Heavenly freedom, derivative freedom, and the value of free choices

Religious Studies 56 (4):455-472 (2020)
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Abstract
Sennett (1999) and Pawl & Timpe (2009; 2013) attempt to show how we can praise heavenly agents for things they inevitably do in heaven by appealing to the notion of derivative freedom. Matheson (2017) has criticized this use of derivative freedom. In this essay I show why Matheson's argument is inconclusive but also how the basic point may be strengthened to undermine the use Sennett and Pawl & Timpe make of derivative freedom. I then show why Matheson is mistaken to claim that the value of free choice depends on an agent retaining the ability to change their mind; in so doing I demonstrate that some choices which result in fixed outcomes - a feature of the choices leading to impeccability - can indeed be valuable even if they cannot be undone.
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Archival date: 2018-10-31
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2018-07-24

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