A Thomistic Account of Human Free Will and Divine Providence: Pedro de Ledesma and the De Auxiliis Controversy

Religions 13:375 (2022)
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Pedro de Ledesma is one of the Dominican theologians of the School of Salamanca involved in the De Auxiliis controversy, i.e., the disputes around a famous book by Luis de Molina on the relation between divine foreknowledge and providence and our free will. Studying an unpublished manuscript by Ledesma and his 1611 book on this subject, the article shows that he opposed Molina with a Thomistic position that we call deflationary. According to this interpretation, God, in moving the created will to do good actions, does not bring about an entity distinct from volition itself. Contrary to other Thomists, he does not think that the immediate effect of the divine motion of the will is an intermediary entity used by God to produce, with the will, the created free act. Ledesma defends his thesis by using some elements of Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, in particular, a minimalist interpretation of the relation between action and passion already present in Domingo de Soto and the specific causality of immanent acts.

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David Torrijos-Castrillejo
Universidad Eclesiástica San Dámaso


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