
    Paradise and Growing in Virtue.Kevin Timpe & Timothy Pawl - 2017 - In T. Ryan Byerly & Eric Silverman (eds.), Paradise Understood: New Philosophical Essays about Heaven. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 97-109.
    The present volume is devoted to philosophical reflection on the nature of paradise. Our contribution to this larger project is an extension of previous work that we’ve done on the nature of human agency and virtue in heaven. Here, we’d like to focus on three things. First, we will discuss in greater detail what it is we mean by “growth in virtue.” Second, we will answer a number of objections to that understanding of growth in virtue. Third, we will show (...)
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  31.  12
    Trumping Frankfurt: Why the Kane-Widerker Objection is Irrelevant.Kevin Timpe - 2003 - Philosophia Christi 5 (2):485-499.
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  32. Free WIll.Kevin Timpe - 2012 - In Neil Manson & Bob Barnard (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. London: Continuum. pp. 223-243.
    It is sometimes said that Augustine discovered the faculty of the will, and as a result inaugurated philosophy’s fascination with issues related to free will. While philosophers prior to Augustine clearly discussed related issues of, for example, voluntariness and agency, one finds in Augustine a focus on a faculty distinct from reason which is necessary for praise and blame that one would be hard-pressed to find in earlier thinkers. Augustine addressed the importance of free will in many of his works; (...)
     
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  33.  55
    On Analytic Theology.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Scientia et Fides 3 (2):1-13.
    My primary aims in this paper are to give an overview of a recent movement which goes by the name of ‘analytic theology’, to locate that movement within the larger context of contemporary philosophy of religion, and to identify some of the weakness or objections that analytic theology will need to address moving forward. While I think that some of these objections have merit, I also think that the promise of analytic theology’s contribution to theology more broadly is, in my (...)
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  34.  69
    The Dialectic Role of the Flickers of Freedom.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):337-368.
    One well-known incompatibilist response to Frankfurt-style counterexamples is the ‘flicker-of-freedom strategy’. The flicker strategy claims that even in a Frankfurt-style counterexample, there are still morally relevant alternative possibilities. In the present paper, I differentiate between two distinct understandings of the flicker strategy, as the failure to differentiate these two versions has led some philosophers to argue at cross-purposes. I also explore the respective dialectic roles that the two versions of the flicker strategy play in the debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists. (...)
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  35.  70
    Prayers for the Past.Kevin Timpe - 2005 - Religious Studies 41 (3):305-322.
    All three of the world's major monotheistic religions traditionally affirm that petitionary prayers can be causally efficacious in bringing about certain states of affairs. Most of these prayers are offered before the state of affairs that they are aimed at helping bring about. In the present paper, I explore the possibility of whether petitionary prayers for the past can also be causally efficacious. Assuming an incompatibilist account of free will, I examine four views in philosophical theology (simple foreknowledge, eternalism, Molinism, (...)
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  36.  17
    A Third Version of Constructivism: Rethinking Spinoza’s Metaethics.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2565-2574.
    In this essay, I claim that certain passages in Book IV of Benedict de Spinoza’s Ethics suggest a novel version of what is known as metaethical constructivism. The constructivist interpretation emerges in the course of attempting to resolve a tension between Spinoza’s apparent ethical egoism and some remarks he makes about the efficacy of collaborating with the right partners when attempting to promote our individual self-interest. Though Spinoza maintains that individuals necessarily aim to promote their self-interest, I argue that Spinoza (...)
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  37. Leeway Vs. Sourcehood Conceptions of Free Will.Kevin Timpe - 2016 - In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge. pp. 213-224.
    One reason that many of the philosophical debates about free will might seem intractable is that di erent participants in those debates use various terms in ways that not only don't line up, but might even contradict each other. For instance, it is widely accepted to understand libertarianism as\the conjunction of incompatibilism [the thesis that free will is incompatible with the truth of determinism] and the thesis that we have free will" (van Inwagen (1983), 13f; see also Kane (2001), 17; (...)
     
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  38.  15
    Free Will Eliminativism: Reference, Error, and Phenomenology.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2823-2833.
    Shaun Nichols has recently argued that while the folk notion of free will is associated with error, a question still remains whether the concept of free will should be eliminated or preserved. He maintains that like other eliminativist arguments in philosophy, arguments that free will is an illusion seem to depend on substantive assumptions about reference. According to free will eliminativists, people have deeply mistaken beliefs about free will and this entails that free will does not exist. However, an alternative (...)
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  39.  15
    The Construction of Logical Space and the Structure of Facts.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2609-2616.
    In The Construction of Logical Space, Agustín Rayo defends trivialism, according to which number-involving truths are trivially equivalent to other, non-number-involving truths; picturesquely, ‘I have five fingers on my hand’ and ‘the number of fingers on my hand is five’ express the same fact, but carved up in different ways. A single fact thus has multiple structures. I distinguish two ways this might go: on the deflationary picture, facts get their structures from our linguistic practices, while on an inflationary picture, (...)
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  40.  37
    Excusing Sinners and Blaming God: A Calvinist Assessment of Determinism, Moral Responsibility, and Divine Involvement in Evil, by Guillaume Bignon.Kevin Timpe - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (3):373-379.
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  41.  87
    An Argument for Limbo.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):277-292.
    In this paper I argue from a number of positions that are, while not uncontested, at least common among analytic philosophers of religion for the possibility, and indeed the plausibility, of a doctrine of limbo. The account of limbo that I advocate is substantially different than the element of Catholic speculative theology that goes by the same name. According to that doctrine, the limbus infantium is a place or state of perfect natural happiness for those who, prior to the age (...)
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  42.  11
    Revisionism, Libertarianism, and Naturalistic Plausibility.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2651-2658.
    In his book, Building Better Beings, Manuel Vargas argues that we should reject libertarianism, on the grounds that it is naturalistically implausible, and embrace revisionism rather than eliminativism, on the grounds that the former is a shorter departure from ordinary thinking about moral responsibility. I argue that Vargas fails to adequately appreciate the extent to which ordinary judgments about moral responsibility involve ascriptions of basic desert as well as the centrality of basic desert in the ordinary conception of moral responsibility. (...)
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  43.  66
    Truth-Making and Divine Eternity.Kevin Timpe - 2007 - Religious Studies 43 (3):299 - 315.
    According to a widespread tradition in philosophical theology, God is necessarily simple and eternal. One objection to this view of God's nature is that it would rule out God having foreknowledge of non-determined, free human actions insofar as simplicity and eternity are incompatible with God's knowledge being causally dependent on those actions. According to this view, either (a) God must causally determine the free actions of human agents, thus leading to a theological version of compatibilism, or (b) God cannot know, (...)
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  44. The Arbitrariness of the Primal Sin.Kevin Timpe - 2013 - In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press. pp. 234-257.
    Considerations of the primal sin show that both voluntarist and intellectual accounts involve an unresolved arbitrariness at the heart of their accounts of free agency. This suggests that, at least for theists, intellectualism is no better than voluntarism in this respect and that, on the assumption that such a sin happened, voluntarist accounts are not as problematic as many believe them to be. The paper proceeds as follows. In the first section, I explain what is meant by 'primal sin' and (...)
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  45. Causal History Matters, but Not for Individuation.Kevin Timpe - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):77-91.
    In ‘Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility,’ Harry Frankfurt introduces a scenario aimed at showing that the having of alternative possibilities is not required for moral responsibility. According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), an agent is morally responsible for her action only if she could have done otherwise; Frankfurt thinks his scenario shows that PAP is, in fact, false. Frankfurt thinks that the denial of PAP gives credence to compatibilism, the thesis that an agent could both be causally determined (...)
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  46.  6
    Replies to Greco and Turner.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2617-2620.
    Dan Greco and Jason Turner wrote two fantastic critiques of my book, The Construction of Logical Space. Greco’s critique suggests that the book can be given a Kuhnian interpretation, with a Carnapian twist. Here I embrace that interpretation. Turner criticizes one of the views I develop in the book. Here I identify an avenue of resistance.
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  47.  5
    Desert, Responsibility, and Justification: A Reply to Doris, McGeer, and Robinson.Kevin Timpe - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2659-2678.
    Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility argues that the normative basis of moral responsibility is anchored in the effects of responsibility practices. Further, the capacities required for moral responsibility are socially scaffolded. This article considers criticisms of this account that have been recently raised by John Doris, Victoria McGeer, and Michael Robinson. Robinson argues against Building Better Beings’s rejection of libertarianism about free will, and the account of desert at stake in the theory. considers methodological questions that arise (...)
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  48.  44
    Why Christians Might Be Libertarians: A Reply to Lynne Rudder Baker.Kevin Timpe - 2004 - Philosophia Christi 6 (2):89-98.
  49.  35
    Vargas, Manuel. Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 345. $55.00. [REVIEW]Kevin Timpe - 2014 - Ethics 124 (4):926-931.
  50. Free Will and the Stages of Theological Anthropology.Kevin Timpe & Audra Jenson - 2015 - In Joshua Farris & Charles Champe Taliaferro (eds.), Assignee Research Companion to Theological Anthropology. Ashgate. pp. 233-244.
    The basic idea of the article is to explain how free will relates to the progression from the status integritatis to the status corruptionis to the status gratiae to the status gloriae, contrasting libertarian and compatibilist views. We argue that either account can give an account of these stages (even though it might seem that compatibilist views would have it easier).
     
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