Chapter

An Epistemic Theory of Creation

Jonathan L Kvanvig

in Destiny and Deliberation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696574
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732270 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696574.003.0008
An Epistemic Theory of Creation

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A theory of creation plays a central role in a defence of the doctrine of providence, and the central philosophical difficulty faced in such a project is whether and how the doctrine of creation can be reconciled with the doctrine of providence without requiring a construal of human freedom that libertarians must reject. A common assumption is that one can have either full providence or human freedom, but not both. Molinists disagree, but the status of the central explanatory feature used by Molinists to find a way of preserving both providence and freedom — counterfactuals of freedom — remains controversial, both in terms of the existence of true counterfactuals of this sort and whether they can perform the function needed to reconcile providence and freedom. This chapter argues for a different solution to this problem, addressing first the relation between accounts of creation and providence in order to clear the conditions of adequacy on a theory of creation. In short, it argues that we want a theory of creation that leaves open the possibility of a doctrine of full and complete providence. It then shows that there that there is such a theory of creation available — one that does not require abandoning libertarianism. Finding such a theory involves a paradigm shift away from the standard semantic-metaphysical approaches to creation in favour of a more epistemic approach.

Keywords: creation; providence; Molinism; infallibility

Chapter.  20169 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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