Could God Know What I Would Freely Do? Molinism and the Grounding Objection

Richard Corrigan

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This paper is a refutation of the Molinist contention that God hasMiddle Knowledge of subjunctive conditional propositions that state what an agent would freely do, if instantiated in particular possible states of affairs. The Molinist holds that his account of God’s prevolitional knowledge of these counterfactuals is sufficient to ensure that there is no conflict between divine providence and human free will. In this paper, I contend that the Molinist thesis is deficient because it can provide no adequate account of how God could have knowledge of this kind. I argue against Saurez and Kvanvig’s proposal that divine knowledge of the possibleagent’s creaturely essence is sufficient for perfect foreknowledge of what that agent would in any specific circumstance. I then proceed to refute Flint’s suggestion that Lewis’s possible world semantics can be used to show that these counterfactuals aregrounded in the nearest possible world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Frontiers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • molinism, foreknowledge, free will, grounding, objection


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