Why all classical theists should believe in physical premotions, but it doesn’t really matter

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (2):139-166 (2020)
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“Physical premotion” is a concept associated with Baroque Catholic theological debates concerning grace and freedom. In this paper, I present an argument that the entities identified in this debate, physical premotions, are necessary for any classical theist’s account of divine causality. A “classical theist” is a theist who holds both that God is simple, that is, without inhering properties, and that humans and God are both free in the incompatibilist sense. In fact, not only does the acceptance of physical premotions not entail determinism, physical premotions are the only way for classical theists to preserve the aforementioned two commitments. Nevertheless, the theory of premotions cannot help theologians resolve questions of how God causes human free acts without violating their freedom.

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James Dominic Rooney, OP
Hong Kong Baptist University


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