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A new anti-anti-Molinist argument

  • THOMAS P. FLINT (a1)

Abstract

This paper argues that William Hasker's ‘A new anti-Molinist argument’ offers a fascinating but ultimately unsuccessful new instalment in his continuing campaign to discredit the picture of providence based on the theory of middle knowledge. It is first shown that Hasker's argument, though suffering from a seemingly irreparable logical gap, does nicely highlight a significant (and hitherto unduly underemphasized) point of contention between Molinists and anti-Molinists – the question whether or not Molinists are committed to viewing counterfactuals of creaturely freedom as part of the history of the world. Hasker's argument that they are so committed is shown to be lacking, for that argument depends upon a premise against which several contemporary Molinists have already presented independent arguments. Furthermore, the premise is not one which, on reflection, many traditional Christians could easily accept. Hence, Hasker's argument fails. It may remind us that some of the things Molinists are led to say are surprising, but it by no means shows that those surprising consequences make the view unworthy of our allegiance.

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