A simpler free will defence

  • C’Zar Bernstein
  • Nathaniel Helms


Otte (Philos Phenomenol 78(1):165–177, 2009) and Pruss (Faith Philos 29(4):400–415, 2012) have produced counterexamples to Plantinga’s (The nature of necessity, 1974) famous free will defence against the logical version of the problem of evil. The target of this criticism is the possibility of universal transworld depravity, which is crucial to Plantinga’s defence. In this paper, we argue that there is a simpler and more plausible free will defence that does not require the possibility of universal transworld depravity or the truth of counterfactuals of creaturely freedom. We assume only (a) that libertarianism is possibly true and (b) that God’s existence is consistent with the existence of free agents who never go wrong. We conclude the paper by explaining how our defence may be able to succeed without assuming (a), in a way that is consistent with compatibilism.


Free will defence God Problem of evil Free Will  Libertarianism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OxfordGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Florida State UniversityDallasUSA

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