Thursday, July 08, 2010

contra Plantinga's Free Will Defense

I'm still planning to write extensively on this topic, but I'm rather busy with home-related projects and the ongoing struggle to send off job applications. In the meantime, I've found some interesting critiques of what is variously called the Free Will Defense, the free-will defense, or the Freewill [sic] Defense.

1. Niclas Berggren,

By far the most interesting of the entries I found, this piece, which is more of a blog post than an online article or research paper, contains arguments both by the author and by various thinkers who have dealt with the Free Will Defense. Of particular note: the author quotes JL Mackie, who confirms a thought of my own regarding Plantinga's retreat to the idea that natural evil is caused by malign supernatural beings. Mackie writes:

Formally, no doubt, this is possible; but it is another of what Cleanthes called arbitrary suppositions. While we have a direct acquaintance with some wrong human choices-- our own-- and our everyday understanding extends to the recognition of the like choices of other human beings, we have no such knowledge of the activities of angels, fallen or otherwise: these are at best part of the religious hypothesis which is still in dispute, and cannot be relied upon to give it any positive support. (italics added)

My thoughts exactly.

2. Philosophy of Religion: The Free Will Defence

An article that contains both an explanation and various critiques of the defense.

3. Ex-Apologist: A Quick Point About Plantinga's Free Will Defense

A philosophically meaty challenge to the defense.

4. Horia George Plugaru,

An amusing counterattack that questions why God would create us so that we spend a third of our lives not exercising free will... by making us susceptible to sleep.

5. Free Will Defense

An encyclopedia entry that covers the defense in its various forms (not just Plantinga's) and presents some critiques.

6. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Free Will Defense

Part of a larger article about the nature of divine providence.



Nathan B. said...

What about the "Free Willy" defense? I know, I know!

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nathan, there is no defense possible for ex-President Clinton's too free, very slick willie . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Nathan B. said...

Well, Dr. Hodges, my question is--will 'e ever learn? (I guess my puns are going from bad to worse!)