Transworld depravity and divine omniscience

  • Sean Meslar


This paper argues against the sufficiency of Alvin Plantinga’s free will defense, as presented in God, freedom, and evil as a response to the logical problem of evil. I begin by introducing the fundamental issues present in the problem of evil and proceed to present Plantinga’s response. Next, I argue that, despite the argument’s wide acceptance in the field, a central notion to the defense, transworld depravity, is internally inconsistent and that attempts to resolve the problem would result in an abandonment of the original terms of the discussion. Finally, I consider some potential alternatives for a free will defense beyond the one presented by Plantinga and conclude that the logical problem of evil may have more worth as a philosophical topic than has been thought in recent years.


Evil Omniscience Plantinga Free will Transworld depravity 


  1. Adams, R. M. (1977). Middle knowledge and the problem of evil. American Philosophical Quarterly, 14(2), 109–117.Google Scholar
  2. Aquinas, T. (1994). Summa theologica. Great Books of the Western world (Mortimer J. Adler (Ed.) Trans. by Father Laurence Shapcote). Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica. (Vol. 17, pp. 3–826)Google Scholar
  3. Mackie, J. L. (1955). Evil and omnipotence. Mind, New Series, 64(254), 200–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Mackie, J. L. (1982). The miracle of theism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. De Molina, L. (1988). On divine foreknowledge. Ithica: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Plantinga, A. (1974). God, Freedom, and Evil. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  7. Pruss, A. (2011). From restricted to full omniscience. Religious Studies, 47(2), 257–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Stone, J. (2003). Evidential atheism. Philosophical Studies, 114(3), 253–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations