‘Structural Indifference’ and Compatibilism in Reformed Orthodoxy

In: Journal of Reformed Theology
Paul Helm Regent College Vancouver Canada, Email:

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In Reformed Thought on Freedom the Scotian apparatus of synchronic contingency, structural indifference, and logical moments is deployed in an attempt to show that the Reformed Orthodox espoused Scotian freedom of indifference as an intrinsic feature of their anthropology. It is counter-argued that the sense given to ‘structural indifference’ is at odds with the Orthodox commitment to indifference in the divided sense. Further, recent commentators misunderstand the divided sense only as the Reformed Orthodox use it. Finally it is briefly argued that the Orthodox use of the contrast between being free and being constrained, and their criteria for moral accountability, are consistent with certain forms of compatibilism. So it is a reasonable presumption that as regards human freedom, the Orthodox favoured a version of compatibilism.

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