, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 217–236 | Cite as

Compatibilism, Evil, and the Free-Will Defense

  • A. A. HowsepianEmail author


It is widely believed that (1) if theological determinism were true, in virtue of God’s role in determining created agents to perform evil actions, created agents would be neither free nor morally responsible for their evil actions and God would not be perfectly good; (2) if metaphysical compatibilism were true, the free-will defense against the deductive problem of evil would fail; and (3) on the assumption of metaphysical compatibilism, God could have actualized just any one of those myriad possible worlds that are populated only by compatibilist free creatures. The primary thesis of this essay is that none of these propositions is true. This thesis is defended by appealing to a recently proposed novel, acausal, composite, unified theory of free action – the Theory of Middle Freedom – that evades the central problems plaguing traditional theories of metaphysical compatibilism.


Compatibilism Freedom Free-will defense Deductive problem of evil Free will Evil Middle freedom Molinism Metaphysical libertarianism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California, San Francisco – Fresno Medical Education Program, VACCHCSFresnoUSA

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