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Table of contents :
Title Page
Copyright Page
Dedication
Contents
Preface
Part I Freedom and Necessity in Reformed Thought: The Contemporary Debate
1. Introduction: The Present State of the Question
1.1 Reformed Thought on Freedom, Contingency, and Necessity: Setting the Stage for Debate
1.2 Freedom, Necessity, and Protestant Scholasticism: A Multi-Layered Problem
1.3 Synchronic Contingency: Historiographical Issues of Medieval and Early Modern Debate, Conversation, and Reception
2. Reformed Thought and Synchronic Contingency
2.1 The Argument for Synchronic Contingency
2.2 The Logical Issue: Does Synchronic Contingency Resolve the Question of Divine Will and Human Freedom?
2.3 Historical and Historiographical Issues
A. Variant Understandings of the History from Aristotle through the Middle Ages
B. The Issue of Scotism and Early Modern Reformed Thought
Part II Philosophical and Theological Backgrounds: Aristotle, Aquinas, and Duns Scotus
3. Aristotle and Aquinas on Necessity and Contingency
3.1 Aristotle, Aquinas, and the Debate over Synchronic Contingency
A. Introduction: The Historical Issues—Transmission and Reception
B. Aristotle and Aquinas in Current Discussion
3.2 The Question of Contingency and the Implication of Possibility in Aristotle
3.3 The Medieval Backgrounds: Aristotle, Augustine, Boethius, and the Problem of Plenitude
A. Augustine and the Ciceronian Dilemma
B. Boethius and the Medieval Reception of Aristotle
3.4 Aquinas and the Medieval Reading of Aristotle
3.5 Thomas Aquinas on Divine Power, Necessity, Possibility, Contingency, and Freedom
A. Aquinas on the Power of God: Absolute, Ordained, and Utterly Free
B. Necessity, Possibility, Contingency, and Freedom
4. Duns Scotus and Late Medieval Perspectives on Freedom
4.1 The Assessment of Duns Scotus in Recent Studies
4.2 The Potentia Absoluta–Potentia Ordinata Distinction and the Issue of Contingency
4.3 Synchronic Contingency, Simultaneous Potency, and Free Choice
4.4 The Scotist Alternative in Its Metaphysical and Ontological Framework
4.5 Penultimate Reflections
Part III Early Modern Reformed Perspectives: Contingency, Necessity, and Freedom in the Real Order of Being
5. Necessity, Contingency, and Freedom: Reformed Understandings
5.1 Freedom, Necessity, and Divine Knowing in the Thought of Calvin and the Early Reformed Tradition
A. The Present Debate
B. Calvin on Necessity, Contingency, and Freedom
C. Freedom and Necessity in the Thought of Vermigli
D. Zanchi and Ursinus on Contingency and Freedom
5.2 Eternal God and the Contingent Temporal Order: Reformed Orthodox Approaches to the Problem
A. Early Modern Reformed Views: The Basic Formulation
B. Development of Reformed Conceptions of Eternity
6. Scholastic Approaches to Necessity, Contingency, and Freedom: Early Modern Reformed Perspectives
6.1 Preliminary Issues
6.2 Junius, Gomarus, and Early Orthodox Scholastic Refinement
A. Junius’ disputations on free choice
B. Gomarus on freedom and necessity
6.3 William Twisse: Contingency, Freedom, and the Reception of the Scholastic Tradition
6.4 John Owen on Contingency and Freedom
6.5 Voetius on Free Will, Choice, and Necessity
6.6 Francis Turretin on Necessity, Contingency, and Human Freedom
7. Divine Power, Possibility, and Actuality
7.1 The Foundation of Possibility: Reformed Understandings
A. Meanings of “Possible” and “Possibility”
B. The Foundation of Possibility
7.2 Absolute and Ordained Power in Early Modern Reformed Thought
A. The Historiographical Problem
B. Calvin and the Potentia Absoluta
C. Reformed Orthodoxy and the Two Powers of God
8. Divine Concurrence and Contingency
8.1 Approaches to Concurrence: Early Modern Issues and Modern Scholarly Debate
A. The Modern Debate
B. The Early Modern Issues
8.2 Divine Concurrence in Early Modern Reformed Thought
8.3 Concurrence, Synchronicity, and Free Choice: Non-Temporal and Temporal Considerations
8.4 Synchronic Contingency and Providence: The Ontological Issues
9. Conclusions
9.1 Contingency, Synchronic and Diachronic, and the Issue of Human Freedom
9.2 The Historical Narrative—and the Question of Reformed “Scotism”
9.3 Reformed Orthodoxy, Determinism, Compatibilism, and Libertarianism
Notes
Index
Back Cover
Recommend Papers

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©
2017
by
Richard
A.
Muller Published
by
Baker
Academic a
division
of
Baker
Publishing
Group P.O.
Box
6287,
Grand
Rapids,
MI
49516–6287 www.bakeracademic.com Ebook
edition
created
2017 All
rights
reserved.
No
part
of
this
publication
may
be
reproduced,
stored
in
a
retrieval
 system,
or
transmitted
in
any
form
or
by
any
means—for
example,
electronic,
photocopy,
 recording—without
the
prior
written
permission
of
the
publisher.
The
only
exception
is
 brief
quotations
in
printed
reviews. Library
of
Congress
Cataloging-in-Publication
Data
is
on
file
at
the
Library
of
Congress,
 Washington,
DC. ISBN
978-1-4934-0670-8

For Ethan,
Marlea,
and
Anneliese

Contents Cover Title
Page Copyright
Page Dedication Preface Part
I 
 Freedom
and
Necessity
in
Reformed
Thought:
The
Contemporary
 Debate 1.
Introduction:
The
Present
State
of
the
Question 1.1
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
Contingency,
and
Necessity:
Setting
 the
Stage
for
Debate 1.2
Freedom,
Necessity,
and
Protestant
Scholasticism:
A
Multi-Layered
 Problem 1.3
Synchronic
Contingency:
Historiographical
Issues
of
Medieval
and
 Early
Modern
Debate,
Conversation,
and
Reception 2.
Reformed
Thought
and
Synchronic
Contingency 2.1
The
Argument
for
Synchronic
Contingency 2.2
The
Logical
Issue:
Does
Synchronic
Contingency
Resolve
the
 Question
of
Divine
Will
and
Human
Freedom? 2.3
Historical
and
Historiographical
Issues A.
Variant
Understandings
of
the
History
from
Aristotle
through
the
 Middle
Ages B.
The
Issue
of
Scotism
and
Early
Modern
Reformed
Thought Part
II 
 Philosophical
and
Theological
Backgrounds:
Aristotle,
Aquinas,
and
 Duns
Scotus 3.
Aristotle
and
Aquinas
on
Necessity
and
Contingency 3.1
Aristotle,
Aquinas,
and
the
Debate
over
Synchronic
Contingency

A.
Introduction:
The
Historical
Issues—Transmission
and
Reception B.
Aristotle
and
Aquinas
in
Current
Discussion 3.2
The
Question
of
Contingency
and
the
Implication
of
Possibility
in
 Aristotle 3.3
The
Medieval
Backgrounds:
Aristotle,
Augustine,
Boethius,
and
the
 Problem
of
Plenitude A.
Augustine
and
the
Ciceronian
Dilemma B.
Boethius
and
the
Medieval
Reception
of
Aristotle 3.4
Aquinas
and
the
Medieval
Reading
of
Aristotle 3.5
Thomas
Aquinas
on
Divine
Power,
Necessity,
Possibility,
 Contingency,
and
Freedom A.
Aquinas
on
the
Power
of
God:
Absolute,
Ordained,
and
Utterly
 Free B.
Necessity,
Possibility,
Contingency,
and
Freedom 4.
Duns
Scotus
and
Late
Medieval
Perspectives
on
Freedom 4.1
The
Assessment
of
Duns
Scotus
in
Recent
Studies 4.2
The
Potentia
Absoluta–Potentia
Ordinata
Distinction
and
the
Issue
of
 Contingency 4.3
Synchronic
Contingency,
Simultaneous
Potency,
and
Free
Choice 4.4
The
Scotist
Alternative
in
Its
Metaphysical
and
Ontological
 Framework 4.5
Penultimate
Reflections Part
III 
 Early
Modern
Reformed
Perspectives:
Contingency,
Necessity,
and
 Freedom
in
the
Real
Order
of
Being 5.
Necessity,
Contingency,
and
Freedom:
Reformed
Understandings 5.1
Freedom,
Necessity,
and
Divine
Knowing
in
the
Thought
of
Calvin
 and
the
Early
Reformed
Tradition A.
The
Present
Debate B.
Calvin
on
Necessity,
Contingency,
and
Freedom C.
Freedom
and
Necessity
in
the
Thought
of
Vermigli D.
Zanchi
and
Ursinus
on
Contingency
and
Freedom 5.2
Eternal
God
and
the
Contingent
Temporal
Order:
Reformed
Orthodox
 Approaches
to
the
Problem A.
Early
Modern
Reformed
Views:
The
Basic
Formulation

B.
Development
of
Reformed
Conceptions
of
Eternity 6.
Scholastic
Approaches
to
Necessity,
Contingency,
and
Freedom:
 Early
Modern
Reformed
Perspectives 6.1
Preliminary
Issues 6.2
Junius,
Gomarus,
and
Early
Orthodox
Scholastic
Refinement A.
Junius’
disputations
on
free
choice B.
Gomarus
on
freedom
and
necessity 6.3
William
Twisse:
Contingency,
Freedom,
and
the
Reception
of
the
 Scholastic
Tradition 6.4
John
Owen
on
Contingency
and
Freedom 6.5
Voetius
on
Free
Will,
Choice,
and
Necessity 6.6
Francis
Turretin
on
Necessity,
Contingency,
and
Human
Freedom 7.
Divine
Power,
Possibility,
and
Actuality 7.1
The
Foundation
of
Possibility:
Reformed
Understandings A.
Meanings
of
“Possible”
and
“Possibility” B.
The
Foundation
of
Possibility 7.2
Absolute
and
Ordained
Power
in
Early
Modern
Reformed
Thought A.
The
Historiographical
Problem B.
Calvin
and
the
Potentia
Absoluta C.
Reformed
Orthodoxy
and
the
Two
Powers
of
God 8.
Divine
Concurrence
and
Contingency 8.1
Approaches
to
Concurrence:
Early
Modern
Issues
and
Modern
 Scholarly
Debate A.
The
Modern
Debate B.
The
Early
Modern
Issues 8.2
Divine
Concurrence
in
Early
Modern
Reformed
Thought 8.3
Concurrence,
Synchronicity,
and
Free
Choice:
Non-Temporal
and
 Temporal
Considerations 8.4
Synchronic
Contingency
and
Providence:
The
Ontological
Issues 9.
Conclusions 9.1
Contingency,
Synchronic
and
Diachronic,
and
the
Issue
of
Human
 Freedom 9.2
The
Historical
Narrative—and
the
Question
of
Reformed
“Scotism” 9.3
Reformed
Orthodoxy,
Determinism,
Compatibilism,
and
 Libertarianism

Notes Index Back
Cover

Preface This
essay
is
one
of
those
efforts
that,
like
the
now-proverbial
Topsy,
just
 grow’d.
It
was
originally
planned
out
as
a
research
proposal
leading
to
an
 essay
for
presentation
as
part
of
an
educational
workshop
model
in
my
 advanced
course
on
research
methodology.
Even
at
the
initial
research
 proposal
stage,
attempting
to
indicate
a
tentative
thesis,
current
state
of
the
 question,
problem
to
be
resolved,
tentative
outline,
and
beginning
 bibliography,
it
appeared
that
the
essay
would,
amoeba-like,
grow
too
large
 and
divide
into
two
parts,
of
which
I
would
develop
one
for
the
seminar.
Of
 course,
the
creation
of
an
outline
for
a
projected
essay
that,
on
further
 reflection,
would
prove
to
be
too
large
for
a
single
essay,
was
a
suitable
 objectlesson
for
a
seminar
on
methodology!
As
I
focused
on
the
parts,
each
 one
itself
an
intellectual
amoeba,
further
expansions
and
divisions
occurred,
 but
none
seemed
willing
to
go
off
on
its
own.
Out
of
a
proposed
short
study
 a
monograph
evolved.
I
gave
up
any
attempt
to
separate
out
the
parts
as
 independent
essays
and
concentrated
on
developing
the
whole. The
original
idea
for
the
project
dates
back,
moreover,
as
far
as
1999
 when
I
met
with
the
Werkgezelschap
Oude
Gereformeerde
Theologie
at
 Utrecht
University
and
participated
in
some
of
the
discussions
that
led
 initially
to
the
symposium
published
as
Reformation
and
Scholasticism:
An
 Ecumenical
Enterprise
in
2001and
later
on
to
the
publication
of
their
 groundbreaking
work,
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
in
2010.
During
 those
years
we
debated
differing
readings
of
early
modern
Reformed
 understandings
of
necessity
and
contingency
as
well
as
the
question
of
the
 impact
of
Duns
Scotus
and
Scotism
on
Reformed
orthodoxy.
My
circle
of
 conversation
was
augmented
in
2003
by
the
appearance
of
Paul
Helm’s
 response
to
the
Utrecht
group’s
understanding
of
synchronic
contingency
as
 a
foundational
Scotist
conception
intrinsic
to
Reformed
orthodox
 formulations
of
the
doctrine
of
human
free
choice.
I
have
remained
in
 dialogue
with
both
sides
of
this
debate
and
now,
as
then,
find
myself
rather
 firmly
somewhere
in
the
middle.
I
have
learned
much
from
my
Utrecht
 colleagues
and
much
as
well
from
an
extensive
correspondence
with
Paul


Helm,
but,
as
readers
acquainted
with
the
debate
over
synchronic
 contingency
will
readily
recognize,
despite
considerable
agreement
with
 major
aspects
of
the
argumentation
of
all
the
contending
parties,
I
have
 come
to
my
own
conclusions.
Nonetheless,
without
these
colleagues
and
 my
ongoing
dialogue
with
them,
I
could
not
have
written
this
essay. The
debate
over
these
issues
is
itself
important
to
the
understanding
of
 traditional
approaches
to
human
free
choice
in
its
relation
to
the
divine
 knowledge
and
will
and
to
the
understanding
of
the
Reformed
tradition
in
 its
Reformation
and
orthodox-era
developments.
The
question
of
freedom,
 contingency,
and
necessity
lends
itself
to
a
focused
examination
of
the
 thought
of
the
Reformers
and
the
Reformed
orthodox
on
a
muchcontroverted
topic.
It
also
offers
a
window
into
the
ancient
and
medieval
 backgrounds
of
the
question,
into
patterns
of
reception
of
that
older
heritage
 in
and
by
the
Reformed
tradition,
and
into
the
discussion
of
which
elements
 and
which
interpretation
of
those
elements
of
the
heritage,
whether
 Aristotelian,
Thomist,
or
Scotist,
were
adapted
for
use
among
the
 Reformed. There
are,
of
course,
two
fundamentally
different
ways
to
approach
this
 material
and
these
questions—a
positive
philosophical
approach
and
an
 objectivistic
historical
one.
If
the
questions
are
addressed
from
a
positive
 philosophical
approach,
the
task
of
the
contemporary
writer
would
be
to
 assess
the
success
or
lack
thereof
of
the
philosophical
arguments
found
in
 the
sources.
By
way
of
example,
if
Thomas
Aquinas
or
Francis
Turretin
 were
found
to
argue
both
a
divine
willing
of
all
things
and
a
human
capacity
 for
genuinely
free
choice,
the
philosophical
task
would
be
to
analyze
and
 pass
judgment
on
the
success
of
their
attempt
to
do
justice
to
both
aspects
 of
the
question,
the
divine
and
the
human,
presumably
on
the
basis
of
 modern
philosophical
methods
and
assumptions.
If,
however,
the
questions
 are
addressed
in
a
historical
manner,
the
task
of
the
contemporary
writer
 would
be
to
identify
and
analyze
the
arguments
in
their
original
form
and
 context
for
the
sake
of
clarifying
the
intention
of
the
original
author,
 without
forming
any
judgment
as
to
the
ultimate
success
of
his
argument
for
 a
modern
audience—given
that
the
criteria
for
forming
such
a
judgment
 would
be
modern
criteria
that
do
not
belong
to
the
historical
materials.
By
 way
of
the
same
example
of
Aquinas
and
Turretin,
the
historical
issue
to
be
 addressed
is
whether
these
thinkers
did
or
did
not
propose
arguments
 concerning
divine
willing
and
human
freedom,
how
those
arguments


functioned
given
the
criteria
of
their
author’s
own
era,
and
how
the
 arguments
contributed
to
a
tradition
of
argumentation
on
their
particular
 subject. In
what
follows
I
will
take
the
latter
approach,
viewing
the
subject
 historically,
beginning
with
the
question
of
Aristotle’s
role
in
the
 traditionary
discussion,
looking
to
the
reception
of
Aristotle
in
the
Middle
 Ages
with
specific
reference
to
Aquinas
and
Scotus,
and
then
passing
on
to
 an
examination
of
early
modern
Reformed
thought.
Inasmuch
as
what
 follows
is
an
exercise
in
intellectual
history,
I
do
not
begin
with
a
priori
 assumptions
concerning
what
must
be
true
either
philosophically
or
 theologically
about
necessity,
contingency,
and
free
choice.
My
sole
interest
 is
in
analyzing
what
the
sources
say.
I
find
the
modern
terminology
of
 “isms”
to
be
imprecise
and
confused.
Nor,
in
what
follows,
do
I
advocate
a
 determinist
or
indeterminist,
a
compatibilist,
incompatibilist,
or
libertarian
 perspective.
I
do
not
make
assumptions
about
what
Reformed
theology
 must
claim—rather
I
attempt
to
identify
what
Reformed
theologians
have
 claimed. It
is
also
important
to
register
what
the
present
essay
does
not
discuss,
 namely,
the
issue
of
grace
and
free
choice
in
salvation.
It
does
not
touch
on
 the
perennial
debate
over
monergism
and
synergism—and
it
ought
to
be
 clear
that
what
can
be
called
soteriological
determinism
does
not
 presuppose
either
a
physical
or
a
metaphysical
determinism
of
all
actions
 and
effects,
just
as
it
ought
to
be
clear
that
the
assumption
of
free
choice
in
 general
quotidian
matters
(such
as
choosing
to
eat
or
not
to
eat
a
pastrami
 sandwich
for
lunch)
does
not
require
an
assumption
of
free
choice
in
 matters
of
salvation.
Peter
Martyr
Vermigli
in
the
era
of
the
Reformation
 and
Francis
Turretin
in
the
era
of
orthodoxy
offered
perspicuous
states
of
 the
question,
noting
that
prior
to
the
soteriological
question
of
the
 relationship
of
human
freedom
to
grace,
there
were
other
foundational
 issues,
namely,
the
nature
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
in
the
 human
being
generally
considered,
and
the
ongoing
freedom
of
human
 beings,
even
in
their
fallen
condition,
to
choose
in
their
daily
existence.
The
 present
essay
is
concerned
with
those
foundational
issues. The
issue
to
be
addressed,
then,
is
not
whether
the
views
of
necessity,
 contingency,
and
freedom
constitute,
in
the
realm
of
modern
philosophical
 argumentation,
argumentation
that
offers
a
resolution
of
the
issue
of
divine
 willing
and
human
free
choice
that
fulfills
a
contemporary
philosophical


need.
Rather
the
question
is
whether
the
arguments
found
in
the
works
of
 Aquinas,
Scotus,
and
the
early
modern
Reformed
constituted
in
their
own
 contexts
and
in
view
of
their
own
concerns
a
basis
for
understanding
that
 God
in
various
ways
causes
all
things
to
be
and
to
be
what
they
are
and,
at
 the
same
time,
created
human
beings
to
have
freedom
of
choice.
I
hope
to
 shed
light
on
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
as
well
as
question
 somewhat
its
revolutionary
character,
to
illuminate
the
relationship
of
the
 early
modern
Reformed
to
the
older
tradition,
and
to
describe
the
nature
of
 Reformed
thought
on
freedom
as
something
other
than
what
moderns
 reference
under
the
terms
“compatibilism”
and
“libertarianism.”
I
also
hope
 to
demonstrate
that
resolution
of
the
debate
over
the
Reformed
position
and
 over
synchronic
contingency
can
only
occur
when
the
logical
 argumentation
concerning
freedom,
contingency,
and
necessity
is
placed
in
 its
proper
theological
and
philosophical
context,
namely,
Reformed
 understandings
of
the
divine
decree
and
providential
concurrence,
a
 fundamental
point
not
registered
in
the
debate
between
Vos
and
Helm. I
owe
a
special
word
of
thanks
both
to
my
colleagues
at
Utrecht,
Willem
 van
Asselt,
Anton
Vos,
Eef
Dekker,
Andreas
Beck,
and
other
members
of
 the
Werkgezelschap
and
to
Paul
Helm
for
ongoing
correspondence
 concerning
the
issues
raised
in
this
essay.
I
am
deeply
indebted
to
David
 Sytsma
of
Tokyo
Christian
University
for
a
very
careful
and
insightful
 reading
of
the
whole
text
and
to
Paul
Helm
for
a
series
of
comments
on
a
 penultimate
draft—effort
that
in
both
cases
have
led
to
significant
 refinements
in
my
argument.
I
also
am
grateful
to
the
many
students
who
 have
attended
my
graduate
seminars
at
Calvin
Theological
Seminary
during
 the
years
in
which
I
have
been
working
on
the
project
for
their
careful
 listening
and
excellent
discussion.
And,
as
various
footnotes
demonstrate,
I
 am
also
indebted
to
students
whose
dissertations
and
published
articles
have
 contributed
to
my
own
knowledge
of
the
field.
As
always,
the
librarians
at
 the
Meeter
Center
and
Hekman
Library
have
been
of
considerable
 assistance
and,
more
recently,
my
colleagues
in
the
gathering
of
PRDL,
the
 Post-Reformation
Digital
Library,
without
the
resources
of
which
many
of
 the
early
modern
volumes
cited
in
the
following
pages
would
not
have
been
 readily
available. As
a
final
note,
although
scholarly
discussion
has
moved
beyond
the
 initial
encounter
between
Vos
and
Helm,
I
register
my
surprise
at
the
 absence
of
a
broader
debate
among
scholars
over
the
issues
raised
by


Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
at
the
same
time
that
the
book
and
its
 arguments
for
use
of
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
among
the
 early
modern
Reformed
have
created
some
stir
in
the
typically
uninformed
 and
jejune
world
of
internet
bloggers
and
self-publishers.
There
is,
after
all,
 a
significant
body
of
scholarship
on
synchronic
contingency
and
related
 subjects
among
medieval
theologians
and
philosophers—and
it
is
surprising
 that
the
careful
and
detailed
work
of
Vos
and
his
associates
to
show
the
 connections
between
early
modern
Reformed
thought
and
its
medieval
 backgrounds
has
not
resulted
in
the
development
of
a
body
of
literature
on
 the
early
modern
situation
approaching
the
density
of
the
medieval
 scholarship. In
my
preparatory
research
for
what
follows
I
have
used
several
online
 databases
and
what
I
would
describe
as
legitimate,
academically
credible
 resources.
Rather
than
heap
confusion
on
confusion
and
appear
to
be
 granting
an
undeserved
credibility
to
their
arguments
and
assertions,
I
have
 not
cited
the
bloggers
and
self-publishers—although,
given
these
 comments,
they
may
conclude
that
I
am
aware
of
their
existence. Richard
A.
Muller Lowell,
MI

“God
from
all
eternity
did,
by
the
most
wise
and
holy
Counsell
of
his
own
 Will,
freely,
and
unchangeably
ordain
whatsoever
comes
to
pass.
Yet
so,
as
 thereby
neither
is
God
the
Author
of
sin,
nor
is
violence
offered
to
the
wil
 of
the
Creatures,
nor
is
the
Liberty
or
contingency
of
second
Causes
taken
 away
but
rather
established. . . .
Although
in
relation
to
the
fore-knowledg
 and
decree
of
God,
the
first
Cause,
all
things
come
to
pass
immutably
and
 infallibly:
yet
by
the
same
Providence
he
ordereth
them
to
fall
out,
 according
to
the
nature
of
second
causes,
either
necessarily,
freely
or
 contingently.” Westminster
Confession
of
Faith
(1647),
iii.1;
v.2

Part
I

Freedom
and
Necessity
in
Reformed
 Thought:
The
Contemporary
Debate

1 Introduction:
The
Present
State
of
the
 Question 1.1
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
Contingency,
and
Necessity:
 Setting
the
Stage
for
Debate Studies
of
the
older
Reformed
theology,
whether
of
Calvin
or
of
 “Calvinism,”
particularly
when
the
early
modern
debates
over
Arminius,
 Arminianism,
and
other
forms
of
synergistic
theology
have
been
the
focus
 of
investigation,
have
quite
consistently
identified
Reformed
theology
as
a
 form
of
determinism.
In
the
sixteenth
and
seventeenth
centuries,
when
the
 modern
term
“determinism”
was
not
yet
coined,
debate
over
the
Reformed
 understandings
of
predestination
led
early
on
to
the
accusations
that
Calvin
 and
later
Reformed
writers
taught
a
doctrine
of
Stoic
fatalism
and
identified
 God
as
the
author
of
sin—which,
of
course,
they
denied.
Beginning
in
the
 late
seventeenth
and
continuing
into
the
eighteenth
century,
the
language
of
 the
debate
began
to
change
with
the
alterations
of
philosophical
language
 and
Reformed
theology
came
to
be
seen
by
its
adversaries
as
a
form
of
 determinism,
even
though
the
philosophical
underpinnings
of
the
Reformed
 orthodox
formulations
concerning
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
did
 not
coincide
with
the
philosophical
assumptions
of
determinists
of
the
era
in
 the
lineage
of
Hobbes
or
Spinoza. The
debate
became
significantly
more
complex
as
some
Reformed
 thinkers
of
the
eighteenth
century
adopted
the
premises
of
the
new
 rationalist
and
mechanical
philosophies
and
argued
overtly
in
favor
of
a
 deterministic
reading
of
Reformed
doctrine.1
The
thought
of
Jonathan
 Edwards
is
paradigmatic
of
this
new
determinism,2
and
to
the
extent
that
 Edwards
has
been
identified
as
a
“Calvinist,”
his
work
accounts
for
much
of
 the
more
recent
identification
of
Reformed
theology
as
deterministic.

The
historiographical
problem
was
complicated
even
further
by
the
work
 of
Alexander
Schweizer,
Heinrich
Heppe,
and
J.
H.
Scholten
in
the
 nineteenth
century,
when
predestination
was
identified
as
a
central
dogma
 from
which
Reformed
theologians
deduced
an
entire
system.3
Among
these
 writers,
Schweizer
also
held
that
secondary
causality
was
so
subsumed
 under
God’s
primary
causality
as
to
leave
God
the
only
genuine
actor
or
 mover.
Schweizer’s
deterministic
interpretation
not
only
of
Calvin
but
also
 of
later
Reformed
orthodoxy
was
conflated
with
Heppe’s
use
of
Beza’s
 Tabula
praedestinationis
as
the
outline
of
a
theological
system,
yielding
a
 view
of
scholastic
Reformed
orthodoxy
as
a
highly
philosophical
and
 thoroughly
deterministic
system,
ultimately
becoming
a
prologue
to,
if
not
a
 form
of,
early
modern
rationalism.4 The
actual
reception
and
use
of
philosophy
by
the
Protestant
scholastics
 has
been
little
examined
by
this
older
scholarship
and,
when
examined,
 presented
in
a
rather
cursory
manner
often
accompanied
by
highly
negative
 dogmatic
assessments.5
These
cursory
examinations
have
often
operated
on
 the
assumption
that
Protestant
scholasticism
can
be
identified
simplistically
 as
an
Aristotelian-Thomistic
inheritance.
This
inheritance
has,
moreover,
 been
associated
with
the
use
of
causal
language—and
that
language,
in
turn,
 has
been
dogmatically
interpreted
as
indicating
a
movement
away
from
 Reformation-era
“christocentrism”
toward
a
commitment
to
deterministic
 metaphysics.
According
to
this
line
of
scholarship,
whereas
Calvin’s
 predestinarianism
was
offset
by
christocentrism,
later
Reformed
writers
 transformed
the
doctrine
by
relying
on
Aristotle
and
the
scholastic
tradition,
 notably
on
the
Thomistic
trajectories
of
that
tradition.6 This
kind
of
argumentation
has
remained
typical
of
discussions
of
 Reformed
understandings
of
predestination,
grace,
and
free
choice.
The
 Reformed
or
“Calvinists,”
as
they
are
all
too
frequently
identified,
have
 been
viewed
as
pairing
almost
dualistically
“the
nothingness
of
man”
with
 “the
overmastering
power
of
God,”7
and,
accordingly,
as
teaching
a
 fundamentally
predestinarian
or
deterministic
theology—whether
in
utter
 accord
with
Calvin’s
thought
or
in
a
further,
negative
development
of
it.
 When,
moreover,
this
determinism
has
been
understood
as
a
negative
 development,
its
problematic
character
has
been
typically
associated
with
 its
scholastic
patterns
of
argumentation.8 Despite
a
considerable
amount
of
scholarship
that
has
reassessed
 orthodox
Reformed
theology,
these
readings
of
scholasticism,
Aristotelian


philosophy,
and
the
language
of
fourfold
causality,
together
with
the
 identification
of
Reformed
thought
as
a
form
of
determinism,
indeed,
as
a
 predestinarian
metaphysic,
have
continued
to
be
made
by
critics
of
the
older
 Reformed
theology,
whether
Arminian
or
nominally
Reformed.9
This
 reading
of
Reformed
understandings
of
necessity
and
freedom
has
also
been
 affirmed
by
various
modern
Reformed
writers
who
advocate
a
determinist
 or,
as
it
has
more
recently
been
identified,
compatibilist
line
of
theological
 formulation,
often
in
the
line
of
Jonathan
Edwards.10
These
assumptions
 about
the
deterministic
nature
of
Calvinism
have
been
absorbed
both
 positively
and
negatively
in
much
modern
literature
on
the
subject
of
divine
 will
and
its
relationship
to
human
free
choice
with
the
result
that
Calvinist
 or
Reformed
thought
has
been
described,
almost
uniformly,
by
both
 opponents
and
advocates,
as
a
kind
of
determinism,
often
compatibilism
or
 soft
determinism—with
little
or
no
concern
for
the
possible
anachronistic
 application
of
the
terms.11 In
short,
an
understanding
of
sixteenth-
and
seventeenth-century
 Reformed
theology
as
a
variety
of
fatalism
or
determinism,
despite
early
 modern
Reformed
claims
to
the
contrary,
became
the
dominant
line
in
 modern
discussion.
Arguably,
this
line
of
thought
is
prevalent
because
of
 the
loss
of
fluency
in
the
scholastic
language
of
the
early
modern
Reformed,
 particularly
in
the
distinctions
used
to
reconcile
the
divine
willing
of
all
 things,
the
sovereignty
of
grace,
and
overarching
divine
providence
with
 contingency
and
freedom,
not
merely
epistemically
but
ontically
understood
 as
the
possibility
for
things
and
effects
to
be
otherwise.
In
addition,
not
a
 few
of
the
proponents
and
critics
of
the
Reformed
doctrine
of
free
choice
 and
divine
willing
have
confused
the
specifically
soteriological
 determination
of
the
Reformed
doctrine
of
predestination
with
a
“divine
 determinism
of
all
human
actions,”
presumably
including
such
actions
as
 buttering
one’s
toast
in
the
morning
or
taking
what
Jeremy
Bentham
once
 called
an
“anteprandial
circumgyration”
of
his
garden.12 More
recent
work
on
Protestant
scholasticism
has
drawn
a
rather
 different
picture.
Various
scholars
have
argued
a
fairly
continuous
 development
of
Western
thought
from
the
later
Middle
Ages
into
the
early
 modern
era
and
have
argued
that
there
is
a
clear
doctrinal
continuity
 between
the
Reformation
and
the
later
orthodox
theologies,
particularly
 when
examined
in
terms
of
the
confessional
writings
of
the
era.
Typical
of
 these
studies
has
been
their
attention
to
the
actual
nature
of
scholasticism
as


primarily
a
method
rather
than
as
a
determiner
of
doctrinal
content.13
They
 have
also
recognized
that
scholastic
method
was
a
rather
fluid
phenomenon
 with
its
own
lines
of
development—with
the
result
that
the
scholasticism
of
 the
seventeenth
century
cannot
be
seen
as
a
simple
return
to
medieval
 models.14
Attention
has
also
been
paid
to
the
nature
of
the
Reformed
 tradition
as
rooted
broadly
in
the
Reformation
and
as
developing
into
a
 fairly
diverse
movement,
albeit
within
confessional
boundaries,15
with
the
 result
that
a
naive
characterization
of
Reformed
theology
as
“Calvinistic”
 and
measured
almost
solely
by
its
relation
to
Calvin’s
Institutes
has
been
 called
into
question.16 Several
of
these
studies,
moreover,
have
drawn
on
the
concept
of
 “simultaneous”
or
“synchronic
contingency”
to
argue
that
developing
 Reformed
theology
in
the
seventeenth
century
held
a
rather
robust
theory
of
 human
free
choice,
in
continuity
with
various
lines
of
argumentation
found
 among
the
late
medieval
scholastics
and
the
early
modern
Dominicans.17
 Nor
ought
it
to
be
assumed
that
developing
Reformed
theology
was
 monolithic
on
the
issue—among
the
Reformed
there
were
varied
definitions
 of
freedom
and
diverse
appropriations
of
the
older
tradition.18
Identification
 of
the
scholastic
Reformed
approach
to
human
freedom
with
the
 compatibilistic
views
of
Jonathan
Edwards
has
also
been
drawn
into
 question.19 These
differing
views
of
Calvin,
Calvinism,
and
Reformed
orthodoxy
 correspond
with
shifts
in
the
historiography
on
the
nature
and
character
of
 confessional
orthodoxy,
its
scholastic
method,
and
its
relationship
to
the
 older
Christian
tradition
in
its
appropriation
of
Aristotelian
or
Peripatetic
 philosophy.
In
much
of
the
older
scholarship,
the
theology
of
the
Reformers
 has
been
represented
as
antithetical
to
scholasticism
and
to
Aristotelian
 philosophy
and
as
opposed
to
various
forms
of
speculation
and
 philosophical
argumentation.
Accordingly,
the
rather
positive
relationship
 of
early
modern
Protestant
scholasticism
to
traditional,
largely
Peripatetic,
 forms
of
Christian
philosophy
has
typically
been
presented
in
equally
 negative
terms
on
the
basis
of
the
twin
assumptions
that
the
Reformation
set
 aside
the
long-standing
relationship
between
theology
and
what
can
loosely
 be
called
Christian
Aristotelianism
and
that
the
fundamental
recourse,
 identifiable
among
the
Protestant
scholastic
theologians
of
the
late
sixteenth
 and
early
seventeenth
centuries,
to
this
older
mode
of
dialogue,
debate,
and


formulation
between
theology
and
philosophy
was
little
more
than
a
 problematic
return
to
the
norms
of
a
rejected
tradition.20 Allied
to
the
older
view
of
Protestant
scholasticism
is
the
assumption,
 also
representative
of
the
older
scholarship,
that
the
philosophical
tendency
 of
early
modern
Reformed
thought
was
toward
a
form
of
philosophical
 determinism—perhaps
associated
with
a
deterministic
reading
of
Aristotle
 or,
at
least,
with
a
deterministic
understanding
of
causality
as
defined
by
the
 standard
Aristotelian
paradigm
of
efficient,
formal,
material,
and
final
 causes.21
Leaving
aside
the
muchdebated
question
of
continuity
or
 discontinuity
between
Calvin
and
later
Calvinism,
the
Aristotelian
 philosophical
assumptions
of
the
Reformed
orthodox
have
been
understood
 either
as
developing
and
solidifying
Calvin’s
already-deterministic
 understanding
of
predestination
and
free
choice
or
as
drawing
Calvin’s
 predestinarianism
into
a
deterministic
metaphysic. Writers
who
argue
this
negative
dogmatic
assessment
and
the
related
 assumption
of
a
clear
break
with
the
philosophical
and
theological
past
 engineered
by
the
first
and
second
generations
of
Reformers
have
been
slow
 to
absorb
nearly
a
half
century
of
revisionist
scholarship
that
has
rejected
 the
sense
of
a
neat
dividing
line
between
the
Middle
Ages
and
the
era
of
the
 Reformation.22
This
revisionist
scholarship
has
identified
significant
 medieval
antecedents,
both
theological
and
philosophical,
of
Protestant
 thought
in
both
the
Reformation
and
the
post-Reformation
eras.
It
has
 identified
continuities
in
doctrinal
development
between
the
Reformation
 and
the
era
of
post-Reformation
orthodoxy,
and
it
has
documented
not
 merely
the
maintenance
but
also
the
positive
development
of
the
Peripatetic
 tradition
in
Christian
philosophy
well
into
the
seventeenth
century.23
Other
 recent
studies
have
demonstrated
the
complex
and
often
subtle
relationships
 between
early
modern
Reformed
thought
and
the
varied
philosophical
 trajectories
of
the
era—undermining
further
the
simplistic
association
of
 Reformed
thought
with
scholasticism
and
scholasticism
with
 Aristotelianism.24 Recent
studies
of
the
medieval
and
early
modern
language
of
 “simultaneous”
or
“synchronic
contingency,”
already
noted
as
adding
a
 further
dimension
to
the
reassessment
of
Reformed
orthodoxy,
have
raised
a
 series
of
significant
issues
concerning
the
nature
and
content
of
later
 medieval
thought
and
its
reception
by
Protestant
thinkers
of
the
sixteenth
 and
seventeenth
centuries.
Having
accepted
the
often
disputed
readings
of


Aristotle
and
of
later
formulators
of
Christian
Aristotelianism
like
Thomas
 Aquinas
as
determinists,
they
have
argued
a
major
moment
of
transition
in
 understandings
of
necessity
and
contingency
that
took
place
in
the
late
 thirteenth
or
early
fourteenth
century,
specifically,
in
the
thought
of
John
 Duns
Scotus.
Scotus,
in
the
words
of
one
of
these
scholars,
Antonie
Vos,
 resolved
the
“masterproblem”
of
Western
thought.
Vos
has
also
argued
that
 the
Scotistic
resolution
of
this
problem
served
as
the
basis
for
nearly
all
 further
discussion
of
necessity
and
contingency
through
the
early
modern
 era.25 Vos’
interpretation
of
Aristotle,
Aquinas,
and
Scotus,
it
needs
be
noted,
 stands
in
accord
with
the
work
of
Jaakko
Hintikka
and
Simo
Knuuttila
on
 modal
logic
in
the
later
Middle
Ages.26
Beyond
this,
according
to
Vos,
 Scotus’
resolution
of
the
problem
carried
over
into
Reformed
orthodoxy
as
 its
central
identifying
feature—in
the
words
of
another
contributor
to
this
 line
of
thought,
rendering
Reformed
orthodoxy
a
“perfect
will
theology,”
 understood
as
a
Scotistic
variant
on
the
tradition
of
“perfect
being
theology”
 distinguished
by
a
more
nuanced
understanding
of
divine
agency.27 The
most
significant
recent
contribution
to
scholarship
on
the
issue
of
 freedom
and
determinism
in
the
older
Reformed
theology
is
Reformed
 Thought
on
Freedom,
edited
by
Willem
J.
Van
Asselt,
J.
Martin
Bac,
Roelf
 T.
te
Velde,
and
a
team
of
associates.
The
significance
of
the
volume
arises
 from
the
fact
that
it
has
taken
a
different
approach
to
the
materials
and,
 accordingly,
has
quite
radically
altered
the
field
of
discussion.
These
 scholars
have
argued
that
the
orthodox,
scholastic
Reformed
theology
of
the
 early
modern
era,
as
exemplified
by
such
authors
as
Franciscus
Junius,
 Franciscus
Gomarus,
Gisbertus
Voetius,
and
Francis
Turretin
was
not
a
 form
of
determinism
or
compatibilism,
nor,
indeed,
a
form
of
 libertarianism.
They
note
that
the
Arminian
critics
of
the
older
Reformed
 theology
had
argued
that
contingency
and
necessity
are
utterly
opposed
to
 one
another
and
irreconcilable.28
If
this
Arminian
critique
were
correct,
the
 authors
argue,
and
necessity
and
contingency
were
utterly
opposed,
one
 would
be
“forced
to
be
either
a
libertarian
or
a
determinist.”
The
Reformed
 scholastics,
however,
rejected
the
critique
and
its
premise,
espousing
a
view
 that
distinguished
between
absolute
and
relative
necessity
and
arguing
full
 creaturely
dependence
on
God,
a
contingent
world
order,
and
human
free
 choice.29
The
compilers
of
the
volume
point
out
from
the
very
beginning
of
 their
study
that
a
Reformed
orthodox
thinker
such
as
Francis
Turretin
could


state
without
qualification
and
without
discarding
his
doctrines
of
 predestination
and
providence
that
“we
[the
Reformed]
establish
free
choice
 far
more
truly
than
our
opponents.”30
Further,
they
argue
that
the
older,
 orthodox
Reformed
approach
to
reconciling
necessity
with
contingency
and
 freedom,
follows
out
the
modal
logic
of
late
medieval
theories
of
 simultaneous
or
synchronic
contingency.31 As
will
become
clear
in
what
follows,
the
point
made
by
Van
Asselt
and
 his
associates
in
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
that
the
older
Reformed
 approach
is
neither
a
form
of
compatibilism
nor
a
form
of
libertarianism,
 nor,
indeed,
a
kind
of
deterministic
incompatibilism,
but
a
theory
of
 “dependent
freedom,”
itself
occupies
a
significant
place
in
the
discussion.
 The
significance
of
the
point
is
that
it
refuses
the
standard
modern
paradigm
 for
discussing
the
issue
of
human
freedom
and
divine
determination
and
 accordingly
alters
the
terms
of
the
discussion
itself—over
against
a
 tendency
to
assert
the
modern
paradigm
and
its
terminology
and
to
reduce
 the
argument
for
synchronic
contingency
to
a
version
of
libertarianism. Much
of
the
alternative
approach
to
the
issue
of
contingency
and
freedom
 in
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
depends
on
a
historical
argument
that
the
 seventeenth-century
Reformed
orthodox
not
only
drew
broadly
on
medieval
 scholastic
theology,
as
has
been
readily
acknowledged
in
much
of
the
recent
 scholarship,
but
more
specifically
drew
on
Scotist
thought
for
an
 understanding
of
the
logic
of
divine
willing,
as
analyzed
primarily
in
the
 magisterial
work
of
Antonie
Vos.32
In
the
account
of
later
medieval
thought
 given
by
Vos,
Duns
Scotus’
thought
on
contingency,
specifically,
 synchronic
contingency,
marked
an
epoch
in
Western
theology
and
 philosophy
by
finally
setting
aside
the
shadow
of
ancient
philosophical
 determinism
and
demonstrating
how
the
radical
freedom
of
God
in
willing
 the
world
guarantees
its
contingency
and
opens
a
place
for
genuine
 creaturely
freedom.
Vos’
understanding
of
freedom
and
contingency
 underlies
the
argumentation
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
and
has,
 more
recently,
provided
much
of
the
conceptual
basis
for
a
study
of
the
 divine
will
by
J.
Martin
Bac,
as
also
for
an
outline
of
the
Reformed
doctrine
 of
God
by
Roelf
Te
Velde,
and
the
analyses
of
Richard
Baxter’s
theology
 and
Samuel
Rutherford’s
ethics
by
Simon
Burton.33 This
reading
of
the
older
Reformed
doctrine
has
been
roundly
critiqued,
 primarily
by
Paul
Helm.
Helm,
who
has
argued
at
some
length
and
in
detail
 that
Calvin
held
a
compatibilist
view
of
divine
willing
and
human


freedom,34
understands
a
significant
continuity
of
thought
between
Calvin
 and
the
Reformed
orthodox
and,
accordingly,
has
argued
both
that
the
 Reformed
orthodox
did
not
adopt
the
theory
of
synchronic
contingency
and
 also
that
the
concept
itself
provides
no
satisfactory
explanation
of
human
 freedom
and
divine
determination.35
Helm’s
argumentation
along
these
lines
 relates
to
his
long-held
view,
in
accord
with
much
of
the
recent
revisionist
 scholarship
on
the
Reformed
tradition,
that
Calvin’s
thought
cannot
be
 posed
in
a
facile
manner
against
later
“Calvinist”
thought.36 The
debate
between
the
contributors
to
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
 and
Paul
Helm
is
complicated,
moreover,
by
what
appears
to
be
a
 fundamental
disagreement
over
the
terms
of
the
debate
itself.
The
 assumption
of
the
editors
is
that
the
modern
categories
of
libertarianism
and
 compatibilism
(with
the
latter
understood
in
a
deterministic
sense)
do
not
 exhaust
the
field:
the
older
Reformed
doctrine,
in
their
view,
corresponds
 neither
with
libertarian
nor
with
compatibilist/determinist
definitions.
 Helm’s
arguments,
on
the
other
hand,
appear
to
accept
the
premise
that
 necessity
and
causal
or
ontic
contingency,
understood
as
the
inherent
 possibility
for
things
and
events
to
be
otherwise,
are
incompatible
and
that,
 therefore,
there
is
no
third
category
of
explanation
between
the
libertarian
 and
compatibilist
options.
As
a
result,
Helm
concludes
that
by
denying
that
 the
Reformed
orthodox
were
compatibilists,
the
contributors
to
Reformed
 Thought
on
Freedom
must
ultimately
place
the
Reformed
in
the
libertarian
 camp,37
a
conclusion
that,
as
we
have
seen,
they
deny. Helm’s
approach
to
Reformed
orthodoxy
has
also
encountered
historical
 arguments,
illustrated
by
eighteenth-century
assessments
and
nineteenthcentury
controversy
over
the
philosophy
of
Jonathan
Edwards,
to
the
effect
 that
a
major
shift
took
place
in
fundamental
understandings
of
necessity
and
 contingency
in
Reformed
thought
in
the
late
seventeenth
and
early
 eighteenth
centuries.38
These
arguments
understand
Edwards
as
determinist
 in
the
line
of
Hobbes
and
Locke,
who
ruled
out
genuine
contingency
in
the
 world
order
and,
accordingly,
also,
reduced
human
freedom
to
spontaneity
 of
will
and
absence
of
coercion.
Edwards’
view
of
human
freedom,
 therefore,
is
seen
to
be
distinct
from
the
traditional
Reformed
affirmation
of
 contingency
and
freedom,
which
is
argued
as
not
limiting
freedom
to
 spontaneity
and
absence
of
coercion
but
as
defining
it
in
terms
of
genuine
 alternative
possibilities
belonging
to
the
human
faculties.
Helm’s
response
 to
this
line
of
argument
has
been
to
offer
a
careful
analysis
of
later


Reformed
thought,
primarily
that
of
Francis
Turretin,
that
indicates
a
 continuity
of
philosophical
assumptions
between
Turretin
and
Edwards,
 with
Turretin
understood,
like
Edwards,
as
a
compatibilist
who
disavows
 alternativity.39 More
recently,
the
debate
has
broadened
somewhat
to
include
a
proposal
 by
Oliver
Crisp
that
some
orthodox
Reformed
theologians
actually
 advocated
a
form
of
libertarianism,
or
at
least
that
libertarianism
is
not
 incompatible
with
the
definitions
found
in
the
Westminster
Confession
of
 Faith.
Crisp
states
that
Reformed
theology
is
“not
necessarily
committed
to
 hard
determinism”
and
allows
for
“free
will
in
some
sense,”
hardly
a
 revolutionary
claim.
He
then
goes
on
to
argue,
however,
that
a
“libertarian
 Calvinist”
will
affirm
that
God
“ordains
whatsoever
comes
to
pass”
but
 does
not
either
determine
or
cause
all
things:
some
human
acts
are
merely
 foreseen
and
permitted.40
As
Crisp
recognizes,
an
understanding
of
some
 human
acts
as
foreseen
and
permitted
would
fall
outside
the
confessional
 boundaries
of
Reformed
theology
into
what
is
normally
thought
of
as
 Arminianism
and,
we
add,
would
probably
indicate
a
notion
of
unwilled
 permission
that
Calvin
had
explicitly
repudiated.
Crisp
cites
Reformed
 Thought
on
Freedom
as
arguing
similarly
that
at
least
some
Reformed
 theology
is
not
determinist.
He
then
goes
on
to
indicate
that
“much
 Reformed
theology
. . .
appears”
also
“to
be
consistent
with
theological
 compatibilism,”
at
the
same
time
that
he
identifies
both
Jonathan
Edwards
 and
Francis
Turretin
as
“hard
determinists,”
despite
the
argumentation
of
 the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
concerning
Turretin,
and
 despite
the
scholarship
that
has
indicated
significant
differences
between
 Turretin
and
Edwards.41
The
resulting
impression
is
that,
at
least
according
 to
Crisp,
variant
versions
of
Reformed
thought
could
be
hard
determinist,
 soft
determinist
or
compatibilist,
and
libertarian.
Apart
from
Crisp’s
stated
 intention
to
provoke
debate
and
to
argue
for
a
broader
Reformed
tradition
 than
has
been
typically
admitted
(all
of
which
is
quite
positive),
he
fails
to
 deal
with
the
argument
made
by
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
that
early
modern
Reformed
understandings
of
necessity,
freedom,
 and
contingency
do
not
easily
fit
the
categories
of
either
libertarianism
or
 compatibilism,
not
to
mention
hard
determinism—and,
accordingly,
presses
 variant
formulae
found
in
Reformed
thought
into
one
or
another
of
the
 modern
categories.
An
alternative
resolution
to
Crisp’s
somewhat
 artificially
constructed
conundrum
is
to
argue,
following
the
authors
of


Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
that
neither
the
Reformed
tradition
nor
the
 larger
part
of
the
earlier
philosophical
and
theological
tradition
fits
into
 these
categories. The
questions
raised
by
this
debate
have
profound
implications
for
the
 understanding
of
traditional
Reformed
theology
as
well
as
for
the
broader
 issue
of
philosophical
and
theological
understandings
of
human
freedom
in
 general.
As
Keith
Stanglin
stated
the
issue
in
his
review
of
Reformed
 Thought
on
Freedom,
“This
historical
investigation
issues
a
tacit
challenge
 to
modern
Calvinists,
especially
to
those
who
subscribe
to
a
metaphysical
 determinism
that
brings
with
it
intolerable
theological
conclusions,”
such
as
 the
identification
of
God
as
the
author
of
sin
and
the
removal
of
human
 moral
responsibility.42
It
also,
by
extension,
issues
a
challenge
to
the
 Arminian
critics
of
Calvinism—whose
condemnations
may
actually
miss
 the
point
of
traditional
Reformed
thought
on
free
choice. 1.2
Freedom,
Necessity,
and
Protestant
Scholasticism:
A
Multi-Layered
 Problem Contemporary
debate
over
the
nature
and
character
of
Protestant
 Scholasticism,
most
recently
over
the
traditionary
backgrounds
and
patterns
 of
address
to
the
problem
of
freedom
and
necessity
among
the
Reformed
 orthodox
thinkers
of
the
early
modern
era,
has
developed
into
a
rich
and
 multi-layered
field
of
study,
pressing
beyond
the
more
general
issue
of
 continuities,
discontinuities,
and
developments
extending
from
the
later
 Middle
Ages
into
the
Reformation
and
post-Reformation
eras
to
a
series
of
 more
highly
nuanced
questions
concerning
specific
trajectories
of
 argumentation,
some
rooted
in
the
intense
inter-confessional
debates
of
the
 late
sixteenth
and
early
seventeenth
centuries;
others
demanding
scrutiny
of
 the
scholastic
distinctions
concerning
the
relationship
of
God
and
world,
 divine
omnipotence
and
freedom,
necessity
and
contingency
as
they
were
 used
and
debated
in
the
later
Middle
Ages;
and
still
others
extending
 through
nearly
the
entire
reach
of
Western
intellectual
history. Specifying
these
questions
roughly
a
minimis
ad
maximis
also
yields
a
 series
of
overlapping
scholarly
problems,
histories
of
scholarship,
and
states
 of
questions,
several
of
which
have
not
to
my
knowledge
been
previously
 drawn
together.
Like
the
series
of
historical
questions
just
noted,
the
state
of


the
question
in
modern
scholarship
on
the
problem
of
freedom
and
 necessity
in
early
modern
Reformed
thought
is
itself
multi-layered. First,
questions
concerning
the
relationship
of
the
thought
of
the
 Reformers
to
their
orthodox-era
successors
on
the
issue
of
freedom
and
 necessity
retain
some
of
the
contours
of
the
old
“Calvin
against
the
 Calvinists”
debate.
Was
the
development
continuous
or
discontinuous;
 which
of
the
first-
and
second-generation
Reformers
(if
any)
supplied
the
 proximate
foundations
for
Protestant
development?
Did
the
rise
of
 Protestant
scholasticism
with
its
broader
access
to
the
older
tradition
alter
 the
complexion
of
Reformed
doctrine?
Was
it
a
formal
alteration
brought
 about
by
the
introduction
of
scholastic
method
or
a
substantive
alteration
in
 doctrinal
content.
And,
if
a
matter
of
content,
was
this
alteration
toward
a
 more
deterministic
or
predestinarian
model
or
away
from
it? Second,
granting
the
detailed
and
increasingly
specific
access
particularly
 of
seventeenth-century
Reformed
writers
to
the
broader
patristic
and
 medieval
tradition
of
theology
and
philosophy,43
a
set
of
questions
arises
 concerning
reception
and
appropriation.
How
did
Reformed
writers
access
 older,
often
scholastic,
patterns
of
argumentation
given
their
fundamentally
 different
stance
over
against
the
tradition
from
their
Roman
Catholic
 counterparts
and
given
as
well
the
varied
backgrounds
of
the
earlier
 Reformers
in
diverse
religious
orders,
intellectual
movements,
and
 philosophical
trajectories
of
the
later
Middle
Ages
and
Renaissance?
What
 were
the
theological
and
philosophical
preferences
of
the
various
Reformed
 writers
or
of
the
Reformed
confessional
movement
as
a
whole—was
the
 tendency
toward
Thomism
or
Scotism,
was
it
eclectic,
and
how
much
did
 the
reception
of
these
currents
vary
from
one
Reformed
thinker
to
another?
 Further,
when
Thomist
or
Scotist
patterns
of
definition
and
argument
are
 found
among
the
Reformed,
from
what
sources
did
these
definitions
and
 arguments
come—medieval
or
early
modern
or
both? Third,
with
reference
only
to
issues
of
freedom,
necessity,
and
 contingency
(albeit
recognizing
the
broader
implications
of
the
question),
 how
should
the
Reformed
appropriation
of
traditionary
arguments
be
 understood
in
relation
to
the
perennial
philosophical
questions,
particularly
 as
represented
in
understandings
of
Aristotle
and
the
Peripatetic
tradition?
 To
the
extent
that
the
question
of
Thomist
or
Scotist
backgrounds
to
 Reformed
thought
engages
the
issue
of
medieval
understandings
of
 Aristotle,
how
did
medieval
thinkers
understand
Aristotle
on
the
problem
of


necessity
and
contingency;
how
does
their
reception
and
modification
of
 Aristotle’s
arguments
serve
to
interpret
later
receptions
of
medieval
 materials?
And
how,
given
this
long
history
of
reception
and
debate,
did
the
 Reformed
writers
of
the
early
modern
era
interpret
Aristotle,
or,
more
 precisely,
how
did
they
receive
and
interpret
the
peripatetic
tradition?44 Other
questions
of
similar
bearing
on
the
topic
could
easily
be
generated.
 Given
the
number
and
complexity
of
these
questions,
some
must
remain
 peripheral
to
the
main
lines
of
inquiry
in
the
present
essay
and
others
will
 need
to
be
reviewed
in
a
somewhat
abbreviated
form,
with
reference
to
 bodies
of
secondary
literature.
The
whole
will,
of
course,
be
focused
on
the
 questions
directly
concerned
with
Reformed
orthodox
argumentation
 concerning
freedom
and
necessity,
taken
in
the
general
sense
of
the
Godworld
relationship
and
the
doctrine
of
divine
concurrence
in
matters
of
 natural
causality
and
free
choice—leaving
aside
the
more
specific
 theological
issue
of
sin,
grace,
and
free
choice. These
formal
considerations
yield
a
study
organized
into
three
parts.
The
 first
part
deals
with
the
contemporary
debates
over
the
issue
of
Reformed
 orthodoxy
and
philosophy
and
over
the
concept
of
“synchronic
 contingency”
and
its
impact
on
the
older
Reformed
theology.
The
second
is
 concerned
with
the
questions
of
the
reception
of
Aristotle
and
the
medieval
 backgrounds,
referencing
as
well
current
debate
over
the
implications
of
 particular
texts
on
necessity
and
contingency
in
Aristotle,
Aquinas,
and
 Scotus.
The
third
part
examines
the
early
modern
Reformed
formulations.
 This
three
part
structure
stands
in
direct
relationship
to
the
way
in
which
 issues
can
be
addressed:
the
issue
of
diachronic
and
synchronic
contingency
 (and
whether
the
terms
themselves
are
proper
applications
to
the
materials)
 runs
through
the
entire
length
of
the
essay,
given
the
backgrounds
to
the
 debate
in
the
ancient
understandings
of
necessity,
possibility,
contingency,
 and
impossibility.
Here
the
issue
of
non-theistic
philosophical
approaches
to
 libertarianism
and
compatibilism
can
also
be
raised.
The
issue
of
 compatibilism
versus
libertarianism,
including
the
question
of
the
 applicability
of
these
terms,
arises
in
theistic
form
only
in
the
discussion
of
 the
late
patristic,
medieval,
and
early
modern
Christian
writers. Inasmuch
as
these
historical
theses
entail
a
set
of
assumptions
concerning
 not
only
Duns
Scotus
but
also
Aristotle
and
Thomas
Aquinas,
the
essay
will
 also
examine
the
arguments
for
and
against
determinist
readings
of
Aristotle
 and
Aquinas
particularly
as
they
impact
the
question
of
a
revolutionary


revision
of
the
understanding
of
contingency
in
the
thought
of
Duns
Scotus.
 This
examination
will
entail
a
fairly
close
look
at
Aristotle’s
argumentation,
 particularly
in
his
De
Interpretatione
and
Metaphysica,
as
well
as
at
the
 ways
in
which
these
arguments
were
received
in
the
Western
philosophical
 tradition,
notably,
by
Thomas
Aquinas.
Given
an
analysis
of
Aquinas’
 thought,
both
his
relation
to
Scotus’
development
of
language
concerning
 contingency
and
to
the
issue
of
what
Vos
has
called
the
“master
problem”
of
 the
older
Christian
philosophical
tradition
can
be
brought
into
focus.45
This
 analysis
can
then
provide
a
background
to
what
is
actually
the
central
 historical
question
of
the
inquiry,
namely,
whether
the
understanding
of
 contingency
and
freedom
found
in
early
modern
Reformed
orthodoxy
arose
 by
way
of
the
reception
of
specifically
Scotistic
arguments
or
whether
it
 ought
to
be
understood
as
a
more
eclectic
early
modern
reception
of
 elements
of
the
broader
tradition
of
Christian
Aristotelianism,
including
 Thomist
as
well
as
Scotist
elements. The
main
thesis
of
the
essay
concerns
the
content
and
implications
of
 early
modern
Reformed
understandings
of
freedom
and
necessity
in
the
 larger
context
of
an
understanding
of
providence
or,
more
precisely,
the
 providential
concursus
or
divine
concurrence.
The
essay
will
argue
that
 early
modern
Reformed
theologians
and
philosophers
developed
a
robust
 doctrine
of
creaturely
contingency
and
human
freedom
built
on
a
series
of
 traditional
scholastic
distinctions,
including
those
associated
with
what
has
 come
to
be
called
“synchronic
contingency,”
and
did
so
for
the
sake
of
 respecting
the
underlying
premise
of
Reformed
thought
that
God
eternally
 and
freely
decrees
the
entire
order
of
the
universe,
past,
present,
and
future,
 including
all
events
and
acts,
whether
necessary,
contingent,
or
free.
In
this
 context,
it
will
be
argued
that,
contrary
to
several
of
the
recent
approaches
 to
this
issue,
synchronic
contingency
is
not
by
itself
an
ontology
but
rather
 serves
as
an
explanatory
language,
used
in
conjunction
with
a
series
of
 related
scholastic
distinctions,
that
is
supportive
of
the
ontological
 assumptions
belonging
to
the
Reformed
doctrines
concerning
the
 relationship
of
God
and
world,
notably,
the
doctrine
of
providence.
In
this
 context,
moreover,
there
will
also
be
a
need
to
critique
the
somewhat
 anachronistic
application
of
the
modern
language
of
compatibilism,
 incompatibilism,
and
libertarianism
to
the
medieval
and
early
modern
 materials,46
just
as
there
needs
to
be
a
more
contextualized
explanation
of


synchronic
contingency,
given
both
the
imprecision
of
the
term
and
its
 absence
from
the
scholastic
sources. Further,
the
essay
will
show
that
the
seeming
paradox
of
God
decreeing
 all
things
including
contingencies
and
free
acts,
when
placed
into
its
early
 modern
context
and
its
traditional
scholastic
usages,
is
not
at
all
paradoxical
 but
rests
on
a
particular
understanding
of
the
concurrent
operation
of
 primary
and
secondary
causality
in
the
work
of
divine
providence,
defined
 by
the
terminology
and
distinctions
associated
with
synchronic
contingency.
 That
understanding,
moreover,
with
its
paradigms
for
distinguishing
and
 relating
divine
and
creaturely
causalities,
identifies
both
the
medieval
and
 the
early
modern
formulations
as
significantly
different
from
the
concerns
 of
the
modern
compatibilist
and
libertarian
approaches
to
the
problem
of
 human
freedom.
When,
therefore,
the
older
scholastic
discussions
of
divine
 and
creaturely
causality
and
of
various
kinds
of
necessity
and
contingency
 are
placed
into
this
broader
theological
and
philosophical
context
of
 providence
and
concursus,
some
of
the
problems
raised
concerning
the
 attribution
of
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
to
the
scholastics
 generally
and
specifically
to
the
early
modern
Reformed,
notably
the
 complaint
that
this
attribution
improperly
reinterprets
Reformed
theology
as
 a
form
of
libertarianism,
are
set
aside
and
the
differences
between
the
 Reformed
position
and
the
views
of
modern
compatibilists
as
well
as
 libertarians
become
clear. The
essay
will
also
argue
that
the
concept
of
synchronic
or
simultaneous
 contingency
presented
in
the
work
of
Vos,
Dekker,
Bac
and
the
other
 authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
and
his
associates
should
be
 understood
in
the
context
of
several
rather
distinct
issues
and
interpreted
in
 terms
of
a
series
of
further
scholastic
distinctions
specifically
as
they
are
 used
to
identify
and
argue
ontological
as
well
as
logical
conclusions.
Failure
 to
reference
these
distinctions
consistently,
indeed,
the
failure
to
focus
on
 the
entire
series
of
different
terms
and
the
distinctions
that
they
convey,
can
 result
in
confusion
and
in
the
creation
of
unnecessary
opposition
to
the
 central
theological
and
philosophical
points
of
the
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
thesis
on
the
nature
of
contingency
as
defined
by
the
early
modern
 Reformed.
Vos
sets
out
various
of
these
distinctions
most
carefully
in
his
 monograph
on
The
Philosophy
of
John
Duns
Scotus,47
less
clearly
and
fully
 in
other
works.48
They
also
appear,
in
fully
developed
forms
in
Andreas
 Beck’s
work
on
Voetius.49

Thus,
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
needs
to
be
understood,
 then
in
the
light
of
a
reading
of
such
distinctions
as
simultas
potentiae– potentia
simultatis,
necessitas
consequentis–necessitas
consequentiae,
 prima
causa–causa
secunda,
and
sensus
compositus–sensus
divisus,
 namely,
the
simultaneity
of
potency
versus
the
potency
for
simultaneity,
the
 necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
versus
the
necessity
of
the
consequence,
 primary
or
ultimate
causality
versus
secondary
causality,
and
the
composite
 sense
versus
the
divided
sense—not
to
mention
a
series
of
other
distinctions
 regularly
used
by
the
scholastics
concerning
the
divine
knowledge,
will,
 and
acts
ad
intra
and
ad
extra.
Arguably,
taken
in
a
strict
sense,
only
one
of
 these
issues
may
be
suitably
identified
with
synchronic
or
simultaneous
 contingency,
namely,
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
in
a
subject
capable
of
 bringing
about
different,
even
contrary
effects.
The
other
issues
ought
to
be
 distinguished
from
synchronic
contingency,
strictly
understood:
absolute
or
 physical
necessity
in
distinction
from
logical
necessity;
simultaneous
 operation
of
more
than
one
cause,
particularly
of
efficiencies,
in
the
 bringing
about
of
one
effect;
and
the
use
of
modal
expressions
(composite
 and
divided)
to
present
contraries
without
violating
the
law
of
 noncontradiction,
the
principle
of
excluded
middle,
or
the
principle
of
 bivalence.50
This
is
not
to
deny
that
there
are
major
differences
to
be
 observed
among
late
medieval
schools
of
thought
concerning
definitions
of
 contingency
or
that
the
battery
of
arguments
gathered
under
the
rubric
of
 synchronic
contingency
are
significant
to
the
discussion
of
contingency
and
 freedom—hardly—rather
the
point
is
to
require
more
precise
definition
of
 the
synchronicity
or,
indeed,
synchronicities,
that
must
be
identified
in
 discussion
of
the
larger
issue
of
contingency
and
freedom
in
the
world
 order. The
distinction
between
diachronic
and
synchronic
contingency
has
to
do
 with
the
temporal
identification
or
indexing
of
the
root
of
contingency.
In
 the
diachronic
model,
the
contingent
is
something
in
the
present
that
could
 have
occurred
otherwise
given
past
alternative
possibilities
or
potencies.
 The
contingency
is
defined
primarily
in
terms
of
an
alternate
state
of
affairs
 that
was
possible
prior
to
the
eventuation
of
present
moment,
and,
typically,
 the
event
or
act
in
the
present
moment
is
understood
simply
as
something
 that
does
not
exist
always
and
is
not
necessary.
In
the
synchronic
model,
the
 contingent
is
something
present
that
presently
could
be
otherwise
given
the
 unactualized
but
nonetheless
remaining
alternative
possibility
or
potency.


The
contingency
is
identified
“synchronically”
as
an
alternate
state
of
 affairs
that
is
possible
(albeit
not
actual)
in
the
present
moment.
According
 to
this
synchronic
understanding,
the
language
of
“not
always”
and
“not
 necessary”
is
replaced
by
a
language
of
“could
be
otherwise”
in
the
specific
 sense
that,
the
potency
for
the
opposite
remaining
present,
the
opposite
of
 what
occurred
could
occur
in
that
particular
moment.
In
short,
the
 diachronic
definition
appears
to
root
contingency
in
past
possibility,
 defining
the
contingent
as
something
that
can
either
not
exist
or
be
false
at
a
 time
other
than
when
it
exists
or
is
true.
The
synchronic
definition
roots
 contingency
in
the
existence
of
a
present
potency
to
the
opposite,
defining
 the
contingent
as
something
that,
potentially,
may
either
not
exist
or
be
false
 at
the
same
time
that
it
exists
or
is
true.
Synchronic
contingency,
however,
 is
not
to
be
understood
as
violating
either
the
law
of
non-contradiction
or
 the
principle
of
bivalence:
it
does
not
constitute
a
claim
that
a
particular
 actuality
can
actually
be
other
than
what
it
is
in
the
present
moment
or
that
 a
proposition
can
be
both
true
and
false—although
it
can
entail
the
 assumption
that
contradictory
propositions
concerning
future
conditionals
 are
presently
indeterminate
or
indefinite.51 It
needs
be
noted,
without
getting
too
far
ahead
of
the
historical
evidence,
 that
these
views
of
contingency
are
not
necessarily
mutually
exclusive— nor,
indeed,
do
they
necessarily
pose
different
views
either
of
the
 contingency
of
the
thing
caused
or
of
the
relationship
of
potencies
to
 actualities.52
Those
differences
arise
from
other
elements
of
the
 argumentation,
including
assumptions
concerning
the
nature
of
divine
 eternity,
the
nature
of
providential
concurrence,
and
the
nature
of
the
 necessity
of
the
present—as
consequent
or
of
the
consequence—and,
more
 importantly,
from
the
way
in
which
possibilities
and
potencies
are
 understood
in
the
context
of
their
opposites
being
actualized. Accordingly,
it
is
debatable
whether
the
two
views,
as
just
now
defined,
 invariably
propose
alternative
notions
of
possibility.53
They
may,
in
some
 cases,
simply
be
different
ways
of
expressing
the
same
contingency.54
Nor,
 as
we
will
see,
does
one
definition
lead
to
a
determinist
and
the
other
to
an
 indeterminist
or
libertarian
understanding
of
the
relationship
of
God
to
the
 world
order
or,
more
specifically,
to
human
free
choice.
The
compatibility
 of
the
two
definitions
and
their
relationship
to
determinism
will
become
a
 significant
issue
in
subsequent
chapters,
and
it
underlines
a
central
question


that
can
be
raised
concerning
the
historical
aspect
of
the
account
of
 contingency
presented
by
Vos
and
his
associates. In
relation
to
these
definitions,
there
is
an
undeniably
“diachronic
 relation”
of
past,
present,
and
future
times
that
stands
in
distinction
with
 (but
is
not
necessarily
separated
from)
“synchronic
relation
of
cause
to
 effect,”
particularly
with
reference
to
the
interrelationship
of
primary
and
 secondary
causality.55
When
the
causal
operation
of
a
single
temporal
 contingent
is
taken
by
itself,
there
is
a
necessary
diachronicity
of
cause
and
 effect,
although,
particularly
in
the
case
of
free
rational
creatures
that
have
 potency
to
more
than
one
effect,
there
is
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
to
will
 or
not
will
or
will
otherwise.
Further,
when
several
temporal
causes
operate
 to
produce
an
effect
in
the
same
moment,
there
is
a
causal
synchronicity
in
 the
course
of
diachronic
relations.
When,
moreover,
the
dual
divine
and
 human
causality
in
the
production
of
contingents
is
considered,
there
is
a
 causal
synchronicity.
And
when
the
contrary,
unactualized
potencies
of
the
 divine
and
human
causes
of
the
event
are
considered,
from
the
perspective
 of
the
unactualized
alternative
possibility,
there
is
a
synchronic
contingency
 represented
by
real
possibles
known
both
to
God
and
to
the
human
subject
 and
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
both
in
God
and
in
the
human
subject
 capable
of
actualizing
alternative
possibles.
This
causal
synchronicity
in
 bringing
about
contingencies
understood
as
conjoined
with
the
concept
of
 simultaneous
potencies
has,
moreover,
been
argued
in
several
different
 ways,
only
one
of
which
is
specifically
Scotist. Of
course,
as
already
indicated,
the
terms
“synchronic
contingency”
and
 “simultaneous
contingency”
are
themselves
of
modern
origin
and
not
so
 clearly
rooted
in
the
sources—a
point
that
does
not
cancel
their
usefulness,
 but
that
ought
to
make
the
user
a
bit
wary
of
their
loose
application
and
of
 their
potential
to
mislead.
In
the
sources
that
we
will
examine,
language
of
 synchronicity
or,
more
precisely
simultaneity,
arises
in
relation
to
the
issue
 of
a
particular
rational
being
having
the
capacity
to
will,
not
will,
or
will
 otherwise:
the
simultaneity
in
this
case
is
not
a
simultaneity
of
 contingencies
but
also
a
simultaneity
of
capacities
or
potencies.
This
latter
 language
of
simultaneity
of
potencies
is
clearly
present
in
the
terminology
 used
in
the
scholastic
sources.
Once
placed
into
its
context
in
Reformed
 explanations
of
divine
and
human
causality,
the
concept
and
language
of
or
 simultaneous
potencies
will
be
seen
to
provide
nuanced
explanations
of
 contingent
and
free
acts,
particularly
those
that
involve
more
than
one
free,


rational,
volitional
being—without,
however,
departing
from
the
basic
 assumptions
associated
with
diachronic
contingency. One
further
question
hovers
around
the
edges
of
the
research:
the
 question
of
the
applicability
of
the
modern
language
of
“compatibilism”
 and
“libertarianism”
to
arguments
set
in
pre-modern
contexts.
The
question
 arises
because
of
the
use
of
this
language
in
much
of
the
scholarship
and
 because
of
the
obvious
difficulty
that
the
scholarship
has
encountered
in
 characterizing
traditional
arguments,
whether
from
the
medieval
or
the
early
 modern
eras,
as
compatibilist
or
libertarian.
Part
of
the
problem
of
the
 terminology
is
that
it
is
subject
to
various
meanings
and
connotations— another
part,
however,
is
that
the
terms
“compatibilist”
and
“libertarian,”
 however
defined,
given
the
differences
between
modern
understandings
of
 causality,
necessity,
and
contingency,
may
not
be
suitable
to
describe
or
 characterize
many
of
the
medieval
and
early
modern
arguments.
Modern
 attempts
to
press
the
older
scholastic
theology
into
the
categories
identified
 by
these
terms
can
(and
has)
become
quite
problematic
itself—most
notably
 perhaps
in
the
attempt
to
interpret
the
older
Reformed
theology
or
 “Calvinism”
in
terms
of
a
modern
compatibilist
model.
This
terminological
 problem,
like
the
terminological
problem
of
“synchronic
contingency,”
will
 appear
at
various
points
in
the
essay
and,
hopefully,
will
find
some
 resolution,
at
least
in
terms
of
early
modern
Reformed
applications,
in
the
 conclusion. 1.3
Synchronic
Contingency:
Historiographical
Issues
of
Medieval
and
 Early
Modern
Debate,
Conversation,
and
Reception A
series
of
studies
of
the
problem
of
necessity
and
contingency
in
late
 medieval
and
early
modern
Reformed
thought
have
advanced
our
 understanding
of
the
ways
in
which
traditional
theologies
and
philosophies
 have
accounted
for
the
relationship
of
God
to
the
world
order
and
for
the
 existence
of
human
freedom
in
a
radically
contingent
world
order
that
owes
 its
very
existence
to
the
divine
will.56
These
studies
have
not
only
 contributed
significantly
to
an
understanding
of
the
medieval
backgrounds
 of
Protestant
thought,
they
have
also
considerably
enriched
our
 understanding
of
the
inherited
technical
language
used
by
Protestant
 philosophers
and
theologians
of
the
early
modern
era.
The
technical
 language
of
early
modern
Protestant
theology
and
philosophy
is
now


recognized
to
belong
to
a
tradition
of
dialogue
and
debate
formed
by
 medieval
scholastics
like
Thomas
Aquinas,
Duns
Scotus,
Thomas
 Bradwardine,
Gregory
of
Rimini,
and
William
of
Ockham.
In
particular,
a
 body
of
recent
studies
has
argued
a
strongly
Scotist
cast
to
Reformed
 orthodox
theology
as
it
developed
into
the
seventeenth
century.57 Nonetheless,
the
interpretation
of
Reformed
scholastic
understandings
of
 necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
along
Scotist
lines
that
is
characteristic
 of
these
studies
and
their
further
claim
that
a
specifically
Scotist
theme
of
 synchronic
contingency
is
the
“identifying
paradigm”
and
“conceptual”
or
 “systematic
centre”
of
Reformed
orthodox
theology
has
not
gone
 unquestioned.58
On
the
one
hand,
scholarship
dealing
with
the
concept
of
 synchronic
contingency
in
medieval
thought
is
not
entirely
in
agreement
 with
Vos’
assessment
and
approach.
Several
writers
have
indicated
sources
 and
usages
of
the
concept
other
than
Scotus
and
Scotism.
The
significance
 of
the
concept
and
its
formulae
have
also
been
debated,
notably
in
relation
 to
the
issue
of
understandings
of
contingency
and
freedom
prior
to
Scotus,
 whether
in
the
Peripatetic
tradition
generally,
in
the
medieval
reception
of
 Aristotle,
or
in
the
thought
of
Thomas
Aquinas.
On
the
other
hand,
in
a
very
 general
sense,
the
identification
of
early
modern
Reformed
understandings
 of
the
God-world
relationship
as
predominantly
Scotist
is
disputed
by
a
line
 of
scholarship
that
understands
the
Reformed
orthodox
writers
as
 philosophically
eclectic
and
grounded
in
a
rather
broad
background
of
 patristic
and
medieval
materials.59
The
claim
of
an
“identifying
paradigm”
 or
“conceptual
center”
that
serves
as
the
interpretive
pivot
for
the
whole
of
 early
modern
Reformed
theology
and
renders
it
Scotist
appears
to
have
 problematic
affinities
to
the
older
central
dogma
theory
or
to
what
Quentin
 Skinner
identifies
as
a
“mythology
of
coherence”
imposed
on
materials
of
 the
past.60
One
recent
study
has
shown,
moreover,
the
strongly
non-Scotist
 and
even
anti-Scotist
direction
of
Reformed
thought
on
the
question
of
the
 univocity
of
being.61
In
addition
to
the
specific
point
of
early
modern
 Reformed
thought
on
freedom
and
contingency,
the
applicability
of
Scotist
 language
of
synchronic
contingency
to
early
modern
Reformed
thought
has
 been
challenged,
most
notably
by
Paul
Helm,
who
has
argued
that
the
 language
itself
is
confusing,
indeed,
impossible
from
an
ontic
perspective,
 and
(as
interpreted
by
Vos
and
others)
at
odds
with
the
assumptions
of
the
 Reformed
orthodox.62

There
are
also
several
approaches
to
Reformed
thought,
both
in
the
 Reformation
and
in
the
era
of
orthodoxy,
that
have
identified
other
medieval
 backgrounds.
Beyond
this,
examination
of
the
highly
influential
 Reformation-era
theology
of
Peter
Martyr
Vermigli,
often
viewed
as
one
of
 the
more
significant
forebears
of
Reformed
orthodoxy,
has
identified
roots
 both
in
Thomism
and
in
the
late
medieval
Augustinianism
of
Gregory
of
 Rimini.63
Wolfgang
Musculus
regularly
cited
Aquinas,
Scotus,
and
 Occam.64
The
view
of
a
predominantly
Scotistic
background
to
Reformed
 orthodoxy,
therefore,
cannot
go
unquestioned:
the
roots
of
Reformed
 orthodoxy
in
the
work
of
major
second-generation
codifiers
of
the
 Reformation
point
toward
an
eclectic
reception
of
medieval
materials. There
is,
moreover,
an
older
line
of
scholarship,
often
complicated
by
the
 problematic
dogmatisms
of
the
“Calvin
against
the
Calvinists”
theory,
that
 had
identified
Reformed
scholasticism
as
focused
on
speculations
 concerning
the
divine
will,
but
that
had
tended
to
argue
a
Thomistic
 background
to
Reformed
orthodox
theology.65
Although
subsequent
 scholarship
has
set
aside
the
“Calvin
against
the
Calvinists”
approach,
the
 identification
of
Thomistic
or
modified
Thomistic
elements
as
well
as
a
 significant
eclecticism
in
many
of
the
older
Protestant
theologies
remains
 characteristic
of
much
of
the
scholarship,
a
point
that
stands
against
the
 more
recent
claims
of
a
primarily
Scotist
background.66 There
have
also
been
at
least
two
significant
shifts
in
Vos’
argumentation
 concerning
the
medieval
backgrounds
of
Reformed
Protestantism
and
the
 relationship
between
Calvin’s
theology
and
that
of
the
Reformed
orthodox.
 At
a
very
early
stage
of
his
thought,
Vos
had
indicated
a
strongly
 “Thomistic
structuring”
of
Reformed
orthodoxy,
beginning
with
Vermigli,
 Zanchi,
and
Beza
and
extending
into
the
metaphysical
understanding
of
 seventeenth-century
Reformed
philosophers—and
understood
this
as
a
 positive
theological
development.67
Subsequently,
he
has
argued
a
major
 shift
away
from
Thomism
at
the
close
of
the
sixteenth
century
and
that
later
 Reformed
orthodoxy
was
fundamentally
Scotist,
having
set
aside
an
earlier
 deterministic
Thomism.68
This
shift
in
Vos’
approach
to
the
older
Reformed
 theology
relates
directly
to
his
perception
of
a
major
difference
over
 contingency
between
Aquinas
and
Scotus;
and
it
also
involves
a
significant
 shift
in
his
approach
to
Calvin.
In
the
first
major
presentation
of
the
thesis
 of
Reformed
views
on
freedom
and
contingency,
Vos
appears
to
have
 identified
Calvin
as
teaching
a
basic,
unnuanced
approach
to
contingency


and
freedom,
complicated
by
an
emphasis
on
the
specific
issue
of
sin,
grace,
 and
free
choice.69
In
a
subsequent
iteration
of
the
thesis,
however,
Vos
has
 retracted
the
point
and
identified
Calvin
as
a
Thomistic
determinist
over
 against
the
later
Scotist
models
adopted
by
his
successors
in
the
seventeenth
 century.70
Thus,
the
argument
of
some
scholarship
that
Calvin’s
theology
 actually
did
evidence
Scotist
assumptions
ironically
serves
to
counter,
not
 to
support,
Vos’
thesis,
inasmuch
as
the
final
form
of
his
thesis
depends
on
 the
juxtaposition
of
a
non-Scotist
Calvin
with
the
later
renaissance
of
 Scotistic
thought
among
later
Reformed
theologians—potentially
creating
 an
unintended
parallel
between
his
argumentation
and
that
of
the
“Calvin
 against
the
Calvinists”
school
of
thought.71 What
has
been
lacking
in
the
discussions
of
synchronic
contingency,
 moreover,
has
been
a
full
examination
of
the
way
in
which
the
logically
 formulated
language
of
synchronic
contingency
can
be
connected
with
a
 particular
metaphysics
of
divine
and
human
causality
and
then
transferred
 into
a
consideration
of
contingencies
and
necessities
in
the
real
order
of
 things.
Specifically,
the
studies
by
Vos,
Beck,
and
Bac
have
tended
to
argue
 the
issue
of
synchronic
contingency
in
formulae
using
modal
logic,
without
 pressing
the
more
concrete
questions
of
the
application
of
these
logical
 formulae
to
the
real
order—even
in
the
case
of
their
response
to
Helm’s
 critique.
Vos’
assumption
that
the
logical
language
of
synchronic
 contingency
and
its
attendant
distinctions
in
itself
implies
a
particular
 ontology
is,
arguably,
quite
mistaken,
given
the
nature
of
scholastic
method
 and
the
character
of
its
distinctions. Whereas
the
formulaic
discussions
characteristic
of
the
work
of
Vos
and
 his
associates
have
the
advantage
of
offering
a
clear
logical
vision
of
the
 issues
under
discussion,
they
also
have
the
disadvantage
of
operating
 somewhat
reductionistically,
by
removing
the
discussion
from
broader
 contexts
to
which
the
early
modern
language
of
necessity
and
contingency
 belong,
namely,
contexts
of
providence,
causality,
and
the
divine
concursus
 that
stood
behind
and
provided
a
context
for
the
language
of
the
scholastics
 who
raised
and
disputed
the
issues
of
necessity
and
contingency.
This
 removal
of
the
discussion
to
the
realm
of
logic,
although
perhaps
suitable
in
 the
twentieth
or
twenty-first
century,
where
epistemology
functions
 independently
from
ontology,
may
lose
contact
with
the
implications
of
late
 medieval
and
early
modern
theological
and
philosophical
arguments
that
 presumed
the
correlation
of
ens
rationale
with
ens
reale,
namely,
of
the


logical
and
the
real
orders.72
What
is
more,
the
way
in
which
the
Reformed
 actually
developed
this
connection
between
the
possible
and
the
actual
in
 relation
to
a
particular
construal
of
providential
concurrence
sheds
light
on
 the
issue
of
the
hypothesized
Scotism
of
the
Reformed
orthodox. The
following
essay
will
endeavor
to
examine
and
assess
the
issues
 raised
in
the
scholarly
debate
over
synchronic
contingency
in
Reformed
 thought,
particularly
as
it
relates
to
the
historiographical
reassessment
of
 Reformed
orthodoxy.
First,
concentrating
on
understandings
of
necessity
 and
contingency
in
scholastic
theology,
the
essay
will
explore
the
questions
 of
whether
Aristotelian
and
Thomistic
approaches
to
contingency
lapse
into
 a
form
of
determinism
and
whether
Scotus’
arguments
actually
offer
a
 radically
new
mode
of
understanding
contingency.
By
resolving
these
 questions,
the
essay
will
provide
a
broader,
richer
tradition
of
thought
on
 human
freedom
than
that
posed
by
Vos.
In
this
context,
trajectories
of
 thought
and
the
nature
of
late
medieval
scholastic
debate
will
be
noted
with
 a
view
to
clarifying
the
question
of
whether
an
argument
originating
in
 Thomist
or
Scotist
contexts
and
subsequently
absorbed
into
a
diversity
of
 late
medieval
viae
and
eventually
into
early
modern
Reformed
thought
 ought
to
be
understood
as
consistently
indicative
of
Thomism
or
Scotism
or
 better
viewed
as
eclectic.73
Second,
the
essay
will
address
the
issues
of
 whether
early
modern
Reformed
orthodox
thought
on
contingency
and
 freedom
was
framed
by
this
language
of
synchronic
contingency;
whether
 this
language
contributes
a
significantly
new
dimension
to
arguments
 concerning
necessity
and
contingency;
and
whether
the
use
of
such
 language
in
early
modern
Reformed
circles
should
lead
to
an
identification
 of
the
older
Reformed
tradition
as
distinctly
“Scotistic.”
Examination
of
this
 second
set
of
questions
will
demonstrate
the
importance
of
synchronic
or
 simultaneous
contingency
to
early
modern
approaches
to
contingency
and
 human
freedom
in
the
context
of
an
eclectic
reception
of
the
materials
of
 the
scholastic
tradition.
Third
and,
admittedly,
almost
tangentially,
the
essay
 will
return
to
the
issue
of
the
modern
terminology
of
determinism,
 compatibilism,
and
libertarianism
to
indicate
that,
among
other
things,
the
 early
modern
Reformed
(not
to
mention
the
medieval)
discussions
of
 necessity
and
contingency
contain
significant
elements
that
cannot
easily
be
 absorbed
by
the
modern
terminology.

2 Reformed
Thought
and
Synchronic
 Contingency 2.1
The
Argument
for
Synchronic
Contingency The
argument
concerning
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
 presented
in
the
studies
of
Vos,
Beck,
and
Bac,
and
in
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom,
assumes
a
fundamentally
deterministic
understanding
of
temporal
 or
real
world
order
contingencies
from
Aristotle
into
the
Middle
Ages,
with
 Aquinas
being
placed
among
the
deterministic
thinkers.
It
further
 hypothesizes
a
major
shift
in
the
understanding
of
necessity
and
 contingency
prepared
for
in
the
thought
of
Alexander
of
Hales,
 Bonaventure,
and
Henry
of
Ghent,
first
fully
formulated
by
Duns
Scotus,
 subsequently
carried
forward
by
Thomas
Bradwardine
and
Gregory
of
 Rimini
among
others,
and
eventually
brought
into
the
Reformed
tradition
 by
various
theologians
and
philosophers
of
the
early
modern
era,
among
 others,
Francisus
Junius,
Franciscus
Gomarus,
William
Twisse,
Gisbertus
 Voetius,
Francis
Turretin,
and
Melchior
Leydekker.1
It
is
argued
that
in
the
 thought
of
these
writers
the
Scotistic
solution
to
the
fundamental
problem
of
 contingency
was
introduced
into
the
Reformed
tradition,
thus
marking
an
 advance
on
the
thought
of
earlier
Reformed
theologians,
notably
both
John
 Calvin
and
Jerome
Zanchi.
Vos
and
his
colleagues
hypothesize
a
 development
from
a
virtual
denial
of
free
choice
in
Luther
to
a
barely
 modified
argument
in
Calvin
allowing
for
a
minimally
described
human
 freedom,
followed
by
a
more
or
less
Thomistic
approach
in
Zanchi
that
 established
for
the
Reformed
a
more
adequate
expression
of
the
nature
of
 human
choice,
and
culminating
in
a
movement
toward
a
Scotistic
 understanding
of
contingency
and
genuine
“alternativity”
in
human
actions


beginning
in
the
work
of
Junius
and
culminating
in
the
full
expression
of
 synchronic
contingency
in
Voetius,
Turretin,
and
Leydekker.2 This
argument
is
complex
and
multi-layered,
and
it
stands
in
a
clear
 relationship
to
the
discussions
of
synchronic
or
simultaneous
contingency
 found
among
medievalists
specializing
in
the
study
of
Duns
Scotus
and
in
 late
medieval
developments
in
modal
logic.3
Indeed,
Vos’
own
major
study
 of
the
philosophy
of
Duns
Scotus
and
the
work
accomplished
with
his
 associates
on
the
translation
and
interpretation
of
Scotus’
Lectura
I
39
 belong
to
this
medieval
discussion
at
the
same
time
that
they
provide
a
 background
for
their
work
on
Reformed
orthodoxy.4
Although
the
majority
 of
these
medieval
studies
do
not
reference
the
issue
of
Protestant
reception
 of
Scotism
or
of
early
modern
use
of
the
language
of
synchronic
 contingency
in
general,
the
debate
among
medievalists
concerning
the
 import
of
synchronic
contingency
parallels
and
therefore
should
inform
the
 debate
among
scholars
of
Reformed
orthodoxy.5 Vos
describes
the
issues
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
human
freedom
as
 the
“master
problem”
of
Christian
philosophy
in
its
attempts
to
avoid
 cosmic
determinism
as
the
“dilemma”
of
whether
“systematic
thought”
 should
rest
“on
the
concept
of
necessity
or
on
the
concept
of
contingency
in
 the
radical
sense
of
the
word.”6
The
Scotist
response
to
the
dilemma,
a
 model
of
radical,
synchronic,
or
simultaneous
contingency,
stands
over
 against
the
older
Aristotelian
and
Thomistic
view
of
diachronic
or
(as
 Hintikka
and
Knuuttila
identify
it)
“statistical”
contingency,
replacing
an
 Aristotelian
or
Thomist
ontology
of
necessity
(having
only
a
“statistical”
 notion
of
contingency)
with
an
alternative
ontology
of
contingency.7
In
 brief,
“diachronic
contingency,”
as
attributed
by
Vos
and
others
to
Aristotle,
 Aquinas,
and
the
pre-Scotus
tradition
generally,
allows
for
contingency
only
 over
the
course
of
time
but
assumes
the
determination
of
particular
events
 or
actions.
Using
the
standard
example
of
Socrates
sitting,
Socrates
can
 either
sit
or
run,
sit
at
one
time
and
run
at
another,
but
inasmuch
as
he
 cannot
do
both
at
the
same
time,
his
sitting
at
one
moment
and
his
running
 at
the
other
are
both
understood
to
be
necessary—specifically,
as
necessary
 in
the
sense
that
at
neither
moment
could
the
case
be
otherwise. In
Vos’
interpretation,
although
this
logical
necessity
of
Socrates’
sitting
 when
he
is
sitting
is
identified
by
Aristotle,
Aquinas,
and
others
in
the
older
 tradition
as
a
necessity
of
the
consequence
or
de
dicto,
it
is
nonetheless
to
 be
understood
purely
diachronically
or
temporally.
The
effect
or
result,


Socrates
sitting,
has
the
character
of
a
necessitas
per
accidens,
a
historical
 necessity
that,
as
done,
is
necessarily
done.
The
necessity
of
the
past
and
 the
necessity
of
the
present
are
understood
in
the
same
way,
and
the
present
 both
cannot
and
could
not
be
otherwise. Some
definition
of
terms
is
in
order.
There
are
two
rather
different
ways
 of
defining
diachronic
contingency.
In
summary
form,
the
four
terms,
 “necessary,”
“possible,”
“contingent,”
and
“impossible,”
are
defined,
in
the
 “statistical”
interpretation
of
the
diachronic
model,
as
follows: necessary
=
always
true
or
existent possible
=
sometimes
true
or
existent contingent
=
sometimes
true
or
existent,
sometimes
false
or
non-existent impossible
=
always
false
or
non-existent.8

The
implication
of
the
definitions
presented
in
this
model,
specifically
of
 the
definition
of
the
possible
as
sometimes
true
or
existent,
is
deterministic,
 given
that
an
understanding
of
the
possible
as
something
that
can
exist
but
 may
never
exist
has
been,
at
least
by
implication,
ruled
out
of
court.
In
other
 words,
the
definitions
ineluctably
lead
to
two
conclusions:
first,
the
possible
 must
necessarily
exist
at
some
time;
and
second,
if
it
never
exists,
it
is
 simply
impossible.9
As
Harm
Goris
points
out,
this
reading
of
diachronic
 contingency
is
reductionistic
and
assumes
that
neither
Aristotle
nor
the
 scholastic
thinkers
prior
to
Scotus
had
a
“genuine
modal
logic”
but
instead
 understood
their
terms
purely
temporally
or
“statistically.”10 It
is
doubtful,
however,
that
this
“statistical”
notion
of
diachronic
 contingency
is
a
valid
reading
of
the
argumentation
in
such
thinkers
as
 Aristotle
and
Aquinas.
Accordingly,
there
is
another
way
of
construing
 diachronic
contingency: necessary
=
always
true
or
existent possible
=
potentially
true,
capable
of
existing. contingent
=
conditionally
true
or
existent,
capable
of
not
existing impossible
=
always
false
or
non-existent.

This
model
differs
from
the
“statistical”
model
in
several
ways.
It
 embodies,
in
the
first
place,
two
different
usages
of
“possible”:
either
as
 something
that
presently
is
not
either
true
or
existent
but
that
could
be
true
 or
existent
at
some
time;
or
as
a
contingency
that
exists
at
some
time
but
is
 capable
of
not
existing.
Possibility
is
not
defined
as
having
to
exist
or
as
 having
to
be
true
at
some
time
but
as
having
the
potential
or
capacity
for


existence
or
for
being
true,
whether
or
not
it
will
exist
at
some
time
or
ever
 be
true—and
therefore
can
be
either
a
non-
or
never-to-be-existent
possible
 or
an
existent
(but
contingent)
possible.
The
contingent
is
defined
as
a
truth
 or
existent
that
is
not
always
so.
In
other
words,
there
is
a
sense
of
 “possible”
that
indicates
a
contingency. In
contrast
to
both
of
these
diachronic
understandings
of
contingency,
 “synchronic
contingency”
affirms
the
possibility
that
the
act
or
event
could
 be
otherwise
even
in
the
moment
that
it
is
what
it
is.
When
Socrates
sits,
he
 does
not
have
the
power
or
potency
to
do
contradictory
things
at
the
same
 time,
in
scholastic
terms,
he
lacks
a
potentia
simultatis
or
power
of
 simultaneity—but
he
does
have
and
retain
the
power
or
potency
to
do
 either,
as
the
other
half
of
the
scholastic
distinction
indicates,
simultas
 potentiae,
a
simultaneity
of
potency.
While
sitting,
he
retains
the
potency
to
 run,
and
therefore,
the
possibility
of
running
exists
simultaneously
with
the
 actuality
of
his
sitting.
The
difference
between
this
view
of
contingency
and
 the
alternative,
diachronic
contingency,
is
argued
by
Ian
Wilks,
who
notes
 that
the
source
of
the
difference
lies
in
the
way
in
which
one
defines
the
 “temporal
reference
point
for
the
contingent.”11
Thus,
first
diachronic
and
 then
synchronic
contingency: (i)
Something
is
contingent
if
it
could
have
become
presently
otherwise
than
it
is
(i.e.,
 if
a
different
past
course
of
development
could
have
left
it
in
a
different
present
state).
 Contingency
resides
in
a
past
possibility. (ii)
Something
is
contingent
if
it
can
be
presently
otherwise
than
it
is
(i.e.,
if
a
 presently
unrealized
possibility
can
still
be
considered
a
present
possibility,
even
 though
unrealized).
Contingency
resides
in
a
present
possibility.12

Wilks’
first
definition,
it
should
be
noted,
does
not
follow
the
“statistical”
 definition
of
diachronic
contingency:
as
it
is
defined
here,
there
is
no
 assumption
that
the
possible
must
exist
at
some
time.
Wilks’
diachronic
 model,
as
in
the
second
of
the
two
approaches
to
diachronicity
defined
 previously,
merely
identifies
the
contingent
as
something
that,
prior
to
its
 occurrence,
could
have
been
otherwise
in
contrast
to
the
simultaneous
 presence
of
alternative
possibility
argued
in
the
synchronic
definition. Given
that
in
the
synchronic
definition,
the
possible
may
never
exist
in
 this
world
and
can
also
be
understood
as
possible
in
the
very
moment
that
 its
contrary
occurs,
there
are
still
two
ways
of
construing
these
notions
 concerning
the
possibility
of
being
otherwise
in
the
present
moment.
On


one
hand,
the
unrealized
possible
is
an
alternative
capable
of
existing,
 standing
as
such
outside
the
world-order
as
presently
constituted.
Taken
in
 this
way,
synchronic
contingency,
then,
has
a
clear
affinity
with
 understandings
of
the
necessary,
possible,
contingency,
and
impossible
 found
in
modern
“possible
world”
argumentation: necessary
=df
true
or
existent
in
all
possible
worlds possible
=df
true
or
existent
in
at
least
one
possible
world contingent
=df
true
or
existent
in
at
least
one
possible
world,
and
false
or
non-existent
 in
at
least
one
possible
world impossible
=df
false
or
non-existent
in
all
possible
worlds.13

On
the
other
hand,
although
the
term
“possible
world”
is
useful
to
the
 present
discussion,
it
needs
to
be
observed
that
its
application
to
medieval
 and
early
modern
arguments
carries
a
rather
different
implication
than
its
 contemporary
use
in
analytical
philosophy.
In
modern
analytical
usage,
the
 term
belongs
to
semantics
and
references
a
set
of
compossible
propositions;
 in
its
application
to
medieval
and
early
modern
understandings,
it
will
also
 have
an
ontological
foundation
and
have
reference
to
potentially
 actualizable
universes
of
things
(that
can,
of
course,
be
explained
 propositionally).
In
both
cases
the
logical
argumentation
associated
with
 possible
worlds
will
be
modal,
namely,
referencing
necessity
and
 contingency,
possibility,
and
impossibility.14
Important
also
to
note,
God
 can
be
included
in
a
modern,
semantic
possible
world—whereas
God,
as
 transcendent
and
creator,
cannot
be
included
in
the
medieval
or
early
 modern
orthodoxy
notion
of
concatenations
of
possibility.
Beyond
this,
in
 the
medieval
and
early
modern
ontological,
as
opposed
to
merely
semantic,
 understandings
of
possibility,
the
basic
issue
in
understandings
of
 contingency
and
freedom
cannot
have
been
simply
the
rather
unsatisfactory
 definition
of
temporal
contingencies
and
human
freedoms
in
terms
of
 possibilities
that
reside
in
parallel
or
synchronously
possible
but
never
to
be
 actualized
worlds.
Rather
the
issue
being
broached
ontologically
by
these
 understandings
is
the
resident
possibility
or
potency
in
this
actual
world
for
 things
to
have
been
or,
indeed,
to
be
otherwise. It
should
also
be
clear
that
the
purely
logical
or
semantic
formulae
do
not
 by
themselves
constitute
an
ontology—in
their
specific
contexts,
however,
 whether
in
medieval
or
early
modern
sources,
the
logical
formulations
will
 be
seen
to
help
frame
and
define
a
series
of
ontological
issues.
For
the
 moment
(although
we
could
do
otherwise)
the
issue
to
be
addressed
is
the


strict
contrast
made
by
Vos
and
his
associates
between
the
Thomistic
model
 of
diachronic
contingency
and
the
Scotist
model
of
synchronic
contingency.
 The
difference,
they
argue,
is
grounded
in
the
different
understandings
of
 divine
knowledge
and
its
relation
to
the
finite
order
that
are
found
in
the
 theologies
of
Aquinas
and
Scotus. Vos
and
Bac
have
argued
quite
specifically
that
since
in
the
Thomist
view
 “God’s
knowledge
of
factual
reality
immediately
flows
from
God’s
 essence,”
Aquinas’
distinction
between
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
 scientia
visionis
operates
“without
any
pivotal
function
of
the
divine
 will”—whereas
the
Scotist
distinction
between
scientia
necessaria
and
 scientia
libera
assumed
the
pivotal
function
of
the
divine
will.15
This
 pivotal
function
of
the
divine
will
as
intervening
between
a
divine
necessary
 knowledge
of
all
possibility
(scientia
necessaria)
and
a
divine
free
 knowledge
of
all
actuality
(scientia
libera
sive
voluntaria),
presses
 consideration
of
the
radical
contingency
of
the
world
order
specifically
by
 providing
a
language
for
explaining
the
things
and
events
of
a
divinely
 willed
world
order
as
possibly
having
occurred
or,
indeed,
as
possibly
 occurring
otherwise.
Thus,
when
God
wills
that
a
human
being
wills
in
a
 particular
way
(and
the
human
being
does
so),
there
is
a
sense
in
which
it
is
 possible
in
that
present
moment
that
the
human
being
will
otherwise.
It
is
 this
Scotistic
language
of
contingency
that
Vos
and
his
associates
argue
to
 carry
over
into
the
scholastic
Reformed
thought
of
the
early
modern
era—a
 claim
that
will
see
significant
modification
in
what
follows. As
Vos
recognizes,
a
Scotistic
use
of
the
distinction
between
a
scientia
 necessaria
of
all
possibility
and
a
scientia
libera
sive
voluntaria
of
all
 actuality
correlates
with
the
distinction
between
potentia
absoluta
and
 potentia
ordinata,
a
distinction,
like
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency,
 brought
to
the
fore
in
Scotus’
thought.
The
resultant
approach
to
divine
 knowing
yields
a
sense
of
the
continuing
presence
of
possibles,
indeed,
 orders
or
concatenations
of
possibility,
in
the
divine
necessary
knowledge
 corresponding
to
the
potentia
absoluta
even
as
their
contraries
are
known
 actuals
in
the
divine
free
or
voluntary
knowledge
as
governed
by
the
 potentia
ordinata.
According
to
Vos’
interpretation,
unlike
others
before
 him,
notably
Aquinas,
Scotus
denied
the
identification
of
possibility
as
that
 which
will
at
some
time
be
actualized,
as
assumed
by
advocates
of
the
 principle
of
plenitude:
in
Scotus’
view,
there
are
numerous
possibilities
 unrealized
by
God
that
stand
as
genuine
possibilities
in
the
scientia


necessaria
even
as
their
contraries
are
actualized—possibility,
then,
is
far
 greater
than
actuality.16 Bac
rather
well
summarizes
the
logical
issue.
If
sitting
and
running
are
 understood
as
mutually
exclusive
contraries,
the
statement,
“Socrates
sits
 and
runs,”
cannot
be
understood
as
Socrates
performing
both
actions
at
the
 same
time
but
rather
as
an
indication
that
“It
is
possible
that
Socrates
sits
 and
possible
that
he
runs.”17
Further,
however,
there
is
the
understanding
of
 Socrates
running
and
sitting
found
in
the
proposition,
“Socrates
sits
and
it
is
 possible
that
he
runs,”
a
proposition
that
Bac
uses
to
explicate
synchronic
 contingency.
According
to
Bac
(as
also
Vos),
in
an
Aristotelian
reading,
this
 last
proposition
would
have
to
be
understood
diachronically
in
the
 “statistical”
sense,
indicating
that
Socrates’
sitting
is
a
contingency
in
the
 sense
that
at
another
time
Socrates
might
run;
but
“the
actuality
of
Socrates’
 sitting
excludes
the
synchronic
possibility
of
doing
otherwise,”
and
his
 sitting
is
therefore
a
necessity
in
the
moment
that
it
occurs.18
Understood
 synchronically,
however,
the
proposition
can
be
taken
to
mean
“right
at
the
 moment
Socrates
sits,
he
can
run,”19
given
that,
although
Socrates
cannot
 simultaneously
engage
in
contrary
actions,
the
possibility
of
his
running
 remains
a
genuine
possibility
when
he
is
sitting,
in
fact,
a
possibility
that
 identifies
the
radical
contingency
of
his
sitting.
In
Vos’
view,
“something
is
 synchronically
contingent
if
it
could
not
have
been
the
case
at
the
same
 time.”20 The
difference,
then,
in
the
view
of
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom,
between
synchronic
and
diachronic
contingency
is
that,
according
 to
synchronic
contingency,
if
Socrates
is
sitting
at
a
particular
moment,
T1,
 it
is
also
possible
(albeit
not
simultaneously
actualizable)
at
T1
that
Socrates
 run—whereas
in
the
diachronic
contingency
model,
if
Socrates
is
sitting
at
 T1,
it
is
not
possible
that
Socrates
run
at
T1,
although
given
the
contingent
 nature
of
Socrates’
sitting,
it
is
possible
that
Socrates
run
at
T2.21
Again,
the
 ontological
issue
arises,
but
given
the
purely
logical
character
of
these
 formulae,
it
becomes
difficult
to
discern
precisely
what
the
consequences
of
 these
formulae
might
be
for
an
understanding
of
the
actual
or
real
order
of
 being.
The
question
that
remains
to
be
debated
is
whether
this
different
 expression
of
the
logic
of
contingency
actually
broadens
the
notion
of
 contingency—as
we
shall
see,
Helm
in
particular
has
argued
the
negative. Vos
and
Beck
indicate
that
this
“Scotistic”
argument
(which
we
have
 already
drawn
from
Bac
with
reference
to
a
human
subject)
can
also
be


employed
to
provide
a
synchronic
understanding
of
the
divine
willing:
 “God
does
p,
and
he
has
simultaneously
the
possibility
of
not-doing
p,”
 understood
to
mean
that
“(God’s
doing
p)
does
not
exclude
the
synchronic
 possibility
of
the
opposite
state
of
affairs
(God’s
not-doing
p).”22
In
the
 language
of
the
older
scholasticism,
this
kind
of
purely
logical
necessity
is
 identified
as
a
necessitas
consequentiae,
a
necessity
of
the
consequence:
as
 a
consequence
of
his
sitting,
Socrates
is
necessarily
sitting
inasmuch
as
he
 cannot
be
sitting
and
not
sitting
at
the
same
time.
Thus,
in
the
composite
 sense
(in
sensu
composito)
Socrates
cannot
be
sitting
and
running—whereas
 in
the
divided
sense
(in
sensu
diviso)
Socrates
can
be
sitting
and
running
 (not,
of
course,
at
the
same
time,
in
the
same
place,
and
in
the
same
way):
 “Socrates
sits
and
it
is
possible
that
he
runs.”
Such
formulations,
with
 reference
to
both
divine
and
human
acts,
in
which
necessities
of
the
 consequence
are
elaborated
in
terms
of
a
necessity
in
the
composite
sense
 and
a
contingency
or
alternative
possibility
in
the
divided
sense
are
 common
in
seventeenth-century
discussions
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
 free
choice.23 When
placed
into
the
context
of
the
divine
will,
foreknowledge,
and
 providence,
Socrates’
sitting
and
running
belong
not
only
to
the
order
of
 Socrates’
own
finite
willing
but
also
to
the
order
of
the
divine
willing
of
all
 actuality.
Thus,
in
Bac’s
formulation,
“It
is
possible
that
God
wills
that
 Socrates
sits
and
possible
that
he
wills
that
Socrates
runs.”
This
proposition,
 as
Bac
comments,
is
not
particularly
controversial.
Bac
goes
on
to
argue,
 however,
that
the
synchronic
contingency
model
held
by
Scotus
and
by
the
 Reformed
orthodox
theologians
of
the
seventeenth
century
can
also
argue
 the
following
proposition:
“If
God
wills
that
Socrates
sits,
it
is
possible
that
 he
runs”—alternatively,
“If
God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
is
possible
that
A
 wills
not-p.”
How
such
a
proposition
might
be
construed,
given
the
 ontological
and
metaphysical
concerns
of
the
early
modern
Reformed
 orthodox,
goes
to
the
heart
of
the
discussion,
but
as
in
the
argumentation
of
 Vos
and
Beck,
Bac
leaves
the
proposition
entirely
in
the
logical
realm.
 Here,
again,
the
issue
of
the
foundation
of
possibility
hovers
in
the
 background—and
the
implication
of
the
propositions
provided
by
Vos,
 Beck,
and
Bac
becomes
clear;
indeed,
the
propositions
begin
to
take
on
 ontological
import,
when
and
only
when
this
issue
is
addressed,
as
will
be
 evident
in
our
examinations
of
Aquinas,
Scotus,
and
the
early
modern
 Reformed.

In
the
view
of
Bac,
Beck,
and
Vos,
the
proposition
expresses
“both
the
 certainty
of
divine
foreknowledge
and
purpose
of
will,
and
the
contingency
 of
what
is
known
and
willed,
and
consequently
allows
human
freedom.”24
 God
wills
that
Socrates
sits,
he
knows
what
he
wills,
and
he
therefore
 knows
with
certainty
that
Socrates
sits,
yet
in
sensu
diviso,
the
possibility
of
 Socrates
not
sitting
remains,
identifies
the
contingency
of
Socrates
sitting,
 and
therefore
allows
for,
indeed
illustrates,
the
freedom
of
Socrates’
willing
 to
sit
rather
than
to
run.
In
Beck’s
words,
“God’s
decree
does
determine
 what
is
actual,
yet
without
removing
the
possibility
of
its
opposite
and
the
 free
causality
of
the
human
will.”25
It
is,
of
course,
this
understanding
that
 has
been
questioned
by
Helm
and
that
needs
to
be
clarified
and
qualified
in
 light
of
specific
issues
of
ontology,
divine
concurrence,
and
the
nature
of
 possibility
posed
by
the
early
modern
Reformed. 2.2
The
Logical
Issue:
Does
Synchronic
Contingency
Resolve
the
 Question
of
Divine
Will
and
Human
Freedom? In
his
two
initial
cautionary
essays
and,
more
recently,
in
a
series
of
 further
analyses
of
the
arguments
for
synchronic
contingency,
Paul
Helm
 has
raised
significant
objections
to
the
concept
as
argued
by
Antonie
Vos,
 Andreas
Beck,
Martijn
Bac,
and
others
in
their
reappraisal
of
the
orthodox
 Reformed
theology
of
the
seventeenth
century.
The
first
two
essays
critique
 the
conceptual
structure
of
synchronic
contingency.26
In
a
subsequent
essay,
 Helm
moved
beyond
his
basic
philosophical
critique
to
argue
a
different
 pedigree
of
Reformed
orthodoxy
thought
on
contingency
and
freedom:
 rather
than
trace
the
background
of
Turretin’s
thought
on
the
subject
to
 Duns
Scotus,
Helm
looks
to
Thomas
Aquinas
as
providing
the
background —and,
agreeing
with
Vos
on
this
one
specific
point,
interpreted
Aquinas
as
 a
compatibilist.27
Understood
as
following
Aquinas,
the
Reformed
are
also
 seen
to
be
compatibilist.
In
a
fourth
essay,
Helm
returns
to
the
issue
with
a
 somewhat
different
focus.
Here
he
analyzes
the
issue
of
a
root
indifference
 of
the
will
in
its
primary
actuality,
“structural
indifference,”
as
Vos
and
his
 associates
identify
it,
and
in
a
closer
analysis
of
the
thinkers
discussed
in
 Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom—notably,
Junius,
Voetius,
and
Turretin—he
 examines
the
difference
between
a
Molinistic
notion
of
indifference
of
will,
 which
the
Reformed
opposed,
and
the
Reformed
view,
once
again
arguing
 that
the
“Scotistic”
approach
of
synchronic
contingency
does
not
comport


with
the
way
that
the
Reformed
understand
this
root
indifference
of
the
 will.28
A
similar
statement
can
be
found
in
Helm’s
most
recent
analysis
of
 Turretin
and
Edwards
on
contingency
and
necessity.29 Helm
recognizes
that
the
argument
for
synchronic
contingency
in
 Reformed
thought
posed
by
Vos,
Beck,
and
others
not
only
argues
a
 significant
“paradigm
shift”
in
thinking
about
divine
and
human
causality
 between
Aquinas
and
Scotus
but
also
a
shift
on
the
part
of
the
Reformed
 orthodox
“away
from
an
essentialist,
emanationist
theology
of
creation
that
 is
allegedly
characteristic
of
Aquinas
and
also
away
from
the
determinism
 of
Reformers
like
Luther
and
Calvin.”30
Still,
Helm’s
critique
is
not
 primarily
concerned
with
historical
questions
concerning
the
origin
and
 pedigree
of
synchronic
contingency
or
concerning
the
relationship
between
 Duns
Scotus’
thought
and
early
modern
theology:
these
issues
are
 secondary
to
his
analysis
of
the
issue
of
the
concept
itself.
He
notes
that
 further
study
will
need
to
determine
whether
the
concept
itself
as
well
as
the
 problems
he
perceives
in
it
were
lodged
“in
the
minds
of
Duns
Scotus
and
 the
Reformed
Scholastics
to
whom
they
are
imputed
or
in
the
minds
of
 those
who
are
doing
the
imputing.”31 Helm
does
not
dispute
the
presence
of
the
scholastic
distinctions
 associated
with
the
theory
of
synchronic
contingency
in
the
works
of
 Reformed
writers
of
the
era
of
orthodoxy.
Rather
he
disputes
the
reading
of
 these
distinctions
as
referencing
a
generally
indeterminist
approach
to
 contingency
and
freedom.
Secondarily,
Helm
is
ready
to
accept
Scotus
as
 the
significant
source
of
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency,
but
 understands
it
as
a
form
of
libertarianism
and
therefore
anticipatory
of
 Molinist
or
Jesuit
theology,
and
accordingly
as
foreign
to
Reformed
 theology
in
general.
This,
however,
is
not
a
prominent
objective
in
his
 critique.
His
primary
intention
is
to
demonstrate
two
points:
that
the
 distinctions
employed
by
the
Reformed
orthodox
do
not
equate
to
the
 theory
of
synchronic
contingency;
and
that
the
theory
of
synchronic
 contingency
itself
fails
as
a
philosophical
argument
and
cannot,
therefore,
 transcend
the
“dilemma
of
determinism-indeterminism”
with
a
“nondeterministic
conceptual
structure.”32 As
a
first
point
of
critique,
Helm
takes
issue
with
the
basic
definition
of
 synchronic
contingency
offered
by
Beck,
namely,
that
“when
God
does
p
 . . .
he
has
simultaneously
the
possibility
of
not-doing
p.”
The
definition,
in
 Helm’s
view,
would
appear
to
place
God
in
time
insofar
as
two
events
or


possibilities
can
be
synchronous
or
simultaneous
only
if
they
occur
or
could
 possibly
occur
at
the
same
time—as
would
be
the
case
with
a
human
being
 doing
p
and
simultaneously
having
the
possibility
of
not-doing
p.
In
other
 words,
the
notion
of
simultaneity
expressed
in
this
manner
requires
a
 temporal
moment.
Such
temporalization
of
God,
Helm
indicates,
is
 incompatible
with
the
understanding
of
God
found
both
in
Scotus
and
in
the
 Reformed
orthodox;
and
although
he
does
acknowledge
Beck’s
and
 Wolter’s
discussions
of
Scotus’
language
of
rational
“moments”
in
the
 divine
mind
and
of
the
“instant”
of
eternity,
Helm
denies
the
extent
to
 which
temporal
comparisons
may
be
made
with
the
eternal.33 MacDonald
has
also
disputed
the
implications
of
Scotus’
approach
to
 moments
in
the
divine
mind.
He
indicates
that
the
argument
for
a
“nonsuccessive
power
for
opposites”
characteristic
of
simultaneous
or
 synchronic
contingency,
although
indicating
“temporally
non-successive”
 moments,
nonetheless
requires
a
successiveness
of
the
moments
when
the
 process
of
willing
is
considered.34
If
God
is
eternally
capable
of
willing
 either
p
or
not-p,
and
he
wills
p,
a
succession
of
some
sort
is
indicated.
 MacDonald,
then,
sees
the
same
issue
as
that
noted
by
Helm
but
from
a
 rather
different
perspective:
when
the
comparison
is
made
between
a
 temporal
sequencing
and
the
non-temporal
divine
willing
of
the
sequence,
 the
sequencing
remains
and
the
simultaneity
argued
in
the
divine
knowing
 and
willing,
understood
not
as
a
temporal
simultaneity
but
as
a
matter
of
 eternality,
also
embodies
a
logical
succession
mirroring
the
temporal
 succession. Helm’s
objection
that
the
argument
for
synchronic
contingency
implies
 divine
temporality
rightly
raises
the
point
that
divine
and
human
processes
 of
knowing
and
willing
are
not
to
be
understood
univocally.
The
critique
 can
be
obviated,
however,
if
synchronic
contingency
is
interpreted,
in
 accord
with
McDonald’s
argument,
to
indicate
a
simultaneity
of
divine
 potencies
in
a
purely
logical
“moment”
that
relates
to
the
simultaneity
of
 human
potencies
in
a
discrete
temporal
moment,
with
the
succession
of
 “moments”
that
describe
the
sequence
from
divine
knowing
of
all
possibles
 to
the
divine
willing
of
some
possibles
also
understood
as
logical
and
nontemporal
but
nonetheless
corresponding
with
the
temporal
sequences
of
the
 created
order.
If
so,
all
that
the
argument
implies
is
a
logical
sequence
or
 order
in
the
divine
knowing
and
willing
that
corresponds
with
and
in
fact
 provides
the
eternal
foundation
for
the
temporal
order—but
it
does
not


imply
divine
temporality.
The
logical
momenta
or
instantes
in
God
must
be
 recognized
as
non-temporal.
And
various
understandings
of
logical
 priorities
in
the
divine
intellect
and
will
are
characteristic
of
the
older
 theology,
whether
medieval
or
early
modern:
not
only
can
we
note
Scotus’
 approach
to
non-temporal
momenta
or
instantes
in
God,
we
can
also
note
 the
various
infra-
and
supralapsarian
schema
employed
by
the
Reformed
 orthodox
to
explain
the
divine
decrees
and
predestination,35
the
universally
 held
distinctions
between
the
divine
scientia
necessaria
or
simplicis
 intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
voluntaria
or
visionis,
or
the
distinction
 between
premotion
and
simultaneous
concursus
when
understood
sub
 specie
aeternitatis.36 If
this
question
of
divine
temporality
is
set
aside
and
synchronic
 contingency
argued
with
reference
to
divinely
willed
events
in
the
temporal
 order,
what
remains
is
Helm’s
critique
of
the
meaning
and
usefulness
of
the
 concept,
namely,
of
arguing
that
although
in
eternity
God
wills
that
p
occur
 at
T1,
God
could
equally
have
willed
that
not-p
occur
at
T1;
indeed,
in
 willing
p
God
has
the
possibility,
in
the
same
moment,
of
willing
not-p.
 Helm
raises
the
objection
that,
although
God’s
willing
of
something,
p,
does
 not
rule
out
the
possibility
of
God
not
willing
it,
the
possibility,
not-p,
is
 merely
a
possibility
in
the
mind
of
God—the
scholastics
would
say,
in
the
 scientia
necessaria—but
it
cannot
be
actualized
in
the
same
world,
at
the
 same
time,
and
in
the
same
place
as
p.37 The
problem
that
Helm
identifies
lies
in
the
apparent
claim
that,
in
a
 synchronic
sense,
the
eventuation
of
p
in
the
actual
world
does
not
remove
 the
possibility
of
not-p—the
eventuation
of
Socrates
sitting
does
not
 remove
the
possibility,
in
the
same
moment,
of
Socrates
running.
From
 Helm’s
perspective,
inasmuch
as
the
possibility
of
Socrates
running
cannot
 eventuate
while
Socrates
is
sitting,
the
claim
that
the
possibility
of
Socrates
 running
is
present
synchronically
in
the
moment
of
Socrates’
sitting
is
in
no
 way
an
advance
on
the
diachronic
view
and
in
fact
is
merely
a
rather
 complicated
logical
way
of
saying
much
the
same
thing:
in
both
the
 synchronic
and
the
diachronic
view,
while
Socrates
is
actually
sitting
he
 must
actually
be
sitting;
in
both
views,
Socrates’
sitting
is
contingent
and
 could
be
otherwise;
in
both
views,
if
Socrates
is
actually
sitting
at
T1,
he
can
 run
actually
only
at
T2.
In
addition,
both
the
synchronic
and
the
diachronic
 views
can
allow
that,
in
the
instant
prior
to
T1,
it
is
possible
that
Socrates


choose
either
to
sit
or
to
run,
yielding
the
sensus
divisus
understanding
of
 T1. Helm
comments,
“I
am
now
typing:
God
could
have
eternally
willed
that
 I
not
be
typing
now
. . .
[but]
to
say
that
it
is
now
possible
for
me
not
to
be
 typing
this
page
is
not
to
say
that
God
can
now
make
it
that
I
am
not
typing
 it.”38
The
issue
being
raised
by
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
is
 that,
to
borrow
Helm’s
own
example,
“I
am
typing
now
and
God
also
wills
 that
I
be
typing
now—but
the
structure
of
my
own
willing
is
such
that,
 given
my
capacities
to
will
and
to
do,
I
might
not
be
typing
now.”
The
issue
 is
not
that
God
could
make
it
so
that
I
not
be
typing
while
I
am
typing!
 Rather
the
issue
is
that,
given
my
capacity
to
type
or
not
type
and
the
 freedom
of
God’s
willing
in
relation
to
my
doing,
the
possibility
of
my
not
 typing
is
a
genuine
possibility
in
the
very
moment
of
my
typing,
indeed,
in
 the
very
moment
that
God
wills
and
I
will
that
I
type.
That
possibility
of
not
 typing
cannot
be
actualized
in
the
same
moment
as
the
typing
is
actualized —but
in
that
moment,
the
ability
or
capacity
for
not
typing
remains,
not
as
 an
actuality,
but
as
an
unactualized
capacity
that,
as
remaining,
identifies
the
 contingency
of
the
moment.
Helm’s
point
is
simple:
in
the
moment
that
I
 am
typing,
I
cannot
be
not
typing
and
the
presence
of
a
remaining
or
 resident
ability
to
refrain
from
typing
can
only
be
realized
diachronically
by
 ceasing
to
type. Further
light
can
be
shed
on
this
problem
by
returning
to
the
form
of
the
 argument
as
presented
in
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom.
The
authors
note
 that
in
the
composite
sense
(sensus
compositus),
the
modal
proposition
“It
 is
possible
that
Socrates
sits
and
runs,”
is
contradictory:
Socrates
cannot
sit
 and
run
at
the
same
time.
In
the
divided
sense
(sensus
divisus),
however,
it
 is
possible
for
Socrates
to
sit
and
for
Socrates
to
run,
and
there
is
no
 contradiction.
They
take
a
further
step,
however,
and
argue
two
ways
of
 construing
the
divided
sense,
one
diachronic
and
the
other
synchronic—in
 the
first
“we
assign
different
moments
of
time
to
the
sitting
and
running
of
 Socrates,
and
in
another
. . .
we
assign
the
same
moment
to
them.”39
Thus,
 understood
diachronically,
“Socrates
sits
at
T1
and
it
is
possible
that
 Socrates
runs
at
T2”;
understood
synchronically,
“Socrates
sits
at
T1
and
it
is
 possible
that
Socrates
runs
at
T1.”
The
latter,
synchronic
understanding,
the
 authors
declare,
is
“exceedingly
un-Aristotelian”—indeed,
they
indicate
 (contrary
to
the
conclusions
of
an
earlier
scholarship
on
the
point)
that
this
 is
the
characteristically
Scotist
reading.40
While
recognizing
the
difference


between
the
two
explanations
of
the
contingency
and
the
usefulness
(contra
 Helm)
of
the
synchronic
formulation,
we
will
have
reason
to
dispute
(contra
 Vos)
the
claim
that
the
synchronic
formulation
of
contingency
is
 exceedingly
un-Aristotelian,
that
it
necessarily
stands
opposed
to
the
 diachronic
formulation,
or
that
it
is
uniquely
Scotist. This
aspect
of
Helm’s
critique
points,
further,
toward
a
problem
in
the
 language
used
by
Bac,
Vos,
and
Beck,
specifically
in
their
use
of
“possible”
 and
“possibility.”
As
we
shall
see,
beginning
with
Aristotle
and
running
 through
the
medieval
and
early
modern
discussion,
“possibility”
can
take
on
 several
meanings
and
is
not
to
be
taken
as
absolutely
synonymous
with
 “potency.”
As
noted
above,
Bac
states
that
diachronically,
“the
actuality
of
 Socrates’
sitting
excludes
the
synchronic
possibility
of
doing
otherwise,”
 while
synchronically
“right
at
the
moment
Socrates
sits,
he
can
run.”41
Beck
 makes
a
similar
statement
concerning
the
divine
willing:
“God
does
p,
and
 he
has
simultaneously
the
possibility
of
not-doing
p,”
namely,
that
“(God’s
 doing
p)
does
not
exclude
the
synchronic
possibility
of
the
opposite
state
of
 affairs
(God’s
not-doing
p).”42
In
neither
case
can
“possibility”
refer
to
an
 act
that
can
be
performed,
namely,
can
be
actualized,
simultaneously
with
a
 contrary
act.
In
both
cases,
however,
“possibility”
can
refer
to
the
capability
 of
performing
an
act,
namely,
to
a
“potency”
resident
in
the
will—with
the
 implication
that
the
will
has
potencies
to
more
than
one
effect,
whether
 sitting
or
running,
p
or
not-p,
and
that
the
exercise
of
one
potency
does
not
 remove
the
other.
But,
this
being
admitted,
we
are
left
not
with
two
 synchronously
existing
contingencies
but
with
two
synchronously
existing
 potencies,
the
one
actualized
in
a
given
moment,
the
other
not.
It
is
worth
 noting
here
that
the
scholastic
writers
speak
not
of
a
simultas
contingentiae
 but
of
a
simultas
potentiae.43 Taking
up
the
issue
from
the
perspective
of
Dekker’s
formulation,
that
 diachronic
contingency
assigns
Socrates’
sitting
and
running
to
different
 moments,
while
synchronic
contingency
assigns
them
to
the
same
moment,
 the
problem
remains.
The
problem,
again,
is
that
these
two
seemingly
 radically
different,
if
not
contradictory,
understandings
of
the
divided
sense
 of
the
proposition
that
Socrates
can
sit
and
run,
do
not
employ
the
term
 “possible”
univocally.
In
the
first,
clearly
diachronic,
reading,
“Socrates
sits
 at
T1
and
it
is
possible
that
Socrates
runs
at
T2,”
possible
refers
to
an
 actualizable
option
for
Socrates
given
the
datum
of
his
being
seated
at
T1.
In
 the
second
or
synchronic
reading,
“Socrates
sits
at
T1
and
it
is
possible
that


Socrates
runs
at
T1,”
possible
does
not
and
cannot
refer
to
an
actualizable
 option
for
Socrates
at
T1
given
the
datum
of
his
being
and
remaining
seated
 at
T1.
All
that
possible
identifies
in
the
second
reading
of
the
proposition
is
 the
alternative
potency
in
Socrates,
namely,
the
potency
to
run
that
resides
 in
his
will
alongside
the
potency
to
sit—but
there
is
not
and
cannot
be
a
 potency
for
Socrates
to
run
and
to
sit
at
the
same
time.
In
the
older
 scholastic
usage,
there
can
be
a
simultaneity
of
potencies,
but
there
cannot
 be
any
potency
of
simultaneity.
Arguably,
then,
the
synchronic
reading
of
 contingency
does
not
stand
as
an
absolute
alternative
to
diachronic
 contingency;
rather
it
adds
a
dimension
of
explanation
intended
to
nuance
 the
notion
of
contingency,
particularly
in
the
case
of
free
choices,
namely,
 the
contingent
acts
of
free
rational
creatures
in
whom
there
are
potencies
to
 multiple
effects. In
the
scholastic
language
used
by
the
early
modern
Reformed,
the
 second
reading
of
the
proposition
identifies
a
simultas
potentiae,
a
 simultaneity
of
potency,
not
the
contradictory
potentia
simultatis
or
power
 of
simultaneity.
The
synchronic
reading
of
the
proposition,
then,
does
not
 supersede
or
replace
diachronic
contingency.
It
merely
identifies
a
basic
 characteristic
of
the
faculty
of
choice
in
a
rational
being,
namely,
the
 freedom
of
contradiction.
As
such
it
offers
a
formulaic
way
of
 understanding
free
choice
as
a
potency
to
more
than
one
effect—which,
by
 the
way,
is
as
much
a
Thomistic
as
a
Scotistic
approach
to
the
definition
of
 free
choice. Helm
also
questions
Vos’
and
Beck’s
reading
of
Aquinas
on
the
 relationship
of
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
scientia
visionis,
namely,
 their
view
that
Aquinas
“does
not
ascribe
to
the
divine
will
the
role
of
 selecting
a
set
of
states
of
affairs
out
of
the
infinite
set
of
possibilia
ranged
 before
the
divine
mind.”44
In
other
words,
Vos
and
Beck
deny
that
Aquinas
 understood
the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
as
an
infinite
knowledge
of
 all
possibles
and,
accordingly
deny
that,
for
Aquinas,
actually
existent
 objects
known
to
the
scientia
visionis
are
“a
proper
subset
of
the
objects
of
 the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae.”45
Helm
notes
that
Aquinas
clearly
 indicates
that
God
knows
innumerable
things
that
could
be
produced
and
 could
occur
but
that
will
never
come
to
be,
given
that
only
those
things
 come
into
existence
that
God
wills
to
exist,46
a
point
that
we
will
see
 confirmed
from
Aquinas.47
In
Helm’s
view,
the
difference
between
Aquinas
 and
Scotus
on
this
particular
issue
is
minimal
and
cannot
be
used
to
account


for
a
substantive
difference
between
Aquinas
and
Scotus
on
the
contingency
 of
the
created
order.
(The
critique
does
not
address
the
possibility
of
a
 logical
or
linguistic
development,
without
substantive
difference,
that
adds
 significant
nuance
to
the
discussion.
This
is
a
point
to
which
we
will
return
 later.) Accordingly,
Helm
questions
the
assumption
of
Vos
and
Beck
that
 Aquinas
was
a
necessitarian
who
ruled
out
genuine
contingency
in
the
 creation.
Aquinas,
albeit
using
language
different
from
that
later
employed
 by
Scotus,
nonetheless
clearly
made
provision
for
genuine
contingency
in
 the
created
order
both
on
grounds
of
the
vastness
of
the
divine
knowledge
 and
wisdom
and
on
grounds
of
divine
omnipotence.
Indeed,
Helm
indicates,
 although
Aquinas
was
consistent
in
his
intellectualist
position,
he
 nonetheless
understood
the
divine
will
in
creation
and
providence
in
a
way
 compatible
with
what
Vos
and
Beck
specify
as
a
Scotist
argument
for
 contingency
in
the
created
order.48
Thus,
contrary
to
the
view
expressed
by
 Vos
and
his
associates,
the
Thomistic
understanding
of
divine
knowledge,
 divine
causality,
and
specifically
providence
hardly
ruled
out
contingency
 and
freedom.
This
was
long
ago
pointed
out
by
Trinkaus
in
his
analysis
of
 trajectories
of
argument
concerning
freedom
in
the
Renaissance
and
the
 Reformation:
a
Thomistic
approach
recognized
that
the
working
of
divine
 providence
was
not
at
all
“a
limitation
of
human
freedom,
because
freedom
 of
the
will
is
itself
a
participation
in
the
providential
government
of
the
 universe.”49 The
claim
of
Vos,
Beck,
and
Bac
that
there
is
a
major
advance
in
 declaring
the
synchronic
possibility
of
Socrates
running
in
the
same
 moment
as
the
actuality
of
Socrates
sitting
is,
therefore,
in
Helm’s
view,
not
 significantly
different
from
the
medieval
Aristotelian
or
Thomist
view
and
 does
not
offer
a
way
past
the
assumption
of
a
necessitated
or
determined
 world
order.50
There
are,
however,
two
distinct
issues
here:
on
the
one
hand,
 there
is
the
question
of
whether
the
Scotist
language
offers
a
view
of
the
 relationship
of
divine
and
finite
causality
that
is
significantly
or
 substantively
different
from
that
of
Aquinas;
on
the
other
hand,
there
is
the
 question
of
whether
this
language
offers
a
way
past
the
assumption
of
a
 necessitated
or
determined
world
order.
These
are
separate
questions.
And
 given
Helm’s
argument
that
Scotus
adds
little
to
the
approach
of
Aquinas,
 the
question
of
determinism
remains:
does
Aquinas
actually
argue
a
form
of


determinism—and
what
is
the
relationship
between
Aquinas’
approach
and
 that
of
Scotus? Helm’s
critique
also
points
toward
several
problems
in
the
discussions
of
 synchronic
contingency:
the
term
itself
is
not
found
in
any
of
the
sources
 but,
instead,
is
a
modern
way
of
referencing
the
implications
of
a
particular
 set
of
scholastic
distinctions
that
are
themselves
subject
to
varied
uses.51
 The
distinctions
taken
by
themselves,
and
therefore
also
the
term
and
 implication
of
synchronic
contingency,
do
not
in
Helm’s
view,
identify
any
 particular
ontology.
The
distinctions
would
need
to
be
linked
to
a
particular
 view
of
the
relationship
of
God
and
world—namely,
to
a
particular
view
of
 divine
and
human
causality
and
a
particular
interpretation
of
the
 providential
concurrence—in
order
to
identify
an
ontology,
and
it
would
be
 the
specification
of
the
causal
relations
and
of
the
nature
of
the
providential
 concurrence
that
would
both
constitute
and
specify
the
kind
of
ontology.
 Furthermore,
Helm
argues,
however
the
term
synchronic
contingency
is
 understood,
it
does
not
disturb
the
temporal
order
of
things
in
the
actual
 world,
which
must
occur
diachronically. Helm
also
argues
that,
apart
from
the
potentially
significant
point
that
for
 Aquinas
all
divine
knowledge
is
necessary
while
for
Scotus
there
is
 contingent
divine
knowledge
and,
indeed,
a
kind
of
contingency
in
God
 generated
by
the
freedom
of
the
divine
willing,
the
difference
registered
 between
Aquinas’
and
Scotus’
formulations
concerning
divine
knowledge
 and
contingency
is
not
as
great
as
Vos,
Beck,
and
Bac
have
indicated:
both
 approaches
yield
a
clearly
contingent
world
order
and
allow
for
human
 freedom
within
it.
In
Helm’s
view,
however,
such
understandings
of
divine
 knowing
or
willing
and
their
relation
to
human
freedom
remain
within
a
 compatibilist
or
determinist
framework,
interpreted
specifically
as
an
 epistemic
compatibilism. In
his
more
recent
work
on
synchronic
contingency,
Helm
develops
his
 critique
with
specific
reference
to
the
texts
presented
and
interpreted
by
Vos
 and
others
in
the
volume
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
notably
with
 reference
to
Francis
Turretin.
Helm
begins
by
questioning
the
assertion
of
 the
authors
that The
ontological
analysis
by
logical
distinctions
like
the
necessity
of
the
 consequence/consequent,
the
volitional
analysis
by
logical
distinctions
like
first
and
 second
act
or
divided
and
compound
sense
and
the
analysis
of
freedom
by
the
 distinctions
of
freedom
of
contrariety
and
contradiction
all
seem
to
suggest
an


ontology
of
synchronic
contingency.
These
distinctions
all
presuppose
that
 contingency
is
not
a
matter
of
temporal
change,
but
of
simultaneous
logical
 alternatives.52

Whereas
Helm
agrees
that
these
distinctions,
plus
the
distinction
between
 simultaneity
of
potencies
and
potency
of
simultaneity,
do
occur
in
the
 writings
of
various
Reformed
scholastics,
he
argues
that
such
distinctions
 taken
in
themselves
are
“purely
logical
or
syntactic”
and
are
not,
therefore,
 indicative
of
the
theory
of
synchronic
contingency.
He
argues
that
the
 distinctions
themselves
reference
contingencies
(and,
we
add,
necessities),
 but
they
do
not,
in
and
of
themselves,
indicate
whether
such
contingencies
 are
to
be
defined
diachronically
with
reference
to
time
or
synchronically
as
 simultaneous
logical
alternatives.
Nor
do
the
distinctions
imply
that
the
 formulae
associated
with
synchronic
contingency
are
intended
to
replace
 the
usual
assumption
of
diachronic
contingency—nor,
indeed,
must
they
be
 used
consistently
to
reference
free
acts
as
opposed
to
cases
or
events
of
 purely
physical
or
natural
contingency.53 In
response
to
this
aspect
of
Helm’s
critique,
it
should
be
clear
that,
 although
these
distinctions
taken
in
and
of
themselves
are
logical
or
 syntactic,
their
application
to
concrete
events,
causes,
and
effects,
including
 acts
of
will,
is
not
at
all
simply
syntactic
or
logical.
It
is,
moreover,
the
use
 of
the
distinctions
that
determines
how
they
apply
to
concrete
causes
and
 effect
relationships
understood
diachronically
or
possibilities,
including
 incompossibles,
understood
as
subsisting
synchronically
or
simultaneously.
 Thus,
for
example,
a
necessity
of
the
consequence,
which
represents
a
 logical
or
de
dicto
necessity,
can
simply
indicate
that
something
must
be
 what
it
is
when
it
is—as
in
the
standard
example
that
when
Socrates
is
 running
he
must
be
in
motion.
But
the
example
steps
beyond
the
purely
 logical
or
syntactical
when
it
is
further
inquired
whether
the
necessity
that
 Socrates
must
be
in
motion
when
running
indicates
a
present
necessity
that
 could
be
otherwise
or
an
action
that,
although
it
is
necessarily
what
it
is,
 could
in
fact
be
otherwise. What
needs
also
to
be
added
here
is
that,
despite
Vos’
statements
to
the
 contrary,
it
remains
unclear
from
his
argumentation
and
that
of
his
 associates
that
the
logic
of
synchronic
contingency,
taken
by
itself,
actually
 has
ontological
ramifications.
In
order
to
have
ontological
ramifications,
the
 semantic
argumentation
would
have
to
be
clearly
situated
in
a
particular
 understanding
of
the
ontological
issues
raised
by
the
interrelationship
of


divine
and
human
causality,
typically
understood
as
the
divine
concursus.
 And
the
concursus
can
be
understood
in
a
variety
of
ways
while
using
the
 same
basic
set
of
distinctions.
To
make
the
point
in
another
way,
given
the
 logical
character
of
the
distinctions
used
to
argue
synchronic
contingency,
it
 is
not
clear
that
there
is
such
a
thing
as
an
“ontology
of
synchronic
 contingency”
or,
if
there
is,
precisely
what
it
imports
ontologically— specifically,
in
order
for
the
argumentation
to
move
beyond
the
purely
 semantic,
it
must
be
associated
with
a
particular
set
of
metaphysical
or
 ontological
assumptions. This
problem
in
the
discussion
of
synchronic
contingency
is
precisely
 where
Helm’s
critique
is
most
telling,
but
also
where
it
may
miss
the
full
 implication
of
the
older
Reformed
use
of
these
distinctions
in
the
context
of
 the
Reformed
doctrines
of
free
choice
and
providence.
Helm
notes
that
 these
arguments
are
incomplete
in
the
sense
that
the
logic
of
simultaneous
 divine
and
human
willing
is
not
placed
fully
into
the
context
of
Turretin’s
 and
other
Reformed
thinkers’
views
on
the
divine
decree.
The
language
of
 synchronic
contingency,
whatever
its
value,
is
not
by
itself
an
ontology.
 Accordingly,
when
used
in
connection
with
different
ontological
 assumptions
and,
in
particular,
with
different
understandings
of
divine
 concurrence,
the
language
will
produce
different
understandings
of
human
 freedom.
The
conclusion
to
be
drawn,
then,
is
not
the
failure
of
the
 arguments
concerning
synchronic
contingency
to
contribute
to
view
of
 human
freedom
in
the
context
of
divine
willing,
but
that
the
object
of
 Helm’s
critique,
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
presents
a
partial
view
of
 the
interrelationship
of
divine
and
human
willing
found
among
the
 Reformed
orthodox:
a
broader
context
needs
to
be
provided
in
order
to
 understand
the
impact
of
the
notion
of
simultaneous
potencies
on
early
 modern
Reformed
thought. 2.3
Historical
and
Historiographical
Issues A.
Variant
Understandings
of
the
History
from
Aristotle
through
the
 Middle
Ages.
There
is
also
a
historical
problem
underlying
the
 interpretation
of
Reformed
thought
on
freedom
and
contingency.
As
 indicated
in
my
comments
on
the
state
of
the
question,
there
are
two
sides
 to
the
critique
of
the
analysis
of
synchronic
contingency
as
a
characteristic
 of
the
older
Reformed
understanding
of
the
God-world
relationship,
a


logical
and
a
historical.
The
logical
critique
argues
that
the
concept
itself
 does
not
deliver
what
it
promises,
namely,
an
advance
over
an
earlier,
 diachronic
notion
of
contingency
often
associated
with
Thomism.
The
 historical
critique
questions
the
advisability
of
using
the
concept
of
 synchronic
contingency
to
argue
a
major
division
in
the
history
of
Western
 thought
and
to
claim
a
fundamentally
Scotist
character
of
Reformed
 orthodox
theology
but
not
necessarily
disputing
the
significance
of
the
 concept. There
is,
of
course,
a
significant
overlap
between
these
two
lines
of
 critique.
We
have
already
seen
that
the
primarily
logical
critique
as
argued
 by
Helm
references
and
interprets
historical
documents,
notably
works
by
 Aquinas,
Scotus,
Calvin,
and
Turretin.
Helm’s
logical
case
also
questions,
 albeit
tangentially,
Vos’
method
of
selecting
a
nominally
Scotist
concept,
 synchronic
contingency,
and
then
claiming
that
it
is
the
fundamental
 thought-structure
of
Reformed
thought
and,
therefore,
also
the
reason
that
 other
concepts,
including
those
that
appear
to
indicate
a
Thomistic
 background,
ought
to
be
understood
as
actually
bearing
Scotistic
meanings —even
when
it
is
Aquinas’
work
that
is
being
referenced. From
the
perspective
of
Helm’s
largely
logical
argumentation,
it
appears
 that,
most
frequently,
the
Reformed
orthodox
referencing
of
Thomistic
 formulations
was
for
the
sake
of
also
conveying
Thomistic
meanings.
As
 opposed
to
this
reading,
Vos’
claim
also
embodies
significant
historical
 aspects:
it
rests
on
Vos’
assumption
that
the
medieval
scholastic
method
of
 reverent
exposition
carried
over
into
early
modern
Reformed
 scholasticism.54
It
assumes
that,
despite
altered
contexts
and
numerous
nonScotist
voices,
the
language
of
contingency
remains
essentially
Scotist
in
its
 transmission
and
use
on
into
the
seventeenth
century.
It
also
assumes
a
 particular
and
highly
debatable
trajectory
of
argument
that
runs
from
 Augustine,
to
Anselm,
to
thirteenth-century
Franciscan
theology
and
Duns
 Scotus,
and
then
on
into
the
early
modern
era,
with
Thomas
Aquinas
being
 placed
on
an
alternative
trajectory,
largely
set
aside
by
Scotism,
and
having
 little
influence
on
Reformed
orthodoxy. Vos’
historical
argument
thus
both
reflects
and
rejects
much
of
the
recent
 reassessment
of
the
trajectories
of
thought
in
the
high
and
late
Middle
Ages
 and,
equally
so,
the
recent
reassessments
of
the
relationships
of
medieval
to
 Reformation
and
post-Reformation
Protestant
thought
and
of
the
 Reformation
itself
to
Protestant
scholasticism.
Specifically,
Vos’
approach


belongs
to
the
lines
of
scholarly
argument
that
see
the
later
Middle
Ages
not
 as
decadent
but
as
positively
productive
both
in
theology
and
philosophy,
 that
recognize
significant
continuities
of
discourse
or
conversation
between
 the
later
Middle
Ages
and
the
Reformation,
that
understand
similar
 continuities
linking
seventeenth-century
scholastic
orthodoxy
to
the
Middle
 Ages
and
Reformation,
and
that
do
not
view
scholasticism
as
distortive
of
 the
basic
theological
insights
of
the
Reformers. But
Vos’
historical
argumentation
also
involves
several
assumptions
 concerning
those
trajectories
that
differ
with
the
conclusions
of
other
 scholars
who
have
examined
the
question.
Vos,
in
agreement
with
Jakko
 Hintikka
and
Simo
Knuuttila,
assumes
a
largely
deterministic
solution
to
 the
problem
of
necessity
and
contingency
beginning
in
ancient
philosophy,
 in
the
formulations
of
Aristotle.
This
deterministic
line
was
then
carried
 into
the
Middle
Ages,
most
notably
in
the
appropriation
of
Aristotelian
 thought
by
Thomas
Aquinas.
Within
the
development
of
medieval
thought,
 Vos
also
argues
what
he
identifies
in
several
places
as
the
“AA-line”
of
 theological
and
philosophical
development
arising
from
the
thought
of
 Augustine
and
Anselm
and
extending
through
the
Victorine
theologians
and
 “the
early
Franciscan
school
of
Alexander
of
Hales
in
Paris,”
through
the
 work
of
Henry
of
Ghent
and
the
late
thirteenth-century
Oxford
theologians,
 to
Duns
Scotus.
Henry
of
Ghent
“developed
a
theoretical
framework
where
 God’s
knowledge
of
the
reality
of
creation
is
related
to
the
divine
will,”
and
 Duns
Scotus,
in
agreement
with
Henry,
“reconstructed”
the
Christian
 doctrines
of
God
and
the
contingent
world
order.
The
great
shift
in
 understanding,
then,
arrives
in
the
new
language
of
contingency
proposed
 by
Duns
Scotus,
who
also
thereby
reinforced
and
rehabilitated
the
AA-line
 emanating
from
Augustine
and
Anselm.55 Vos
specifically
proposes
a
view
of
the
main
lines
of
development
that
 places
Duns
Scotus
at
the
apex
of
the
central
development
of
an
 Augustinian
form
of
scholastic
theology,
at
least
with
reference
to
necessity,
 contingency,
and
freedom,
and
sets
Thomas
Aquinas
apart
from
it.56
In
 connection
with
this
reading
of
the
places
of
Aquinas
and
Scotus
in
the
 development
of
medieval
thought,
Vos
also
argues
that
the
Aristotelian
 tradition,
as
understood
and
adapted
by
Aquinas,
held
to
a
theory
of
 diachronic
contingency
that
could
not
adequately
account
for
genuine
 contingency
and
human
freedom
and
was,
therefore,
ultimately
 deterministic.
In
agreement
with
Hintikka
and
Knuuttila,
Vos
argues
that
it


is
Scotus
who
introduced
the
conception
of
a
radical
contingency
of
the
 world
order
and
offered
a
vocabulary
of
synchronic
contingency
capable
of
 arguing
human
free
choice
as
well
as
human
dependence
on
God.
The
key
 issue
recognized
by
Scotus
was
that,
given
the
freedom
of
God,
not
only
 does
God
know
the
world
order
as
contingent;
in
addition,
God’s
 knowledge
and
willing
of
contingency
is
itself
contingent.57
Admittedly,
 reference
to
a
certain
kind
of
contingency
in
God,
grounded
in
the
 assumption
of
divine
freedom,
is
found
in
Scotus
and
does
reappear
in
 several
early
modern
Reformed
writers:58
the
question
concerning
this
 language,
however,
is
whether
it
actually
implies
a
radically
different
way
 of
construing
either
the
divine
willing
or
the
relationship
of
God
to
the
 world
order. Vos’
argument
assumes
that
in
the
Thomistic
view,
all
genuine
 possibilities
are
to
be
actualized,
while
in
the
Scotistic
view
a
virtual
 infinitude
of
possibility
remains
unactualized
but
nonetheless
possible,
in
 effect,
paralleling
actuality
and
redefining
the
nature
of
contingency.
Both
 of
these
aspects
of
the
argument,
however,
are
open
to
debate.
On
the
one
 hand,
we
will
need
to
ask
whether
the
position
identified
as
Thomist
does
in
 fact
assume,
on
the
principle
of
plenitude,
that
all
possibilities
are
to
be
 actualized,
while,
on
the
other,
we
will
need
to
inquire
whether
the
position
 identified
as
Scotist
does
genuinely
expand
the
notion
of
contingency—this
 latter
claim
being
negated
if
the
former
argument
is
shown
to
be
incorrect.
 The
scholastic
understanding
of
possibility
and
of
possibles,
therefore,
 becomes
crucial
to
an
understanding
of
the
issue
of
contingency,
and,
quite
 specifically,
differences
in
understanding
the
foundation
of
possibility
in
the
 Thomistic
and
Scotistic
models
will
need
to
be
considered.59 Rather
different
perspectives
on
the
history
of
formulation
and
debate
 over
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
can
be
found
in
studies
by
 William
Lane
Craig
(a
history
of
the
problem
from
Aristotle
to
Suarez),
 Paul
Streveler
(an
analysis
primarily
of
Aristotle,
Aquinas,
Ockham,
and
 Holcot),
C.
J.
F.
Williams,
Martha
Kneale,
and
R.
T.
McClelland
(on
 Aristotle),
Katherin
Rogers
(on
Augustine
and
Aristotle),
Harm
Goris,
Peter
 Laughlin,
Morag
Macdonald
Simpson,
Brian
Shanley,
Eleonore
Stump,
and
 Scott
MacDonald
(on
Aquinas),
Anthony
Kenny
(on
Aquinas
and
Scotus),
 Joseph
Incandela
(on
Aquinas,
Scotus,
Ockham,
Bardwardine,
Luther,
and
 Molina),
Thomas
Osborne
(on
Aquinas,
Scotus,
and
Ockham),
Michael


Sylwanowicz,
Scott
MacDonald,
and
Douglas
Langston
(on
Duns
Scotus),
 and
Didier
Kaphagawani
(on
Aquinas,
Molina,
and
Leibniz),
among
others. Streveler’s
and
Craig’s
work
offers
a
significant
contrast
to
several
 aspects
of
Vos’
thesis,
particularly
inasmuch
as
it
offers
a
broad
historical
 survey
of
many
of
the
same
issues.
Whereas
Craig’s
work
stands
in
general
 agreement
with
Vos
on
Augustine
and
Anselm,
its
approach
to
Aristotle
 echoes
that
of
scholars
like
Williams,
Kneale,
Cassidy,
Streveler,
and
 McClelland
who
oppose
the
determinist
reading
of
Aristotle
characteristic
 of
Hintikka
and
Vos.
All
these
writers
find
elements
of
a
theory
of
 contingency,
specifically
with
regard
to
future
contingents
in
Aristotle.
In
 Cassidy’s,
Streveler’s,
and
Craig’s
accounts,
the
Aristotelian
assumption
of
 contingency
in
view
of
the
indefinite
character
of
future
propositions
was
 maintained
by
Boethius,
and
although
they
did
not
deal
with
the
 Aristotelian
argumentation,
both
Augustine
and
later
Anselm
avoided
the
 problem
of
theological
fatalism
by
maintaining
both
a
doctrine
of
divine
 foreknowledge
of
the
future
and
the
assumption
of
the
contingency
of
 future
events.60 Rogers,
whose
work
is
more
focused
on
specific
thinkers
and
does
not
 provide
a
broad
historical
survey
like
Craig’s,
nonetheless
also
offers
a
 significant
alternative
perspective.
In
Rogers’
view,
Augustine
must
 ultimately
be
understood
as
a
compatibilist,61
and
Anselm
accordingly
 becomes
“the
first
Christian
philosopher
to
propose
a
careful
analysis
of
 libertarian
freedom.”62
From
the
perspective
of
Rogers’
work
on
Augustine
 and
Anselm,
therefore,
there
is
no
clear
“AA-line”
of
development.
A
 somewhat
different
view
of
Augustine
is
found
in
Gilbert’s
essay:
 Augustine
is
seen
as
deterministic
in
his
approach
to
free
choice
and
 predestination,
specifically
as
falling
short
of
a
compatibilist
understanding,
 but
as
more
successful
in
arguing
free
choice
in
his
discussion
of
human
 freedom
and
divine
foreknowledge.
This
reading
of
Augustine,
moreover,
 leads
to
Gilbert’s
view
of
Aquinas,
where
he
finds
a
clear
step
past
 Augustine’s
argumentation
to
a
well-nuanced
view
of
human
freedom
as
 “compatible
with
divine
foreknowledge,
providence,
and
preordination.”63 Craig’s
approach
also
differs
somewhat
from
Vos
on
the
nature
of
the
 medieval
development.
There
is
agreement
on
the
preservation
of
divine
 foreknowledge
and
contingency,
including
human
freedom,
in
the
thought
 of
Augustine
and
Anselm.
Craig
also
stands
in
agreement
with
Vos
 concerning
Aquinas,
albeit
on
somewhat
different
grounds—inasmuch
as


Aquinas,
according
to
Craig,
viewed
divine
foreknowledge
as
 “incompatible
with
contingency
and
human
freedom.”64
Aquinas’
 determinism,
indeed,
incompatibilism,
is
rooted
not
in
Aristotle
but
in
his
 approach
to
divine
knowledge
and
divine
will:
“In
maintaining
that
God’s
 knowledge
is
the
cause
of
everything
God
knows,
Thomas
transforms
the
 universe
into
a
nexus
which,
though
freely
chosen
by
God,
is
causally
 determined
from
above,
thus
eliminating
human
freedom.”65
While
 recognizing
that
Aquinas
argued
for
human
freedom,
Kaphagawani
also
 views
Aquinas
as
a
determinist,
agreeing
with
Vos
on
the
assumption
that
 an
intellectualist
view
of
choice
must
ultimately
be
deterministic.66 Such
understandings
of
Aquinas
as
a
determinist
are,
however,
 questioned
in
a
large
body
of
scholarship.
Stump,
after
reviewing
Aquinas’
 understanding
of
the
acts
and
interrelationships
of
intellect
and
will,
 concludes
that
his
approach
is
libertarian,
indeed,
libertarian
and
 incompatibilist—grounding
freedom
in
“an
agent’s
acting
on
his
own
 intellect
and
will,
and
not
in
the
alternative
possibilities
open
to
the
 agent.”67
Simpson
argues
that
Aquinas
resolves
the
problem
of
divine
 knowledge
of
future
contingents
on
the
basis
of
his
eternity,
namely,
 knowing
contingents
as
they
actually
exist,
present
to
him
in
his
eternity.
 Simpson
also
disagrees
with
Stump
concerning
Aquinas’
view
of
the
nature
 of
human
freedom,
arguing
a
clear
element
of
choice,
indeed,
of
 alternativity
understood
as
the
ability
to
do
otherwise
in
Aquinas,
as
 generated
by
the
interrelationship
of
intellect
and
will.68
Kenny,
who
 acknowledges
with
Knuuttila
that
Scotus
was
an
innovator,
disputes
the
 implications
of
Scotus’
theory
of
will,
denies
that
Scotus’
view
offers
an
 advance
over
Aquinas,
and
disputes
the
presence
of
a
so-called
statistical
 understanding
of
possibility
and
contingency
in
Aquinas.
Kenny’s
account
 of
Aquinas’
approach
to
alternativity
stands,
moreover,
in
general
 agreement
with
Stump’s
analysis.69 A
different
approach,
equally
distinct
from
Vos’
and
Craig’s
reading
of
 Aquinas
is
taken
by
Goris,
who
argues
a
“synchronic
relation
between
 God’s
will
as
first
cause
and
the
contingent
and
free
actions
performed
by
 creatures”
such
that
“God’s
causation
includes
and
constitutes
the
modality
 of
the
effects
produced
by
creatures”;
in
other
words,
far
from
disturbing
 creaturely
freedom,
God’s
causality
constitutes
it.70
A
similar
point
is
made
 by
Tobias
Hoffmann,
who,
while
recognizing
that
Aquinas
has
been
read
as
 holding
an
intellectualistic
and,
according
to
some
readings
of
his
thought,
a


deterministic
view
of
human
choice,
nonetheless
shows
that
Aquinas
did
 develop—quite
clearly
in
the
case
of
angelic
sin—a
view
of
free
choice
as
 grounded
in
synchronic
alternative
possibilities.
More
recently,
the
presence
 of
a
form
of
synchronic
contingency
in
Aquinas’
thought
concerning
human
 action
has
been
strongly
argued
by
Osborne.71 There
are
also
considerable
differences
in
the
scholarship
over
whether
 the
implications
of
Scotus’
thought
are
determinist
or
indeterminist.
Thus,
 Craig
understands
Scotus
to
argue,
on
the
one
hand,
that
God
knows
future
 contingents
infallibly
and
certainly
inasmuch
as
he
has
willed
their
 existence—although
since
God’s
will
is
free
and
could
be
otherwise,
it
is
 possible
that
what
God
has
willed
could
be
otherwise.
Craig’s
point
is
quite
 similar
to
Vos’
approach
to
synchronic
contingency
in
Scotus.
Where
he
 differs
with
Vos
is
in
his
conclusion
that
Scotus’
accounts
“often
seem
to
 pull
in
different
directions”:
in
Craig’s
reading,
certain
elements
of
Scotus’
 argumentation
are
indeterminist,
but
Scotus’
understanding
of
divine
 knowledge
points
toward
deterministic
conclusions.72
Langston’s
 examination
of
Scotus’
approach
to
contingency
and
freedom
takes
the
 point
a
step
further
and
concludes
in
the
light
of
his
understanding
of
the
 divine
willing
that
Scotus
must
ultimately
be
classed
as
a
determinist— specifically
to
the
contrary
of
Vos’
conclusions.73
There
is
also
another
 reading
of
Scotus’
approach
to
human
free
choice
in
the
scholarly
literature:
 Roberts’
examination
of
Scotus’
approach
to
human
willing
accepts
the
 standard
voluntarist
interpretation
and
concludes
that
Scotus’
teaching
is
 libertarian
or
indeterminist—albeit
without
examining
Scotus’
approach
to
 the
divine
knowledge
and
will.74
Incandela,
who
finds
in
Aquinas’
thought
a
 paradigmatic
explanation
of
human
freedom
as
“situated”
in
man’s
 dependent
existence
and
as
eminently
suited
to
argue
both
divine
 foreknowledge
and
human
liberty,
sees
Scotus’
voluntarism
as
leading
to
a
 series
of
increasingly
problematic
approaches
to
human
freedom
on
the
part
 of
Ockham,
Bradwardine,
Luther,
and
Molina,
each
of
whom
defined
 human
freedom
as
autonomy,
yielding
a
history
of
debate
in
which
 “positions
would
alternate
between
divine
determinism
or
a
creaturely
 freedom
incompatible
with
God’s
foreknowledge.”75 B.
The
Issue
of
Scotism
and
Early
Modern
Reformed
Thought.
In
 dependence
on
his
narrative
of
the
medieval
backgrounds,
Vos
argues
 further
that
necessitarian
readings
of
human
willing
on
the
part
of
the


Reformers
themselves
were
followed
by
the
retrieval
of
a
vocabulary
and
of
 an
ontology
capable
of
sustaining
a
genuine
understanding
of
contingency
 and
freedom
on
the
part
of
later
Reformed
orthodox
thinkers.
Vos
spells
out
 his
views
on
this
retrieval
in
several
essays
on
the
development
of
 Reformed
scholasticism
and
its
patterns
of
reception
of
the
thought
of
the
 Reformers.
In
addition,
he
and
his
associates
have
imbedded
this
view
of
 the
history
in
their
analysis
of
Reformed
teaching
concerning
freedom
and
 contingency
in
the
sixteenth
and
seventeenth
centuries.76
Vos
rightly
 recognizes
that
there
was
not
an
utter
decline
and
loss
of
medieval
 theological
and
philosophical
models
in
the
fifteenth
and
sixteenth
centuries
 and
that
the
new
philosophies
of
the
early
modern
era
did
not
immediately
 dominate
the
intellectual
world
of
the
seventeenth
century.
He
also
 recognizes
that
the
heirs
of
the
Reformation,
as
they
developed
curricula
in
 and
for
Protestant
universities,
drew
heavily
on
the
deposit
of
learning
that
 was
bequeathed
by
the
Middle
Ages. Where
Vos
goes
beyond
this
broad
and
generally
accepted
understanding
 of
the
continuity
of
discourse
between
the
medieval
and
early
modern
eras
 is
in
his
argument
that
the
reception
and
adaptation
of
this
past
took
on,
 even
in
Protestant
circles,
a
distinctly
Scotist
accent.
He
even
argues
that
 “the
authoritative
handbook
of
theology—Thomas
Aquinas’
Summa
 theologiae—was
read
through
Scotist-tinted
lenses”
and
that
this
was
the
 way
in
which
“the
medieval
heritage
bore
reformational
fruit,”
and
a
 particular
“medieval
point
of
view
became
a
key
in
understanding
 Reformed
theology.”77
Justification
of
this
claim
that
Aquinas’
Summa
 theologiae
was
reinterpreted
in
a
Scotist
manner
and
that
specific
citations
 and
uses
of
Aquinas’
thought
in
Reformed
circles
(including
direct
citations
 of
Aquinas’
vocabulary
and
argumentation
in
various
theological
works
of
 the
Reformed),
ought
to
be
taken
as
actually
representing
a
Scotist
position,
 rests
on
the
assumption
of
a
“method
of
exponere
revernter
according
to
 which
the
“wax
nose”
of
authority
was
consistently
bent
by
scholastic
users
 of
the
texts.
The
authoritative
texts
were
assumed
to
be
true
and
read
 ahistorically
into
the
patterns
of
argumentation
followed
by
the
scholastic
 theologian:
Aristotle
could
be
read
either
Thomistically
or
Scotistically.
 Neither
authorial
intention
nor
the
literal
sense
of
the
text
would
be
 ultimately
determinative
of
meaning.78
Accordingly,
Vos
argues,
“we
have
 to
remind
ourselves
that
the
authoritative
character
of
these
texts
is
founded
 on
truth,
i.e.
truth
as
it
is
perceived
by
the
author
who
reads
them
within
the


context
of
his
personal
world.”79
Vos’
assumption
is
that
the
“context
of
 [the]
personal
world”
of
Reformed
theologians
of
the
seventeenth
century
 was
fundamentally
Scotist
in
character. Vos’
approach
also
differs
from
the
more
typical
narratives
of
the
 continuities
and
discontinuities
between
the
later
Middle
Ages
and
the
 Reformation
in
its
view
that
this
reception
and
adaptation
of
medieval,
 predominantly
Scotist
themes
took
place
toward
the
end
of
the
sixteenth
 century
or
at
the
beginning
of
the
seventeenth.
Thus,
he
posits
a
significant
 discontinuity
between
the
increasingly
Scotistic
thought
of
the
later
Middle
 Ages
and
the
thought
of
the
early
Reformation
as
well
as
a
significant
 discontinuity
between
the
Reformers,
who,
in
his
view,
were
not
influenced
 by
the
Scotist
revision
of
understandings
of
contingency
and
freedom,
and
 the
early
orthodox
Reformed
writers,
who
absorbed
and
benefitted
from
a
 retrieval
of
medieval
thought
interpreted
along
Scotist
lines.
Vos
accounts
 for
this
partial
loss
of
the
Scotist
perspective
by
arguing
that
Ockham’s
 approach
to
contingency
set
aside
the
understanding
of
synchronicity
 characteristic
of
Scotus.80 The
evidences
of
a
Scotistic
influence
on
Calvin
are
not
noted.
Vos’
 argument
then
proceeds
as
if
Ockham
had
removed
the
Scotist
approach
 from
the
purview
of
the
early
Reformers,
leaving
only
his
approach
and
the
 Thomist
understanding—both
presumably
deterministic—as
explanatory
 structures.
The
apparent
determinism
of
Luther
and
of
Calvin
is,
then,
 explained
by
their
lack
of
appropriation
of
the
Scotist
paradigm,
indeed,
by
 their
retention
of
the
traditional
Aristotelian
view
of
necessity
and
 contingency.
The
problem
of
determinism
is
seen,
Vos
argues,
most
clearly
 in
Calvin’s
doctrine
of
God,
which
is
said
to
dictate
in
no
uncertain
terms
 that
nothing
God
wills
or
does
can
be
otherwise—a
radical
 necessitarianism.81
This
deterministic
tendency
remained
the
norm
in
 Reformed
circles,
the
Vos
narrative
indicates,
in
such
thinkers
as
Vermigli
 and
Zanchi,
who
remained
attached
to
more
or
less
Thomistic
 understandings
of
necessity
and
contingency. The
adoption
of
Scotistic
argumentation
was,
in
Vos’
view,
particularly
 significant
to
the
development
of
thought
in
Protestant
universities
such
as
 Heidelberg,
Leiden,
and
eventually
Utrecht.
Specifically,
Scotism
was
 responsible
for
a
very
particular
reinterpretation
of
contingency
that
became
 dominant
in
the
Reformed
thought
of
the
post-Reformation
era:

One
of
the
improvements
[Scotus]
made
was
his
answer
to
the
question
of
what
status
 had
to
be
assigned
to
the
divine
knowledge
of
what
is
contingent.
In
the
tradition
of
 the
theology
of
the
church
it
was
not
disputed
that
God
knows
the
contingent,
but
 could
one
call
God’s
knowledge
of
the
contingent
itself
contingent?
Scotus
answer
 was
affirmative:
divine
knowledge
of
the
contingent
is
in
the
synchronous
sense
 contingent.
Herewith
we
have
met
in
fact
a
quite
important,
non-deterministic
 infrastructure.82

This
particular
Scotist
understanding
was
taken
up
by
such
later
Reformed
 thinkers
as
Franciscus
Gomarus
and
Gisbertus
Voetius,
with
the
result
that
 they
were
able
to
enunciate
the
Reformed
doctrines
of
salvation
by
grace
 alone
and
sovereign
divine
predestination
without
falling
into
a
form
of
 metaphysical
determinism.83
What
is
not
demonstrated
by
Vos
is
precisely
 how
this
contingency
of
divine
knowledge,
resting
as
it
does
on
the
divine
 freedom
of
will
and
not
on
the
contingency
of
the
finite
order,
actually
 renders
the
contingency
of
the
finite
order
more
clearly
and
surely
defined
 than
in
approaches,
such
as
the
Thomist,
that
do
not
specifically
reference
 divine
knowledge
as
contingent
but
that
assume
the
freedom
of
the
divine
 will
and
that,
specifically,
ground
temporal
contingency
in
the
motion
of
 secondary
causes. The
implication
of
Vos’
argument,
moreover,
is
that
such
Reformed
 thinkers
as
Calvin,
Vermigli,
Beza,
Zanchi,
and
Ursinus,
who
preceded
the
 advent
of
this
Scotistic
understanding,
were
unwitting
determinists
even
in
 their
insistence
that
human
beings
have
liberty
of
contradiction
and
 contrariety
in
the
general
affairs
of
life.
In
other
words,
according
to
the
 claims
of
Vos
and
his
associates,
even
when
Vermigli
and
Zanchi
argue
the
 case
for
human
freedom
of
choice,
they
are
pressed
logically
into
a
 deterministic
conclusion
to
the
extent
that
their
intellectual
apparatus
lacked
 the
Scotistic
language
of
synchronic
contingency
and
fell
back
upon
a
form
 of
necessitarianism
characteristic
of
Aristotelian
philosophy
and,
moreover,
 of
Thomism.84
This
reading
of
the
older,
more
or
less
Thomistic
tradition
as
 falling
logically
into
determinism
is
perhaps
most
clearly
indicated
in
the
 work
of
another
student
of
Vos,
Eef
Dekker,
who
has
examined
the
thought
 of
Jacob
Arminius
and
Luiz
Molina
and
has
argued
that
even
these
 proponents
of
human
free
choice
must
be
ultimately
caught
up
in
a
form
of
 determinism
because
of
their
advocacy
of
a
basically
Thomistic
construal
of
 freedom
and
contingency.85 There
are
several
layers
to
the
historical
critique.
In
the
first
place,
certain
 particulars
of
Vos’
sweeping
vision
of
the
lines
of
transmission
of
late


medieval
thought
into
the
early
modern
era
can
be
questioned.86
Whereas
 recent
historiography
of
the
late
medieval
and
the
early
modern
eras
has
 disputed
the
radical
break
between
the
medieval
and
early
modern
periods
 posited
by
much
of
the
older
scholarship,
has
largely
overturned
the
 dismissal
of
late
medieval
scholasticism
as
monolithically
nominalist
and
 intellectually
decadent,
and
has
demonstrated
the
endurance
of
the
 Peripatetic
tradition
of
philosophy
in
the
faculties
and
curricula
of
European
 universities
well
into
the
early
modern
era,
it
has
not
found
a
fundamentally
 Scotistic
accent
in
the
early
modern
reception
and
retrieval
of
the
various
 traditions
of
medieval
theology
and
philosophy.
Indeed,
as
evidenced
 among
Protestants
in
the
reception
of
a
spectrum
of
later
medieval
 understandings
on
such
issues
as
the
nature
of
theology
(whether
a
 speculative,
a
practical,
or
a
mixed
discipline)
and
the
relationship
of
 intellect
and
will
(whether
intellectualist
or
voluntarist),
Protestant
thinkers
 understood
the
diversity
of
the
medieval
backgrounds
and
reflected
that
 diversity
in
their
often
eclectic
adaptation
of
medieval
paradigms
to
the
 service
of
post-Reformation
theological
formulation.87
The
historical
 evidence,
in
other
words,
indicates
not
a
rereading
or
reinterpretation
of
 Thomist,
Augustinian,
and
other
medieval
approaches
to
theology
and
 philosophy
in
a
Scotist
manner
but
rather
an
eclectic
appropriation,
both
 directly
and
indirectly,
of
distinctions
and
arguments
from
varied
 trajectories
of
medieval
thought,
including
the
Scotist
but
also
the
Thomist
 and
Augustinian,
by
early
modern
Protestants. In
the
second
place,
there
is
the
broader
question
of
the
criteria
for
 classifying
a
thinker
as
Scotist.
If
Reformed
theologians
of
the
seventeenth
 century
typically
accepted
a
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
and
if
that
 concept
could
be
legitimately
identified
as
Scotistic,
should
they
be
 identified
as
Scotist
when
they
with
equal
frequency
deny
a
concept
like
the
 univocity
of
being
that
has
also
been
identified
as
foundational
to
Scotism?
 It
was
in
fact
common
among
the
Reformed
philosophers
and
theologians
 of
the
early
modern
era
to
oppose
the
Scotist
concept
of
the
univocity
of
 being
and
advocate
a
real
distinction
between
essence
and
existence
in
finite
 being,
this
latter
having
been
opposed
by
Scotus
and
held
by
Aquinas
 among
others.88
The
language
of
synchronic
contingency,
often
claimed
for
 Scotus,
can
be
paired
in
some
Reformed
writers
with
a
fundamentally
 Thomistic
understanding
of
divine
concurrence
as
physical
premotion
and
 with
an
equally
Thomistic
assumption
of
the
necessity
that
the
will
follow


the
judgment
of
the
practical
intellect.89
So
also,
a
Scotistic
understanding
 of
eternity
as
a
radical
present
to
which
neither
past
nor
future
exist
can
be
 paired
with
a
Thomistic
explanation
of
the
root
of
necessity
and
 contingency
in
the
world
order.90
Given
this
highly
eclectic
mixture
of
 backgrounds
to
early
modern
Reformed
thought,
it
may
well
be
impossible
 cogently
to
argue
that
the
Reformed
ought
to
be
classified
ultimately
as
 either
Scotist
or
Thomist—or,
indeed,
something
else. The
Reformed
literature
of
the
early
modern
era,
moreover,
is
 characterized
by
a
relative
absence
of
positive
references
to
Scotus
or
 contemporary
Scotists
and
a
preponderance
of
references
to
Thomas
 Aquinas
and
various
contemporary
Thomists.
Zanchi’s
most
frequent
point
 of
reference
among
the
medieval
doctors
is
Thomas
Aquinas.91
This
holds
 true
in
Zanchi’s
discussion
of
free
choice.92
Gomarus
also
evidenced
a
 preference
for
Aquinas
among
his
scholastic
sources.93
Voetius’
use
of
the
 language
of
synchronic
contingency
in
a
disputation
of
1652
offered
 references
to
texts
both
of
adversaries
in
the
debate
over
human
free
choice
 and
of
theologians
whose
arguments
were
supportive
of
Voetius’
own.
 Among
the
adversaries,
Voetius
cited
the
Jesuit
thinkers
Rodrigo
de
Arriaga
 and
Francisco
de
Oviedo.
In
support
of
his
own
arguments,
Voetius
cited
 the
Reformed
theologians
Paul
Ferry
and
Samuel
Rutherford
and
then
 commented
that
“some
papists
such
as
the
Thomists”
stood
in
agreement
 with
the
Reformed
on
the
point,
referencing
first
Thomas
Aquinas
and
then
 François
du
Bois
(Franciscus
Sylvius),
a
noted
commentator
on
the
Summa.
 Subsequent
references
note
Andreas
Rivetus
and
Johannes
Maccovius
 among
the
Reformed
and
specifically
cite
Aquinas’
Summa
theologiae.94
 Moreover,
as
Beck
points
out,
Voetius
referenced
the
work
of
Diego
 Alvarez
as
a
background,
even
as
a
source,
of
his
own
thinking
on
the
issue
 of
contingency,
drawing
positively
on
the
Thomist
concept
of
divine
 concurrence
as
a
praemotio
physica.
Alvarez
was
a
Dominican
and
a
 commentator
on
Aquinas’
Summa.95 In
none
of
these
places
does
Voetius
cite
Duns
Scotus,
nor
indeed
are
any
 of
the
early
modern
Scotist
commentators
mentioned:
the
clear
historical
 point
of
reference
for
Voetius
is
the
language
of
contingency
and
freedom
 used
in
the
early
modern
debates
between
the
Dominicans
and
the
Jesuits
 concerning
scientia
media,
contingency,
and
freedom.
Even
so,
Rutherford
 and
Turretin
argued
the
positive
relationship
between
Reformed
and
 Thomist
theories
of
premotion,
referencing
the
early
modern
Dominican


sources
and
offering
no
comment
at
this
point
on
early
modern
Scotist
or
 Franciscan
materials.96
A
similar
point
must
be
made
concerning
Burton’s
 reading
of
Rutherford’s
adoption
of
the
language
of
synchronic
 contingency:
Rutherford
identifies
the
background
to
his
argument
as
 Thomas
Bradwardine,
not
Duns
Scotus.97
Beyond
the
basic
problem
of
 identifying
specifically
Thomist
or
Scotist
strains
in
early
modern
Protestant
 writers,
whose
sources
and
backgrounds
are
quite
eclectic,
there
is
also
the
 problem
of
the
more
proximate
debates
over
trajectories
of
thought
that
 could
be
traced
back
to
Aquinas
or
Scotus,
most
notably,
the
debates
over
 providence,
grace,
and
human
freedom
between
the
Dominicans
and
the
 Jesuits,
which
so
closely
paralleled
the
debates
between
the
Reformed
and
 the
Arminians.
As
Voetius’
citation
of
Alvarez
indicates,
the
Thomistic
 backgrounds
of
seventeenth-century
Reformed
thought
include
those
 debates
and
potentially
reflect
significant
differences
not
merely
between
 Aquinas
and
Scotus
but
between
the
ongoing
Thomist
tradition
and
 modifications
found
in
Jesuit
writers
like
Suarez.
Suarez,
moreover,
 modified
Thomism
in
some
directions
that
look
back
to
Scotus—notably
 arguing
the
univocity
of
being
and
presenting
a
voluntaristic
approach
to
 divine
and
human
freedom.98 The
rather
varied
sources
for
the
Reformed
language
of
synchronic
 contingency,
whether
in
the
late
medieval
centuries
or
in
the
early
modern
 era,
then,
press
the
question
of
whether
the
notion
of
synchronic
 contingency,
whatever
its
origin,
needs
a
broadly
Scotistic
context
of
 understanding
in
order
to
function
in
a
philosophical
or
theological
system.
 Arguably,
all
the
appearances
of
the
concept
in
what
are
not
nominally
 Scotistic
contexts
raise
the
question—as
is
certainly
the
case
with
Alvarez’
 use
of
the
concept—but
for
our
purposes
here,
it
is
sufficient
to
examine
the
 Reformed
contexts
of
the
early
modern
era
and
to
examine
the
function
of
 the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
in
relation
to
other
conceptual
 structures,
such
as
God’s
eternity,
his
absolute
and
ordained
powers,
and
the
 providential
concursus.
One
may
argue
that
in
Sylvius’
and
Alvarez’
 formulations
there
is
present
a
clear
element
of
post-Aquinas,
late
medieval
 thought
reflective
of
Scotus
or,
at
least,
of
the
argumentation
concerning
 divine
eternity,
divine
knowing,
and
contingency
that
occurred
largely
 because
of
Scotus’
contribution
to
the
ongoing
scholastic
conversation— but,
as
has
already
been
observed
of
early
modern
Thomism,
particularly
 that
of
Bañez,
the
better
solution
is
to
regard
the
resulting
argumentation
as


eclectic,
indeed,
as
a
Thomism
modified
by
later
incorporation
of
and
 debate
with
lines
of
argument
that
are
associated
with
Scotus,
rather
than
as
 a
case
of
a
Thomism
now
so
read
“through
Scotist
glasses”
to
the
point
of
 being
fundamentally
Scotist
rather
than
Thomist.99 Once
the
sources
and
the
context
of
their
use
have
been
identified,
the
 claim
made
by
Vos
and
others
that,
despite
their
references
to
non-Scotist
 sources,
the
coherence
of
the
Reformed
arguments
hinges
on
an
underlying
 Scotist
perspective
is
unconvincing—particularly
in
the
absence
of
any
 explanation
why
Reformed
authors
would
cite
Aquinas
when
they
actually
 meant
to
echo
Duns
Scotus,100
given
that
they
also
quite
freely
cite
Scotus
 when
they
choose
to
do
so
and
frequently
reject
specifically
Scotistic
 concepts
like
the
univocity
of
being.
Of
course,
whether
a
seventeenthcentury
use
of
Aquinas
or
of
Scotus
corresponds
with
what
a
modern
expert
 on
Thomism
or
Scotism
would
hold
to
be
the
meaning
of
the
text
is
quite
 another
question:
seventeenth-century
theologians
and
philosophers
read
 the
medievals
rather
differently
than
either
modern
theologians
or
modern
 historians
read
them.
Seventeenth-century
thinkers
cited
the
medievals
not
 merely
as
sources
but
as
indicators
or
markers
of
positions
under
 consideration.
Both
Aquinas
and
Scotus
were
read
through
the
lens
of
late
 medieval
and
early
modern
debates—in
other
words
the
lens
of
layers
of
 interpretation
of
their
works
and
transmission
of
their
arguments
in
the
 ongoing
debates
and
conversations
belonging
to
the
history
of
late
medieval
 and
early
modern
intellectual
development.
The
appearance
of
an
argument
 or
concept
that
may
have
originated
in
the
work
of
Aquinas
or
Scotus
in
a
 seventeenth-century
Reformed
treatise
does
not,
therefore,
necessarily
point
 to
a
direct
Thomist
or
Scotist
influence. This
contextual
reception
of
medieval
arguments
in
seventeenth-century
 debates
does
not,
moreover,
offer
grounds
for
arguing
that,
under
the
 referencing
of
Aquinas,
one
ought
to
expect
“conceptual
patterns
opposed
 to
Thomistic
thought,”
or
that
distinctions
found
in
Aquinas
and
then
used
 by
Reformed
scholastics
will
be
filled
with
Scotist
meanings.101
The
 Reformed
scholastics
drew
on
numerous
sources,
and
certainly,
their
 reception
of
Thomistic
argumentation
was
not
intended
as
an
exercise
in
 Dominican
thinking
or
as
an
exercise
in
offering
Scotist
or
other
nonThomist
explanations
of
Thomistic
arguments;
rather
it
was
(and
 consciously
so!)
as
an
adaptation
of
arguments
and
distinctions
received
 from
Thomists
to
Reformed
purposes.
A
similar
point
must
be
made


concerning
the
Reformed
reception
of
arguments
and
distinctions
received
 from
Scotist
sources
or
from
such
medievals
as
Thomas
Bradwardine
and
 Gregory
of
Rimini.
The
intention
behind
their
use
was
not
to
fill
Scotist
or
 Bradwardinian
arguments
with
alternative
content.
The
intention
was
the
 development
of
a
Reformed
theology
based
quite
eclectically
on
diverse
 sources
gathered
through
rather
varied
patterns
of
reception.
Scholastic
 distinctions
themselves,
moreover,
are
flexible
in
their
use
and
application,
 and
their
use
does
not
in
itself
indicate
alignment
with
particular
schools
of
 thought.
Like
scholastic
method
in
general,
the
distinctions
provide
a
stable
 basis
for
argumentation
and,
although
hardly
devoid
of
content,
do
not
 prejudice
conclusions
toward
particular
theological
or
philosophical
 answers,
such
as
monergism
or
synergism,
determinism
or
indeterminism. Nor
do
the
distinctions,
taken
by
themselves,
imply
a
particular
 theological
or
philosophical
position,
whether
of
Aquinas,
or
Scotus,
or
 Bradwardine,
or
some
other
scholastic
thinker.102
Scholastic
distinctions
are
 content-
and
conclusion-neutral
and
need
to
be
filled
with
particular
 understandings
of
such
issues
as
divine
and
human
causality
in
order
to
 represent
particular
theological
or
philosophical
positions.
The
general
 point
can
be
illustrated
in
terms
of
two
sets
of
distinctions
that
are
 consistently
referenced
in
the
discussions
of
synchronic
contingency.
Thus,
 specifically,
the
distinction
between
divided
and
compound
sense,
and
its
 analogue
the
distinction
between
necessity
of
the
consequence
(necessitas
 consequentiae)
or
necessity
de
dicto
and
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
 (necessitas
consequentis)
or
necessity
de
re,103
do
not
lead
to
any
particular
 conclusion
about
how
one
must
understand
contingency
and
necessity
in
a
 larger
theological
and
philosophical
context.
They
serve,
generally,
to
 distinguish
necessity
from
contingency,
but
they
do
not
reflect
an
invariable
 assumption
of
how
contingency
and
necessity
relate
in
the
real
order.
That
 would
be
determined
by
further
consideration
of
the
nature
of
causality,
the
 interrelationship
of
different
causal
movers,
and
the
specific
understanding
 of
divine
concurrence
being
explained
by
the
distinctions.
In
other
words,
 neither
the
use
of
the
distinction
between
the
divided
and
the
compound
 sense
nor,
certainly,
the
presence
of
a
language
of
contingency
indicating
 that
something
is
either
possible
to
be
or
possible
not
to
be,
points
toward
 the
presence
of
Scotism. Even
so,
when
a
Reformed
writer
of
the
seventeenth
century
uses
a
 standard
distinction
like
that
between
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and


scientia
visionis
or
the
parallel
distinction
between
scientia
necessaria
and
 scientia
voluntaria,
the
usage
does
not
indicate
alignment
with
a
particular
 medieval
theological
or
philosophical
perspective—as
if
the
former
pair,
 often
associated
with
a
Thomistic
perspective,
required
a
more
 intellectualist
and
the
latter,
often
associated
with
a
Scotist
model,
required
 a
more
voluntarist
reading.104
Over
the
course
of
time,
certainly
by
the
 seventeenth
century,
the
distinctions
had
become
roughly
synonymous.
Nor
 does
the
statement
that
divine
will
intervenes
between
the
scientia
simplicis
 intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
visionis
by
itself
imply
a
voluntaristic
or
 specifically
Scotistic
reinterpretation
of
the
distinction,
given
that
this
is
the
 standard
way
in
which
the
pairs
of
the
distinction
were
linked
by
 intellectualist
and
voluntarist
alike.
The
distinction
would
need
to
be
 coupled
with
such
distinctly
Scotist
language
and
concepts
such
as
logically
 distinct
“instants,”
or
momenta,
in
the
divine
mind
or
a
correspondence
 between
the
divine
potentia
absoluta
and
the
infinitude
of
possibilia
 generated
by
the
divine
intellect.105 The
obvious
conclusion
is
not
that
Reformed
scholastics
regularly
filled
 Thomistic
language
with
Scotist
meanings
(or
Scotist
language
with
 Bradwardinian
meanings!)
but
that
they
were
rather
eclectic—eclectic,
that
 is,
in
the
sense
of
drawing
on
a
variety
of
sources
for
their
formulations,
not
 in
the
sense
that
their
formulations
lack
systematic
or
philosophical
 coherence.106
As
has
been
pointed
out
concerning
the
ancient
philosophical
 usage,
“eclectic”
indicates
“a
philosophy
whose
structural
character
is
that
 of
deliberately
planning
to
select
some
doctrines
out
of
many
philosophies
 and
fit
them
together”
as
opposed
to
an
uncritical
gathering
of
materials
or
 an
arbitrary
inclusion
of
extraneous
materials.107
Access
to
the
various
 frameworks
of
meaning
associated
with
the
use
of
traditional
distinctions
 rests
not
on
a
facile
reading
of
the
distinctions
as
in
themselves
implying
a
 particular
philosophical
perspective
or,
indeed,
as
somehow
being
filled
 with
theological
meanings
different
from
what
might
be
supposed
on
the
 basis
of
a
particular
previous
use
or
association,
but
on
the
broader
context
 of
argument
in
which
the
distinctions
are
used.
The
applicability,
moreover,
 of
a
medieval
method
or
hermeneutic
of
“reverent
exposition”
to
the
 understanding
of
early
modern
Protestant
sources
is
highly
questionable:
 Protestants
did
not
echo
medieval
reception
of
the
writings
of
the
church
 fathers
as
authoritative,
much
less
the
writings
of
the
medieval
doctors.

Part
II

Philosophical
and
Theological
Backgrounds:
 Aristotle,
Aquinas,
and
Duns
Scotus

3 Aristotle
and
Aquinas
on
Necessity
 and
Contingency 3.1
Aristotle,
Aquinas,
and
the
Debate
over
Synchronic
Contingency A.
Introduction:
The
Historical
Issues—Transmission
and
Reception.
 One
of
the
linchpins
of
the
historical
argument
concerning
the
Scotist
 background
of
early
modern
Reformed
thought
on
contingency
is
the
 assumption
that
a
non-Scotist
background,
specifically
a
background
in
 Aristotelian
thought
as
mediated
by
Thomas
Aquinas,
cannot
account
for
a
 full
or
adequate
concept
of
contingency.
In
raising
this
point
historically,
it
 is
important
to
note
that
the
historical
problem
is
distinct
from
the
question
 of
the
importance
of
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
to
early
modern
 Reformed
thought
as
articulated
by
Vos
and
others.
Historical
arguments
 can
be
posed
against
the
distinctly
Scotist
origins
and
character
of
 synchronic
contingency;
against
the
thesis
that
Aristotle’s
understanding
of
 necessity,
contingency,
possibility
and
impossibility,
yields
determinism;
 against
the
claim
that
Aquinas
as
Aristotelian
“deviated
from
[the]
main
 stream
development”
of
a
non-necessitarian
“philosophia
christiana”;1
and
 therefore
also
against
the
view
that
non-necessitarian
elements
in
early
 modern
Reformed
thought
are
evidence
of
Scotism.
These
historical
 arguments,
however,
do
not
dispute
the
presence
of
concepts
and
arguments
 associated
with
the
theory
of
synchronic
contingency
in
later
medieval
 thought,
nor
do
they
undermine
the
importance
of
the
language
of
 synchronic
contingency
to
early
modern
Reformed
thought
on
freedom.
 Rather,
the
historical
arguments
serve
to
identify
an
alternative
reading
of
 the
traditionary
conversation
and
debate
on
freedom,
contingency,
and
 necessity
from
its
classical
philosophical
foundations
into
the
Middle
Ages
 and
on
into
early
modern
Reformed
thought.

B.
Aristotle
and
Aquinas
in
Current
Discussion.
The
historical
and
 philosophical
discussion
of
late
medieval
and
early
modern
understandings
 of
freedom,
contingency,
and
necessity
would
not
be
the
subject
of
nearly
 as
much
concentrated
and
foundational
debate
if
the
implications
of
 Aristotle’s
views
were
a
settled
matter.
But
this
is
not
the
case.
There
is
 wide
divergence
both
over
Aristotle’s
meaning
and
over
his
impact
on
 medieval
and
early
modern
thought.
According
to
the
arguments
of
Vos,
 Hintikka,
and
Knuuttila,
Aristotelian
and
Thomistic
understandings
of
 contingency
are
uniformly
diachronic
and
therefore
yield
a
form
of
 determinism
by
framing
the
issue
of
the
necessity
of
the
present
moment
in
 such
a
way
as
to
deny
a
principle
of
possible
or
potential
alternativity.
The
 Aristotelian
and
Thomistic
approaches
are
also
identified
as
diachronic
 inasmuch
as
they
are
assumed
to
define
contingency
only
in
terms
of
future
 actions
and
events.
Scotistic
synchronic
contingency
resolved
the
problem
 of
the
necessity
of
the
present
by
arguing
the
simultaneous
existence
of
 alternative
possibility
in
the
very
moment
of
an
event. This
assumption
also
underlies
the
claim
that
seventeenth-century
 Reformed
writers
who
use
terminology
reminiscent
of
Aquinas,
given
their
 arguments
on
contingency
and
freedom,
must
be
filling
that
language
with
 Scotist
meanings,
inasmuch
as
Scotus
is
the
true
source
of
adequate
 language
concerning
contingency
and
freedom,
specifically
in
identifying
 contingency
as
residing
in
the
present
moment.
The
argument
is
almost
 syllogistic—and
it
is
certainly
not
historical.
It
rests
on
the
claim
that,
 according
to
the
Aristotelian
diachronic
contingency
model
found
in
 Aquinas,
things
and
events
must
either
be
necessary
or
impossible— namely,
if
something
exists,
it
must
exist;
and
if
something
does
not
exist,
it
 cannot
exist:
as
Vos
paraphrases
the
Aristotelian
ontology,
“What
is,
is
 necessary
and
what
is
not,
is
impossible.”2
Aristotle
is
read
in
such
a
way
as
 to
allow
only
a
diachronic
reading
of
contingency
and
also
to
reduce
 diachronic
contingency
to
a
form
of
necessitarianism—and
Aquinas
is
held
 to
follow
out
this
diachronic,
necessitarian
reading
of
Aristotle’s
approach
 to
contingency.
This
assertion,
based
largely
on
conclusions
drawn
from
a
 reading
of
Aristotle’s
Metaphysial
and
De
Interpretatione,
does
not,
 arguably,
coincide
with
the
readings
of
Aristotle
typically
found
among
the
 medievals.3 The
deterministic
reading
of
Aristotle,
moreover,
depends
directly
on
a
 particular
view
of
Aristotle’s
reception
of
earlier
Greek
philosophy,
a
view


not
uniformly
held
among
modern
philosophers
and
historians
or
 philosophy.
The
line
of
scholarly
argument
to
which
Vos’
approach
belongs
 has
held
that
Aristotle
either
ultimately
accepted
or
failed
adequately
to
set
 aside
the
so-called
Master
Argument
of
Diodorus
Cronus
and
the
Megarian
 school
and,
accordingly,
followed
out
its
deterministic
implications.4
 Accordingly,
this
line
of
argument
has
held
that
Aristotle
accepted
what
 Arthur
O.
Lovejoy
identified
as
the
Platonic
“principle
of
plenitude.”
 Lovejoy,
of
course,
had
denied
that
Aristotle
had
followed
Plato
on
this
 issue,
and
there
is
a
line
of
scholarship
that
has
substantiated
his
position.5 There
is
a
significant
correlation
between
Vos’
arguments
concerning
 Aristotle
(as
well
as
concerning
Aquinas)
with
the
approaches
of
Hintikka
 and
Knuuttila
to
these
questions.
Hintikka
has
explicitly
countered
Lovejoy
 on
the
issue
of
Aristotle’s
acceptance
of
the
principle
of
plenitude6
and
has
 identified
Aristotle
as
adumbrating
the
logic
of
Diodorus’
Master
 Argument,
despite
his
opposition
to
the
Megarian
school
of
philosophy.7
A
 significant
body
of
literature
on
Aristotle’s
understanding
of
contingency,
 however,
stands
against
the
views
of
Hintikka
and
Vos—and
explicitly
 identifies
Aristotle
as
opposing
the
Megarians
in
general
and
Diodorus
in
 particular.8 Hintikka’s
former
student
and
colleague
Simo
Knuuttila
has
argued
that
 the
necessitarian
approach
rooted
in
Aristotle
carried
over
into
the
Middle
 Ages,
only
to
be
finally
set
aside
by
Duns
Scotus.9
Vos
and
his
associates
 explicitly
accept
Hintikka’s
arguments
against
Lovejoy,
argue
that
Aristotle
 held
the
principle
of
plenitude
and
that
he
assumed
that
present
reality
is
 necessary
in
an
absolute
sense
and
not
contingent,
and
conclude,
with
 Knuuttila,
that
Scotus’
argumentation
was
needed
to
set
aside
the
 deterministic
implications
of
the
preceding
Peripatetic
and
Christian
 tradition.10
Thus,
Vos’
approach
belongs
to
a
particular
school
of
thought
 that
has
argued
the
underlying
necessitarianism
of
the
Greek
philosophical
 tradition,
including
Aristotle,
and
has
assumed
the
carry-over
of
this
 framework
of
thought
into
the
greater
part
of
the
Middle
Ages.
These
issues
 will,
therefore,
return
in
the
examination
of
the
medievals,
inasmuch
as
 debate
over
the
principle
of
plenitude
and
the
necessary
actualization
of
all
 possibility
returns
in
the
analysis
of
Aquinas,
specifically
in
relation
to
 Aquinas’
reception
of
Aristotle.

3.2
The
Question
of
Contingency
and
the
Implication
of
Possibility
in
 Aristotle The
question
of
how
Aristotle
dealt
with
the
larger
topic
of
the
human
 will
and
its
freedom
has
been
much
debated
and
a
good
deal
of
ink
has
been
 spilled
over
the
question
of
whether
Aristotle
actually
had
a
concept
of
will
 as
distinct
from
intellect
and
appetite.11
Etienne
Gilson
remarked
that
 “Aristotle
spoke
neither
of
liberty
nor
of
free
will”
and
that
even
when
 Aristotle
dealt
with
the
well-springs
of
human
action
“it
is
not
easy
to
 disentangle
the
idea
of
liberty
from
analyses
that
nevertheless
imply
it,
and
 the
term
itself
is
lacking.”12
The
issue
before
us
here,
however,
is
not
to
 attempt
to
extract
a
theory
of
the
will
and
its
liberty
from
Aristotle,
but
to
 focus
on
the
primary
ingredient
that
Aristotelianism
bestowed
on
later
 understandings
of
free
choice,
namely
his
approach
to
the
issue
of
necessity
 and
contingency,
the
possible
and
the
impossible.
The
question
of
whether
 Aristotle’s
handling
of
necessity,
contingency,
impossibility,
and
possibility
 leads
to
determinism
lies
at
the
heart
of
the
debate
over
free
choice
in
 Thomist,
Scotist,
and
early
modern
Reformed
contexts. Aristotle’s
views
on
necessity,
notably
as
deployed
in
the
Metaphysica,
 were
developed
largely
with
the
intention
of
refuting
Megarian
 determinism.
Whereas
there
is
general
agreement
concerning
Aristotle’s
 opposition
to
the
Megarians,
there
is
considerable
disagreement
over
the
 implication
and
success
of
his
arguments.13
Accordingly,
scholarly
opinion
 also
remains
divided
on
the
question
of
Aristotle’s
views
on
necessity
and
 contingency—with
some
arguing
a
determinist,
others
an
indeterminist
 tendency.14 There
are
three
major
interpretations
of
Aristotle’s
views
on
necessity
 and
contingency
that
have
been
offered
under
various
names
and
associated
 with
various
writers
both
ancient
and
modern.15
The
reading
that
may
well
 be
chronologically
first
and
therefore
identified
as
“traditional,”
“standard,”
 and
“orthodox,”
even
though
it
was
not
the
sole
interpretation
among
the
 ancients
and
would
eventually
become,
at
least
in
the
West,
the
minority
 opinion.
According
to
this
“traditional”
reading,
the
Stoics
understood
 Aristotle
as
allowing
an
exception
to
the
principle
of
bivalence
and
 indicating
that
propositions
concerning
future
contingents
are
neither
true
 nor
false—in
contrast
to
their
assumption
that
the
principle
of
bivalence
is
 universally
applicable
and
that
future
events
(being
either
true
or
false)


were
predetermined.16
This
interpretation
has
returned
in
modern
 scholarship
in
the
work
of
Jan
Lukasiewicz,
who
argued
that
Aristotle,
 faced
with
the
problem
of
either
advocating
a
form
of
determinism
or
 rejecting
universal
application
of
the
principle
of
bivalence,
rejected
 bivalence
to
avoid
determinism.17 A
second
reading
of
Aristotle
on
the
issue,
probably
belonging
to
the
 ancient
Peripatetic
tradition
and
clearly
attested
in
Boethius’
commentary,
 indicates
that
Aristotle
never
set
aside
the
principle
of
bivalence
but
instead
 presumed
a
distinction
between
“definitely
true”
and
“indefinitely
true”
 propositions.18
This
interpretation
had
been
variously
identified
as
 “medieval,”
“second
oldest,”
“realist,”
and
(oddly!)
“non-standard.”
The
 validity
of
this
interpretation
was
contested
rather
pointedly
by
 Lukasiewicz,
who
noted
that
Aristotle
himself
never
made
any
such
 distinction.19
Of
course,
Boethius
fully
recognized
that
the
distinction
was
 not
explicitly
made
by
Aristotle
but
argued
that
it
was
necessary
to
a
proper
 understanding
of
Aristotle’s
argument:
propositions
concerning
definite
 truths
will
always
be
either
true
or
false,
but
propositions
concerning
 contingents
and
futures
are
indefinite.
It
is,
moreover,
true
that
although
 Aristotle
does
not
explicitly
state
that
there
is
such
a
distinction,
various
 arguments
that
he
offers,
including
his
premise
that
it
is
necessary
for
 something
to
be
what
it
is—that
is,
that
what
is
necessarily
is
when
it
is— are
tensed
in
the
present
but
intentionally
indefinite
as
to
time. The
third
reading
of
Aristotle’s
views
on
contingency,
identified
as
the
 “statistical”
interpretation,
is
a
more
recent
interpretation,
characteristic
of
 the
work
of
Hintikka
and
Knuuttila.
This
interpretation
shares
one
feature
 with
the
so-called
second
oldest
view,
namely,
that
Aristotle
employed
 present
tensed
but
temporally
indefinite
or
non-specific
sentences
in
his
 basic
argumentation.20
Where
this
interpretation
differs
from
the
second
 oldest
or
medieval
view
is
that
it
takes
Aristotle’s
indefinite
sentences
as
 having
truth
value
when
tied
to
a
particular
moment.
Since
such
sentences
 are
never
“independent
of
the
moment
of
their
uttterance,”
they
are
 therefore
capable
of
changing
in
“their
truth
value,”
albeit
not
for
the
 particular
time
and
place
to
which
they
refer,
whether
past,
present,
or
 future.21
What
is
more,
since
Hintikka
holds
that
such
statements,
inasmuch
 as
they
are
tied
to
particular
times
and
places,
when
made
about
future
 events,
retain
their
truth
value
by
requiring
the
conclusion
that
the
future
 event
is
necessary,
thereby
perpetuating
the
problem
of
determinism
that


Aristotle
intended
to
resolve.22
Reserving
full
comment
on
this
reading
of
 Aristotle
for
the
point
at
which
I
examine
Aristotle’s
text,
it
can
be
noted
 here
that
it
remains
a
minority
reading
because
of
the
indefinite
character
of
 the
statements
in
question,
because
they
can
typically
be
seen
to
be
 identifying
the
present
necessity
de
dicto
of
what
is
when
it
is,
and
because,
 as
in
the
case
of
the
famous
passage
about
the
Sea
Battle,
Aristotle
is
posing
 contradictories
against
one
another,
not
referencing
issues
of
causal
 determinism,
and
not
indicating
that
a
future
event
must
happen.23 The
assumption
that
Aristotle
(d.
322
BC)
held
to
a
form
of
fatalism
or
 determinism
is
at
least
as
old
as
Cicero,
as
also
is
the
development
of
the
 paradigm
of
ancient
opinion
on
necessity
in
terms
of
a
philosopher’s
 relationship,
whether
positive
or
negative,
to
the
so-called
Master
Argument
 of
Diodorus
Cronos
(d.
ca.
284
BC).24
Given
their
respective
dates,
it
is
 doubtful
that
Diodorus
could
have
influenced
Aristotle,
and
the
frequent
 association
of
Diodorus
with
the
Megaric
or
Megarian
School
has
not
been
 definitively
established,
although
his
views
on
necessity
and
possibility
 arguably
reflect
a
development
of
Megarian
thought
on
the
subject.25
If
 Aristotle’s
arguments
are
placed
in
relation
to
Megarian
necessitarianism
 and
the
Master
Argument
of
Diodorus,
the
probable
chronology
places
 Aristotle’s
own
argumentation
in
between
the
rise
of
the
basic
Megarian
 argumentation
and
Diodorus’
posing
of
the
Master
Argument—and
even
 indicates
the
possibility
that
Diodorus’
argument
drew
on
Aristotle’s
 reading
of
the
Megarians
in
an
attempt
to
refute
Aristotle.26 As
Suzanne
Bobzien
indicates,
Diodorus’
modal
arguments
were
 typically
understood
among
the
ancients
as
standing
in
the
way
of
freedom,
 “since
they
rule
out
the
possibility
that
something
that
never
happens,
or
is
 never
true,
is
nonetheless
possible.”27
All
that
remains
of
Diodorus’
 argument
in
favor
of
this
conclusion
is
a
rather
brief
citation
in
Epictetus
 that
at
best
paraphrases
the
basic
points
made
by
Diodorus
at
the
inception
 of
his
argument.
Thus, 1.
Everything
that
is
past
and
true
is
necessary. 2.
The
impossible
does
not
follow
from
the
possible. 3.
What
neither
is
nor
will
be
is
possible.28

Diodorus’
point
was
that
the
first
two
propositions,
once
accepted,
would
 rule
out
the
third.
By
extension,
all
possibles
not
yet
in
existence
will
be,
 indeed,
must
be
actualized
at
some
future
time—otherwise
they
are
to
be


regarded
not
as
possibles
but
as
impossibles.
This
reading
of
Diodorus
was
 presented
by
Cicero
in
his
summary
of
the
dispute
between
Chrysippus
and
 Diodorus:
Diodorus
“only
admits
that
to
be
possible
which
is
either
true
or
 will
be
true;
and
whatever
will
be
true,
that
he
says
is
unavoidable;
and
 whatever
will
not
be
true,
that
he
says
is
impossible.”29
Cicero
goes
on
to
 indicate
the
implications
of
Diodorus’
claim:
it
“comes
to
this
. . .
that
every
 thing
which
is
possible
either
exists
now,
or
will
exist;
and
that
things
 future,
being
certain,
can
no
more
be
changed
from
true
to
false
than
things
 past.”30
In
short,
Diodorus
forcefully
argued
what
has
come
to
be
known
as
 the
“principle
of
plenitude,”
namely,
that
all
possibles
will
be
actualized.
 Cicero
also
connects
this
line
of
argument
with
the
older
view
that
fate
 “exerts
a
necessary
and
compulsive
force
over
all
agents,”
a
view
that
he
 associates
with
Democritus,
Heraclitus,
and
Aristotle,31
although
the
 problem
of
fate
was
not
included
in
Diodorus’
argumentation
insofar
as
it
 can
be
reconstructed. Two
points
need
to
be
raised
in
relation
to
the
impact
of
the
Master
 Argument,
one
specifically
related
to
its
reception
in
ancient
philosophy,
the
 other
in
relation
to
its
relation
to
and
potential
impact
on
the
rather
different
 context
of
Christian
theology
and
philosophy.
To
the
first
point,
some
 scholars
have
doubted
the
importance
of
Diodorus’
argument
among
the
 ancients
and,
indeed,
have
doubted
that
the
issue
of
free
choice
as
argued
 later,
particularly
in
Christian
circles,
was
actually
present
among
the
 ancients.32
Others
have
worked
to
show,
contrary
to
the
argumentation
of
 Hintikka,
that
Aristotle
not
only
opposed
the
Megarians
in
general
but
also
 denied
what
would
become
the
premises
of
Diodorus’
argument. On
the
second
point—reserving
major
discussion
to
a
later
place
in
this
 essay—there
is
a
significant
difference
in
arguing
from
a
perspective
 entirely
confined
to
finite
temporal
knowers
that
a
possible,
in
order
to
be
 known
and
identified
as
possible,
must
sometime
be
actualized
or
otherwise
 acknowledged
to
be
impossible;
and
arguing
from
the
perspective
of
the
 existence
of
an
infinite
knower
who
not
only
knows
possibles
but
also
 generates
them
in
an
infinite
act
of
intellect
or
power
and,
accordingly,
has
 the
absolute
power
and
the
freedom
to
actualize
any
concatenation
of
 compossibles,
that
numerous
possibles
may
never
be
actualized.
In
other
 words,
the
monotheistic
theological
context
adds
a
dimension
to
arguments
 concerning
possibility
for
which
the
original
form
of
the
Master
Argument
 cannot
account.

Taking
up
the
first
point,
there
is
good
ground
for
arguing
that
Aristotle
 did
not
accept
the
view
that
all
genuine
possibilities
must
be
realized
and,
 by
extension,
that
accordingly,
the
eventuality
of
the
possible
is
necessary.
 In
other
words,
as
Lovejoy
understood
several
key
passages
in
the
 Metaphysica,
they
deny
or
at
least
contradict
the
principle
of
plenitude.
In
 the
first
of
these
passages,
Aristotle
raises
the
question, whether
the
elements
exist
potentially
or
in
some
other
way.
If
in
some
other
way,
 there
will
be
something
else
prior
to
the
first
principles;
for
the
potency
is
prior
to
the
 actual
cause,
and
it
is
not
necessary
for
everything
potential
to
be
actual.
But
if
the
 elements
exist
potentially,
it
is
possible
that
everything
that
is
should
not
be.
For
even
 that
which
is
not
yet
is
capable
of
being;
for
that
which
is
not
comes
to
be,
but
nothing
 that
is
incapable
of
being
comes
to
be.33

Hintikka,
against
Lovejoy,
argues
that
the
passage
is
ambiguous:
it
does
 refer
to
unactualized
possibility
or
potentiality,
but
is
it
a
general
claim
 about
each
potency
or
does
it
refer
only
to
some
potencies?
More
 importantly,
does
it
indicate
that
some
possibilities
may
never
be
actualized
 or
only
the
“temporary
failure
of
a
potentiality
to
be
actualized”?34
If
the
 former,
the
passage
excludes
the
principle
of
plenitude,
if
the
latter
passage
 actually
sustains
the
principle.
The
problem,
both
for
Lovejoy
and
for
 Hintikka,
is
that
this
passage,
like
others
that
have
been
brought
to
bear
on
 the
question
of
Aristotle’s
view
of
the
principle
of
plenitude,
is
(as
Hintikka
 acknowledged)
is
quite
ambiguous—or,
indeed,
as
has
been
remarked,
the
 passage
was
never
designed
to
address
the
principle
of
plenitude.35 Perhaps
still
more
crucial
is
a
passage
that
explicitly
refutes
the
Megarian
 understanding
of
the
possible
as
necessarily
actual
at
some
time.
In
what
 appears
to
be
an
extreme
version
of
the
principle
of
plenitude,
the
 Megarians
held
that
possibility
or
the
capability
of
acting
is
genuine
only
in
 its
occurrence:
“he
who
is
not
building
cannot
build,
but
only
he
who
is
 building,
when
he
is
building.”36
In
other
words,
possibility
is
so
defined
by
 its
actualization
that
there
is
no
unactualized
alternative
possibility
such
as,
 when
Socrates
sits,
it
is
possible
that
he
runs.
Aristotle
explicitly
identifies
 this
view
as
an
absurdity.
A
person
who
possesses
the
art
of
building
is
a
 builder.
It
is
absurd
to
claim
that
he
is
a
builder,
having
the
capability
of
 building
when
he
is
building,
but
lacks
that
capability
when
he
is
finished,
 and
then
has
the
capability
again
when
he
begins
another
project.37 The
Megarian
argumentation,
in
Aristotle’s
view,
does
away
with
 “movement
and
becoming”
and
leads
ineluctably
to
the
conclusion
that


“that
which
stands
will
always
stand,
and
that
which
sits
will
always
sit;
if
it
 is
sitting
it
will
not
get
up;
for
that
which,
as
we
are
told,
cannot
get
up
will
 be
incapable
of
getting
up.”38
Such
an
argument,
however,
incorrectly
 “makes
potency
and
actuality
the
same,”
when
in
fact
they
are
different.39
 Thus,
against
the
Megarians,
Aristotle
assumes
that
there
are
genuine
 possibilities
or
potencies
that
are
unactualized—and
given
the
example
of
 the
builder
not
building
who,
presumably,
could
be
building,
Aristotle
 assumes
(or
at
very
least
implies)
the
retention
or
synchronous
existence
of
 a
potency
to
an
effect
opposite
to
what
has
been
actualized.40 Aristotle
explicitly
concludes,
“it
is
possible
that
a
thing
may
be
capable
 of
being
and
not
be,
and
be
capable
of
not
being
and
yet
be,
and
similarly
 with
the
other
kinds
of
predicate;
it
may
be
capable
of
walking
and
yet
not
 walk,
or
capable
of
not
walking
and
yet
walk. . . .
For
of
non-existent
things
 some
exist
potentially;
but
they
do
not
exist,
because
they
do
not
exist
in
 complete
reality.”41
If,
as
Windelband
once
put
it,
Diodorus’
argument
was
 “designed
to
destroy
the
conception
of
possibility,”42
Aristotle’s
counterargument
was
designed
to
establish
the
conception
of
both
possibility
and
 contingency. There
are,
however,
two
passages
in
Aristotle’s
arguments
against
the
 Megarians
that
have
been
used,
notably
by
Hintikka,
to
argue
the
opposite
 case.
Aristotle
first
indicates
that
“he
who
says
of
that
which
is
incapable
of
 happening
that
it
is
or
will
be
will
say
what
is
untrue;
for
this
is
what
 incapacity
meant.”43
Further,
this
third
chapter
in
the
Metaphysica
is
also
 followed
by
a
summary
comment
introducing
the
following
chapter
that
 states
in
part,
“evidently
it
cannot
be
true
to
say
‘this
is
capable
of
being
but
 will
not
be,’
—
a
view
which
leads
to
the
conclusion
that
there
is
nothing
 incapable
of
being.”44 Hintikka’s
approach
to
these
texts
belongs
to
his
effort
to
refute
Lovejoy
 and
argue
that
Aristotle
did
indeed
hold
to
a
version
of
the
principle
of
 plenitude.45
In
Hintikka’s
interpretation,
Aristotle
means
that
“no
 unqualified
possibility
remains
unactualized
through
an
infinity
of
time”
 and
that
Aristotle
“explicitly
or
implicitly
equated
possibility
with
 sometime
truth
and
necessity
with
omnitemporal
truth.”46
The
point
is
much
 the
same
as
the
claim
we
have
encountered
in
Vos’
essay.
Yet
there
is
a
very
 good
reason
to
reject
Hintikka’s
conclusion.
In
the
passage
just
cited,
 Aristotle
is
not
at
all
indicating
that
possibilities
must
be
actualized,
rather
 he
is
disputing
the
conclusion
that
“nothing
is
incapable
of
being”
quite


directly,
on
the
ground
that
some
things,
namely,
some
possibles
are
 “capable
of
being
but
will
not
be.”
The
point
is
not
that
possibles,
which
are
 capable
of
being,
are
not
now
but
must
be
at
some
future
time:
the
 assumption
is
quite
categorical
that
some
genuine
possibles
will
not
be. Significant
critiques
of
Hintikka’s
reading
of
these
passages
have
been
 offered
by
C.
J.
F.
Williams,
Martha
Kneale,
R.
T.
McClelland,
and
Richard
 Sorabji,
among
others.
Williams
disputes
Hintikka’s
reading
of
 Metaphysica,
IX.3,
noting
that
Aristotle
does
not
at
all
appear
to
indicate
 that
“that
which
never
is
is
impossible”
but
rather
“states
the
harmless
 converse
of
this
principle,
namely,
that
what
is
impossible
never
is
and
 never
will
be.”
Williams
further
argues
that
the
crucial
passage
in
 Metaphysica,
IX.4,
contra
Hintikka’s
reading,
“is
directed
against
those
 who
hold
that
what
never
is
is
impossible.”47
Kneale
disputes
the
presence
 of
clear
advocacy
of
the
principle
of
plenitude
in
Aristotle,
noting
that
 Aristotle
explicitly
denied
at
least
one
form
of
the
principle,
that
his
modal
 argumentation
counts
against
it,
and
that
Aristotle
held
an
“apparent
antideterminism.”
She
also
agrees
with
Williams’
readings
of
Metaphysica,
 IX.3–4,
and
argues
that
Hintikka’s
argumentation
in
De
Interpretatione,
IX,
 19a,
9–11,
embodies
an
“over-eager
search
for
support
for
his
main
thesis”
 that
simply
is
not
present
in
the
text.48
McClelland
concurs
with
both
of
 these
earlier
critiques
of
Hintikka
and,
after
a
close
analysis
of
Aristotle’s
 text,
concludes
that
the
argumentation
in
Metaphysica,
IX.3–4
is
intended
 to
counter
the
Megarian
position
and
to
show
that
it
is
“self-contradictory.”
 McClelland
also
points
out,
contra
Hintikka,
that
not
only
does
Aristotle
 refrain
from
criticizing
the
specific
arguments
of
the
Megarians;
Aristotle
 presents
not
their
arguments,
but
a
thesis
about
their
position—and
that,
 therefore,
Hintikka’s
reconstruction
of
Diodorus’
Master
Argument
has
 little
bearing
on
Aristotle’s
approach
to
the
problem
of
possibility
and
 impossibility.49
Sorabji
points
out
that
Aristotle
clearly
did
not
apply
“the
 principle
of
plenitude
to
things
of
finite
duration,”
and
that
contra
Hintikka,
 Aristotle’s
assumption
that
something
necessarily
is
what
it
is,
when
it
is,
 does
not
apply
to
future
propositions
in
such
a
way
as
to
render
the
future
 necessary.50 Aristotle
argues
further
that
there
is
a
necessary
priority
of
some
actuality
 over
both
“potency”
and
“every
principle
of
change,”51
and
therefore
the
 necessary
existence
of
an
“eternal
prime
mover.”52
This
necessary
priority
 of
actuality
over
potency
also
yields
two
significant
considerations.
First,


“no
eternal
thing
exists
potentially”
inasmuch
as
pure
potency
is
nonexistence
and
a
movement
from
potency
to
actuality
is
a
coming
to
be,
such
 as
belongs
to
temporal
things.53
What
is
more,
possibility
does
not
 presuppose
future
actuality: Every
potency
is
at
one
and
the
same
a
potency
of
the
opposite;
for,
while
that
which
 is
not
capable
of
being
present
in
a
subject
cannot
be
present,
everything
that
is
 capable
of
being
may
possibly
not
be
actual.
That,
then,
which
is
capable
of
being
 may
either
be
or
not
be;
the
same
thing,
then,
is
capable
of
being
and
of
not
being.
 And
that
which
is
capable
of
not
being
may
possibly
not
be;
and
that
which
may
 possibly
not
be
is
perishable,
either
in
the
full
sense,
or
in
the
precise
sense
in
which
it
 is
said
that
it
possibly
may
not
be.54

Significantly,
Aristotle
does
not
say,
“That
which
is
capable
of
being
may
 either
sometimes
be
or
sometimes
not
be,”
indicating
that,
although
it
does
 not
exist
presently,
it
has
been
or
at
some
future
time
it
will
be,
but
simply,
 “That
which
is
capable
of
being
may
either
be
or
not
be.”
Aristotle’s
 temporally
indefinite
statement
concerning
possibility,
contra
Hintikka,
 does
not
translate
into
an
understanding
of
possibility
as
a
statistical
 “sometime
truth.”55 Even
so,
existent
things
that
have
the
ability
or
power
to
bring
 possibilities
into
existence
do
not
always
exercise
those
powers: if
there
is
something
which
is
capable
of
moving
things
or
acting
on
them,
but
is
not
 actually
doing
so,
there
will
not
necessarily
be
movement;
for
that
which
has
a
 potency
need
not
exercise
it
. . .
that
which
is
potentially
may
possibly
not
be.56

If
a
particular
being
has
a
potency
but
need
not
exercise
it,
then
clearly
not
 all
possibilities
need
be
actualized—and
if
the
non-exercise
(as
clearly
 indicated
in
Aristotle’s
anti-Megarian
example
of
the
builder
illustrates)
 does
not
remove
the
potency
and
if
(as
just
noted)
“every
potency
is
at
one
 and
the
same
a
potency
of
the
opposite,”
then,
according
to
Aristotle,
 rational
beings
must
be
endowed
with
a
fundamental
liberty
of
 contradiction. There
are,
moreover,
other
passages
in
Aristotle’s
works
that
confirm
this
 reading
of
his
Metaphysica.
Aristotle
quite
clearly
understood
the
 distinction
later
identified
as
between
the
composite
and
the
divided
sense
 of
a
statement
concerning
possibility.
In
his
De
Sophisticis
Elenchis,
he
 comments
on
a
particular
form
of
amphiboly,
when
words
taken
in
 combination
are
susceptible
to
more
than
one
meaning:

Upon
the
combination
of
words
there
depend
instances
such
as
the
following:
“A
man
 can
walk
while
sitting,
and
can
write
while
not
writing.”
For
the
meaning
is
not
the
 same
if
one
divides
the
words
and
if
one
combines
them
in
saying
that
“it
is
possible
 to
walk-while-sitting.”
The
same
applies
to
the
latter
phrase,
too,
if
one
combines
the
 words,
“to-write-while-not-writing”:
for
then
it
means
that
one
has
the
power
to
write
 and
not
write
at
once;
whereas
if
one
does
not
combine
them,
it
means
that
when
he
is
 not
writing
he
has
the
power
to
write.”57

One
may
question
whether
this
argument
is
purely
syntactic,
without
 implication
for
possibilities
or
potencies
in
the
real
order,
but
the
 application
of
such
argumentation
to
the
issue
of
human
capacities
is
made
 clear
in
the
De
Caelo.
There,
Aristotle
distinguished
between
truth
and
 possibility,
falsehood
and
impossibility,
noting
that
“To
say
that
you
are
 standing
when
you
are
not
standing
is
to
assert
a
falsehood,
not
an
 impossibility”
whereas
“To
say,
however,
that
you
are
at
once
standing
and
 sitting
. . .
is
not
only
false
but
also
impossible.”58
His
reason
for
arguing
in
 this
way
is
that
“A
man
has,
it
is
true,
the
capacity
at
once
of
sitting
and
of
 standing,
because
when
he
possesses
the
one
he
also
possesses
the
other;
 but
it
does
not
follow
that
he
can
at
once
sit
and
stand,
only
that
at
another
 time
he
can
do
the
other
also.”59
As
in
the
case
of
the
builder
who
is
not
at
 the
moment
building,
this
argument
underlines
the
issue
that
not
only
does
a
 human
being
simultaneously
have
opposing
potencies;
in
addition,
when
 one
potency
is
actualized
its
contrary
does
not
disappear
but
remains
as
a
 potency.60 In
De
Interpretatione
9,
famous
for
its
example
of
the
sea
battle,
Aristotle
 raises
the
perplexing
issue
of
the
truth
or
falsity
of
future
propositions
in
 connection
with
issues
of
alternativity,
deliberation,
and
necessity.61
This
 passage
in
particular
has
become
a
focus
of
the
debate
over
Aristotle’s
 understanding
of
necessity
and
contingency
and
is
of
particular
importance
 to
the
issue
of
the
relationship
between
Aristotle’s
views
and
those
of
the
 Megarians,
notably
to
the
later
so-called
Master
Argument
of
Diodorus
 Cronos.62
Aristotle
begins
by
recognizing
that
in
statements
concerning
the
 past
and
the
present,
as
also
in
the
case
of
universal
propositions
and
 propositions
concerning
singulars,
affirmations
and
negations
must
 necessarily
be
either
true
or
false.
Necessary
truth
or
falsity,
however,
does
 not
follow
in
the
case
of
“when
the
subject
is
universal,
but
the
propositions
 are
not
of
a
universal
character,”
that
is,
when
the
statement
is
equivocal,
a
 point
that
Aristotle
indicates
he
has
already
discussed.63
This
is
not
the
case,
 however,
Aristotle
adds
by
way
of
positioning
himself
for
the
arguments


that
follow,
in
the
case
“when
the
subject
is
individual,
and
that
which
is
 predicated
of
it
relates
to
the
future.”64
His
point
is
not
merely
to
indicate
 that
the
case
of
singulars
and
futures
is
different
from
that
of
equivocal
 statements,
but,
as
his
subsequent
argumentation
indicates,
also
from
 statements
concerning
past,
present,
univocally
stated
universal
 propositions,
and
statements
concerning
singulars
as
such. The
case
of
contingent
singulars
and
of
futures
is
entirely
different,
 because
“if
every
affirmation
or
negation
be
true
or
false,
it
is
also
 necessary
that
every
thing
should
exist
or
should
not
exist.”65
But
this
 cannot
be
said
about
casual
or
contingent
singulars
and
futures
without
 slipping
into
absurdity.
Some
singulars
are
possibilities
that
may
or
may
not
 occur,
and
“casual”
futures
are
possibilities
of
an
indeterminate
nature:
“it
is
 therefore
plain,”
Aristotle
comments,
“that
it
is
not
of
necessity
that
 everything
is
or
takes
place;
but
in
some
instances
there
are
real
 alternatives,
in
which
case
the
affirmation
is
no
more
true
and
no
more
false
 than
the
denial;
while
some
exhibit
a
predisposition
and
a
general
tendency
 in
one
direction
or
the
other,
and
yet
can
issue
in
the
opposite
direction
by
 exception.”66
By
way
of
example,
it
is
possible
for
a
cloak
to
be
cut
in
half
 or
not
be
cut
in
half—indeed,
to
wear
out
before
it
could
be
cut
in
half:
“in
 those
things
which
are
not
continuously
actual
there
is
a
potentiality
in
 either
direction,”
specifically,
“such
things
may
either
be
or
not
be;
events
 also
therefore
may
either
take
place
or
not
take
place.”67
“Now,”
Aristotle
 continues, that
which
is
must
needs
be
when
it
is,
and
that
which
is
not
must
needs
not
be
when
 it
is
not.
Yet
it
cannot
be
said
without
qualification
that
all
existence
and
non-existence
 is
the
outcome
of
necessity.
For
there
is
a
difference
between
saying
that
that
which
is,
 when
it
is,
must
needs
be,
and
simply
saying
that
all
that
is
must
needs
be,
and
 similarly
in
the
case
of
that
which
is
not.68

Aristotle,
in
other
words,
recognized
two
kinds
of
necessity,
the
simple
or
 absolute
necessity
that
something
must
be,
a
“necessity
of
the
consequent
 thing”
or
de
re;
and
the
hypothetical
or
conditional
necessity
belonging
to
a
 “casual”
or
contingent
event
or
thing,
that
it
must
be
what
it
is
when
it
is,
a
 “necessity
of
the
consequence”
or
de
dicto.
The
former
necessity
includes
 causal
necessities,
the
latter
indicates
contingencies.
And
in
the
case
of
 contingencies,
not
all
that
now
exists
must
always
exist
(whether
in
the
past
 or
in
the
future)
and
not
all
that
does
not
now
exist
is
either
necessary
to
 exist
or
impossible
ever
to
exist.
In
the
case
of
contradictory
propositions


concerning
the
future,
therefore,
it
is
clear
that
one
will
be
true
and
the
 other
false,
but
prior
to
the
event,
they
are
indeterminate
or
indefinite. As
Upton
pointed
out,
by
distinguishing
between
two
different
kinds
of
 necessity
and
also
raising
the
issue
of
casual
or
contingent
events,
Aristotle
 has,
albeit
obliquely,
inserted
the
issue
of
causal
determinism
into
his
 otherwise
logical
account
and
has
thereby
created
a
significant
exception
to
 his
logical
rule
that
in
the
case
of
a
simple
affirmation
and
its
negation,
one
 will
necessarily
be
true
and
the
other
false.69
The
argument,
in
other
words,
 denies
causal
determinism.
The
exception
occurs
in
the
case
of
possible
 future
events.
Aristotle
illustrates
his
point
with
the
naval
battle,
which
may
 or
may
not
take
place
tomorrow.
It
is
necessary
that
there
either
will
be
a
 battle
or
not
be
a
battle—as
shown
in
the
chapter
on
contraries
and
 contradictories,
when
simple
affirmation
is
juxtaposed
with
its
negation
or
 contradictory,
one
will
be
true
and
the
other
false.
What
is
not
necessary,
 however,
is
that
the
battle
occur
or
not
occur
tomorrow.70
Thus,
in
the
case
 of
future
propositions,
“one
of
the
two
propositions
. . .
must
be
true
and
the
 other
false”
as
a
matter
of
logic
and
eventual
fact,
but
it
is
also
evident
that
 in
the
case
of
future
propositions,
“we
cannot
say
determinately
that
this
or
 that
is
false,
but
must
leave
the
alternative
undecided.”71
Given
that
the
 future
event
is
not
actual,
propositions
concerning
it
“cannot
be
either
 actually
true
or
actually
false.”72
Quite
simply,
and
quite
contrary
to
the
 deterministic
reading
of
Aristotle,
“in
the
case
of
that
which
exists
 potentially,
but
not
actually,
the
rule
which
applies
to
that
which
exists
 actually
does
not
hold
good.”73 There
is
a
significant
debate
in
the
literature
over
Aristotle’s
use
in
this
 particular
passage
of
the
law
of
excluded
middle
and
the
principle
of
 bivalence.
My
own
sense
is
that
Aristotle
assumes
both
the
law
and
the
 principle
without
qualification
in
all
purely
logical
affirmations
and
 negations
and
in
all
propositions
concerning
the
past
and
the
present—with
 the
qualification,
noted
by
Goris,
that
the
principle
of
bivalence
can
be
 understood
in
a
somewhat
less
strict
sense.74
Aristotle
furthermore
assumes
 that
the
law
of
excluded
middle
is
also
relevant
without
qualification
to
 discussion
of
future
contingencies,
specifically
with
reference
to
the
logical
 point
that
necessarily
one
will
be
true
and
the
other
false.
He
assumes,
 however,
a
nuanced
acceptance
of
the
principle
of
bivalence
in
the
case
of
 possibles
and
contingent
futures,
which
can
either
be
or
not
be:
inasmuch
as
 the
actualization
of
possibles
and/or
future
contingents
is
presently


indeterminable,
the
principle
is
recognized
with
reference
to
the
reality
of
a
 future
moment
or
with
reference
to
the
contemporaneous
utterance
of
two
 contradictory
statements
concerning
a
particular
future
moment.
In
the
 present
moment,
when
the
outcome
is
future
such
affirmations
and
 negations
are
indeterminate—neither
is
“determinately
true
or
 determinately
false.”75 The
principle
of
bivalence
is
strictly
invoked
when
and
only
when
the
 contrary
statements
present
a
contradiction,
when
as
Goris
has
pointed
out,
 someone
states,
“There
will
be
a
sea
battle
tomorrow”
and
another
person
at
 the
same
time
states,
“There
will
not
be
a
sea
battle
tomorrow”:
in
this
 form,
“tomorrow”
indicates
the
same
day
in
both
sentences
and
one
must
be
 false—although
the
speakers
will
not
know
which
one
until
their
tomorrow
 given
the
contingency
of
the
event.
Taken
separately,
either
statement
may
 be
true
or
false
and
the
one
negates
the
other
only
when
they
have
an
 identical
temporal
referent.
In
Goris’
words,
“For
Aristotle,
the
principle
 means
only
that
each
declarative
sentence
has
the
disjunctive
property
of
 being
either-true-or-false,
but
it
does
not
say
anything
about
what
truth
 value
the
sentence
has
at
a
certain
moment
of
time.
This
only
becomes
an
 issue
when
a
declarative
sentence
is
combined
with
its
(proper)
negation.”76
 This
is
the
Boethian
resolution,
accepted
by
the
majority
of
medievals.77 Further,
rather
than
claim
a
simple
dichotomy
between
the
absolutely
 necessary
and
the
impossible,
Aristotle
argues
for
categories
of
the
 contingent
and
the
possible.
Quite
specifically,
Aristotle
indicates
that
the
 negation
or
contrary
of
“it
is
possible
to
be”
is
“it
is
not
possible
to
be”— and
not
“it
is
possible
not
to
be.”
Aristotle
then
distinguishes
between
 things
that
are
“possible
to
be,”
that
are
“possible
not
to
be,”
that
are
“not
 possible
to
be,”
and
that
are
“not
possible
not
to
be.”
The
paradigm
is
then
 repeated
with
reference
to
impossibility,
necessity,
and
contingency.
Thus,
a
 given
thing
could
be
understood
as
possibly
existing,
as
possibly
not
 existing,
as
impossible
to
exist,
or
as
necessarily
existing.78 This
reading
of
contingency
and
possibility
is
reinforced
by
Aristotle’s
 discussion
of
necessity
and
contingency
immediately
following
in
De
 Interpretatione
13.
If
something
“may
be”
it
is
understood
to
be
contingent.
 This
also
implies,
according
to
Aristotle,
that
“it
is
not
impossible
that
it
 should
be”
and
that
“it
is
not
necessary
that
it
should
be.”79
A
contingency,
 then,
is
identified
as
a
possibility
that
can
be
actualized
but
need
not
be:
 Aristotle’s
argument
specifically
counters
the
notion
that
all
possibilities


must
eventually
be
actualized
and
its
corollary
that
something
that
will
 never
be
actualized
is
impossible. As
Knuuttila
has
concluded
from
a
series
of
passages
in
De
 Interpretatione
and
Analytica
priora,
Aristotle
used
the
term
“possibility”
 in
two
distinct
ways:
“on
some
occasions
the
possible
and
the
impossible
 are
contradictories
(e.g.,
De
Int.
12,
22a11–13;
13,
22a32–38),
while
on
 others
possibility
is
incompatible
not
only
with
impossibility
but
also
with
 necessity
(e.g.,
An.
Pr.
I,
12,
32a18–21).”80
In
the
latter
instance,
Aristotle
 specifically
indicates
that
the
terms
“to
be
possible”
and
“the
possible”
 indicate
“that
which
is
not
necessary
but,
being
assumed,
results
in
nothing
 impossible.”
Inasmuch
as
the
existence
of
the
possible
in
this
case
is
 “assumed,”
the
possible
references
a
contingent.
Knuuttila
rightly
goes
on
 to
identify
the
first
approach
as
“possibility
proper”
and
the
second
as
 “contingency.”81
This
twofold
meaning
of
the
possible
as
either
nonexistent
but
possible
to
exist
or
as
existent
but
possible
not
to
exist,
that
is,
 in
the
second
sense
as
contingent,
is
a
virtual
truism
in
scholastic
thought. Aristotle
continues
his
argument
to
indicate
two
ways
in
which
the
 expression
“to
be
possible”
and,
therefore,
contingency,
can
be
understood.
 In
the
first
sense,
“it
means
to
happen
generally
and
fall
short
of
necessity,
 e.g.,
a
man’s
turning
grey
or
growing
or
decaying,
or
generally
what
 belongs
to
a
thing
. . .
although
if
a
man
does
exist,
it
comes
about
either
 necessarily
or
generally.”82
Here,
it
could
be
argued
that
Aristotle
comes
 close
to
something
like
the
principle
of
plenitude,
inasmuch
as,
given
a
full
 extent
of
life
a
man
will
grow
and
decay—although
Aristotle
is
clear
that
 “since
man’s
existence
is
not
continuous”
the
possibility
does
not
obtain
 with
precision
for
all
human
beings.
In
the
second
sense
of
the
term,
 however,
Aristotle
understands
something
quite
different:
here,
to
be
 possible
“means
the
indefinite,
which
can
be
both
thus
and
not
thus,
e.g.,
an
 animal’s
walking
or
an
earthquake
taking
place
while
it
is
walking,
or
 generally
what
happens
by
chance:
for
none
of
these
inclines
by
nature
in
 the
one
way
more
than
in
the
opposite.”83
The
argument,
in
other
words,
 returns
to
the
issue
of
contingency
or
contingent
propositions,
much
as
 Aristotle
had
argued
in
De
Interpretatione
9,
but
here
the
issue
is
not
the
 indefinite
character
of
future
propositions—rather
it
concerns
possibility,
 tensed
in
an
indefinite
present,
that
can
occur
but
may
not,
indeed,
may
not
 ever
occur.
This
argument
cuts
rather
directly
against
the
principle
of
 plenitude.
Nonetheless,
despite
this
evidence,
Knuuttila,
like
his
teacher


Hintikka,
concludes
that
Aristotle’s
understanding
of
possibility
ultimately
 conforms
to
a
version
of
the
principle
of
plenitude,
according
to
which
“no
 genuine
possibility
can
remain
forever
unrealized.”84 In
conclusion,
the
interpretation
of
Aristotle
presented
by
Vos,
Hintikka,
 and
Knuuttila
is
rather
wide
of
the
mark.
They
share
a
reading
of
Aristotle’s
 Metaphysica
as
deterministic,
as
observing
the
principle
of
plenitude,
and
 as
belonging
to
the
trajectory
of
thought
leading
to
the
Master
Argument
of
 Diodorus.
Underlying
the
argumentation
of
all
three
writers,
moreover,
is
 the
assumption
that
explanations
of
contingency
as
diachronic
ultimately
 imply
some
form
of
determinism.
Unlike
Hintikka
and
Knuuttlia,
however,
 Vos
does
not
deal
with
the
anti-Megarian
argumentation
of
Aristotle’s
De
 Interpretatione,
and
therefore
omits
consideration
of
Aristotle’s
more
 concerted
effort
to
argue
for
the
existence
of
genuine
contingencies,
 including
the
notion
of
possibles
that
are
not
defined
by
past,
present,
or
 future
actualization.
Whereas
Hintikka’s
Aristotle
is
somewhat
ambivalent
 on
the
issue
of
necessity
and
contingency
and
fails
in
the
attempt
to
argue
 for
contingency,
Vos’
Aristotle
is
not
ambivalent—merely
deterministic.
 Accordingly,
Vos’
summary
of
the
implications
of
Aristotle’s
views
on
 necessity
and
possibility
is,
arguably,
closer
to
the
Master
Argument
of
 Diodorus
than
to
Aristotle’s
own
text—and
represents
a
uniform
 assimilation
of
Aristotle’s
often
anti-Megarian
stance
to
the
views
of
the
 Megarians,
while
allowing
a
slight
distance
between
Aristotle
and
 Parmenides
on
the
issue
of
mutability.85
Arguably,
also,
Vos’
 “masterproblem,”
to
be
resolved
by
Scotus’
understanding
of
synchronic
 contingency,
is
the
shadow
of
Diodorus
Cronos
and
of
the
principle
of
 plenitude
written
into
Aristotle
and
cast
over
the
history
of
Western
 philosophy.86 Aristotle,
as
the
history
of
the
interpretation
of
his
thought
on
necessity
 and
contingency
evidences,
can
be
read
in
several
ways.
What
is
important
 to
the
present
discussion,
moreover,
is
not
what
Aristotle
himself
would
 have
concluded
concerning
this
issue
in
his
own
context
but,
how
the
varied
 readings
of
Aristotle’s
text
have
played
out
in
the
subsequent
history.
With
 reference
to
the
later
classical
Peripatetic
tradition,
Bobzien
has
indicated
 that
“the
Peripatetic
claim
is
that
there
are
some
changes
in
the
world
that
 are
causally
undetermined;
and
among
these
are
the
things
that
depend
on
 us”
and
has
characterized
the
Peripatetic
understanding
as
“partial
causal
 indeterminism”
over
against
and
exclusive
of
a
full
“causal
determinism.”87


Significant
in
all
of
this
is
that
Aristotle’s
argumentation,
whether
in
the
 Metaphysica
or
in
the
De
Interpretatione,
only
rather
obliquely
references
 the
issue
of
human
free
choice,
does
not
reference
providence,
and
makes
 no
reference
to
the
gods,
to
a
God,
or
even
to
an
unmoved
mover. Aristotle’s
argumentation
in
both
places
is
confined
to
issues
of
necessity,
 contingency,
possibility
and
impossibility
as
logically
defined
in
a
square
of
 opposition,
with
specific
reference
to
the
de
facto
(and,
logically,
de
dicto)
 necessity
of
any
given
moment
necessarily
being
what
it
is,
and
the
 impossibility
of
being
what
it
is
not—without
implying
that
the
moment
 needs
to
be
understood
as
absolutely
necessary
in
a
causal
sense.
 Furthermore,
Aristotle’s
temporally
indefinite
statements
do
not
imply
a
 necessity
that
possibilities,
in
order
to
be
possible,
must
sometime
be
 actualized. The
conclusion
that
must
be
drawn
from
our
examination
of
Aristotle’s
 discussions
of
contingencies
and
of
future
propositions
is
that
the
approach
 of
Hintikka
and
Vos
to
Aristotle’s
views
on
contingency
and
necessity
 ultimately
lacks
cogency.
The
impact
of
this
conclusion
on
their
approach
 to
medieval
thought
and
on
Vos’
approach
to
post-Reformation
Reformed
 thought
is
considerable,
because
it
removes
the
sense
of
a
great
divide
 between
the
language
of
Duns
Scotus
and
the
generally
Aristotelian
 background
into
which
it
was
set.
Aristotle
bestowed
on
the
Western
 philosophical
tradition
a
clear
and
functional
understanding
of
contingency
 and
the
basis
for
philosophical
discussion
of
human
freedom.88 There
are,
however,
several
issues
left
largely
untouched
by
Aristotle.
On
 the
basis
of
arguments
such
as
appear
in
De
mundo,
Aristotle
can
certainly
 be
identified
as
a
philosophical
monotheist
who
assumed
not
only
that
“all
 things
are
from
God,”
but
also
that
nothing
in
the
world
order
“is
of
itself
 sufficient
for
itself,
deprived
of
the
permanence
which
it
receives
from
 him.”89
As
noted
previously,
there
also
remains
some
debate
over
whether
 Aristotle
or,
indeed,
classical
philosophy
generally
had
an
understanding
of
 the
will
as
a
distinct
faculty.
What
is
not
subject
to
debate,
however,
is
that
 Aristotle
did
not
connect
his
views
on
contingency,
as
elaborated
in
the
 Metaphysica
and
De
Interpretatione,
either
with
a
conception
of
the
divine
 willing
of
all
things
or
with
a
theory
of
human
free
choice.
Aristotle,
 accordingly,
provided
a
significant
basis
for
understanding
contingency,
but
 did
not
resolve
what
would
be
the
Judaeo-Christian
issue
of
contingency
 and
freedom
in
the
context
of
an
overarching
divine
willing.

3.3
The
Medieval
Backgrounds:
Aristotle,
Augustine,
Boethius,
and
the
 Problem
of
Plenitude A.
Augustine
and
the
Ciceronian
Dilemma.
What
is
clear
immediately
 from
the
medieval
materials
is
that
the
grounds
of
discussion
had
changed
 radically.
Whereas
the
classical
forms
of
the
debate
over
contingency
and
 possibility
did
not
envision
a
determination
of
necessity
and
contingency,
 possibility
and
impossibility
standing
beyond
the
temporal
process
and,
 accordingly,
could
not
offer
a
model
for
discussing
questions
of
 determination
that
allowed
in
the
ultimate
sense
both
for
an
infinite
divine
 reservoir
of
possibility
and
alternative
temporal
processes,
the
medieval
 Christian
approach
to
the
problem
not
only
offered
but
required
such
a
 model.
In
short,
the
medieval
thinkers,
following
out
lines
of
argument
 developed
most
notably
by
Augustine,
added
the
understanding
and
will
of
 an
eternal,
free,
omnipotent,
and
omniscient
being
to
the
discussion
and
 raised
the
issue
that
possibility
itself
rested
on
God.
Aristotle,
via
Boethius,
 would
give
the
Christian
philosophical
tradition
a
usable
approach
to
 contingency
and
freedom—but
the
Christian
tradition
itself
added
the
 concept
of
an
all-knowing,
all-determining
God
at
the
same
time
that
it
 emphasized
freedom
of
will
in
human
beings.
In
this
context,
the
difficulty
 was
not
to
extricate
human
freedom
from
the
diachronic
line
of
temporal
 necessity
but
to
coordinate
varied
views
of
human
freedom
with
an
 assumption
of
the
ultimate
determination
of
all
things
by
an
eternal,
allknowing
God. In
one
of
his
most
telling
commentaries
on
the
problem
of
divine
 foreknowledge
and
human
freedom,
Augustine
singles
out
two
passages
in
 the
writings
of
Cicero.
Taken
together,
these
passages
posed
a
significant
 dilemma
by
positing
utterly
opposed
resolutions
of
the
problem
of
divine
 foreknowledge
and
human
freedom.
In
his
treatise
against
divination,
 Cicero
argued
in
favor
of
human
free
choice,
arguing
that
the
datum
of
 freedom
rendered
impossible
any
foreknowledge
of
the
future
inasmuch
as
 things
foreknown
would
necessarily
occur.
Taking
the
opposite
view
in
his
 treatise
On
the
Nature
of
the
Gods,
Cicero
could
put
forth
the
view
that
the
 very
notion
of
God,
properly
understood,
would
require
an
acceptance
of
 divine
foreknowledge.90
By
implication,
the
very
insertion
of
consideration
 of
God
into
the
discussion
would
produce
a
dilemma:
either
God
has
 foreknowledge
and
all
events
are
necessary
or
some
events
occur
as
a
result


of
free
will
and
God
must
lack
foreknowledge.91
As
Augustine
framed
the
 Ciceronian
dilemma, the
knowledge
of
future
things
being
granted,
there
follows
a
chain
of
consequences
 which
ends
in
this,
that
there
can
be
nothing
depending
on
our
own
free
wills.
And
 further,
if
there
is
anything
depending
on
our
wills,
we
must
go
backwards
by
the
 same
steps
of
reasoning
till
we
arrive
at
the
conclusion
that
there
is
no
foreknowledge
 of
future
things.
For
we
go
backwards
through
all
the
steps
in
the
following
order:
if
 there
is
free
will,
all
things
do
not
happen
according
to
fate;
if
all
things
do
not
happen
 according
to
fate,
there
is
not
a
certain
order
of
causes;
and
if
there
is
not
a
certain
 order
of
causes,
neither
is
there
a
certain
order
of
things
foreknown
by
God.92

For
Augustine,
the
dilemma
itself
bordered
on
sacrilege—and
he
rejects
 both
of
the
arguments.93
The
Christian
understanding
of
God
and
man
 presupposes
“that
God
knows
all
things
before
they
come
to
pass,
and
that
 we
do
by
our
free
will
whatsoever
we
know
and
feel
to
be
done
by
us
only
 because
we
will
it”
at
the
same
time
that
it
recognizes
“an
order
of
causes
in
 which
the
highest
efficiency
is
attributed
to
the
will
of
God.”94
Augustine
 proposed
further
that
the
Ciceronian
dilemma
embodies
its
own
selfcontradiction,
inasmuch
as
it
amounted
to
the
claim
that
divine
 foreknowledge
of
future
contingencies
removed
contingency.
As
he
states
 the
issue,
it
is
contradictory
to
assert
that
“because
God
foreknew
what
 would
be
in
the
power
of
our
wills,
there
is
for
that
reason
nothing
in
the
 power
of
our
wills!”—contradictory,
in
short,
because
it
amounts
to
the
 claim
that
God
does
not
know
what
he
foreknows.95
“We
are
by
no
means
 compelled,”
Augustine
concludes, either,
retaining
the
prescience
of
God,
to
take
away
the
freedom
of
the
will,
or,
 retaining
the
freedom
of
the
will,
to
deny
that
He
is
prescient
of
future
things,
which
is
 impious.
But
we
embrace
both.
We
faithfully
and
sincerely
confess
both.
The
former,
 that
we
may
believe
well;
the
latter,
that
we
may
live
well.
For
he
lives
ill
who
does
 not
believe
well
concerning
God.96

This
Augustinian
argument
does
not
by
itself
resolve
the
issue
of
necessity
 and
freedom,
and
it
is
not
my
intention
to
deal
at
length
with
Augustine’s
 own
argumentation
concerning
free
choice.
The
scholarship
remains
 divided
on
the
question
of
the
ultimate
direction
of
Augustine’s
thought;97
 indeed,
divided
over
the
question
of
whether
he
changed
from
early
view
on
 free
choice
to
a
later
virtual
denial
of
human
freedom.98
What
is
important
 to
recognize
here
is
that
Augustine’s
response
to
the
Ciceronian
dilemma
 set
the
terms
for
subsequent
Christian
discussion
and
debate
concerning
the


problem
of
necessity
and
freedom:
on
the
one
hand,
an
overarching
divine
 causality
and
divine
foreknowledge,
and
on
the
other
hand,
genuine
 freedom
and
contingency
in
the
world
order. B.
Boethius
and
the
Medieval
Reception
of
Aristotle.
The
question
 before
us
now
concerns
how
Aristotle’s
view
of
necessity
and
contingency
 was
received,
understood,
and
developed
in
specifically
Christian
contexts
 in
the
later
Middle
Ages
and
early
modern
era.
Vos,
Hintikka,
and
 Knuuttila,
moreover,
will
be
seen
to
follow
out
the
minority
reading
of
 Aristotle
rather
than
examining
the
majority
reading
in
which
Aristotle
was
 understood
as
arguing
a
genuine
contingency,
leaving
the
issue
of
 diachronicity
or
synchronicity
undetermined. Vos
is
certainly
on
target
in
his
assumption
that
medieval
theologians
and
 philosophers
developed
a
philosophia
Christiana
that
differed
substantially
 from
the
ancient
non-Christian
philosophies
in
its
ultimate
patterns
of
 explanation,
given
the
absence
of
discussion
of
divine
knowing
and
willing
 from
the
ancient,
non-Christian
argumentation
and
its
presence
in
the
later,
 Christian
argumentation.
Nonetheless,
given
that
neither
the
assimilation
of
 Aristotle’s
approach
to
necessity
and
contingency
to
Diodorus’
Master
 Argument
or
to
the
implications
about
possibility
resident
in
the
Platonic
 principle
of
plenitude
nor
the
related
readings
of
Aquinas
as
deterministic
 have
gone
uncontested,99
Vos’
reading
of
the
trajectories
of
medieval
 thought
on
contingency
needs
to
be
questioned. Arguably,
given
the
altered
parameters
of
the
medieval
Christian
debate,
 the
alternative
reading
of
Aristotle
as
teaching
genuine
contingency
was
the
 norm
in
medieval
interpretation.
Or,
to
make
the
point
in
a
different
way,
 the
logic
of
Diodorus
of
Cronos’
Master
Argument,
whether
or
not
it
should
 be
considered
as
summarizing
the
dominant
view
of
the
ancient
Greek
 philosophers,
appears
far
less
convincing
when
placed
into
the
context
of
 Christian
monotheism
and
its
understanding
of
creation
ex
nihilo.
Even
so,
 the
assumption,
ascribed
to
Aristotle
by
Hintikka,
that
“no
unqualified
 possibility
remains
unactualized
through
an
infinity
of
time,”
even
if
 Hintikka
were
correct,
would
have
absolutely
no
force
in
the
Christian
 Middle
Ages
inasmuch
as
acceptance
of
creation
ex
nihilo
entailed
a
denial
 of
an
infinity
of
time. This
altered
perspective
on
Aristotle’s
anti-Megarian
argumentation
in
 De
Interpretatione
9
is
certainly
rooted
in
Boethius’
commentary.
Leaving


aside
the
debates
over
Boethian
authorship
of
the
overtly
Christian
treatises
 ascribed
to
him,
one
of
the
distinct
differences
between
Boethius’
 commentary
on
the
text
and
the
commentary
of
Ammonius
is
that
Boethius
 almost
exclusively
refers
to
God
in
the
singular,
in
contrast
to
Ammonius’
 consistently
plural
referencing.100
In
addition
and
in
accord
with
his
 monotheistic
approach,
Boethius
adds
major
considerations
of
providence
 and
human
choice
to
his
commentary,
neither
of
which
is
explicitly
 referenced
in
Aristotle’s
text. In
Boethius’
reading,
Aristotle
correctly
respects
chance,
necessity,
 possibility,
and
free
choice.
Boethius
develops
the
point
in
a
fairly
lengthy
 comment
on
Aristotle’s
brief
reference,
prior
to
the
sea
battle
passage,
to
 human
deliberation
as
a
ground
of
possibility
and
therefore,
presumably,
of
 future
contingencies.
This
is,
in
any
case,
Boethius’
understanding
of
the
 text.
In
this
view,
the
past
and
the
present
are
necessary
simply
because
they
 cannot
be
undone:
prior
to
their
eventuality,
they
may
well
have
been
 contingent.
Even
so,
Boethius
assumes
the
contingency
of
future
events. In
attempting
to
mark
out
the
difference
between
a
Boethian
reading
of
 Aristotle
on
contingency
and
the
later
modal
approach
found
in
Scotus,
 Knuuttila
comments
that
“even
though
Boethius
developed
an
elaborated
 conception
of
diachronic
future
alternatives
with
respect
to
a
given
future
 time,
he
did
not
associate
this
with
the
idea
of
simultaneous
alternatives
at
 that
time.
In
his
opinion
the
actuality
of
a
state
of
affairs
excludes
its
 possible
alternatives.”101
And
from
the
comment
on
Aristotle’s
statement
of
 necessities
of
the
consequence,
namely,
that
“what
is,
necessarily
is
when
it
 is,”
Knuuttila
concludes
that
Boethius
“seems
to
take
the
truth
of
future
 propositions
to
mean
that
things
cannot
be
otherwise,”
given
the
 “antecedently
assumed
actuality
of
future
truth-makers.”102
Boethius’
 diachronic
contingency
is
thereby
assimilated
to
the
Master
Argument—an
 approach
that
we
have
already
seen
and
rejected
as
a
valid
interpretation
of
 Aristotle. But
is
this
the
implication
of
Boethius’
argument?
If
it
were,
it
would
 surely
have
been
unintentional,
given
that
Boethius
had
clearly
set
his
mind
 against
both
the
Stoic
reading
of
Aristotle
and
the
Stoics’
own
fatalistic
 alternative.
Aristotle’s
phrase,
“what
is,
necessarily
is
when
it
is,”
whether
 in
its
original
location
or
in
Boethius’
commentaries,
stands
as
a
presenttense
statement
that
does
not
directly
apply
to
future
propositions—and
 since
it
does
not
directly
apply
to
future
propositions,
it
can
hardly
mean


that
things
in
the
future
are
determined
to
a
single
particular
result.
The
 statement
does
not
reference
a
particular
moment.
Tensed
in
this
way,
it
can
 only
indefinitely
reference
a
particular
time
in
the
future
as
a
to-be-present
 moment
with
the
same
sense
of
necessity
as
Aristotle’s
original
statement,
 “what
is,
necessarily
is
when
it
is.”
In
other
words,
the
statement
implies
in
 no
way
that
“what
will
be
tomorrow
is
necessary”
but
only
that
it
is
 necessary
that
what
is,
whenever
it
is,
cannot
in
the
same
moment
be
other
 than
what
it
is—preserving
the
principle
of
bivalence
in
all
but
propositions
 of
indefinite
value
and
thereby
allowing
for
the
contingency
of
the
future.103 And
this
is
clearly
Boethius’
reading.
He
comments
that
Aristotle’s
 phrase
“describes
what
is
necessary
temporally”
and
adds
that
“it
is
not
for
 that
reason
necessary
unconditionally
and
without
ascription
of
present
 time.”104
Beyond
this,
Boethius
offers
an
understanding
of
potentiality
or
 possibility
that
does
not
comport
with
the
kind
of
definition
of
the
possible
 provided
by
Knuuttila
and
Vos
in
their
descriptions
of
statistical
or
 diachronic
contingency,
namely,
where
the
possible,
understood
as
 something
that
can
exist,
will
necessarily
occur
at
some
point
in
time.
 Boethius
explicitly
states
that
“there
are
some
things
that
are
not
in
actuality
 but
in
potentiality,
a
potentiality
that
is
not
actualized
necessarily.”105
Of
 course,
to
borrow
Knuuttila’s
own
phrase,
it
is
true
that
“the
actuality
of
a
 state
of
affairs
excludes
its
possible
alternatives,”
if
this
is
taken
to
mean
 that
“the
actuality
of
a
state
of
affairs”
at
a
given
moment
excludes
the
 actualization
in
the
same
moment
of
“its
possible
alternatives.”
Possible
 alternatives
are
not
excluded
as
possibles,
only
as
actuals.
Even
so,
 Boethius
concludes,
“And
so
it
happens
that
it
is
evident
that
not
everything
 either
is
necessary
or
happens
of
necessity,
but
there
are
some
things
that
 either
happen
or
do
not
happen
in
an
equal
way
. . .
whatever
is
possible
can
 happen
and
not
happen.”106
There
is
no
qualification
here
that
the
possible
is
 something
that
will
happen
sometime. Boethius
specifically
raises
the
issue
of
future
contingent
propositions,
 noting
that,
with
respect
to
the
“whole
construction,”
namely,
the
pair
of
 contradictory
propositions,
one
must
be
true
and
the
other
false.
Given
that
 they
reference
the
future,
however,
it
is
impossible
to
state
whether
the
 affirmation
or
the
negation
“is
determinately
or
definitely
true,”
and
the
 truth
status
of
the
propositions
must
remain
“indefinite
and
variable”
until
 the
event
occurs.107
Quite
specifically,
“as
regards
future
contingents,
it
is
 necessary
that
something
either
be
or
not
be,
but
it
is
not
necessary
that
one


thing
happen
and
one
thing
not
happen.”108
The
principle
of
bivalence
is
 preserved
by
the
indefinite
character
of
future
propositions.109 We
are
back
to
Goris’
point
that
“Aristotle
considered
tensed
sentences
 with
temporally
indefinite
expressions
to
be
the
basic
bearers
of
truth
 values,”
albeit
without
the
implication
placed
on
such
constructions
by
the
 “statistical”
interpretation.110
Knuuttila
takes
a
present-tensed,
indefinite
 statement
and
places
on
it
a
future-tensed,
definite
meaning.
He
also
 appears
to
ignore
or
dismiss
Boethius’
rather
pointed
distinction
between
 necessity
and
certainty—with
necessity
or
lack
thereof
being
lodged
in
the
 thing
known
and
certainty
of
the
thing
as
necessary
or
contingent
being
 lodged
in
the
knower.
Knuttila,
arguably,
presses
his
own
conclusions
 concerning
the
failure
of
diachronicity
to
account
for
contingency
onto
 Boethius’
analysis
of
future
contingents
and
free
choice.
Or
to
put
the
point
 somewhat
differently,
if
one
were
to
accept
Knuttila’s
conclusions,
 diachronic
accounts
of
contingency
turn
on
themselves
and
return
to
a
form
 of
determinism;
whereas
if
one
were
to
accept
the
argumentation
of
 Boethius,
diachronic
accounts
of
contingency
are
quite
adequate
to
explain
 genuine
future
contingency.
We
are
also
beginning
to
find
that
the
temporal
 understanding
of
contingencies
found
in
the
historical
sources
does
not
 easily
fit
the
“statistical”
definition
of
diachronic
contingency. As
several
generations
of
scholars
have
observed,
the
assumption
that
 God
cannot
do
other
than
what
he
does
and,
therefore,
must
actualize
all
 possibilities,
as
advanced
by
Peter
Abelard,
was
almost
uniformly
rejected
 by
later
medieval
theologians.
It
had,
after
all,
been
among
the
contentions
 of
Augustine
against
the
opinions
of
various
pagan
philosophers
that
God
is
 “independent
of
what
he
makes”
and
that
he
has
infinite
knowledge,
 implying
that
he
could
have
willed
and
done
otherwise,
indeed,
from
the
 perspective
of
his
eternity
could
do
otherwise.111
Lombard
argued
that
such
 application
of
the
principle
of
plenitude
would
render
the
creature
equal
to
 the
Creator
and
that
God
must
be
understood
as
free
to
create
or
not
create,
 free
to
create
things
otherwise
than
he
has
done,
indeed
to
create
things
that
 are
better.112
As
Anton
Pegis
commented
of
Aquinas, The
world
of
St.
Thomas
Aquinas
is
truly
contingent
because
it
neither
need
be
nor
 need
be
what
it
is,
nor
is
it
the
only
possible
world.
Being
freely
produced,
it
is
 radically
contingent,
and
because
it
is
radically
contingent
its
finite
imperfections
do
 not
dismember
the
perfection
of
pure
being.
When
the
world
is
contingent,
and
only
 when
the
world
is
contingent
is
it
possible
to
conceive
of
a
God
who
is
perfectly
and
 absolutely
being.113

(Note,
here,
that
the
usage
“possible
world”
refers
to
a
potentially
 actualizable
universe
of
finite
beings—not
simply
to
a
semantic
construct.) The
argument
that
for
possibles
to
be
identified
as
genuinely
possible
 they
must
at
some
time
be
actualized
(if
only
to
prove
that
they
were
not
 impossible)
becomes
far
less
plausible
when
possibility
is
understood
 neither
simply
in
itself
in
an
abstract
sense
nor
as
defined
by
the
limited
 knowledge
and
causality
of
finite
beings,
but
is
understood
in
relation
to
an
 infinite
being
possessed
of
intellect
and
will
who
is
capable
of
creating
or
 not
creating,
or
of
having
created
something
other.
This
understanding,
if
 not
immediately
apparent
in
the
writings
of
the
patristic
period
or
of
the
 early
Middle
Ages,
was
surely
in
place
by
the
late
eleventh
and
early
 twelfth
centuries.114 In
the
case
of
Aquinas’
understanding
of
possibility,
there
has
been
a
 debate
parallel
and
in
several
cases
directly
related
to
the
discussion
of
 Aristotle’s
approach
to
the
same
issue.
Modern
debate
on
the
issue
can
be
 traced
to
Lovejoy’s
claim
that
although
Aquinas
denied
the
principle
of
 plenitude
and
held
to
an
“indeterminist
thesis,”
Aquinas
also
held
that
God,
 as
perfect
and
good,
knows
the
good
and
necessarily
wills
it—yielding
an
 “intellectual
determinism”
according
to
which
the
creation
is
“logically
 necessitated.”115
The
early
responses
to
Lovejoy’s
argumentation
by
Anton
 Pegis
and
Henry
Veatch
agreed
that
Aquinas
denied
the
principle
of
 plenitude
and
therefore
denied
that
all
possibles
known
to
God
are
to
be
 actualized,
but
argued
against
Lovejoy
that
there
was
no
contradiction
in
 Aquinas’
thought
given,
in
particular,
as
Pegis
argued,
that
there
was
a
 fundamental
difference
between
the
Greek
philosophers
whose
 emanationistic
understanding
of
the
ultimate
good
yielded
the
principle
of
 plenitude
and
Aquinas’
understanding
of
the
self-sufficient
goodness
of
 God,
who
does
not
necessarily
create.116
Pegis
and
Veach,
then,
understand
 Aquinas
as
consistently
denying
the
principle
of
plenitude
and
doing
so
on
 the
ground
of
a
doctrine
of
the
freedom
of
God
in
creation.
A
more
recent
 critique
of
Lovejoy
has
pointed
in
an
entirely
opposite
direction:
namely,
 the
critique
of
Hintikka,
who
had
also
argued,
contra
Lovejoy,
that
Aquinas
 as
well
as
Aristotle
subscribed
to
the
principle
of
plenitude.117
Vos,
of
 course,
has
argued
similarly,
that
Aquinas’
understanding
of
contingency
as
 purely
diachronic
leads
to
the
conclusion
that
all
possibilities
will
at
some
 point
be
actualized,
and
that
therefore
anything
that
exists
is
necessary
and
 that
anything
that
does
not
exist
is
impossible.

3.4
Aquinas
and
the
Medieval
Reading
of
Aristotle Given
what
we
have
seen
concerning
scholarly
readings
of
Aristotle,
 Aquinas,
and
the
Principle
of
Plenitude,
we
can
identify
two
fairly
clear
and
 fundamentally
divergent
understandings
of
medieval
and,
by
extension,
 early
modern
trajectories
of
thought
on
the
problem
of
necessity
and
 contingency,
divine
and
human
willing.
One
of
these,
as
developed
by
 Hintikka,
Knuuttila,
and
Vos
for
the
Middle
Ages
and
continued
by
Vos
into
 the
early
modern
era,
posits
a
dominance
of
necessitarian
thought
and,
in
 effect,
a
dominance
of
ancient
deterministic
models
over
partial
alternatives
 hinted
at
by
Augustine
and
Anselm,
until
the
arrival
of
Duns
Scotus
and
his
 theory
of
synchronic
contingency.
In
Vos’
shorthand,
this
is
the
“AA-line”
 of
argument,
the
line
of
Augustine,
Anselm,
Alexander
of
Hales,
and
 various
other
Franciscans,
leading
ultimately
to
the
Scotistic
approaches
of
 various
thinkers
of
the
seventeenth
century,
many
of
them
among
the
 Reformed
orthodox. A
significantly
different
approach
to
the
ancient
and
medieval
materials
 can
posit
a
development
that
begins
not
only
with
Augustine
but
also
with
 Aristotle,
that
includes
Thomas
Aquinas
and
a
Thomistic
or
Dominican
 pattern
of
argumentation
as
well
as
the
Franciscan
line
and
Duns
Scotus,
 and
that
also
extends
into
the
seventeenth
century
in
the
appropriation
and
 adaptation
of
medieval
lines
of
argument
by,
among
others,
the
Reformed
 orthodox.
Supportive
of
this
approach
to
the
materials
are
the
lines
of
 scholarship
that
we
have
already
noted
that
identify
Aristotle
as
arguing
 against
determinism
and
assuming
genuine
contingencies
in
the
world
order
 and
that
understand
the
medievals
as
drawing
on
this
reading
of
Aristotle.
 Indeed,
in
this
reading,
the
issue
confronted
by
Aquinas
was
to
deal
with
 Aristotle’s
clearly
enunciated
approach
to
contingency
in
the
context
of
an
 affirmation
of
providence,
reconciling
the
Christian
teaching
concerning
 divine
power
with
“Aristotle’s
victory
over
determinism.”118
Further,
a
 significant
line
of
scholarship
has
identified
Aquinas
as
arguing
for
divine
 freedom,
genuine
contingency
in
the
world
order,
and
human
free
choice
as
 constituted
not
only
by
spontaneity
but
also
by
alternativity.119 There
is,
also,
a
third
alternative,
namely,
acceptance
of
the
view
that
 Aquinas
himself
held
a
compatibilist
position,
followed
by
an
argument
that
 this
compatibilism
is
also
the
basic
Augustinian
view
that
extends
into
early
 modern
Reformed
thought
as
well.120
As
an
exponent
of
this
reading
of
the


materials,
Helm
has
strongly
rebutted
Vos’
contention
that
pre-Scotist
 thought,
as
represented
by
Aquinas
among
others,
defined
contingency
as
 “a
qualification
of
reality”
and
concluded
that
“what
is
not,
cannot
be
 contingent
but
must
be
impossible.”121 In
attempting
to
assess
these
approaches
to
Aquinas’
place
in
the
 historical
trajectory,
analyses
of
his
two
major
works
of
Aristotle,
the
De
 Interpretatione
and
the
Metaphysica,
are
relevant—the
former
because
of
 its
concentrated
discussion
of
necessity,
contingency,
possibility,
and
 impossibility;
the
latter
for
its
discussion
of
possibility
or
potency
and
 actuality,
specifically
for
its
address
to
the
issue
of
whether
all
possibilities
 will
at
some
time
be
actualized.
Unfortunately,
Aquinas’
commentary
on
 the
De
Interpretatione
was
left
unfinished,
ultimately
to
be
completed
by
 Cajetan,
but
what
we
have
from
Aquinas
is
enough
to
clarify
his
own
 position—and
what
we
have
from
Cajetan
can
serve
to
confirm
that
a
 substantially
similar
reading
was
continued
in
Thomist
circles
on
into
the
 early
modern
era. As
indicated
by
Bernard
McGinn
specifically
in
relation
to
the
issue
of
 divine
providential
willing
and
contingencies
in
the
temporal
order,
 Aquinas
understood
Aristotle
as
having
refuted
determinism
by
showing
 that
not
all
effects
have
necessary
causes
and
that
causes
do
not
invariably
 bring
about
effects,
given
“chance
occurrences
and
interference
of
 causes.”122
Still,
as
McGinn
pointed
out,
Aquinas
was
left
with
a
problem
 inasmuch
as
Aristotle’s
argumentation
for
contingency
was,
as
it
stood,
not
 compatible
with
a
Christian
understanding
of
providence.
As
early
as
his
 commentary
on
Lombard’s
Sentences,
Aquinas
had
argued
that
“neither
the
 fact
that
God
is
the
necessary
cause
of
all
things
nor
the
fact
that
knowledge
 presupposes
a
determination
in
the
thing
known
precludes
the
existence
of
 contingent
things
or
God’s
knowledge
of
them,”
a
premise
that
undergirded
 the
development
of
Aquinas’
thought
in
the
issue
toward
its
fullest
solution
 in
his
commentary
on
Aristotle’s
De
interpretatione.123 It
was
in
the
De
interpretatione,
notably
in
the
ninth
chapter,
that
 Aristotle,
as
read
by
Aquinas,
provides
the
foundation
for
distinctions
 between
a
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
and
a
necessity
of
the
 consequence,
the
latter
term
representing
a
contingency.124
There
is,
as
 noted,
a
scholarly
debate
over
the
issue
of
determinism
in
Aristotle
and
 specifically
over
these
passages,
although,
from
what
we
have
already
seen
 in
examining
the
text
of
Aristotle’s
De
interpretatione,
it
becomes
rather


difficult—one
might
say,
impossible—to
identify
him
as
a
determinist.
But
 there
can
be
no
debate
over
the
point
that
Thomas
Aquinas,
like
most
 medieval
thinkers,
understood
these
passages
in
the
De
Interpretatione
as
 supporting
a
theory
of
contingency
and
as
specifically
generating
the
 distinction
between
the
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
(an
absolute
 necessity)
and
the
necessity
of
the
consequence
(a
suppositional
or
 hypothetical
necessity),
and
that
Cajetan,
who
completed
Aquinas’
 commentary,
lined
out
a
full
explanation
of
possibility
and
contingency
in
 his
explanation
of
Aristotle’s
chapters
on
modal
propositions.125 On
Aristotle’s
initial
distinction
between
things
necessary
in
the
absolute
 sense
and
things
necessary
in
the
logical
sense,
Aquinas
commented,
 “Clearly
it
is
true,
then,
that
everything
that
is
must
be
when
it
is,
and
 everything
that
is
not
must
not
be
when
it
is
not,”
superficially
yielding,
if
 read
out
of
context,
an
argument
similar
to
that
cited
from
Vos
labeling
 Aquinas
as
a
determinist.
But
Thomas
immediately
adds, and
this
is
not
an
absolute
necessity,
but
by
supposition.
Consequently,
it
cannot
be
 simply
and
absolutely
said
that
everything
that
is,
is
necessarily,
and
that
everything
 that
is
not,
is
necessarily
not:
since
“every
being
when
it
is,
of
necessity
is”
does
not
 signify
the
same
thing
as
“every
being
is
absolutely
[simpliciter]
of
necessity”;
for
the
 first
signifies
necessity
by
supposition,
the
second
absolute
necessity.126

In
other
words,
Aquinas
clearly
distinguished
between
a
necessity
of
the
 consequence
(or
de
dicto)
and
a
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
(or
de
re).
 There
is
room
in
Aquinas’
definitions
for
a
form
of
synchronicity:
 understood
as
a
necessity
of
the
consequence,
the
fact
of
Socrates’
sitting
 either
could
be
or
could
be
otherwise.127
In
addition,
Aquinas
assumed
that
 free
choice
was
constituted
in
part
by
the
fundamental
potency
of
rational
 being
to
more
than
one
effect:
in
other
words,
without
the
term
itself
 appearing,
Aquinas
assumed
a
simultaneity
of
potencies.128
We
will
 encounter
much
the
same
argumentation
in
Aquinas’
commentary
on
 Aristotle’s
Metaphysica. Furthermore,
as
Cajetan
pointed
out
in
his
comments
on
Aristotle’s
 approach
to
modal
propositions,
Aristotle
distinguishes
among
such
 opposite
affirmations
or
negations
as
possible
and
impossible,
contingent
 and
non-contingent,
impossible
and
not
impossible,
necessary
and
not
 necessary.
In
Cajetan’s
reading,
Aristotle
clearly
indicated
a
“fourfold”
 mode
of
speaking
of
things,
namely,
“possible,
impossible,
necessary,
and
 contingent.”129
Thus,
contrary
to
Vos’
view
of
Aristotle,
in
Cajetan’s


reading
of
the
text
some
things
that
exist
are
necessary
or
not-possible-not
 to-be
(-P-e),
and
others
are
contingent
or
possible-not-to-be
(P-e),
while
 some
things
that
do
not
exist
are
impossible
or
not-possible-to-be
(-Pe),
and
 others
are
possible
or
possible-to-be
(Pe).
The
yield
here
is
a
classic
square
 of
opposition,
with
necessary
(-P-e)
and
impossible
(-Pe)
as
the
universal
 contraries,
possible
or
specifically
possible
to
exist
(Pe)
and
possible
to
not
 exist
or
contingent
(P-e)
as
the
particular
subcontraries,
with
Pe
as
the
 subaltern
of
-P-e
and
P-e
as
the
subaltern
of
-Pe.
Thus,

Note
for
above
table.130 The
logical
rules
of
the
square
indicate
that
the
subcontraries
P-e
and
Pe
can
 both
be
true,
albeit
not
at
the
same
time,
in
the
same
place,
and
in
the
same
 way.
There
is
no
logic
here
that
leads
to
the
conclusion
that
P-e,
as
 something
that
exists
but
that
can
possibly
not
exist
is
not
actually
 contingent:
the
square
in
no
way
implies
that
existent
possibles
are
 necessary. When
the
question
of
necessary
and
existence
is
drawn
into
the
 discussion,
the
nature
of
possibility
and
contingency
is
made
still
clearer.
 From
a
purely
logical
perspective,
the
possible
is
something
that
does
not
 imply
a
contradiction.
In
this
sense,
a
possible
thing
could
refer
either
to
an
 existent
or
actualized
possible
or
to
a
non-existent
possible
capable
of
 existing.
A
contingent
thing,
however,
in
contrast
to
a
possible,
has
nonnecessary
existence.
When,
therefore,
the
possible
and
the
contingent
are
 juxtaposed,
the
possible
references
the
non-existent
but
possible,131
 reflecting
the
two
meanings
of
possible
already
noted
in
Aristotle.
This
is
 certainly
the
sense
of
possible
when
one
defines
it
as
the
frame
of
reference
 of
the
divine
absolute
power—in
contrast
to
the
contingent
order
that
exists
 under
the
divine
ordained
power.
The
square,
therefore,
can
also
be
 constructed
as
follows:

There
is
also
a
reciprocal
relationship
to
be
recognized
between
the
 concepts
of
a
divine
potentia
absoluta
and
the
notion
of
infinite
possibilia
 either
as
produced
by
the
divine
intellect
(Scotus)132
or
known
by
God
in
his
 essence
and
as
belonging
to
the
divine
potentia
(Aquinas).
On
the
one
hand,
 the
absolute
power
of
God
stands
capable
of
actualizing
all
possibility;
on
 the
other
hand,
what
makes
possibilities
possible
is
that
they
fall
within
the
 absolute
power
of
God.
The
range
of
the
divine
potentia
absoluta
and
the
 range
of
possibilia
are
both
identified
and
limited
by
the
simply
impossible,
 namely,
by
that
which
is
impossible
by
nature,
whether
simply
impossible
 or
in
itself
possible
but
incompossible
with
other
possibilities.
In
other
 words,
both
God
and
the
possible
are
limited
by
the
law
of
noncontradiction
and,
indeed,
limited
in
precisely
the
same
way. One
cannot,
then,
simply
reduce
the
Aristotelian
point,
and
certainly
not
 the
view
of
Aquinas,
to
the
necessity
of
what
exists
and
the
impossibility
of
 what
does
not:
the
argument
assumes
necessities
of
the
consequence,
such
 as
“if
Socrates
is
running,
he
is
necessarily
in
motion”
given
that
it
is
 possible
for
Socrates
to
run
and
not
to
run.
Obviously,
it
is
not
possible
for
 the
existent
Socrates
to
be
running
and
not
running
at
the
same
time.
But
is
 it
possible
that
Socrates,
as
running,
could
be
otherwise,
that
is,
not
running —just
as
it
is
possible,
at
a
particular
time,
that
Socrates
either
be
running
 or
not
running?
Aquinas
did
not,
in
other
words,
identify
the
range
of
 possibility
with
the
range
of
actualized
being:
there
are
actualized
 possibilities
and
unactualized
possibilities.
This
rather
full
understanding
of
 impossibility
and
possibility,
necessity
and
contingency
carries
over
into
 Cajetan’s
commentary
on
the
De
Interpretatione. Aristotle
also
had
raised
the
issue
that
if
all
is
necessary,
human
 deliberation
would
be
useless.133
Again,
modern
scholarship
has
debated
the
 relationship
of
this
brief
point
to
Aristotle’s
discussion
of
necessity,
 specifically
questioning
whether
this
opens
up
an
avenue
of
argument
for
 contingency
in
relation
to
human
willing.
Aquinas
had
no
doubts
about
the
 answer.
He
noted
the
Diodoran
understanding
of
the
necessary,
the


impossible
and
the
possible,
and
also
the
Stoic
understanding,
pronouncing
 both
incorrect
or
unsuited
to
the
point
(incompetens).
More
suitably,
the
 terms
ought
to
be
defined
according
to
the
nature
of
the
thing
in
question:
 that
is
necessary
which,
in
its
own
nature,
is
determined
simply
to
be;
that
is
 impossible
which
is
determined
simply
not
to
be;
and
that
is
possible
which
 is
determined
neither
to
being
or
to
not
being,
but
which
can
equally
be
 either
(quod
ad
neutrum
est
omnino
determinatum,
sive
se
habeat
 aequaliter
ad
utrumque)
and
is
therefore
said
to
be
contingent.134
When
a
 particular
cause
is
determined
to
one
effect,
Aquinas
indicates,
there
is
an
 utter
necessity,
indeed
a
Stoic
fatalism.135 Aquinas
goes
on
to
argue
that
necessary
things
totally
determined
in
their
 causes
can
be
known
with
certainty,
but
things
that
result
from
causes
that
 can
be
impeded
are
known
only
by
conjecture,
and
things
resulting
from
 causes
that
are
“wholly
in
potency”
cannot
be
known—at
least
to
finite
 beings.
The
latter
case,
moreover,
cannot
be
described
as
resulting
from
 causes
that
are
“determined
to
one”:
rather
it
identifies
causes
that
are
 indeterminate
because
they
have
a
potency
to
multiple
effects
and
are
not
 determined
to
one
effect
more
than
to
another.136
The
whole
point
of
 Aristotle’s
argument,
according
to
Aquinas,
is
to
distinguish
between
 necessity
and
contingency
and,
indeed,
to
identify
the
working
of
free
 choice.
Aquinas
continues
the
argument
by
adding
reference
to
God’s
 eternal
knowledge
of
temporal
events—echoing
Augustine
and
concluding
 after
the
manner
of
Boethius,
that
God’s
eternity
is
simultaneously
present
 to
the
“whole
course
of
time”
and
that
God
can
see
Socrates
sitting
and
 other
similar
contingencies
not
in
their
causes
but
in
themselves:
God’s
 eternal
knowing
is,
therefore,
certain
without
imposing
necessity
on
the
 object
known.137 Aquinas
comes
to
a
similar
conclusion
in
his
examination
of
Aristotle’s
 Metaphysica.
Aquinas
recognized
that
the
passage
found
in
Metaphysica,
 III.6
(1003
al–4)
responded
to
the
Platonic
doctrine
of
the
actual
existence
 of
forms,
raising
the
question
and
then
arguing,
first,
that
they
exist
 potentially,
not
actually
and,
second,
taking
up
the
other
side
of
the
 problem,
showing
that
if
all
principles
existed
in
potency
nothing
would
 exist
actually.
The
existence
of
principles
in
potency
must
be
the
case,
 given
that
potency
precedes
act
and
that
there
is
nothing
prior
to
first
 principles.
“This
appears,”
Aquinas
continues,
“from
the
fact
that
one
thing
 is
prior
to
another
when
the
sequence
of
their
being
cannot
be
reversed;
for


if
a
thing
exists,
it
follows
that
it
can
be,
but
it
does
not
necessarily
follow
 that
if
it
is
possible,
it
will
exist
actually.”138
Thus,
possibility
precedes
but
 does
not
necessarily
entail
actuality. This
resolution,
however,
embodies
a
problem,
namely,
that
potential
 existence
is
not
actual—specifically
“everything
that
can
possibly
be,
is
 non-being.
If
therefore
principles
are
only
in
potency,
they
will
be
nonexistents.”139
Aquinas
sums
up
his
point,
then,
not
by
utterly
contradicting
 the
first
argument
and
arguing
for
a
prior
actuality,
but
by
concluding
that
 when
principia
do
not
actually
exist
neither
do
their
effects
and
that
 therefore
it
is
possible
for
nothing
to
exist.140
This
conclusion,
in
turn,
leads
 to
what
Aquinas
took
to
be
the
underlying
point
of
Aristotle’s
exposition
of
 the
problem
of
the
forms,
namely,
that
further
inquiry
into
the
problem
of
 the
principles
of
things
was
necessary—an
inquiry
taken
up
in
Metaphysica,
 IX
and
XII,
“where
it
is
shown
that
actuality
absolutely
considered
is
prior
 to
potentiality,
but
that
in
anything
moved
from
potentiality
to
actuality,
 potentiality
is
prior
to
actuality
in
time”
and
that
“the
first
principle
must
 exist
actually
and
not
potentially.”141
Thus,
actual
existence
is
not
the
 implicate
of
potency
except
in
the
case
of
the
utterly
first
principle,
which
is
 to
say,
the
prime
mover
of
Metaphysica,
XII.142
We
are
left,
quite
clearly,
 with
the
conclusion
that
there
are
possibles
or
potencies
that
will
never
be
 actualized. The
debated
passage
in
Aristotle,
Metaphysica,
IX.3
(1046b
33–1047a
6)
 relative
to
the
questions
of
possibility,
plenitude,
and
the
Megarian
 philosophers’
arguments
also
received
a
fairly
unambiguous
reading
at
the
 hands
of
Aquinas.
Aquinas
understood
the
Philosopher
to
have
divided
his
 refutation
of
the
Megarian’s
problem
into
two
parts,
first
dealing
with
the
 question
whether
it
is
true
“that
nothing
is
possible
except
when
it
is
actual”
 and
second
dealing
with
the
question
whether
“all
things
are
possible”
and
 establishing
“a
truth
about
the
succession
of
things.”143 The
first
part
of
Aquinas’
comment
draws
the
conclusion
from
a
series
of
 examples,
such
as
a
man
cannot
be
said
to
lack
sensory
powers
when
he
is
 not
sensing
something,
to
lack
the
potency
to
sit
when
he
is
standing,
or
to
 lack
the
potency
to
stand
when
he
is
sitting,
“that
potency
and
actuality
are
 distinct
[potentia
et
actus
diversa
sunt].”144
It
is
therefore
quite
incorrect
to
 claim
that
something
has
potency
or
is
possible
only
when
it
is
actual;
 whereas
it
is
correct
to
acknowledge
that
something
that
does
not
now
exist
 is
capable
of
existing
and
that
something
that
does
now
exist
is
capable
of


not
existing.145
Thus
far,
Aquinas
has
not
encountered
the
issue
that
all
 possibles
must
at
some
time
be
actualized,
but
has
only
established
that
 possibility
or
potentiality
is
distinct
from
actuality. The
second
part
of
Aquinas’
comment
references
the
claim
“that
all
 things
are
possible,”
in
other
words,
the
claim
of
the
Megarians
that
all
 possibles
will
at
some
time
be
actualized.
Aquinas’
language
here
reflects
 not
only
Aristotle’s
text
but
also
the
second
premise
of
Diodorus’
Master
 Argument,
“the
impossible
does
not
follow
from
the
possible,”
together
 with
an
added,
highly
significant
qualifier: [Aristotle]
therefore
says,
first,
that,
if
it
is
true
that
a
thing
is
said
to
be
possible
 because
something
follows
from
it,
according
to
the
dictum,
that
the
possible,
if
it
is
 assumed
to
exist,
is
that
from
which
nothing
impossible
follows;
it
is
evident
that
it
 cannot
be
true,
as
some
say,
that
something
is
possible
even
if
it
never
will
be.
Since
 as
a
result
of
this
position
impossibles
will
be
eliminated.146

The
qualifier,
“if
it
is
assumed
to
exist,”
presupposes
that
some
possibles
do
 not
exist,
without
deciding
whether
they
ever
will
exist—and,
accordingly,
 accepts
the
Megarian
premise
that
“the
possible
is
that
from
which
nothing
 impossible
follows”
only
when
it
is
applied
to
possibles
identified
as
 existents.
Those
who
hold
this
position,
Aquinas
continues,
are
therefore
 correct
in
one
sense
but
incorrect
in
another:
“For
there
are
some
things
 which
nothing
will
prevent
[us]
identifying
as
possible
of
being
or
coming
 to
be,
even
though
they
never
will
be
or
come
to
be,
but
this
cannot
be
said
 of
all
things.”147
There
are,
then,
some
possibles
that
will
exist
and
others
 that
will
not—and
the
fact
that
some
possibles
will
not
ever
exist
does
not
 eliminate
the
notion
of
impossibility
because,
as
Aquinas
continues,
a
 distinction
must
be
made
between
that
which
is
impossible
and
that
which
 is
false.
Whereas
some
things
are
both
false
and
impossible,
others
are
false
 but
possible:
in
the
case
of
Socrates
sitting
or
standing,
when
he
is
sitting,
it
 is
false
but
not
impossible
for
him
to
be
standing.148
In
other
words,
while
 accepting
the
premise
that
“the
impossible
does
not
follow
from
the
 possible”
with
significant
qualification,
Aquinas
has
shown
that
the
premise
 does
not
rule
out
either
unactualized
or
never-to-be-actualized
possibility:
 what
follows
from
Socrates
sitting
and
not
actualizing
the
possibility
that
he
 stands
is
not
the
impossibility
of
Socrates
standing
but
the
falsehood
of
him
 being
able
to
stand
while
he
sits.
The
implication,
moreover,
is
that
while
 Socrates
sits
he
retains
the
possibility
of
standing:
Aquinas’
thought
on
this
 issue
is
quite
compatible
with
a
concept
of
synchronic
contingency.

3.5
Thomas
Aquinas
on
Divine
Power,
Necessity,
Possibility,
 Contingency,
and
Freedom A.
Aquinas
on
the
Power
of
God:
Absolute,
Ordained,
and
Utterly
 Free.
Beyond
what
can
be
concluded
from
Aquinas’
analyses
of
Aristotle
 on
the
issues
of
necessity,
possibility,
and
contingency,
what
remains
to
be
 noted
is
his
approach
to
these
issues
in
their
fully
theological
context
that
 includes
reference
specifically
to
the
power
or
potency
of
God,
as
indicated
 in
some
of
his
theistic
elaborations
beyond
Aristotle’s
argument
in
the
De
 interpretatione
as
well
as
in
his
commentary
on
Lombard’s
Sentences,
the
 Summa
contra
gentiles,
the
Quaestiones
disputatae
de
potentia
Dei,
and
the
 Summa
theologiae.
Aquinas’
views
on
the
power
of
God
or
potentia
Dei,
 stood
in
the
line
of
a
significant
medieval
discussion
of
divine
power,
 notably
in
connection
with
the
questions
of
what
God
can
and
cannot
do
 and
of
how
God’s
omnipotence
relates
to
the
possible. The
origins
of
medieval
discussion
of
the
issue
underlying
the
distinction
 between
divine
potentia
absoluta
and
potentia
ordinata
extends
at
least
 back
to
a
treatise
of
Peter
Damian
in
which
he
addressed
questions
 concerning
the
divine
omnipotence,
significantly,
with
reference
to
the
 statement
of
Augustine
that
God
is
called
almighty
because
whatever
he
 wills
he
can
do.149
Whereas
Richard
Desharnais
may
well
be
correct
that
the
 distinction
cannot
be
explicitly
traced
to
Augustine,150
arguably
the
reasons
 for
the
distinction,
like
much
of
the
Western
interest
in
arguing
both
a
 divine
willing
of
all
things
and
human
free
choice,
arose
out
of
the
 discussion
of
issues
raised
by
Augustine—and,
arguably
also,
explicit
 statement
of
the
distinction
dates
from
the
early
decades
of
the
thirteenth
 century.151
In
the
background
to
its
formulation,
Augustine
reckoned
both
 with
an
assumption
of
the
stability
of
the
world
order
under
God’s
 providence
and
the
contrasting
assumption
of
an
omnipotent
God
who
 could
intervene
supernaturally,
and
with
issues
identified
by
William
 Courtenay
under
the
rubrics
of
divine
“capacity
and
volition”—“what
God
 is
theoretically
able
to
do
and
what
God
actually
wills
to
do.”152 Damian’s
conclusion
was
that
omnipotence
must
mean
that
God
can
do
 more
and
other
than
he
actually
wills
and
that
the
contingency
of
the
world
 order
is
defined
by
its
dependence
not
merely
on
God
but
also
and
more
 clearly
on
God’s
freedom
in
willing.
In
other
words,
God
acts
not
by
 necessity
but
by
choice,
with
the
choice
limited
only
by
the
divine
nature


itself.153
Consideration
of
God’s
power
and
its
limitation
is
also
found
in
the
 thought
of
Anselm,
who
took
up
the
issue
in
order
to
argue
that
God’s
 inability
to
do
evil
was
not
to
be
considered
as
a
limitation
on
divine
 omnipotence.154 Desharnais,
Courtenay,
and
Lawrence
Moonan
point
toward
phases
of
 development
of
the
distinction
and
its
use—with
a
significant
turn
in
 definition
taking
place
after
1277,
notably
in
the
definitions
set
forth
by
 Scotus.
This
development
is
important
not
only
to
understand
the
medieval
 debates
but
also
to
situate
early
modern
Reformed
argumentation
into
the
 ongoing
conversation
and
debate.
In
Desharnais’
chronology
there
was
a
 period
of
formation
from
the
time
of
Hugh
of
St.
Victor
and
Peter
Abelard
 to
Albert
the
Great;
a
thirteenth-century
era
of
“metaphysical
 consolidation,”
with
Aquinas
as
a
representative
thinker;
and
a
period
of
 further
development
and
application,
beginning
with
the
Condemnations
of
 1270
and
1277;
in
Courtenay’s
reading,
an
era
of
development
of
the
 concept
from
the
later
eleventh
through
the
middle
of
the
twelfth
century
 and
an
era
of
the
development
of
the
language
to
represent
the
concept
from
 the
late
twelfth
to
the
middle
of
the
thirteenth
century;
and
in
Moonan’s
 view,
distinction
can
be
made
between
an
early
use
of
the
actual
distinction
 in
the
first
half
of
the
thirteenth
century,
a
time
of
acceptance
of
the
 distinction
and
its
importance
leading
to
broader
use
extending
to
the
 Condemnation
of
1277,
an
era
of
shifting
usages
of
the
distinction
from
 around
1277
to
the
middle
of
the
fourteenth
century,
and
a
final
state
of
 usage
to
the
Reformation
and
beyond.155
Courtenay
specifically
indicates
 that
the
full
distinction
between
a
divine
potentia
absoluta
and
a
divine
 potentia
ordinata
originated
and
came
into
general
use
in
the
first
half
of
 the
thirteenth
century
and
by
1245
“had
achieved
its
classic
shape
and
was
 being
applied
in
a
consistent
manner,”
indicating
not
“two
powers
in
God”
 but
“two
ways
of
speaking
about
the
divine
power”
in
the
works
of
such
 thinkers
as
William
of
Auxerre,
William
of
Auvergne,
Godfrey
of
Poitiers,
 Hugh
of
St.
Cher,
Guerric
of
St.
Quentin,
Albertus
Magnus,
and
Alexander
 of
Hales.156 The
early
thirteenth-century
framers
of
the
distinction
recognized
that
the
 divine
power,
or
potentia,
can
be
considered
either
in
terms
of
what
God
 has
willed
to
do,
namely,
his
ordained
power,
or
in
terms
all
that
God
could
 do,
referencing
only
the
potentia
Dei
in
itself,
absolutely
considered.
In
the
 language
of
William
of
Auxerre,
the
distinction
is
between
what
God
can
do


de
potentia
pure
considerata,
including
what
he
can
do
otherwise
than
he
 has
done,
and
what
God
actually
wills
to
do
de
potentia
determinata.157
 From
a
distinction
originally
intended
to
deal
with
the
issue
of
divine
 inability,
it
gained
the
broader
sense
of
a
distinction
concerning
the
way
 God
relates
to
the
world
order,
with
the
very
specific
implication
that
the
 world
order
is
the
contingent
result
of
God’s
free
willing:
“application
of
 this
distinction
. . .
enabled
these
scholastics
to
achieve
greater
insight
into
 the
essentially
contingent
nature
of
the
universe
and
an
awareness
of
the
 free
concursus
of
God
Who
acts
with
His
creatures.”158 Discussion
of
the
divine
potentia
in
the
thirteenth
century
led
to
diverse
 readings
of
the
distinction.
Already
in
the
case
of
Alexander
of
Hales
and
 his
disciples,
the
distinction
was
applied
to
the
divine
preordination
of
all
 things
(potentia
ordinata)
in
contrast
to
those
things
that
God
might
have
 done
but
has
chosen
not
to
do
(potentia
absoluta).159
In
Courtenay’s
view,
 others,
like
Albertus
Magnus,
Bonaventure,
and
Richard
Rufus,
focused
on
 the
ordained
power
and
understood
the
absolute
power
as
a
“theoretical
 construct”—with
Bonaventure
and
Richard
expressing
doubts
about
the
 possible
implication
that
God
could
act
in
a
disorderly
or
arbitrary
manner
 but
insisting
that
God
could
do
more
than
he
has
willed
to
do,
and
Albert
 using
the
concept
as
a
point
of
departure
for
his
reasoning
against
the
 Avicennan
and
Averroistic
arguments
for
the
“absolute
necessity
of
the
 content
and
structure
of
the
world.”160 Contrary
to
an
older
scholarship
that
Aquinas
did
not
have
much
recourse
 to
the
distinction,
the
more
recent
work
of
Desharnais,
Mary
Anne
Pernoud,
 Courtenay,
and
Moonan
indicates
a
fairly
extensive
use,
in
particular
for
the
 sake
of
arguing
that
the
created
order
is
not
necessary
inasmuch
as
God
 creates
by
a
free
choice
of
his
will.161
God
is
understood
to
be
perfectly
 powerful
in
the
sense
that
he
can
do
whatever
agrees
with
his
own
nature— as
actus
purus,
whose
essence
is
the
foundation
or
principium
of
his
 operations,
the
divine
potentia
is
nothing
other
than
the
essence
of
God.162
 The
divine
potentia,
as
the
divine
essence,
must
also
be
infinite
and
without
 limitation.
Similarly,
the
divine
will,
as
infinite
and
unlimited,
must
be
free,
 not
acting
by
a
necessity
of
nature.163
Even
so,
when
the
attribute
of
 potentia
is
considered
in
itself,
God
is
seen
to
possess
absolute
power,
or
in
 connection
with
his
wisdom,
foreknowledge,
and
will,
his
power
is
 ordained
or
ordered.164
In
taking
up
the
question
of
whether
God
could
have
 become
incarnate
in
another
manner—whether
as
non-rational
creature
or


as
a
woman—Aquinas
notes
that
“the
power
of
God
is
considered
in
two
 ways:
as
absolute,
or
as
ordained,”
and
that
in
the
absolute
sense,
God
could
 have
willed
the
incarnation
differently,
but
God
ordained
to
exercise
his
 power
as
he
did.165 Aquinas,
like
his
teacher
Albert,
explicitly
counters
what
he
identifies
as
 the
errors
of
Averrroes,
Avicenna,
and
Maimonides
“that
God
cannot
do
 otherwise,”
that
God
“acts
from
natural
necessity,”
or
that
God
is
 constrained
by
the
order
of
his
own
justice
and
wisdom
to
do
only
what
he
 does.166
God
is
understood
to
be
both
intellectual
and
volitional
and
 therefore
has
three
foundations
or
sources
of
action,
intellect,
will,
and
the
 “power
of
nature.”
The
view
that
God
acts
by
natural
necessity
is
excluded
 inasmuch
as
God
is
an
intelligent
agent
whose
acts
are
directed
toward
an
 end
or
goal—and
actions
arising
out
of
natural
necessity,
the
agent
having
 only
the
power
of
nature,
are
not
intellective
or
volitional
and
accordingly
 not
directed
toward
a
goal
inasmuch
as
they
are
determined
to
one
effect.
 As
to
the
argument
that
God
is
constrained
to
a
particular
will
by
his
own
 justice
and
wisdom,
Aquinas
argues
that
the
end
or
goal
of
God’s
willing
is
 the
divine
goodness
itself.
And
although
God’s
goodness
is
manifested
in
 the
present
order
of
things,
it
could
just
as
well
be
manifested
in
different
 creatures
in
a
different
order.
In
the
absolute
sense,
then,
God
could
do
 otherwise.167
In
arguing
this
way,
Aquinas
not
only
counters
the
Islamic
 philosophers
and
Maimonides;
he
also
steps
past
Albert
the
Great
in
that
he
 “refuses
to
allow
the
powers
of
God
to
be
restricted
in
its
creation
to
the
 actually
existing
order
of
things.
Divine
liberty,
freedom
and
power
are
 released
from
the
restrictions
of
the
actual
and
allowed
scope
in
the
realm
 of
the
possible.”168 God’s
absolute
omnipotence
operates
over
against
the
entire
range
of
 logical
possibility—and
therefore
contingency
(as
well
as
certain
kinds
of
 necessity)
belong
to
the
created
order.
Or,
to
make
the
point
in
another
way,
 Aquinas
explains
necessity
and
contingency
in
the
created
order
both
in
 terms
of
the
ultimate
activity
of
God
as
first
cause
and
in
terms
of
the
 causality
of
the
order
itself.
On
the
one
hand,
“it
is
not
because
the
 proximate
causes
are
contingent
that
the
effects
willed
by
God
happen
 contingently,
but
because
God
has
prepared
contingent
causes
for
them,
it
 being
his
will
that
they
should
happen
contingently.”169
In
other
words,
 contingency
in
the
finite
order
arises
specifically
because
God
has
created
 contingent
agents
that
act
or
cause
effects
contingently.
This
lodging
of


contingency
in
the
potency
belonging
to
the
finite
agent
comes
to
bear
in
 particular
in
the
case
of
rational
agents
who
have
potencies
to
more
than
 one
effect
and
therefore
could
act
or
do
otherwise.170
On
the
other
hand,
 Aquinas
acknowledges
a
kind
of
necessity
that
arises
from
the
“intrinsic
 principles”
of
a
thing,
whether
from
its
material
or
formal
principle:
thus,
 materially,
things
“composed
of
contraries”
are
necessarily
mutable
or,
 formally,
something
that
is
triangular
must
have
three
angles
that
are
equal
 to
two
right
angles.171
Aquinas
also
recognized
a
necessity
per
accidens
— something
that
is
contingent
considered
in
itself,
the
negation
of
which
 implies
a
contradiction—a
necessity
of
the
consequence
occurring
in
the
 real
or
natural
order.
In
Aquinas’
view,
the
present
is
necessary
in
this
 sense. Aquinas
elsewhere
makes
clear
that
“it
is
necessary
that
God
knows
 things
other
than
himself,
but
does
not
will
them
of
necessity.”172Aquinas
 clearly
understands
the
function
of
the
divine
will
as
“pivotal”
in
the
 movement
from
potency
to
actuality—God
creates
freely,
being
capable
of
 willing
other
things
than
he
has
willed
and,
indeed,
of
not
willing
possible
 things
that
he
knows.173
The
issue
of
the
brief
use
of
the
distinction
in
the
 Summa
comes
into
play
when
one
recognizes
that
Aquinas’
commentary
on
 the
Sentences
is
not
only
often
lengthier
and
more
detailed
than
the
Summa
 but
also
that
it
was
the
chief
point
of
reference
for
his
thought
prior
to
the
 sixteenth
century.
There
Aquinas
offers
a
full
definition
and
distinguishes
 between
divine
scientia
visionis
and
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae,
 defining
the
former
as
the
knowledge
according
to
which
God
knows
 “things
that
are
or
were
or
will
be,
not
only
in
the
power
of
their
causes,
but
 as
in
[their]
proper
existence,”
and
the
latter
as
that
“according
to
which
 God
knows
those
things
that
exist
in
no
time,
to
exist
in
the
potentia
of
his
 causality.”174
Or,
again,
according
to
the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
 “God
knows
the
infinite
things
that
are
in
his
potentia.”175
Nor
is
this
simply
 a
matter
of
logic,
according
to
which
God
knows
what
is
not
impossible— this
is
also
a
matter
of
infinitude
of
ideas
or
exemplars
of
things
in
the
 divine
essence
and
the
extent
of
the
absolute
divine
potentia.
In
a
positive
 sense,
arising
from
his
knowledge
of
his
own
potentia,
God
knows
the
 entire
range
of
the
possible.
Thus,
to
borrow
an
example
from
Aristotle,
the
 logic
of
non-contradiction
renders
the
hircocervus,
or
goat-stag,
impossible,
 but
that
there
are
such
possibles
as
goats
and
stags
arises
from
the
ideas
or
 exemplars
in
the
divine
essence
and
from
God’s
simple
knowledge
of
his


own
potentia—and,
of
course,
that
there
are
such
actuals
arises
from
the
 divine
will. Aquinas’
understanding
of
exemplarity
also
serves
to
clarify
his
 understanding
of
divine
freedom
over
against
necessitarian
readings
of
his
 thought.
In
arguing
the
presence
of
ideas
in
the
mind
of
God,
Aquinas
 makes
a
crucial
distinction
between
“types”
and
“exemplars”: As
ideas,
according
to
Plato,
are
principles
of
the
knowledge
of
things
and
of
their
 generation,
an
idea
has
this
twofold
office,
as
it
exists
in
the
mind
of
God.
So
far
as
 the
idea
is
the
principle
of
the
making
of
things,
it
may
be
called
an
“exemplar,”
and
 belongs
to
practical
knowledge.
But
so
far
as
it
is
a
principle
of
knowledge,
it
is
 properly
called
a
“type,”
and
may
belong
to
speculative
knowledge
also.
As
an
 exemplar,
therefore,
it
has
respect
to
everything
made
by
God
in
any
period
of
time;
 whereas
as
a
principle
of
knowledge
it
has
respect
to
all
things
known
by
God,
even
 though
they
never
come
to
be
in
time;
and
to
all
things
that
he
knows
according
to
 their
proper
type,
in
so
far
as
they
are
known
by
him
in
a
speculative
manner.176

Divine
ideas,
in
Aquinas’
formulation
in
the
Summa
theologiae,
include
the
 types
of
many
things
that
God
does
not
will
to
actualize—not
to
be
 actualized
types
or
“notions”
belong
to
the
speculative
or
purely
 contemplative
knowledge
of
God,
whereas
exemplars,
as
to
be
actualized
 ideas
belong
to
the
practical
knowledge
of
God,
as
forms
exist
in
the
mind
 of
an
artisan.177 There
has
been
some
disagreement
among
scholars
concerning
Aquinas’
 understanding
of
the
source
or
foundation
of
possibles,
specifically
in
their
 relation
to
the
eternal
ideas
and
to
Aquinas’
understanding
of
 exemplarity,178
albeit
no
significant
difference
over
the
question
of
whether
 God
is
free
with
regard
to
willing
their
existence.
The
disagreement
lies
in
 the
issue
of
“what
makes
possibles
to
be
possible.”179
In
Beatrice
Zedler’s
 view,
the
identification
of
logical
or
intrinsic
possiblity
does
not
fully
 respond
to
the
issue:
it
is
not
merely
that
God
knows
all
possibles
in
his
 own
essence;
beyond
this,
it
is
the
divine
will
that
“freely
constitutes
[the
 possibles]
in
accord
with
wisdom.”180
Accordingly,
God
renders
the
 possibles
extrinsically
possible.
The
opposing
argument,
perhaps
most
 clearly
posed
by
Lawrence
Dewan,
begins
with
Aquinas’
answer
to
the
 question
of
what
it
means
for
God
to
be
omnipotent:
omnipotence
means
 that
God
“can
accomplish
all
possibles.”181
Dewan
and
others
recognize
that
 absolute
possibility
is
not
produced
or
generated
but
simply
exists
in
the
 divine
essence—whereas
Zedler
focused
on
a
somewhat
different
question,


namely,
that
it
is
not
enough
to
identify
absolute
possibility
simply
as
 intrinsic
or
logical
possibility,
given
that
there
is
also
the
issue
of
extrinsic
 possibility.
Given,
moreover,
that
there
can
be
no
intrinsic
possibility
 outside
of
God
and
that
the
infinitude
of
absolute
possibility
belongs
to
the
 essence
of
God,
which
is
to
say,
to
the
infinitude
of
ideas
known
to
God
in
 his
essence,
possibility
must
be
defined
both
by
what
is
known
to
God
as
 intrinsically
possible
and
by
what
is
known
to
God
as
extrinsically
possible,
 as
belonging
to
his
potentia.
The
point,
of
course,
of
divine
omnipotence
is
 that
the
entire
range
of
absolute
possibility
corresponds
with
the
extent
of
 absolute
power. Dewan
argues
against
the
definition
of
possible
as
having
respect
to
a
 power
to
accomplish
it
(extrinsic
possibility)
and
simply
defined
possible
as
 the
logically
possible,
where
“the
predicate
is
not
repugnant
to
the
subject”
 (intrinsic
possibility).182
Dewan
fully
accepted
the
application
of
both
 members
of
the
distinction
to
questions
of
what
is
possible
for
finite
 creatures—he
only
rejects,
against
Zedler,
the
application
of
a
notion
of
 extrinsic
possibility
to
God
as
a
tautology
simply
stating
that
“God
can
do
 all
the
things
that
God
can
do.”183
Zedler,
perhaps
unfortunately,
indicated
 in
her
introductory
thesis
that
possibles
are
constituted
by
the
divine
will
 instead
of
initially
making
her
fundamental
point
that
they
reside
and
are
 known
by
God
in
the
divine
potentia.
This
latter
is,
after
all,
the
very
point
 that
Aquinas
makes
in
the
Summa
contra
gentiles,
concerning
not-to-be
 actualized
possibles,
that
“those
things
that
are
not,
nor
will
be,
nor
ever
 were,
are
known
by
God
as
possible
to
his
power.
Hence
God
does
not
 know
them
in
some
way
existing
in
themselves,
but
as
existing
only
in
 divine
power.”184 Aquinas
not
only
makes
this
point,
but
he
elaborates
it:
the
divine
 knowledge
of
things
future
is
a
knowledge
of
things
that,
in
themselves,
do
 not
exist
and
that
therefore
cannot
be
known
as
distinct
things
“unless
in
the
 potentia
of
God
himself,”
who
therefore
knows
them
“not
by
distinct
ideas,
 but
by
the
understanding
of
his
potentia,
in
which
they
exist:
and
he
is
said
 to
know
this
by
simple
understanding
(simplici
intelligentia).”185
 Accordingly,
“no
created
intellect
can
know
all
that
God
is
able
to
do:
and
 these
are
the
things
that
God
knows
by
simple
understanding.”186
Aquinas’
 point
is
not
simply
that
God
is
able
to
do
more
than
he
actually
wills
to
do.
 It
is,
clearly,
this—but
it
is
also
that
those
things
that
God
knows
as
possible
 but
does
not
actualize,
as
is
the
case
with
the
entirety
of
absolute
possibility,


are
known
as
possible
to
God
not
merely
because
they
are
intrinsically
 possible
but
also
because,
as
is
the
case
with
all
that
is
intrinsically
possible,
 they
are
known
to
be
in
the
divine
potentia
and
to
be
extrinsically
possible.
 Indeed,
what
would
it
mean
to
argue
that
there
are
intrinsic
possibilities
 known
to
God
that
are
not
within
his
power
and,
accordingly,
are
not
 capable
of
actualization?
It
would
certainly
mean
that
they
are
not
truly
 possible. Courtenay
remarks
that
“those
most
responsible
for
perfecting
the
 distinction
[of
God’s
absolute
and
ordained
power]
in
the
thirteenth
century
 were
Dominicans,”
whereas
those
who
were
“most
suspicious
of
its
value
 have
usually
been
associated
with
the
Augustinian
tradition,”
namely,
 Bonaventure,
Richard
Rufus,
and
Henry
of
Ghent.187
These
findings,
by
 themselves,
call
into
question
Vos’
claim
of
a
neat
“AA-line”
of
 development
largely
to
the
exclusion
of
Dominican
influence. B.
Necessity,
Possibility,
Contingency,
and
Freedom.
While
Aquinas
 accepted
much
of
the
Aristotelian
approach
to
contingency
and
valued
 highly
Aristotle’s
denial
of
determinism
against
the
Megarians,
he
also
 recognized
that
Aristotle
could
not
have
developed
his
views
in
relation
to
 monotheism,
creation
ex
nihilo,
or
an
understanding
of
providence
 acceptable
in
the
Christian
theological
and
philosophical
context.
Thus,
 Aquinas’
efforts
to
draw
Aristotelian
understandings
of
necessity
and
 contingency
into
a
Christian
formulation
were
not
directed
toward
the
 removal
of
deterministic
interpretations
of
Aristotelian
thought:
Aquinas
 did
not
understand
Aristotle
as
a
determinist.
Rather
Aquinas’
efforts
were
 directed
toward
reconciling
Aristotle’s
understanding
of
contingency,
in
 particular,
Aristotle’s
understanding
of
propositions
concerning
future
 contingents
as
indeterminate,
with
the
fundamental
Christian
assumption
 that
the
divine
omniscience
extends
to
all
futures,
whether
necessary
or
 contingent,
and
that
all
things,
whether
necessary
or
contingent,
exist
within
 the
divine
omnipotence
and
will.
As
Gloria
Ruth
Frost
notes,
this
concern
 to
explain
contingency
while
maintaining
a
full
sense
of
divine
 foreknowledge
and
providence
was
a
major
concern
of
later
medieval
 theologians
in
general,
including
Scotus
as
well
as
Aquinas.
What
is
more,
 in
both
cases,
the
concern
led
to
explanations
of
the
ontological
basis
for
 the
contingency
of
created
things.188

On
a
related
point,
Vos
and
Beck
also
overstate
the
difference
between
 Aquinas
and
Scotus
on
the
distinction
between
the
ways
of
divine
knowing:
 Aquinas’
distinction
between
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
scientia
 visionis
does
not,
as
Vos
and
Beck
claim,
operate
“without
any
pivotal
 function
of
the
divine
will.”189
This
misunderstanding
of
Aquinas
rests
on
 the
way
in
which
Vos
understands
the
relationship
of
the
two
forms
of
 divine
knowing
to
the
realm
of
possibility
considered
as
a
realm
of
nonexistent
things.
In
Vos’
reading
of
Aquinas,
the
scientia
simplicis
 intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
visionis,
albeit
both
referencing
non-existent
 things,
reference
distinct
and
separate
sets
of
non-existents,
the
former
 referencing
never
to
be
actualized
possibilities,
the
latter
referencing
to
be
 actualized
possibilities,
with
no
overlap
between
the
two
categories
of
 knowing.190 The
basis
of
Vos’
and
Beck’s
claim
is
the
way
in
which
Aquinas
poses
 the
distinction
in
the
Summa
theologiae,
not
as
a
distinction
between
the
 knowledge
of
all
possibility
and
the
knowledge
of
all
actuality,
but
as
a
 distinction
between
the
knowledge
of
unactualized
possibilities
and
the
 knowledge
of
actuality,
namely,
not
as
a
distinction
between
the
infinite
 reservoir
of
possibility
out
of
which
God
actualizes
some
things
and
 divinely
willed
actuality,
but
as
a
distinction
between
possibilities
that
never
 were,
are
not,
and
never
will
be
actual
and
things
that
were,
are,
or
will
be
 actual.191
Taken
in
this
sense,
the
distinction
indicates
no
movement
from
 the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
to
the
scientia
visionis
and,
therefore,
 could
be
taken
to
imply
that
there
is
no
volitional
pivot
from
the
one
 knowledge
to
the
other. One
needs
also
to
ask
whether
this
is
all
that
Aquinas
has
to
say
about
the
 distinction
or
whether
the
use
of
the
distinction
cited
by
Vos
and
Beck
is,
as
 it
appears,
a
rather
brief
reference
intended
to
make
a
particular
point
and
 not
Aquinas’
entire
understanding
of
the
matter.
Indeed,
in
the
same
article
 of
the
Summa,
Aquinas
responds
to
the
objection
that
God
has
no
 knowledge
of
things
that
do
not
exist,
draws
on
the
distinction
between
 God’s
knowledge
of
what
is
possible
and
God’s
knowledge
of
what
is
 actual,
and
concludes, The
knowledge
of
God
joined
to
his
will
is
the
cause
of
things.
Hence
it
is
not
 necessary
that
whatever
God
knows,
is,
or
was,
or
will
be:
but
only
is
this
necessary
 as
regards
what
he
wills
to
be,
or
permits
to
be.
Further,
it
is
in
the
knowledge
of
God
 not
that
they
be,
but
that
they
are
possible.192

Or,
further,
Aquinas
declares
that
“God
can
do
other
things
by
his
absolute
 power
than
those
he
has
foreknown
and
preordained
he
would
do.”193
The
 absolute
power,
like
the
infinitude
of
absolute
possibles
in
the
scientia
 simplicis
intelligentiae,
is
natural
to
God,
stands
in
relation
to
the
 knowledge
of
all
possibility,
and
stands
also,
therefore,
prior
to
God’s
 willing
of
particular
possibles.194
As
Dewan
argues,
Aquinas’
approach
to
 the
issue
of
possibles
in
God
serves
to
free
“the
conception
of
God’s
 absolute
power
from
the
determinations
of
his
intellect
and
will.”195
Thus,
 according
to
Aquinas,
God
does
not
act
out
of
a
necessity
of
nature—rather,
 “determined
effects
proceed
from
his
own
infinite
perfection
according
to
 the
determination
of
his
will
and
intellect.”196 As
Calvin
Normore
has
commented,
it
seems
that
“Aquinas
is
committed
 to
a
position
that
Scotus
embraces—that
it
is
because
God’s
choice
of
 whether
or
what
to
create
is
contingent
that
there
is
contingency
in
the
 world,”197
even
though
Aquinas’
primary
understanding
of
creaturely
 contingency
is
rooted
in
the
contingent
nature
of
secondary
causes.
 Normore’s
reading
of
the
issue
is
reinforced
by
Aquinas’
comment,
in
 discussing
the
relationship
between
primary
and
secondary
causality,
that
 when
an
effect
requires
two
causes,
if
either
is
contingent,
it
follows
that
the
 effect
is
contingent:
presumably,
either
God
as
first
cause
or
the
creature
as
 second
cause
could
do
otherwise.198
We
will
be
able
to
note,
in
the
next
 chapter,
a
corresponding
point
in
Scotus—namely,
that
if
Scotus’
primary
 understanding
of
contingency
is
rooted
in
the
divine
will,
he
also
quite
 clearly
indicated
the
basis
of
contingency
in
the
nature
of
secondary
causes
 as
well. There
is
also
a
further
point
to
be
noted
in
Aquinas’
definitions:
whereas
 Vos
reads
Aquinas
through
the
lens
of
Diodorus
Cronos
and
argues
that,
in
 Aquinas’
diachronic
notion
of
contingency,
the
possible
is
understood
as
 something
not
always
existing
but
as
something
that
will
be
at
some
time,
 Aquinas
explicitly
states
the
contrary: Now
a
certain
difference
is
to
be
noted
in
the
consideration
of
those
things
that
are
not
 actual.
For
though
some
of
them
may
not
be
in
act
now,
still
they
were,
or
they
will
 be;
and
God
is
said
to
know
all
these
with
the
knowledge
of
vision
. . .
But
there
are
 other
things
in
God’s
power,
or
the
creature’s,
which
nevertheless
are
not,
nor
will
be,
 nor
ever
were;
and
as
regards
these
He
is
said
to
have
the
knowledge,
not
of
vision,
 but
of
simple
intelligence.199

Aquinas
simply
does
not
fit
into
what
we
have
already
seen
as
a
caricature
 of
Aristotle,
namely,
the
view
that
“what
is,
is
necessary
and
what
is
not,
is
 impossible.”200
In
Aquinas’
view,
not
only
are
there
contingents
that
do
not
 exist
necessarily
(except
logically,
de
dicto,
as
being
necessarily
what
they
 are
when
they
are);
there
are
also
things
that
have
not
existed,
that
never
 will
exist,
and
that
are
not
impossible. Thus,
the
divine
simple
understanding
includes
both
possibilities
that
will
 never
be
actualized
and
possibilities
that
will
be
actualized.
Although
 Aquinas
does
not
specifically
reference
the
distinction
at
this
point,
the
 potentia
in
which
these
infinite
unactualized
possibles
reside
is
clearly
the
 potentia
absoluta—a
point
that
he
does
make
elsewhere.201
(We
should
 remind
ourselves
that
the
“simplicis”
in
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
 could
rightly
be
translated
as
“absolute.”)
The
basic
distinction,
then,
as
 elaborated
and
understood
by
Aquinas
beyond
the
brief
comment
in
the
 Summa,
does
refer
the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
to
the
realm
of
all
 possibility
and
not
merely
to
those
things
not
actualized
by
God.
Even
so,
 the
distinction
between
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
scientia
visionis
 parallels
the
potentia
absoluta–potentia
ordinata
distinction.
What
God
 knows
according
to
his
absolute
knowledge
is
the
entire
multiplicity
of
 divine
ideas,
intrinsic
possibles,
that
God
also
knows
in
his
absolute
 potentia
as
extrinsically
possible.
The
visionary
knowledge
eternally
 comprehends
the
willed
possibles
that
belong
to
the
ordained
power
of
God. In
the
language
of
both
medieval
and
early
modern
scholasticism,
the
 notions
of
determinations
of
the
will
and
of
“determined
effects”
in
no
way
 indicate
“determinism”
or
“necessitarianism”
in
the
modern,
postEnlightenment
sense
of
the
term.
The
point
of
the
language
is
that
the
 terminus
whether
a
quo
or
ad
quem
of
a
causal
sequence
had
been
 identified.
That
beginning
or
ending
point
can
be
“determined”
either
 necessarily
or
contingently
depending
on
the
nature
of
the
cause
and
of
the
 causation.
Or
to
make
the
point
in
another
way,
as
a
voluntary
agent,
God’s
 power
is
not
ordered
or
determined
to
one
effect:
the
actual
effect,
which
 could
have
been
otherwise,
has
been
determined
freely.202
(An
identical
 point
can
be
made
with
respect
to
the
determinations
of
objects
by
rational
 creatures.) This
identification
of
an
infinitude
of
possibles
known
to
God
in
his
own
 essence
accordingly
provides
one
of
the
elements
of
synchronic
 contingency—namely,
the
simultaneity
of
real
or
intrinsic
possibles
to
the


intellect
and
will
of
a
being
capable
of
actualizing
one
or
another
of
 contrary
possibilities.
The
capability
of
the
being—in
this
case,
God— understood
as
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
related
to
extrinsic
possibilities
 provides
the
other
element. So,
too,
could
Aquinas
use
the
distinction
between
necessitas
 consequentiae
and
necessitas
consequentis
to
secure
the
contingency
of
 things
foreknown
by
God.203
He
indicates
that
“a
future
contingent
is
not
 truly
determinate
before
it
occurs,
since
it
does
not
have
a
determinate
 cause,”
although
it
is
clear
that
God
knows
future
contingents
and
know
 them
with
certainty.204
The
human
mind
can
know
present
things,
whether
 contingent
or
necessary,
with
certainty,
inasmuch
as
things
are
determinate
 when
in
actu,
when
actualized.205
Accordingly,
inasmuch
as
God
is
eternal
 and
all
temporal
moments
are
present
to
him,
God
can
know
contingents
as
 present
and
therefore
as
determinate
and
with
certainty:
as
both
first
cause
 and
as
eternal,
“God
knows
all
contingent
things
not
only
as
they
are
in
 their
causes,
but
also
as
each
one
is
actually
in
itself.”206
Further,
“although
 the
supreme
cause
is
necessary,
the
effect
may
be
contingent
by
reason
of
 the
proximate
cause
. . .
things
known
by
God
are
contingent
on
account
of
 their
proximate
causes,
while
the
knowledge
of
God,
which
is
the
first
 cause,
is
necessary.”207
Given
that
God
is
eternal
and
knows
future
 contingents
both
in
their
causes
and
as
they
are
in
their
own
time
as
 contingents,
he
knows
them
as
hypothetically
necessary,
as
the
effects
of
 contingent
causes.208 Aquinas
resolves
the
issue
clearly
in
the
more
extended
treatment
in
his
 commentaries
on
the
Sentences
and
Aristotle’s
De
interpretatione,
where
he
 deals
with
the
question
of
whether
(or
in
what
sense)
everything
known
to
 God
is
necessary.
Given
that
divine
providence
is
the
cause
of
all
temporal
 things,
and
that,
as
a
consequence,
God
both
infallibly
knows
all
things
and
 efficaciously
wills
all
things,
it
would
seem
that
all
things
are
absolutely
 necessary.
This
conclusion,
however,
is
an
error
inasmuch
as
it
rests
on
the
 assumption
that
God
knows
and
wills
as
human
beings
do,
when
in
fact
 God
does
not.209
There
is
an
analogy
between
the
perspective
of
God’s
 eternity
and
the
perspective
of
a
human
knower
insofar
as
when
a
human
 knower
“sees
Socrates
sitting,
the
contingency
of
his
sitting
which
concerns
 the
order
of
cause
to
effect,
is
not
destroyed;
yet
the
eye
of
man
most
 certainly
and
infallibly
sees
Socrates
sitting
while
he
is
sitting.”210
Similarly,
 in
his
eternity.
God
knows
all
things
that
occur
in
time
and
knows
them


certainly
and
infallibly,
“yet
the
things
that
happen
in
time
neither
are
nor
 take
place
of
necessity,
but
contingently.”211 Just
as
in
his
eternity,
God
transcends
the
temporal
order,
so
in
his
willing
 does
God
transcend
the
order
of
created
or
finite
beings.
In
that
order
all
 things
are
either
necessary
or
contingent,
and
inasmuch
as
he
transcends
the
 order,
God
also
transcends
its
necessities
and
contingencies.
Indeed,
 although
“the
divine
will
is
unfailing
. . .
yet
not
all
its
effects
are
necessary,
 but
some
are
contingent.”212
Aquinas
notes,
echoing
Aristotle,
that
it
is
 necessary
that
a
thing
be
what
it
is
when
it
is,
but
this
kind
of
necessity
is
 not
absolute.
A
thing
may
be
necessary
in
relation
to
divine
knowledge
but
 contingent
in
itself,
inasmuch
as
divine
knowledge,
as
eternal,
knows
all
 things
in
their
actuality.
The
case
is
parallel
to
someone
seeing
Socrates
 running:
in
itself,
Socrates
running
is
contingent,
but
in
relation
to
the
 vision
of
the
viewer,
it
is
necessary.213
Or,
as
Aquinas
subsequently
 comments,
“it
is
necessary
that
Socrates
is
running
when
he
runs.”214
Thus,
 the
necessity
on
the
part
of
the
divine,
as
on
the
part
of
the
human
knower,
 is
a
necessity
of
the
consequence
or
a
necessity
de
dicto,
not
a
necessity
of
 the
consequent
thing
or
de
re.215 When
Aquinas
returns
to
the
problem
of
necessity
in
the
Summa
contra
 gentiles,
he
also
raises
the
issue
of
the
composite
and
divided
senses
of
a
 proposition.
The
conditional
proposition
representing
a
necessity
of
the
 consequence,
“if
he
is
seen
sitting,
he
is
sitting,”
can
be
converted
into
a
 categorical
proposition,
“what
is
seen
sitting
must
necessarily
be
sitting.”
 But
this
is
only
true,
Aquinas
notes,
in
the
composite
sense,
not
in
the
 divided
sense,
inasmuch
as
sitting
is
not
in
itself
necessary.216
In
other
 words,
when
someone
is
seen
sitting
and,
therefore,
is
necessarily
sitting
 (composite
sense),
it
is
also
possible
(in
the
divided
sense)
that
he
not
be
 sitting. These
assumptions
concerning
contingency
and
freedom
in
general
carry
 over
into
Aquinas’
views
on
human
freedom.217
Human
beings,
Aquinas
 argues,
do
not
choose
of
necessity,
as
ought
to
be
clear,
inasmuch
as
choices
 have
to
do
with
possibility—and,
by
definition,
possibilities
are
things
that
 do
not
have
to
be
actualized.
That
this
is
the
case,
moreover,
is
to
be
 recognized
from
the
fact
that
human
beings
can
will
either
to
choose
or
not
 to
chose,
given
that
there
is
a
“twofold
power”
or
“potency”
in
the
will.
In
 Aquinas’
view,
a
person
“can
will
or
not
will,
act
and
not
act,”
having
a
 liberty
of
contradiction—so
also
can
a
person
“will
this
or
that,
and
do
this


or
that,”
having
a
liberty
of
contrariety.218
Or,
as
argued
in
the
Summa
 contra
gentiles,
“that
the
will
is
a
contingent
cause
arises
from
its
 perfection,
since
it
does
not
have
power
limited
to
one,”
as
would
be
the
 case
with
natural
causes,
“but
rather
has
in
its
power
to
produce
this
effect
 or
that,
according
to
which
it
is
contingent
with
regard
to
one
or
the
 other.”219
And,
as
Hoffmann
has
argued,
Aquinas
assumes
a
synchronic,
not
 merely
a
diachronic
contingency:
in
Hoffmann’s
words,
“under
the
same
 circumstances,
equally
disposed
rational
agents
made
different
choices,”220
 although,
as
will
be
noted
below,
this
element
of
synchronicity
is
not
as
 pronounced
as
Scotus’
usage,
nor
is
it
associated
with
voluntaristic
 argumentation
as
in
Scotus,
nor
does
it
clearly
mark
out
a
distinction
 between
temporal
and
natural
instants,
as
found
in
Scotus’
argumentation. Aquinas
also
presses
the
issue
in
the
context
of
his
intellectualist
 understanding
of
the
faculties—and,
as
argued
by
Stump,
Robert
Pasnau,
 and
others,
Aquinas’
understanding
of
freedom
as
rooted
in
the
operation
of
 the
intellect.221
Aquinas
stood
on
the
assumption
that
human
beings,
as
 created
in
the
image
of
God,
have,
among
their
likenesses
to
the
divine,
 genuine
freedom
of
choice.
It
is
true
that
choice
follows
the
judgment
of
 reason,
but
this
judgment
does
not
impede
freedom
given
that,
“in
all
 particular
goods,
the
reason
can
consider
an
aspect
of
some
good,
and
the
 lack
of
an
aspect
of
some
good
. . .
and
in
this
respect,
it
can
apprehend
any
 single
one
of
such
goods
as
to
be
chosen
or
to
be
avoided.”222
The
intellect
 is
free
because
in
being
able
to
perceive
both
a
goal
and
the
means
to
attain
 it,
it
is
“a
cause
unto
itself,
. . .
acts
in
virtue
of
a
free
judgment,”
and
“is
not
 tied
down
to
any
one
definite
course.”223
The
judgment
of
the
intellect
is
a
 free
act
which
the
will
freely
follows. In
Aquinas’
view,
the
intellect
has
priority
over
the
will
not
only
because
 it
is
the
faculty
that
renders
deliberative
judgment
but
also
because
in
its
 deliberation
it
is
an
active
power
capable
of
self-motion.
Deliberation,
thus
 understood,
is
not
demonstrative
and,
accordingly,
does
not
imply
 necessity.224
There
is
a
fairly
consistent
refrain
throughout
Aquinas’
 discussions
of
knowing
and
willing
that
the
intellect,
not
absolutely,
but
 relatively,
is
a
“cause
unto
itself
[causa
sui].”
His
point
is
that
“intelligent
 beings”
have
a
“power
of
self-movement
[that]
is
more
perfect”
that
beings
 or
creatures
lacking
intellect—not
that
the
intellect
has
this
power
in
an
 absolute
sense,
given
that
it
is
also
moved
by
external
principles
and
by
its
 ultimate
end,
all
of
which
are
external
to
it.225

The
will,
by
contrast,
Aquinas
understood
to
be
an
appetitive
capacity
or
 power
and,
accordingly,
as
passive
in
the
specific
sense
that
it
is
“naturally
 moved
by
something
apprehended.”226
Nonetheless,
the
will
has
freedom
 such
that
it
can
either
will
or
not
will
a
particular
act,
indeed,
not
act
upon
 an
object
that
is
presented
to
it.
The
will
can
also
choose
among
different
 means
to
a
particular
end
and
it
is
characterized
by
a
fundamental
 indeterminacy
toward
objects
and
acts
that
appear
to
be
equally
good.227 In
a
free
choice,
the
will
is
moved
by
the
object
or
objects
presented
to
it
 by
the
intellect,
and
the
freedom
arises
from
the
free
judgment,
which
rests
 on
reason
and
not
on
natural
instinct.
Inasmuch
as
the
judgment
“is
not
 from
a
natural
instinct,
but
from
some
act
of
comparison
in
the
reason”
the
 human
subject
“retains
the
power
of
being
inclined
to
various
things”:
 “reason
in
contingent
matters
may
follow
opposite
courses.”228
Freedom,
 then,
is
rooted
in
the
interrelationship
of
intellect
and
will,
with
the
will
as
 the
“subject”
of
the
freedom
and
reason
as
the
“cause”—“the
will
can
tend
 freely
towards
various
objects,
precisely
because
the
reason
can
have
 various
perceptions
of
the
good.”229
Beyond
this,
the
will,
according
to
 Aquinas,
is
never
necessitated
in
its
exercise
and
only
necessitated
in
its
 specification
of
its
object
by
an
object
that
is
“universally
good”—and
then
 only
if
it
wills
the
object.230 In
short,
inasmuch
as
the
intellect
is
a
self-moved
and
deliberative
power
 and
inasmuch
as
objects
presented
by
the
intellect
that
are
not
universally
 good
do
not
necessitate
the
will,
Aquinas’
assumption
of
the
priority
of
the
 intellect
does
not
yield
determinism—a
point
equally
true
in
his
account
of
 angelic
willing,
where
Aquinas
does
not
posit
“a
chain
of
motives”
leading
 to
the
choice
itself.231
The
judgment
of
reason
about
contingent
or
possible
 things
is
itself
contingent:
it
does
not
follow
as
a
necessary
conclusion
from
 necessary
principles.
Drawing
again
on
the
language
of
necessity
of
the
 consequence,
Aquinas
comments,
conclusions
of
reason
follow
 conditionally,
“as,
for
instance,
if
he
runs,
he
is
in
motion.”232
Bac
is
 therefore
quite
mistaken
to
conclude
from
Aquinas’
intellectualist
language,
 in
what
amounts
to
a
non
sequitur,
that
the
“Thomistic
model
is
knowledgebased
and
does
not
work
in
terms
of
freedom
and
contingency.”233
The
 Thomist
model,
taken
on
its
own
terms,
is
intellective
and
understands
 freedom
and
contingency
in
willing
as
directly
grounded
in
the
free
 judgment
of
the
intellect.
The
intellectualist
approach
found
in
Aquinas
 differs,
of
course,
from
the
voluntaristic
approach
characteristic
of
the


Franciscans—but
it
does
not
follow
from
Aquinas’
intellectualism
that
he
 could
not
account
for
freedom
and
contingency,
and
the
difference
between
 Aquinas’
and
Scotus’
approaches
does
not
by
itself
render
the
one
approach
 necessitarian
and
the
other
libertarian! There
remains
considerable
debate
over
Aquinas’
approach
to
human
 freedom.
Stump
and
others
have
concluded
that
Aquinas’
views
on
freedom
 are
libertarian
and
in
Stump’s
view
should
be
classified,
in
modern
terms,
as
 both
libertarian
and
incompatibilist.234
Norman
Kretzmann,
similarly,
has
 argued
that
Aquinas’
fundamental
intention
with
regard
to
divine
freedom
is
 libertarian
and,
accordingly,
incompatibilist,
specifically
incompatible
with
 a
necessitarian
view
of
God’s
willing.
Kretzmann,
however,
identifies
an
 element
of
inconsistency
or
tension
between
this
libertarian
understanding
 and
the
assumption
that
God,
as
ultimate
good,
is
self-diffusive
and
 necessarily
so.235
Normore
and
Hester
Gelber
have
concluded
that
Aquinas
 held
a
broadly
compatibilist
view
of
human
freedom,
according
to
which
 freedom
of
choice
occurs
within
a
divine
determination
of
all
things.236
 Similarly,
Pasnau
has
recently
made
a
significant
case
for
understanding
 Aquinas
as
a
compatibilist.237 Arguably,
these
differences
in
reading
Aquinas—as
also
Bac’s
mistaken
 reading
of
Aquinas
as
not
operating
in
terms
of
freedom
and
contingency— arise
from
two
sources:
primarily
from
the
actual
differences
in
approach
to
 human
contingency
freedom
among
the
intellectualists
and
voluntarists
of
 the
thirteenth-
and
fourteenth-century
debates
and
in
some
cases,
 secondarily,
from
attempts
to
place
the
medieval
writer’s
theories
into
the
 straitjacket
of
the
modern
terms
libertarian,
compatibilist,
and
 incompatibilist.
What
can
be
made
clear
from
the
medieval
sources
is
that
 virtually
all
argue
that
there
is
indeed
contingency
and
that
human
begins
 do
have
freedom
of
choice—and,
incidentally,
virtually
all
held
that
 Aristotle,
rightly
interpreted,
also
taught
freedom
of
choice.
What
we
have
 seen
in
Aquinas
is
an
intellectualist
reading
of
human
free
choice
that
 would
be
viewed
as
insufficient
or
as
unacceptable
by
the
more
 voluntaristic
writers,
many
of
them
Franciscan.238 Or
to
make
the
point
differently,
the
medieval
debate
was
not
over
the
 categories
represented
by
moderns
with
the
terms
compatibilist
and
 libertarian
but
rather
over
the
identification
of
an
adequate
understanding
of
 free
choice
in
relation
to
the
faculties
of
intellect
and
will
as
they
operate
in
 a
world
created
and
governed
by
God,
the
only
necessary
and
utterly
self-

moved
being.239
As
Thomas
Pink
has
observed
with
regard
to
action
theory,
 the
intellectualist
and
voluntarist
trajectories
of
scholastic
thought
 concerning
the
free
acts
of
rational
creatures
stood
on
the
common
ground
 of
identifying
“intentional
agency”
in
basically
the
same
terms,
as
an
 operatio
rationalis—with
the
result
being
that
both
intellectualists
and
 voluntarists
set
their
arguments
in
the
context
of
“a
wider
allegiance
to
the
 practical
reason-based
conception”
of
human
action.”240 It
is,
therefore,
quite
correct
to
observe
that
“if
God
knows
which
 possible
person
he
makes
actual
(as
is
required
by
his
omniscience),
he
 must
will
into
existence
both
the
person
and
the
actions
the
person
will
 perform,”
thus
including
all
“free
actions”
of
creatures
in
the
divine
 willing.241
This
conclusion
follows
not
only
from
Aquinas’
view
of
divine
 omniscience
and
eternity,
but
also
and
even
more
clearly
from
what
we
 have
seen
concerning
the
intervention
of
the
divine
will
between
the
 scientia
simplicic
intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
visionis.
What
does
not
 follow,
however,
is
a
thoroughgoing
determinism,
inasmuch
as
God
is
free
 in
his
willing
of
the
world
and,
given
Aquinas’
understanding
of
the
 location
of
contingency,
the
person
is
also
free,
as
defined
by
the
capacity
of
 the
intellect
to
judge
its
objects
and
the
spontaneity
of
the
will
in
following
 the
intellect.
This
is
not
an
absolute
freedom
on
the
part
of
the
creature—it
 is
a
“situated”
freedom
operating
according
to
the
capacities
of
an
 ontologically
dependent
nature
situated
in
a
particular
context
in
a
temporal
 order.242 Even
so,
in
Aquinas’
view
not
only
are
there
both
necessity
and
 contingency
in
the
created
order
because
God
has
willed
it
so,
but
“things
 are
said
to
be
necessary
and
contingent
according
to
a
potentiality
that
is
in
 them,
not
according
to
God’s
potentiality.”243
As
Osborne
has
pointed
out,
 Aquinas
certainly
“admits
that
all
created
causes
and
effects,
including
 contingent
causes
and
effects,
can
ultimately
be
traced
back
to
God’s
free
 act
of
creation,
conservation,
and
motion.”244
But
Aquinas
also
recognized
 that
this
“contingent
character
of
God’s
will”
does
not
sufficiently
explain
 the
distinction
between
necessities,
contingencies,
and
free
acts
in
the
 created
order,
given
that
all
are
effects
of
the
divine
willing.245 To
summarize
the
argument
up
to
this
point:
we
have
at
very
least
 established
that
Aristotle’s
argumentation
in
the
De
Interpretatione
and
the
 Metaphysica
can
legitimately
be
read
to
support
understandings
of
 contingency
in
the
world
order—and,
in
fact,
that
this
is
by
far
the
more


cogent
reading
of
the
text.
We
have
seen
that
this
reading
of
Aristotle
as
 arguing
against
Megarian
determinism
in
favor
of
genuine
contingency
was
 the
reading
preferred
by
the
medieval
tradition
and
argued,
notably,
by
 Thomas
Aquinas.
We
have
also
seen
Aquinas
teaching
that
God
was
free
to
 create
or
not
create
the
world,
that
there
are
possibles
known
to
God
that
 will
never
be
actualized,
that
God
necessarily
knows
contingents,
 specifically
future
contingents,
with
certainty,
and
that
this
necessary
 knowing
does
not
overthrow
the
contingency
of
the
futures
known
to
God.
 These
points,
together
with
the
relationship
of
possibles
to
the
divine
 potentia
and
with
the
elements
of
synchronic
contingency
that
we
have
seen
 in
Aquinas’
thought,
will
be
important
in
comparison
with
Scotus’
thought. Looking
forward
to
the
discussion
of
early
modern
Reformed
thought,
on
 these
grounds
alone,
the
claim
that
the
language
distinguishing
between
 impossibility
and
possibility,
contingency
and
necessity
found
in
the
 Reformed
tradition
of
the
seventeenth
century
can
only
have
Scotist
origins
 must
be
rejected.
Our
examination
of
Aristotle
and
Aquinas
has
sufficiently
 demonstrated
that
the
tradition
prior
to
Scotus
contained
highly
a
nuanced
 understanding
of
contingency—yielding
the
conclusion
that
whatever
 Scotus
added
to
the
discussion,
he
did
not
engineer
a
shift
from
 determinism
to
indeterminism
and,
certainly,
was
not
the
first
to
develop
a
 full
explanation
of
contingency.
The
issue
remains
as
to
what
nuances
were
 actually
added
by
Scotus
to
the
understanding
of
necessity
and
contingency,
 how
these
nuances
enhance
the
argumentation,
and
how
they
influenced
 later
formulation
of
the
issues,
specifically
among
the
early
modern
 Reformed.

4 Duns
Scotus
and
Late
Medieval
 Perspectives
on
Freedom 4.1
The
Assessment
of
Duns
Scotus
in
Recent
Studies The
theology
of
Johannes
Duns
Scotus,
particularly
given
his
 understandings
of
the
relationship
between
divine
knowledge
and
will,
of
 non-temporal
moments
or
instances
of
nature
in
God,
and
of
necessity
and
 contingency,
has
received
considerable
recent
scholarly
attention
and
on
 several
of
these
issues
has
become
the
subject
of
considerable
debate.
 Notably,
studies
by
Hintikka,
Knuuttila,
Vos,
and
others
have
advanced
the
 theory
that
Scotus’
work
radically
altered
Western
understandings
of
God
 and
world,
necessity
and
contingency.
Knuttila
places
his
emphasis
on
 Scotus’
contribution
to
modal
logic
and
argues
that
Scotus
was
responsible
 for
“the
refutation
of
the
Aristotelian
thesis
of
the
necessity
of
the
present
 and
the
systematization
of
the
conception
of
synchronic
alternatives.”1
In
 Knuttila’s
view,
whereas
Aristotle
held
to
a
theory
of
“statistical”
 contingency
according
to
which
contingents
are
defined
diachronically
to
 the
exclusion
of
the
contrary
possibility,
Scotus
understood
contingents
as
 defined
synchronically,
assuming
that
the
contrary
possibility
continued
to
 be
possible:
“I
do
not
call
contingent
that
which
is
not
necessary
or
not
 always,
but
that
the
opposite
of
which
could
occur
when
it
occurred.”2
 Knuuttila
summarizes,
“The
notion
of
contingency
is
thus
understood
to
 involve
a
consideration
of
several
alternative
states
of
affairs
with
respect
to
 the
same
time,”
and
“realization
in
the
actual
world
is
no
longer
the
 criterion
of
real
possibility.”3
Vos
can
characterize
Scotus’
contribution
as
 “the
theme
of
open
reality”
that
is
“the
culmination
point
of
the
 emancipatory
development
of
Christian
philosophy.”4
Vos,
like
Knuuttila,
 argues
further
that
this
theory
of
synchronic
contingency,
together
with
its


implicate
that
there
is
more
than
one—indeed,
an
infinite
number—of
 possible
worlds,
is
the
crucial
Scotian
contribution,
although,
as
Vos
adds,
 Scotus
did
not
develop
an
“ontology
of
possible
worlds.”
Vos
therefore
 identifies
Scotus’
theory
of
synchronic
contingency
as
the
solution
to
the
 “masterproblem”
of
Western
theology
and
philosophy,
namely,
as
the
 theoretical
breakthrough
to
a
conception
of
genuine
contingency
and
 freedom
of
which
earlier
models,
specifically
those
of
Aristotle
and
 Aquinas,
had
been
incapable.5
Knuuttila
and
Stephen
Dumont
have
argued,
 much
like
Vos,
that
Scotus’
approach
to
contingency
and
human
freedom
 marked
a
decisive
moment
in
the
history
of
philosophy
and
significantly
 altered
understandings
both
of
contingency
and
of
modal
logic,
although
 neither
understands
it
as
so
central
to
Scotus’
thought
as
Vos
does.6 There
are,
however,
several
reasons
to
modify
these
conclusions.
It
is
a
 bit
misleading
to
argue
that
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency,
whether
 in
its
origins
or
in
its
later
development
and
reception,
is
strictly
Scotist.
As
 noted
in
the
preceding
chapter,
several
Thomist
scholars
have
also
identified
 language
of
synchronic
contingency
in
the
thought
of
Aquinas,
 demonstrating
that
a
structure
of
synchronic
potencies
of
will
is
not
foreign
 to
a
more
intellectualist
approach
to
human
choice
and
freedom,
thereby
 undermining
the
claims
concerning
the
revolutionary
character
of
the
 concept.
Further,
as
Knuuttila
indicated
in
his
review
of
Vos’
work
on
the
 philosophy
of
Scotus,
the
notion
of
a
synchronic
or
simultaneous
 contingency
was
not
new
to
Scotus
but
can
be
found
as
early
as
Abelard’s
 Theologia
scholarium
and
Lombard’s
Sentences,
where
Lombard,
 borrowing
from
Abelard,
had
argued
that
the
statement,
“Things
cannot
be
 other
than
as
God
foreknows
them,”
was
true
in
the
composite
but
false
in
 the
divided
sense.7
Dumont
has
similarly
identified
the
background
of
the
 concept
in
Peter
Abelard,
Hugh
of
St.
Victor,
and
Peter
Lombard
and
the
 concept
itself
in
Scotus’
predecessor
Peter
John
Olivi.8
Pasnau,
similarly,
 has
shown
clear
antecedents
to
Scotus’
theory
of
synchronic
or
 simultaneous
contingency,
notably
in
the
thought
of
Peter
John
Olivi,
 leaving
Scotus
as
a
major
exponent
of
synchronic
contingency
who
 developed
and
refined
earlier
thought,
but
not
as
its
inventor
or
inceptor.9
 Beyond
this,
as
Vos,
Beck,
and
Bac
collectively
indicate,
the
arguments
 concerning
contingency
that
they
identify
as
Scotistic
were
taken
up
by
 others
in
the
later
Middle
Ages,
notably
by
Thomas
Bradwardine
and
 Gregory
of
Rimini,
both
of
whom
are
now
recognized
as
having
had
a


significant
influence
on
trajectories
of
thought
that
were
eventually
carried
 forward
by
Reformed
Protestants
as
well
as
by
various
early
modern
 Roman
Catholics—and
neither
Bradwardine
nor
Rimini
ought
to
be
 classified
as
Scotists. Richard
Cross,
who
has
also
argued
the
revolutionary
nature
of
Scotus’
 thought
on
contingency,
questions
the
usefulness
of
Vos’
“historical
 metanarrative”
according
to
which
Scotus’
approach
to
contingency
 overcame
“the
necessitarianism
implicit
in
earlier
Christian
theology.”10
 MacDonald
and
Sylwanowicz,
quite
on
the
opposite
side
of
the
discussion,
 have
disputed
the
revolutionary
nature
of
Scotus’
argumentation
in
 general,11
and
Klaus
Jacobi
has
argued
rather
cogently
that
“Duns
Scotus’s
 new
modal
theory
does
not
arise
from
any
discovery
of
internal
difficulties
 in
the
views
of
earlier
scholastics
and
especially
of
Thomas.”12
Nicole
 Wyatt
has
strongly
countered
arguments
that
Scotus’
modal
logic
presents
a
 form
of
possible
world
semantics
or
that
it
refers
“to
the
domain
of
possible
 being”
and,
accordingly,
undercuts
any
notion
that
Scotus
is
presenting
an
 alternative
ontology
with
regard
to
the
actual
order
of
contingent
things.13 There
is
also
considerable
debate
over
the
implications
of
Scotus’
views
 on
the
divine
will
and
contingency:
whereas
a
significant
group
of
scholars,
 including
Vos,
understand
the
concept
as
providing
a
radical
sense
of
 contingency
and
the
basis
for
a
broadly
libertarian
doctrine
of
human
 freedom,14
others
read
Scotus
along
more
determinist
or
compatibilist
 lines.15
Incandela
allows
a
major
alteration
of
thought
in
the
wake
of
the
 Condemnation
of
1277
and
a
highly
voluntaristic
alternative
to
Thomism
in
 the
thought
of
Henry
of
Ghent,
Scotus,
and
various
other
Franciscans
but,
in
 opposition
to
the
readings
of
Vos,
Knuuttila,
and
Cross,
understands
Scotus’
 voluntarism
as
not
removing
the
problem
of
determinism
and
as
the
source
 of
irreconcilable
difficulties
for
subsequent
understandings
of
contingency
 and
freedom.16 Furthermore,
if
the
argumentation
of
the
several
Thomist
scholars
who
 have
identified
a
sense
of
synchronic
contingency
already
in
Aquinas
is
 drawn
together
with
what
we
have
seen
about
the
Aristotelian
language
of
 necessity
both
in
Aristotle
himself
and
in
Aquinas’
exposition
of
Aristotle —namely,
that
the
necessity
of
the
present
is
actually
defined
by
Aristotle
 as
a
form
of
contingency—then
the
originality
and
radicality
of
the
Scotist
 contribution
will
be
much
diminished.
Two
points
can
be
noted
here.
First,
 if
Scotus’
thought
about
contingencies
in
the
world
order
maintains
the
law


of
non-contradiction
and
the
principle
of
bivalence
(which
it
quite
 apparently
does),17
it
cannot
be
identified
as
a
radically
new
departure
and
 its
“open
reality”
is
hardly
more
open
than
the
Thomist
approach
to
reality.
 Second,
albeit
drawing
attention
to
the
issue
of
the
divine
foreknowledge
of
 future
contingents
where
Aristotle
neither
did
nor
could
have
done
so,
 Scotus
stood
in
agreement
with
the
traditional
or
Boethian
reading
of
 Aristotle
on
the
status
of
future
propositions:
when
the
present
state
of
 affairs
includes
the
known
causes
of
the
future
event,
a
proposition
 concerning
it
may
be
known
as
either
true
or
false—but
when
the
causes
 cannot
be
presently
known,
the
proposition
is
neither
true
nor
false,
but
 presently
indefinite.18
Third,
if
Scotus’
understanding
of
the
logical
 structure
of
divine
willing
yields
the
notion
of
an
eternally
willed
divine
 knowledge
of
a
specific
possible
world
order
to
be
actualized,
in
contrast
to
 an
infinite
number
of
possible
worlds
that
will
not
be
actualized,
then
the
 issue,
if
not
of
determinism,
then
certainly
of
diachronicity
and
of
the
 necessity
of
the
present
(as
a
necessity
of
the
consequence),
remains
 embedded
in
Scotus’
argumentation.19 Vos
rightly
indicates
both
the
inseparability
of
theology
and
philosophy
 in
Scotus’
thought
and
the
profound
impact
of
the
Christian
doctrine
of
 creation
on
Scotus’
philosophical
assumptions,
notably
on
his
view
of
 contingency.20
If
this
is
indeed
a
correct
reading
of
Scotus,
however,
one
 needs
to
ask
the
question
of
how
Scotus’
thought,
including
his
conception
 of
contingency,
can
be
the
radical
departure
that
Vos
claims,
given
the
 impact
of
the
doctrine
of
creation
on
virtually
all
earlier
Christian
 approaches
to
the
relationship
of
God
and
world.21
Still,
even
though
these
 conclusions
reduce
the
radicality
of
Scotus’
view
of
contingency
and
 freedom,
they
nonetheless
indicate,
in
his
shift
from
an
intellectualistic
to
a
 voluntaristic
reading
of
contingency
and
freedom,
what
can
be
called
a
 deeper
analysis
of
the
freedom
of
rational
creatures,
specifically
in
the
 manner
that
creaturely
freedom
embodies
a
remaining
potency
to
be
 otherwise.
That
remaining
potency
to
be
otherwise,
in
the
very
moment
that
 the
contrary
potency
has
been
actualized,
also
takes
the
argument
beyond
 the
purely
semantic
notion
of
possible
worlds
by
insisting
on
the
continuing
 existence
of
an
alternative
potency
in
this
actual
world. Scotus
played,
arguably,
a
major
role
in
the
development
of
late
medieval
 voluntaristic
argumentation
concerning
the
divine
and
the
human
will.
Here
 also,
he
was
not
the
inaugurator
of
the
discussion
but
came
on
it
in
mid-

course
and
added
an
important
nuancing.
On
the
general
issue
of
the
 development
of
a
voluntaristic
approach
to
human
freedom,
Bonnie
Dorrick
 Kent
and
Hoffmann
have
shown,
quite
clearly,
much
as
Vos
has
argued,
that
 a
voluntaristic
alternative
to
the
more
or
less
Thomistic
intellectualist
 approach
to
free
choice
did
develop
among
the
Franciscans,
culminating
in
 the
thought
of
Duns
Scotus.22
Further,
as
Kent
has
indicated,
scholarly
 disagreements
over
the
origins
and
definitions
of
“voluntarism”
are
largely
 resolved
when
three
phases
of
the
discussion
are
recognized—and
in
all
 three
the
major
movers
are
to
be
noted
as
Franciscan.
The
earliest
of
these
 forms
of
voluntarism,
understood
simply
as
“a
general
emphasis
on
the
 affective
and
volitional
aspects
of
human
nature”
is
found
in
such
thinkers
 as
Alexander
of
Hales,
John
of
La
Rochelle,
and
Bonaventure.
Extended
to
 a
stress
on
the
freedom
of
the
will
even
to
act
against
a
rational
judgment,
a
 second
form
of
voluntarism
belongs
to
Bonaventure’s
Franciscan
 successors,
including
Peter
John
Olivi,
and
also
to
the
secular
Henry
of
 Ghent—and,
finally,
developed
in
the
context
of
new
stress
on
the
absolute
 power
of
God,
a
third
form
of
voluntarism
begins
with
Scotus
and
 Ockham.23 Recognition
of
these
antecedents
to
Scotus’
voluntarism
both
diminishes
 somewhat
the
claims
of
originality
attached
to
his
thought
on
the
will,
 whether
divine
or
human,
by
placing
Scotus
into
the
context
of
an
ongoing
 conversation
and
debate
and
also
offsets
somewhat
the
interpretation
of
 Scotus
as
simply
reacting
against
Aquinas
in
the
era
after
the
Condemnation
 of
1277.24
To
the
extent
that
a
significant
emphasis
in
the
Condemnation
 was
directed
against
the
perceived
determinism
of
Aristotelian
natural
 philosophy,
one
of
its
effects
was
to
place
new
emphasis
on
the
doctrine
of
 the
absolute
power
of
God.
Given
his
own
statement
of
the
doctrine,
 however
one
interprets
the
other
aspects
of
the
document,
Aquinas
was
not
 the
subject
of
these
particular
condemnations.25
On
the
issue
of
determinism
 implied
in
Aristotelian
natural
philosophy,
however,
the
Condemnation
set
 the
stage
for
an
increased
emphasis
on
voluntarism,
perhaps
primarily
with
 reference
to
the
divine
freedom
but
also
in
relation
to
human
freedom.
 Here,
if
not
directly
condemned,
Aquinas’
intellectualism
obliquely
came
 under
suspicion
and
was
seen
by
Henry
of
Ghent,
Scotus,
and
others
as
 incapable
of
providing
a
fully
satisfactory
explanation
of
contingency
and
 freedom.26

4.2
The
Potentia
Absoluta–Potentia
Ordinata
Distinction
and
the
Issue
 of
Contingency The
issue
of
the
nature
and
exercise
of
divine
power,
or
as
Coutrenay
 described
it,
divine
capacity
and
volition,
evidences
a
shift
in
argumentation
 and
emphasis
between
the
earliest
usages
of
the
distinction
and
some
of
the
 usages
characteristic
of
the
later
Middle
Ages.
Variations
in
the
 interpretation
of
the
distinction
between
absolute
power
and
ordained
power
 can
be
found
among
the
high
and
late
scholastic
writers—all
based
on
“the
 fundamental
perception
. . .
that
what
God
created
or
established
did
not
 exhaust
divine
capacity
or
the
potentialities
open
to
God.”27
These
varied
 understandings,
moreover,
evidence
not
only
multiple
applications
of
the
 distinction
but
also
a
development
in
late
medieval
thought
that
many
 scholars
have
rooted
in
the
turn
given
to
the
doctrine
of
divine
omnipotence
 and
distinction
between
the
two
powers
of
God
by
Duns
Scotus.28 One
possible
source
of
this
development
was
the
appropriation
of
the
 distinction
by
thirteenth-century
canon
lawyers:
in
their
usage,
the
ordained
 power
of
the
pope
is
a
power
“to
act
according
to
the
law,”
whereas
the
 absolute
power
of
the
pope
is
a
plenitudo
potestas,
a
fullness
of
power
set
 above
the
laws
of
the
church.
The
pope
obliges
himself
to
follow
the
laws
 of
the
church
but
is
not
constrained
to
do
so—and
could
therefore
exercise
a
 power
of
dispensation.29
When
applied
analogically
to
the
distinction
 between
the
divine
absolute
and
ordained
power,
the
canon
law
model
had
 the
effect
of
identifying
the
potentia
ordinata
with
law,
including
the
law
or
 ordering
of
the
natural
realm,
and
of
redefining
the
potentia
absoluta
as
a
 power
standing
beyond
or
above
the
law.
In
this
reinterpretation,
which
was
 not
received
without
objections,
the
absolute
power
of
God
no
longer
 referenced
simply
the
theoretical
divine
ability
or
capacity
over
against
all
 possibility
but
rather
the
capacity
of
God
to
act
otherwise—not
merely
in
 the
sense
that
God
could
have
acted
otherwise
but
also
in
the
sense
that
God
 could
still
do
so.
In
Courtenay’s
words,
the
two
powers
“no
longer
simply
 characterized
two
different
senses
of
posse:
they
now
affirmed
two
different
 forms
of
action,
one
in
conformity
with
law
and
one
outside
and
above
the
 law.”30 In
Courtenay’s
reading
of
Scotus,
there
are
many
places
in
which
Scotus
 used
the
potentia
absoluta/ordinata
distinction
that
are
fully
continuous
 with
earlier
usage,
where
the
absolute
power
relates
to
the
realm
of


possibility,
using
the
distinction
specifically
to
indicate
that
“the
necessity
 and
validity
that
the
present
order
has
is
not
an
absolute
necessity
but
one
 chosen
by
God”—in
other
words,
to
underline
the
contingency
of
the
 present
order
of
things
and
to
eschew
the
necessitarian
theories
that
had
 been
condemned
in
1277.31
When,
however,
Scotus
defined
the
distinction
 between
absolute
and
ordained
power,
both
in
his
Lectura
and
in
the
 Ordinatio,
he
drew
on
the
definitions
found
in
canon
law,
identifying
 potentia
absoluta
with
de
facto
power
and
potentia
ordinata
with
de
jure
 power,
indicating
that
both
powers
are
capable
of
exercise.32
This
shift
in
 definition
resulted
in
two
rather
different
ways
of
understanding
the
 distinction.
It
could
mean,
as
the
older
tradition
had
generally
assumed,
that
 absolute
power
stood
over
against
all
possibilities
as
an
indication
of
what
 God
could
accomplish
and
ordained
power
represented
what
God
has
 actually
chosen
or
willed
to
do.
Or,
in
view
of
an
appropriation
of
canonists
 argumentation,
it
could
mean,
that
God
can,
through
the
exercise
of
his
 absolute
power,
act
otherwise
than
he
had
done
in
establishing
the
created
 order
and
maintaining
it
by
his
ordained
power.
Thus,
after
the
 Condemnation
of
1277,
as
the
fourteenth
century
began,
there
were
two
 ways
of
understanding
the
potentia
absoluta—one
following
the
definitions
 established
prior
to
the
Condemnation
as
“what
God
could
have
done,”
the
 other
indicating
that
God
in
the
present
moment
“can
still
do
otherwise”
 than
he
does.33 Still
what
Scotus
appears
to
grant
in
his
definition
he
either
mutes
or
 takes
away
in
the
elaboration
that
follows.
He
acknowledges
that
an
agent,
 acting
according
to
his
absolute
power,
can
still
act
contrary
to
what
had
 been
previously
ordained,
but
he
immediately
indicates
that
such
an
act
 would
imply
an
alternative
ordination.
Thus,
that
absolute
power
does
not
 exceed
the
ordained
simpliciter,
but
only
in
the
sense
that
it
can
supersede
 one
exercise
of
ordained
power
with
an
exercise
of
power
that
constitutes
a
 different
order
and
is,
accordingly,
also
an
exercise
of
ordained
power.34
 Gelber
comments,
“such
a
use
of
[God’s]
absolute
power
is
not
a
form
of
 direct
action
in
the
world,
only
a
form
of
action
mediated
through
 successive
ordained
systems.”35
Were
God
to
act
otherwise,
beyond
and
 above
the
presently
ordained
world
order,
however,
Scotus
assumed
that
 God
would,
in
effect,
be
willing
yet
another
order,
not
that
God
would
act
 inordinately
in
the
present
order.36
Scotus’
intention
is
to
underline
the
 freedom
of
God
and
the
contingency
of
the
world,
inasmuchas
the
world


could
be
other
than
what
it
is,
although
God
also
freely
wills
to
relate
to
the
 creation
according
to
his
ordained
power.37
In
other
words,
Scotus’
 approach
to
the
problem,
despite
its
variance
from
the
approach
of
Aquinas
 and
other
predecessors,
still
assumes
that
God
can
will
otherwise
in
sensu
 diviso
but
not
in
sensu
composito.
In
this
context,
the
potentia
 absoluta/potentia
ordinata
distinction,
like
the
scientia
simiplicis
 intelligentiae
(necessaria)/scientia
visionis
(voluntaria)
distinction,
points
 directly
toward
the
concept
of
logical
or
natural,
non-temporal
instants
in
 God—and
points
specifically
in
Scotus’
understanding
to
the
primary
 ground
of
contingency
in
the
divine
freedom
itself. 4.3
Synchronic
Contingency,
Simultaneous
Potency,
and
Free
Choice Duns
Scotus’
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
appears
in
a
fairly
 extensive
exposition
in
his
early
Oxford
lectures,
or
Lectura,
on
Lombard’s
 Sententiae,
arguably
in
a
clearer
and
more
explicit
form
than
found
in
his
 other
writings.38
There
are
also
discussions
of
necessity
and
contingency
in
 Scotus’
other
approaches
to
the
Sententiae,
namely,
in
his
edited
Oxford
 commentary,
the
Ordinatio,
and
in
his
Paris
commentary,
the
Reportatio
 parisiensis.
The
Lectura
are
currently
believed
to
be
a
set
of
classroom
 lectures
that
were
later
expanded
into
the
Ordinatio.39
From
Vos’
 perspective,
the
Lectura
identify
Scotus
as
“the
first
scholar
in
the
history
of
 theology
and
philosophy
to
give
an
extensive
development
of
the
logical
 theory
of
. . .
‘synchronic
contingency.’”40
We
have,
contrary
to
Vos’
 approach,
found
both
adumbrations
and
clear
statements
of
synchronic
 contingency
prior
to
Scotus,
and
even
accepting
that
Scotus
was
the
first
to
 give
the
theory
“extensive”
development,
it
remains
the
case
that
his
 approach
had
significant
antecedents,
among
them
traditional
readings
of
 Aristotle. Unfortunately,
Scotus’
extended
thoughts
on
Aristotle’s
Metaphysica
are
 unavailable
to
us,
inasmuch
as
his
exposition
is
lost:
the
In
XII
libros
 metaphysicorum
Aristotelis
expositio
is
now
recognized
to
be
by
Scotus’
 disciple,
Antonius
Andreae.41
Scotus’
Quaestiones
subtilissimae
super
 libros
Metaphysicorum
is
genuine,
but
it
does
not
deal
at
any
length
with
 the
issue
of
necessity
and
contingency.
It
does,
however,
contain
significant
 comments
on
potency
and
act,
nature
and
will
that
are
relevant
both
to
 Scotus’
approach
to
these
topics
and
to
his
understanding
of
Aristotle.42

Scotus’
argumentation
on
contingency
in
Lectura
I
39,
as
carefully
 parsed
by
Vos
and
his
associates,
does,
quite
definitely,
add
a
significant
 dimension
to
understandings
of
contingency
and,
arguably,
evidences
an
 emphasis
on
part
of
the
language
that
would
eventually
be
employed
by
 later
theologians
and
philosophers,
including
the
Reformed
orthodox
of
the
 seventeenth
century,
to
argue
the
case
for
the
contingency
of
the
world
 order
and
the
freedom
of
human
choice
in
the
context
of
a
creation
entirely
 willed
and,
accordingly,
entirely
known
by
God.
This
much
should
be
 beyond
dispute.
Whether
the
entirety
of
Scotus’
argumentation
is
so
lacking
 in
clear
antecedent
or
that
it
is
so
fundamentally
different
in
its
approach
to
 necessity
and
contingency
that
it
marks
an
entirely
new
perspective
may,
 however,
be
questioned.
So
also
it
may
be
questioned
whether
this
language
 stands
alone
either
as
offering
a
distinct
ontology
or,
apart
from
its
relation
 to
other
aspects
of
Scotus’
thought,
as
providing
a
basis
for
the
 identification
of
other
thinkers
who
employ
it
as
“Scotist.” Vos’
assumption,
contrary
to
the
main
line
of
scholarship
on
the
issue,
 that
Lectura
I
39
“does
not
explicitly
treat
the
question
of
how
God
has
 knowledge
about
the
contingent
future,”43
must
be
balanced
against
the
fact
 that
Scotus
does
identify
God’s
will
as
the
cause
of
contingency
in
things,
 whether
in
his
refutation
of
his
opponent’s
view
of
eternity
or
in
the
final
 portion
of
his
positive
exposition
in
Lectura
I
39,
in
the
former
place
stating
 explicitly
that
God
knows
future
contingents
“with
certitude
as
they
are
 future
to
him
and
will
be
created
by
him.”44 The
problem
with
Vos’
insistence
on
this
latter
point
is
that
without
 raising
the
issue
of
how
God
knows,
indeed,
establishes,
the
contingent
 future,
the
theory
of
synchronic
contingency
remains
a
linguistic
device
or,
 as
Wyatt
indicates,
a
purely
logical
argument,
and
cannot
be
an
ontology45 —whereas
once
Scotus’
solution
to
the
issue
of
divine
knowledge
of
future
 contingents
is
admitted
in
relation
to
the
language
of
synchronic
 contingency
and
the
ontological
aspect
of
Scotus’
thought
actually
enters
 the
picture,
the
libertarian,
virtually
incompatibilist,
implications
of
Vos’
 account
disappear
and
Scotus’
argumentation,
for
all
its
different
nuances,
 fits
more
readily
into
the
developing
line
of
traditional
readings
of
the
issue
 of
necessity
and
contingency.
(Significantly,
among
the
Reformed
writers
 who
draw
on
Scotus’
understanding
of
contingency,
William
Twisse
viewed
 God’s
knowledge
of
temporal
contingencies
as
grounded
in
God’s
will
or
 decree
that
they
exist—in
other
words,
on
this
particular
point,
an
early


modern
Reformed
reading
of
Scotus
stands
in
agreement
with
the
main
line
 of
modern
scholarship
and
against
Vos’
interpretation.)46 Prior
to
engaging
in
discussion
of
various
theories
concerning
divine
 knowledge
of
future
contingents,
Scotus
sets
forth
very
briefly
the
five
 questions
belonging
to
distinction
39,
plus
objections
to
their
presumed
 answers.
All
the
questions
relate
to
the
problem
of
the
divine
knowledge
of
 future
contingents,
first,
from
the
perspective
of
the
problem
of
the
truth
of
 propositions
concerning
future
contingents
and,
second,
from
the
 perspective
of
the
infallibility
and
immutability
of
divine
knowledge.
The
 initial
objections
to
the
possibility
of
determinate
knowledge
(determinata
 cognitio)
of
future
contingents
are
drawn
from
Aristotle’s
De
 Interpretatione,
namely,
that
propositions
concerning
future
contingents
do
 not
have
determinate
truth
and,
given
that
only
something
that
has
 determinate
truth
can
be
known,
future
contingencies
cannot
be
known.
As
 Aristotle
pointed
out,
if
the
truth
of
propositions
concerning
future
 contingencies
could
be
known,
there
would
be
no
deliberation.47 Scotus
accepts
the
reading
of
Aristotle
as
arguing
in
favor
of
contingency
 and
uses
Aristotle’s
assumptions
concerning
the
inability
to
have
 determinate
knowledge
of
future
contingents
as
creating
a
problem
for
 divine
foreknowledge.
Scotus,
thus,
agreed
with
Boethius,
Aquinas,
and
the
 majority
of
Western
thinkers
concerning
the
meaning
of
Aristotle’s
text
 (and,
accordingly,
would
disagree
with
Vos’
and
Knuuttila’s
reading
of
 Aristotle):
he
did
not
read
Aristotle
in
a
deterministic
manner,
nor
did
he
 assume
that
Aristotle’s
understanding
of
contingency
needed
to
be
set
aside
 in
order
to
present
his
own
view.
His
use
of
statements
drawn
from
 Aristotle
belongs
to
the
standard
practice
of
citing
an
authority
as
the
source
 of
an
objection—and,
as
is
often
the
case
with
such
citations,
Scotus’
 purpose
was
not
to
cast
doubt
on
the
authority
but
to
show
the
 inapplicability
of
the
position
taken
by
the
authority
to
the
particular
case
in
 question—in
this
case,
not
to
negate
Aristotle
so
much
as
to
offer
an
 alternative
definition
for
the
sake
of
his
own
argument.48 This
approach
is
also
evident
when
Scotus
returns
to
the
De
 Interpretatione
as
the
source
of
an
objection
to
his
understanding
of
the
 possibility
of
willing
and
not
willing
something
in
the
same
moment
in
 sensu
diviso:
the
objector
cites
Aristotle
to
the
effect
that
“Everything
 which
is,
when
it
is,
is
necessary.”
In
Vos’
reading
of
the
objection,
 Aristotle’s
proposition
is
radically
opposed
to
Scotus’
view
inasmuch
as
it


amounts
to
a
“denial
of
the
existence
of
alternative
states
of
affairs
at
a
 certain
present
moment.”49
But
Scotus
was
not
proposing
the
actual
 “existence
of
alternative
states
of
affairs
at
a
certain
present
moment,”
 which
Aristotle’s
argument
clearly
does
oppose,
but
rather
the
possible
or
 potential
“existence
of
alternative
states
of
affairs
at
a
certain
present
 moment,”
which,
when
taken
as
a
statement
concerning
the
necessity
of
the
 consequence,
Aristotle’s
argument
actually
affirms,
or
at
least
does
so
 according
to
the
majority
reading
of
the
text
following
Boethius.
Aristotle’s
 exposition
in
De
Interpretatione
did
not,
moreover,
reference
future
 propositions
as
a
problem
for
divine
foreknowledge:
neither
God
nor
gods
 are
mentioned
in
Aristotle’s
account.
Scotus,
then,
is
opposing
not
Aristotle
 but
only
a
particular
reading
of
Aristotle—and
not
the
reading
espoused
by
 theological
predecessors
like
Aquinas. The
issue
is
made
quite
clear
by
Scotus’
response
to
the
next
objection,
 “When
false
contingency
is
posited
for
the
present
moment,
then
it
must
be
 denied
that
it
is
the
present
moment.”50
Scotus’
response
is
somewhat
 oblique,
given
that
the
objection
could
simply
be
taken
as
an
affirmation
of
 the
principle
of
bivalence,
which
it
is
not
Scotus’
intention
to
deny.
He
 indicates
that
the
objection
fails
“if
when
something
is,
it
can
not
be,
or
vice
 versa”;
and
he
adds,
“even
if
You
are
in
Rome
is
false
at
[time]
a,
it
still
can
 be
true
at
a,
just
as
[when]
the
will
wills
something
at
a,
it
is
able
to
not
will
 it
at
a.”51
Scotus’
analogy
to
the
will
being
capable
of
not-willing
even
in
 the
moment
that
it
is
willing
clearly
indicates
that
his
denial
of
the
objection
 and
his
claim
of
contradictory
propositions
concerning
location
in
Rome
do
 not
propose
a
violation
of
or
alternative
to
the
principle
of
bivalence— which
Vos’
reading,
if
taken
at
face
value,
would
propose.
All
that
Scotus
 intends
is
to
indicate
that
one’s
location
in
Rome,
as
a
contingency,
could
be
 otherwise
and,
in
sensu
diviso,could
not
be
in
the
very
moment
that
it
is,
 “just
as
[when]
the
will
wills
something
at
a,
it
is
able
to
not
will
it
at
a.”52
 Scotus
clearly
does
not
mean
that,
in
sensu
composito
one
can
be
in
Rome
 and
not
in
Rome
in
the
very
same
moment!
His
point
concerns
not
multiple
 actualities
but
multiple
potencies
in
the
will
and
the
retention
of
a
potency
 to
the
opposite
in
the
very
moment
that
a
particular
will
is
actualized.
Or,
to
 make
the
point
in
a
slightly
different
way,
Scotus’
primary
interest
in
 identifying
a
synchronic
contingency,
more
than
the
contingency
of
the
 event
or
effect,
lies
in
the
multiple
potencies
of
the
agent
that
underlie
and
 explain
the
contingency
or
the
event
or
effect.

As
Dekker
points
out,
Scotus’
argument
focuses
on
the
instant
or
moment
 in
which
a
particular
volition
is
taking
place
and
recognizes
that
a
free
will
 capable
of
willing
a
is
also,
logically,
capable
of
willing
not-a.
Scotus
 further
indicates
that
the
logical
division
of
the
capabilities
of
the
moment
 can
also
be
conceived
as
distinct
non-temporal
“instants
of
nature”
 simultaneously
coexisting
as
potencies
to
a
and
to
not-a.53
What
Scotus
has
 identified
here
is
the
multiple
potencies
of
the
will
in
its
primary
actuality
in
 contrast
to
the
single
exercised
potency
in
secondary
actuality,54
but
in
 Scotus’
formulation,
the
primary
actuality
is
understood
to
remain
even
as
 the
secondary
actuality
is
operative.
As
Dekker
observes,
“the
will
is
free
in
 the
basic
sense
that
at
the
very
moment
the
will
has
a
volition,
the
opposite
 volition
or
not
volition
at
all
could
be
had.”55 Perhaps
Scotus
might
have
made
the
point
more
simply.
The
Lectura
 here
may
reflect
a
somewhat
paradoxical
style
of
presentation
on
Scotus
 part:
he
might
have
indicated
that
the
objection
was
perfectly
correct
when
 understood
as
a
statement
concerning
the
composite
sense,
but
that
it
could
 be
countered
in
the
divided
sense.
In
any
case,
Scotus’
argument
does
not
 claim
a
synchronicity
of
contingencies
understood
as
actually
existent
 alternative
states
of
affairs;
what
it
claims
are
simultaneous
potencies
to
 more
than
one
effect,
one
of
which
is
actualized
and
one
of
which
is
not— and,
unlike
other
approaches
to
the
issue
of
simultaneous
potencies,
it
 emphasizes
the
point
that
the
unactualized
potency
remains
a
potency
in
the
 rational
subject
in
the
very
moment
that
its
alternative
has
been
actualized.
 But
one
must
recognize
that
Scotus’
point
does
not
counter
but
actually
 coincides
with
Aristotle’s
argument
against
the
Megarians,
namely,
that
a
 builder
does
not
cease
to
be
a
builder
when
he
is
not
building
something. The
issue
is,
perhaps,
more
clearly
stated
in
Scotus’
Questions
on
the
 Metaphysics
of
Aristotle,
where
he
defines
two
kinds
of
potency: there
is
only
a
twofold
generic
way
an
operation
proper
to
a
potency
can
be
elicited.
 For
either
the
potency
of
itself
is
determined
to
act,
so
that
so
far
as
itself
is
 concerned,
it
cannot
fail
to
act
when
not
impeded
from
without;
or
it
is
not
of
itself
so
 determined,
but
can
perform
either
this
act
or
its
opposite,
or
can
either
act
or
not
act
 at
all.
A
potency
of
the
first
sort
is
commonly
called
nature,
whereas
one
of
the
second
 sort
is
called
will.56

The
point
is
very
similar
to
that
of
Aquinas,
and,
more
importantly,
it
is
 made
not
in
disagreement
but
in
explicit
agreement
with
Aristotle.

The
main
exposition
in
Lectura
I
39
first
provides
a
summary
and
 refutation
of
alternative
views
of
contingency
and
then,
second,
a
lengthier
 exposition
of
Scotus’
own
perspective.
In
his
summary
and
refutation,
 Scotus’
primary
opponent
in
both
of
the
controverted
opinions
has
been
 identified
as
Aquinas,
although
there
has
been
some
question
concerning
 the
origin
of
the
first
opinion.57
Scotus
presents
the
first
of
these
opinions
 briefly,
indicating
that
some
scholars
ground
God’s
infallible
knowledge
of
 contingents
in
the
ideas
present
in
the
divine
intellect,
according
to
which
 God
has
knowledge
of
contingent
things
and
all
aspects
of
their
existence
 without
removing
their
contingency.
The
opinion
rests
on
the
premise
that
 “knowledge
of
an
object
does
not
remove
an
aspect
of
that
object.”58
The
 premise
is
associated
with
the
Boethian
arguments
concerning
 foreknowledge,
providence,
and
freedom
and,
with
reference
to
divine
 knowing,
assumes
an
eternally
present,
direct,
and
certain
knowledge
of
all
 things.59
The
association
is
significant
to
Scotus’
objection,
although
he
will
 approach
it
only
in
his
response
to
the
second
opinion. In
his
refutation
of
this
first
opinion
Scotus
does
not
broach
the
issue
of
 eternity
but
presents
only
an
understanding
of
divine
ideas
as
simple
or
 absolute
knowledge
(cognitio
simplex)—which
he
takes
to
be
an
unstated
 premise
of
his
opponent.
Assuming
that
his
opponent
understands
the
 divine
knowledge
of
contingents
solely
as
cognitio
simplex,
Scotus
goes
on
 to
argue
the
unsuitability
of
this
solution
on
three
grounds.
Inasmuch
as
 simple
knowledge
is
a
knowledge
of
“simple
terms”
that
necessarily
 include
the
truth
of
the
propositions
concerning
them,
simple
knowledge
is
 insufficient
for
knowledge
of
contingencies,
the
propositions
concerning
 which
are
not
necessarily
true.
Further,
it
is
unsatisfactory
to
argue
that
God
 knows
propositions
concerning
contingents
as
true,
as
if
God’s
knowledge
 is
limited
to
“only
one
part
of
the
contradiction”—or,
indeed,
as
if
God
 “simultaneously
knows
contradictories
to
be
true”—both
of
which
 conclusions
would
be
impossible.60
Finally,
if
one
accepts
the
claim
that
 God
does
have
ideas
concerning
contingents,
such
ideas
will
be
in
God
 “uniformly”
as
knowledge
of
possibles.
Some
of
these
possibles,
moreover,
 will
be
and
others
never
will
be—and,
by
implication,
assuming
that
these
 ideas
of
possibles
are
still
understood
as
cognitio
simplex
and
therefore
as
 purely
possible,
God
will
not
know
which
possibilities
will
be
actualized
 and
which
not.
The
argument,
therefore,
is
unsatisfactory.

The
argument
to
which
Scotus
objects,
as
cited,
does
not
indicate
that
the
 contingentia
to
which
it
refers
are
restricted
to
“things
that
are
possible
and
 which
will
become
factual,
and
not
contingent
objects
that
are
possible
but
 will
not
become
factual.”61
The
inference
that
the
text
refers
to
possibles
 that
will
become
factual
or
actual
is
surely
correct,
given
that
its
argument
 is
that
God
knows
contingents
and
that
his
knowledge
does
not
remove
 contingency,
but
the
text
does
not
in
any
way
imply
that,
according
to
its
 author
(presumably
Aquinas),
God
does
not
know
possibles
that
will
not
be
 actualized.
Vos
and
his
colleagues
appear
to
be
satisfied
that
Scotus
has
 fully
represented
Aquinas
on
the
issue,
probably
because
(as
noted
in
the
 preceding
chapter)
they
assume
that
Aquinas
held
the
principle
of
plenitude
 and
the
eventual
actualization
of
all
possibilities.
We
have
seen,
however,
 that
this
is
a
misinterpretation
of
Aquinas
that
rests
on
a
debated
reading
of
 Aristotle:
Aquinas,
quite
clearly,
understood
God
to
know
possibles
that
 would
not
be
actualized. Nor
is
Scotus’
representation
of
the
first
opinion
explicit
concerning
what
 kind
of
divine
knowledge
references
contingents
and/or
propositions
 concerning
them.
It
is
fairly
clear,
however,
that
Aquinas
does
not
restrict
 God’s
knowledge
of
things
to
a
simple
knowledge
of
their
ideas:
Aquinas
 quite
clearly
held
that
God’s
knowledge
of
contingent
things
as
existent,
 contingent
individuals
is
his
knowledge
of
what
he
has
caused
to
exist— and,
specifically,
that
God
has
knowledge
of
individuals.
This
is
not
a
 knowledge
of
sensory
experience;
rather
it
is
a
knowledge
grounded
in
the
 divine
essence,
God
knowing
in
himself
all
that
he
brings
into
being.62
This
 is
not
simple
knowledge
but
knowledge
of
vision.
Scotus
has
not,
in
other
 words,
presented
Aquinas’
entire
argument
and
therefore
has
not
actually
 refuted
Aquinas
on
the
point
(even
if
it
was
his
intention
to
do
so—and
that
 is
not
evident). Scotus’
opposition
to
the
second
opinion
is
clearer
and
more
substantive,
 resting,
as
it
does,
on
an
alternative
view
of
eternity.
Here,
his
opponent
 argues
the
simultaneity
of
eternity
with
time,
using
the
illustration
of
 eternity
as
the
center
of
a
circle,
the
circumference
of
which
is
time,
or,
 alternatively,
the
illustration
of
a
person
sitting
on
a
roof
who
sees
all
that
 takes
place
around
him.
The
assumption
of
the
opponent
is
that
past,
 present,
and
future
are
all
eternally
present
to
God.
The
first
of
these
 illustrations
was
used
by
Aquinas,
and
Aquinas’
view
is
clearly
opposed


here.
Scotus’
opponent
also
explicitly
denies
a
view
of
God’s
eternal
 relation
to
time
illustrated
by
a
staff
standing
in
a
flowing
river.63 Scotus,
on
the
contrary,
argues
that
God
is
not
present
to
the
entire
flow
 of
time,
largely
on
the
ground
that
future
(and
we
can
assume
also,
past)
 events
do
not
now
exist.
Future
things
cannot
be
actually
present
to
God,
 because
then
“it
would
be
impossible
for
God
to
cause
anything
anew.”
 Things
actually
present
to
God
are
present
“as
things
caused,”
not
“as
 things
to
be
caused.”
Things
to
be
caused,
moreover,
are
not
present
things.
 So
also,
God
knows
“future
contingents”
with
certitude
as
future
and
as
 they
will
be
created
by
him.64
Scotus,
thus,
without
explicitly
stating
the
 point,
advocates
the
illustration
rejected
by
his
opponent:
divine
eternity
 relates
to
the
flow
of
time
like
a
staff
in
a
river:
the
underlying
point
made
 by
Scotus
is
that
all
things
in
the
temporal,
past,
present,
and
future
are
 present
to
God
when
they
are
actual.
This
mode
of
presence,
however,
 implies
not
a
temporalizing
of
God
but
rather
that
God
can
eternally
will
 something
for
a
particular
moment,
bringing
about
the
existence
of
the
 thing
or
effect
at
the
moment
at
which
it
occurs.
In
Cross’
words,
Scotus
 “attaches
the
time
index
(the
‘when’)
to
the
effect,
not
to
the
act
of
will
 which
brings
that
effect
about.”65
This
difference
over
the
relationship
of
 eternity
and
time
bears
fruit
immediately
in
Scotus’
argumentation
 concerning
contingency.
Scotus
does
not
argue
a
priority
of
divine
causality
 over
finite
causality
in
effects
caused
by
both
God
and
creatures:
“in
one
 instant
of
nature
. . .
the
two
efficient
causes
cause
a
common
effect,
such
 that
neither
then
causes
without
the
other.”66
(This
view
is
quite
distinct
 from
the
Thomistic
conception
that
would
come
to
be
called
praemotio
 physica—an
issue
that
will
become
crucial
to
the
examination
of
early
 modern
Reformed
views.) Just
as
Scotus
should
not
be
interpreted
as
denying
the
necessity
of
the
 present—he
nowhere
claims
that
contraries
or
contradictories
can
exist
in
 actuality
at
the
same
time,
in
the
same
place,
and
in
the
same
way,
but
only
 that
these
contraries
and
contradictories
subsist
simultaneously
as
 possibilities
in
sensu
diviso—so
also
should
he
not
be
understood
as
 denying
the
necessity
of
the
past.
In
response
to
the
question
whether
one
 who
is
predestined
to
life
can
be
damned,
he
states,
following
the
 Peripatetic
tradition,
that
“all
that
is
past
is
necessary
without
 qualification.”67
Still,
Scotus
does
press
the
issue
in
terms
of
the
distinction
 between
the
composite
and
the
divided
sense:
in
the
composite
sense
it
is


simply
false
to
claim
that
a
person
can
be
predestined
to
life
and
damned.
In
 the
divided
sense,
however,
there
are
two
distinct
logical
categories
in
one
 of
which
a
person
can
be
predestinated,
in
the
other
damned:
these
two
 categories
can
both
be
true
of
the
same
subject,
but
not
simultaneously,
 inasmuch
as
God
can
will
to
predestinate
or
not
predestinate.68 When
he
comes
to
his
concluding
argument,
in
which
he
identifies
the
 “cause
of
contingency
in
things,”
Scotus
poses
the
issue
that
the
existence
 of
contingencies
depends
on
God’s
own
contingent
movement
of
possibles
 from
potency
to
actuality.
Since
God
moves
things
by
an
act
of
intellect
and
 will,
the
question
arises
as
to
the
cause
of
the
contingency—whether
it
 resides
in
or
occurs
on
the
part
of
(ex
parte)
the
divine
intellect
or
the
divine
 will.69
Scotus
indicates
that
contingency
cannot
arise
from
the
divine
 intellect
presenting
an
object
to
the
divine
will
inasmuch
as
the
intellect
 “knows
necessarily
and
naturally”
and,
accordingly,
yields
“no
contingency
 in
relation
to
opposites.”70
There
is,
Scotus
acknowledges,
an
intellective
 apprehension
of
objects
to
be
done
prior
to
the
act
of
will,
but
he
insists
that
 this
apprehension
is
neutral
(neutram)
and
therefore
not
directive
of
the
 will.
Intellective
apprehension
also
follows
the
act
of
will,
indeed,
it
is
 “brought
into
existence
by
an
act
of
will,”
and
given
that
the
will
has
 determined
the
object
of
knowing,
the
intellect
is
no
longer
neutral
but
now
 understands
the
object
according
to
the
proper
“part
of
the
contradiction”— namely,
whether
it
is
or
is
not.71
Contingency,
therefore,
depends
on
the
 divine
will,
not
the
divine
intellect. Scotus
explains
the
reasons
for
this
view
most
succinctly
in
his
De
primo
 principio.
There
he
states
his
assumption
that
“the
only
source
of
contingent
 action
is
either
the
will
or
something
accompanied
by
the
will.”72
All
other
 acts
or
events
occur
by
a
necessity
of
nature.
Since
nothing
can
occur
at
all
 apart
from
some
act
of
God
as
“first
efficient
cause,”
if
God
were
to
cause
 all
things
to
occur
necessarily,
there
would
be
no
contingency.73 Every
secondary
cause
causes
insofar
as
it
is
moved
by
the
first
cause;
therefore,
if
the
 first
cause
moved
necessarily,
everything
is
moved
necessarily
and
everything
is
 necessarily
caused.74

Contingency,
therefore,
rests
on
a
willing
of
God
that
could
be
otherwise,
 namely,
a
contingent
willing.
This
largely
volitional
explanation
of
 contingency
also
offers
at
least
a
partial
explanation
of
why
Scotus
 identified
a
contingent
as
something
“the
opposite
of
which
could
have


occurred”
at
the
same
time
or
as
something
that
could
be
otherwise,
rather
 than
as
something
that
is
not
necessary
or
that
does
not
always
exist.
Rather
 than
speak
of
contingent
things,
he
preferred
the
volitional
language
of
 “something
. . .
caused
contingently.”75
Scotus’
complaint
with
Aristotle
 was
that
because
he
did
not
identify
contingency
as
a
matter
of
volition
and
 did
not
argue
a
volitional
first
cause,
all
motion
would
have
to
be
necessary:
 for
anything
to
occur
contingently,
there
must
be
contingent
causality
at
the
 level
of
the
first
cause.76 Here
we
have
an
identifiable
difference
between
Scotus
and
Aquinas:
 whereas
Aquinas’
main
explanation
of
contingency
stressed
the
 contingency
of
secondary
causality,
Scotus’
foundational
definition
and
 subsequent
emphasis
referred
contingency
more
directly
to
the
divine
 willing.
Still,
Scotus’
complaint
is
not
directed
against
Aquinas,
but
against
 Aristotle.
Moreover,
inasmuch
as
nowhere
in
the
course
of
the
disputed
 arguments
did
Aristotle
broach
the
issue
of
God
and
primary
causality,
 Scotus’
point
does
not
so
much
show
Aristotle’s
arguments
in
the
De
 Interpretatione
or
the
Metaphysica
to
be
deterministic,
as
it
raises
the
issue
 that
Aristotle’s
arguments,
drawn
into
the
Christian
theistic
context,
would
 yield
an
overarching
determinism
if
God
were
not
identified
as
free
and
as
 capable
of
willing
otherwise. The
difference
between
Scotus
and
Aquinas
is
not,
therefore,
as
great
or
 as
significant
as
Vos
and
his
associates
have
argued,
given,
on
the
one
hand,
 that
Aquinas
also
identified
the
divine
will
as
intervening
between
the
 necessary
or
simple
divine
knowledge
of
all
possibility
and
the
visionary
 divine
knowledge
of
all
actuality—and
Aquinas
also,
clearly,
had
argued
 that
God’s
will
is
free
either
to
create
or
not
create
or,
indeed,
to
will
a
 different
creation.77
And
given,
on
the
other
hand,
that
Scotus
did
not
 disagree
that
the
contingency
of
finite
willing
was
also
to
be
explained
by
 the
potency
that
is
in
the
rational
creature.
Indeed,
the
very
point
of
his
 synchronic
understanding
of
human
contingency
and
freedom
was
that,
in
 addition
to
the
divine
willing
that
the
world
and
any
particular
moment
in
it
 could
be
otherwise,
that
human
will
in
itself
has
potency
to
will
otherwise.78 In
the
order
of
argument
in
the
Lectura,
Scotus
next
considers
the
human
 will
as
a
cause
of
contingencies,
specifically
in
order
to
understand
fully
 “how
the
divine
will
is
the
cause
of
contingency. . . .
For
our
will
is
free
to
 opposite
acts
(as
to
will
and
nill,
love
and
hate),
and
second,
mediated
by
 opposite
acts
it
is
free
to
[will]
opposite
objects
as
freely
inclining
to
them,


and
thirdly,
it
is
free
to
[will]
effects,
which
it
produces
either
immediately
 or
by
moving
other
executive
potencies.”79
The
distinction
between
 freedom
to
will
opposite
acts
and
freedom
to
will
opposite
objects
is
highly
 significant
to
Scotus’
argument,
inasmuch
as
the
former
must
be
classed
as
 an
“imperfect”
freedom
but
the
latter
can
be
understood
as
“perfect.” Freedom
to
opposite
acts
is
limited
and
imperfect,
indeed,
“mutable”
 inasmuch
as
“it
does
not
simultaneously
have
opposite
acts”
but
must
act
in
 one
way
or
another—whereas
freedom
with
respect
to
opposite
objects
is
 perfect
since
opposite
objects
can
be
apprehended
at
the
same
time,
just
as
 they
can
be
known
simultaneously
by
the
intellect.80
Thus,
although
“there
 is
no
freedom
in
our
will
that
it
[can]
simultaneously
will
opposite
objects,
 since
they
are
not
simultaneously
the
terminus
of
a
single
potency,”
the
 imperfect
freedom
to
opposite
acts
yields
“a
twofold
possibility
and
 contingency
with
respect
to
opposite
objects.”81 Possibility
and
contingency,
then,
can
be
understood
in
two
ways.
First,
 the
imperfect
or
mutable
freedom
to
opposite
acts
allows
the
will
to
relate
 to
opposite
objects
successively.
Just
as
in
the
logic
of
propositions
it
is
 possible
in
the
divided
sense
for
a
proposition
to
contain
contraries
and
 opposites,
so
also
is
this
true
in
the
case
of
the
will
and
its
objects.
As
an
 example
Scotus
presents
the
proposition,
“Something
white
can
be
 black”—which
is
true
in
the
divided
sense
inasmuch
as
“Something
white
 at
a
can
be
black
at
b.”82
Even
so
the
will
can
love
someone
and
also
hate
 him. The
second
understanding
of
possibility
and
contingency
relates
to
the
 perfect
freedom
to
know
and
will
opposite
objects.
The
will
has
potency
to
 opposites
in
the
same
instant:
in
the
same
moment
it
has
the
potency
to
will
 a
and
to
nill
or
not-will
a.
This
potency
to
opposites
in
the
same
instant
 arises
because
there
is
no
essential
relationship,
but
only
an
incidental
one,
 between
the
will
and
its
act.
Here,
as
in
the
previous
case,
distinction
must
 be
made
between
the
composite
and
the
divided
sense
of
the
resulting
 propositions.
In
a
given
instant,
the
will
understood
prior
to
acting
has
a
 contingent
relation
both
to
willing
and
to
not-willing
or
nilling,
inasmuch
as
 the
proposition
that
it
wills
and
the
proposition
that
it
nills
are
both
 consistent
in
and
of
themselves.
There
is,
therefore,
a
sense
in
which
when
 the
will
wills
at
a,
it
is
possible
that
it
nills
at
a.
The
contingency
is
 identified
in
the
divided
sense.
Of
course,
Scotus
adds,
it
is
impossible
in
 the
composite
sense
to
will
and
to
nill
a
at
the
same
time.
The
focal
point
of


Scotus’
argument
and
the
genuinely
significant
nuance
of
his
theory
of
 contingency
with
regard
to
will
lies
in
his
assumption
that
there
is
a
“real
 potency”
in
the
will
that
corresponds
precisely
with
the
“logical
possibility”
 in
the
“divided
sense”
of
willing
otherwise
than
what
one
wills.83
In
a
single
 instant
of
the
will,
then,
it
is
seen
to
will
freely
precisely
because
in
that
 instant
it
could
also
nill.84
Given,
moreover,
that
in
the
temporal
instant
of
 willing,
Scotus
can
distinguish
a
non-temporal
structure
of
instants
related
 to
the
primary
and
secondary
actuality
of
the
will—so
that
in
its
primary
 actuality
the
will
has
a
potency
to
not-A,
while
in
secondary
actuality,
in
the
 same
temporal
moment
but
a
distinct
instant
of
nature,
A
is
willed,
indeed,
 actualized.85 Vos
and
Knuuttila
identify
these
arguments
as
a
significant
departure
 from
the
Aristotelian
model
that
Knuuttila
identifies
as
purely
“statistical”
 diachronic
contingency.86
As
we
have
seen,
however,
Aristotle
need
not
be,
 probably
ought
not
be,
and
certainly
was
not
by
most
medieval
writers,
 viewed
as
holding
to
the
“statistical”
interpretation
of
diachronic
 contingency.
Scotus,
moreover,
in
no
way
denies
that
potencies
of
will
are
 actualized
diachronically—indeed,
he
affirms
precisely
that
point.
From
the
 perspective
of
the
interpretation
of
Aristotle,
Scotus’
views
do
not
mark
out
 a
major
revolution
in
thought:
arguably,
they
represent
a
development
and
 expansion
of
the
question
on
a
point
dealt
with
only
briefly
by
Aristotle,
 namely,
the
point
made
against
the
Megarians
that
a
builder
is
no
less
a
 builder
when
he
is
not
engaged
in
the
act
of
building.
There
is,
moreover,
 not
much
difference
between
Aquinas’
and
Scotus’
readings
of
Aristotle:
 both
read
the
classic
places
in
the
De
Interpretatione
as
indicating
genuine
 contingency
and,
specifically,
as
arguing
the
distinction
between
necessity
 of
the
consequence
and
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing.
Neither
Aquinas
 nor
Scotus
viewed
Aristotle
as
a
necessitarian
whose
philosophy
lacked
an
 explanation
of
contingency—and
both,
accordingly,
opposed
a
necessitarian
 reading
of
Aristotle
such
as
has
been
found
there
or
superimposed
by
 Hintikka,
Knuuttila,
and
Vos. Nor,
therefore,
can
Scotus
be
viewed
as
introducing
a
basic
notion
of
 contingency
that
has
radically
different
implications
from
the
thought
of
his
 predecessors:
they
assumed
that
contingent
things
are
not
necessary,
not
 always,
and
could
be
otherwise.
What
Scotus
adds
to
this
is
an
emphasis
on
 understanding
the
contingency
of
the
present
in
terms
of
potency
to
the
 opposite—what
is
identified
as
synchronic
or
simultaneous
contingency—

but
it
does
not
alter
the
datum
that
when
Socrates
sits,
he
could,
in
view
of
 his
various
capacities,
be
either
standing
or
running,
albeit
not
at
the
same
 time,
in
the
same
place,
and
in
the
same
way. There
are
two
variants
in
Scotus’
form
of
expression,
moreover,
that
 clarify
the
point
and
add
significant
nuance
to
the
notion
of
contingency.
 First,
Scotus’
voluntaristic
approach
to
the
problem
has
underlined
the
point
 that
we
saw
first
in
Aristotle’s
example
of
the
builder:
when
a
particular
 state
of
affairs
is
brought
about
by
a
free
agent,
although
the
opposite
state
 of
affairs
cannot
be
actualized
in
the
same
temporal
moment,
the
potency
 for
the
opposite
remains
in
the
agent.
Second,
Scotus’
sensitivity
to
modal
 expression
clarifies
the
issue
of
the
necessity
of
the
present
as
a
kind
of
 contingency,
namely
a
necessity
of
the
consequence
or
necessity
de
dicto.
 Thus,
in
the
statement,
“It
is
necessary
that
Socrates
sits
when
he
sits,”
 Scotus
makes
clear
that,
as
Wilks
puts
it,
“the
claim
of
necessity
must
attach
 to
the
whole
statement,
not
to
the
parts.”87
It
is
not
necessary
that
Socrates
 sits,
nor
is
it
necessary
when
he
sits—only
that
he
sits
when
he
sits. This
logical
argumentation
for
what
has
been
called
synchronic
 contingency—or
perhaps
better,
synchronic
or
simultaneous
potency—must
 be
understood
in
relation
to
Scotus’
voluntaristic
understanding
of
free
 choice.
Prior
to
Scotus,
one
of
the
hall
marks
of
the
Franciscan
approach
to
 issues
of
human
free
choice
was
the
voluntaristic
assumption
that
the
will
is
 not
bound
to
the
judgment
of
the
intellect.
The
point
had
already
been
made
 by
Bonaventure
that
practical
judgment
was
both
intellective
and
volitional
 and
that
the
act
resulting
from
a
practical
judgment
followed
the
preference
 of
the
will.88
Following
the
Condemnation
of
1277,89
Franciscans
like
 William
de
la
Mare
and
Peter
John
Olivi
pressed
the
point
further,
arguing
 the
superiority
of
the
will
and
explicitly
denying
Aquinas’
view
of
reason
as
 the
cause
of
freedom
and
that
freedom
is
constituted
by
the
deliberation
of
 the
intellect.
Beyond
this,
both
William
de
la
Mare
and
Henry
of
Ghent
 argued
that
the
will
could
reject
the
last
judgment
of
the
practical
intellect.90 Scotus,
arguably,
took
this
line
of
argument
a
step
farther.
As
Hoffmann
 has
argued,
Scotus
not
only
assumed
that
a
person
can
will
contrary
to
the
 last
judgment
of
the
practical
intellect,
he
also
held
that
the
“will
itself
can
 structure
its
own
willing.”91
Scotus
held
that
both
the
understandings
of
the
 intellect
and
the
volitions
of
the
will
are
ordered
by
their
respective
 faculties
according
to
“relations
of
reason
[relationes
rationis],”
or,
as
 Scotus
can
also
argue
in
his
discussions
of
divine
willing,
there
are
not
only


relations
of
reason;
there
are
also
relations
of
will.
The
intellective
and
 volitional
orderings,
moreover,
are
independent
of
one
another,
so
that
the
 volitional
relations
or
orderings
are
not
constituted
for
the
will
by
the
 intellect.92
This
view
stands
quite
contrary
to
Aquinas’
assumption
that
the
 intellect
performs
the
ordering
function
and
that,
as
a
result,
the
order
of
 willing
rests
on
the
work
of
the
intellect.93
Both
in
the
case
of
human
beings
 and
in
the
case
of
God,
the
Scotistic
assumption
is
that
the
freedom
of
 willing
rests
on
the
absence
of
anything
causally
prior
to
the
will—so
that,
 in
either
case,
if
willing
depended
on
a
determination
of
the
intellect,
it
 would
not
be
free.94 If
not
an
absolute
revolution
in
thought
that
for
the
first
time
rendered
 contingency
a
functional
concept,
Scotus’
exposition
of
contingency
and
of
 the
freedom
of
human
willing
does
differ
from
that
of
Aquinas
in
several
 significant
ways,
and,
in
its
approach
to
simultaneity
of
potencies,
offers
a
 way
of
addressing
contingency
that
clarifies
the
understanding
of
free
 choice.
First
and
foremost,
Scotus
takes
a
fully
voluntarist
rather
than
an
 intellectualist
perspective.
He
grounds
contingency
primarily
in
the
freedom
 of
divine
willing
rather
than,
as
Aquinas
had
done,
in
the
order
of
finite
 causality—although
his
argumentation
hardly
removes
the
contingencies
 brought
about
by
finite
causes
any
more
than
it
removes
relative
necessities
 that
belong
to
the
created
order.
Both
assume
alternativity,
in
Aquinas’
case,
 grounded
in
the
capacity
of
the
intellect
to
make
judgments;
in
Scotus’
case,
 grounded
in
the
capacity
of
the
will
to
establish
its
own
order
of
objects
in
 the
act
of
choosing.
Arguably,
apart
from
the
obvious
difference
between
 the
voluntarist
and
the
intellectualist
explanations
of
freedom,
Scotus’
 approach
achieves
little
that
was
not
already
present
in
Aquinas’
thought. Second,
Scotus’
approach
emphasizes
the
point
that
contingencies
in
the
 temporal
order
can
be
understood
in
terms
of
the
remaining
unactualized
 potency
to
the
opposite.
Arguably
this
is
not
a
point
with
which
Aquinas
 disagreed.
Rather
it
is
a
point
of
emphasis
found
in
Scotus’
thought
that,
 while
latent
or
implied
in
Aquinas’
theology,
was
not
as
formative
of
 Aquinas’
analyses
of
contingency
as
it
was
of
Scotus’
analyses. Third,
Scotus’
voluntarism
enabled
him
to
clarify
the
issue
of
potencies,
 specifically
of
the
synchronous
or
simultaneous
presence
of
unactualized
 together
with
actualized
potencies
in
the
will.
The
freedom
of
the
individual
 willing
subject
is
capable
of
being
represented
emphatically
by
the
 remaining
potency
to
the
opposite
in
the
very
making
of
any
choice.
More


importantly,
this
framing
of
contingencies
not
merely
in
terms
of
a
 temporally
prior
potency
to
the
opposite
but
in
terms
of
the
remaining
 unactualized
potency
does
yield
significant
characterizations
of
contingency
 when
a
given
effect
is
brought
about
by
the
conjunction
of
two
wills
 (namely,
divine
and
human),
each
of
which
could
will
otherwise.
Here
 again,
the
language
has
not
undone
the
basic
datum
of
diachronic
 contingency.
In
order
to
do
that,
Scotus
would
have
needed
to
deny
the
 principle
of
bivalence—and
he
clearly
did
not.
Rather,
Scotus
has
added
a
 layer
of
nuance
to
the
understanding
of
diachronic
contingency—namely,
 the
issue
of
simultaneous
potencies
in
both
divine
and
human
willing—and
 has
thereby
provided
a
more
sophisticated
way
of
arguing
the
case
for
 human
contingency
and
freedom
in
the
context
of
overarching
divine
 providential
concurrence. This
explanation
of
Scotus’
voluntaristic
approach
to
contingency
and
 freedom
also
serves
to
clarify
the
distinction
between
his
thought
and
some
 of
the
modern
arguments
with
which
his
views
have
been
associated.
His
 voluntarism,
coupled
with
his
statements
that
“the
will
has
the
power
of
 self-determination”
and
that
the
“will
is
the
master
of
its
own
act,”
has
often
 led
to
the
conclusion
that
Scotus
was
libertarian.95
(It
is
worth
noting
the
 parallel
between
these
voluntaristic
statements
of
Scotus
and
the
 intellectualistic
argumentation
of
Aquinas
that
the
intellect
is
“a
cause
unto
 itself,
. . .
acts
in
virtue
of
a
free
judgment,”
and
“is
not
tied
down
to
any
 one
definite
course,”96
and
that
such
statements
have
also
led
to
a
libertarian
 reading
of
Aquinas.)
Still,
as
both
Dekker
and
Langston
argue
(from
rather
 different
angles),
Scotus’
view
of
the
will’s
freedom,
taken
together
with
his
 sense
of
the
situatedness
of
human
willing
and
with
his
insistence
on
the
 divine
determination
of
all
actuality,
does
not
comport
with
libertarianism.
 Still,
Scotus’
underlying
assumption
in
framing
his
arguments
as
he
did
was
 that
God,
in
contingently
determining
the
world
order,
could
actualize
 contingencies
that,
in
their
actualization,
remained
truly
contingent.
Their
 contingency
would
be
identified
not
only
in
the
possibility
that
the
divine
 will
could
be
otherwise
but
in
the
possibility
that
the
human
will,
albeit
 dependent,
also
could
be
otherwise.
Scotus
assumes
the
dependence
of
the
 contingent
human
volition
on
the
contingent
divine
volition.97
But
he
also
 insists
that
the
higher
agent,
God,
who
determines
the
actualization
of
the
 lower
agent,
the
rational
creature,
does
not
prevent
the
lower
agent
from
 acting
according
to
its
own
nature.
Scotus
insists
that
all
the
lower
agent


“received
from
the
cause
is
a
principle
by
which
it
determines
itself
to
this
 volition.”98
This
is
certainly
not
“hard
determinism,”
nor,
given
Scotus
 insistence
on
alternativity,
is
it
easily
identified
as
a
form
of
compatibilism. The
conclusion
to
be
drawn
from
this
analysis
of
Scotus’
use
of
 synchronic
contingency
in
his
explanations
of
human
freedom
is
that
he
 quite
clearly
advocated
a
view
of
dependent
freedom,
human
freedom
 consisting
in
liberties
of
contradiction
and
contrariety
within
a
world
order
 entirely
willed
by
God.
His
voluntaristic
approach
stands
as
a
clear
 alternative
to
the
intellectualistic
approach
proposed
by
Aquinas
and
adds
 further
emphasis
on
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
in
rational
creatures.
This
 conclusion,
in
agreement
with
the
readings
of
Vos,
Knuttila,
and
Cross,
 indicates
a
dissent
from
the
interpretation,
found
in
Incandela’s
essay,
of
 Scotus
as
losing
sight
of
“situated”
or
“dependent”
freedom,
and
from
 Helm’s
conclusion
that
Scotus
held
a
libertarian
theory
of
human
freedom.
 One
could
draw
the
libertarian
conclusion
from
examining
Scotus’
 approach
to
the
freedom
of
the
will
and
its
capability
of
alternative
choice
 in
isolation
from
his
understanding
of
the
divine
willing
and
possibility,
but
 the
full
account
of
freedom
and
contingency
does
not
allow
the
libertarian
 conclusion—although,
arguably,
it
also
fails
to
fit
neatly
into
a
modern
 compatibilist
model.
Where
our
conclusion
differs
from
Vos
and
Knuuttila
 is
in
its
assumption
that,
although
Scotus’
voluntarism
sets
him
apart
from
 Aquinas,
his
view
of
a
synchronicity
or
simultaneity
of
potencies
is
not
 utterly
revolutionary
and
has
clear
antecedents,
including
antecedents
in
 Aquinas’
thought. 4.4
The
Scotist
Alternative
in
Its
Metaphysical
and
Ontological
 Framework It
is
important
to
recognize
that
Scotus’
theology
and
philosophy
should
 not
be
construed
as
consistently
taking
Aquinas
as
the
primary
opponent— nor
should
Scotus’
views
on
possibility
be
understood
either
as
 discontinuous
with
earlier
scholastic
argumentation
or
as
a
massive
 revolution
in
thought.
As
demonstrated
by
his
citations,
Scotus
was
also
and
 often
far
more
intent
on
arguing
against
the
views
of
such
thinkers
as
Henry
 of
Ghent,
Godfrey
of
Fontaines,
and
Giles
of
Rome.99
This
general
point
 serves
to
clarify
Scotus’
debate
over
the
questions
of
potencies
and
of
the
 absolute
and
ordained
powers
of
God.
Scotus’
argument
here
specifically


takes
issue
with
Henry
of
Ghent’s
way
of
identifying
the
potency
of
 something
to
be
what
is
in
such
as
way
as
to
imply
that
there
is
no
 simultaneity
of
potencies
and
therefore
no
remaining
potency
to
be
 otherwise
in
the
present
moment—although
Henry
is
clearly
only
affirming
 the
law
of
non-contradiction
and
presumably
the
principle
of
bivalence
and
 indicating
that
potency
to
the
contrary
can
be
actualized
only
in
a
different
 moment.100 Still,
there
is
a
difference
between
the
Thomistic
and
the
Scotistic
use
of
 the
distinction
between
absolute
and
ordained
power
in
God,
and
it
is
 significant.
It
arises,
not
because
Aquinas
fails
to
indicate
that
the
divine
 will
intervenes
between
the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
 visionis,
but
because
of
two
significant
points
of
difference
between
 Aquinas
and
Scotus
concerning
divine
intellect
and
will
and
the
way
in
 which
these
faculties
operate
in
relation
to
possibles
and
contingents.
On
 the
first
of
these
points,
whereas
Aquinas
had
argued
the
divine
potentia
as
 the
foundation
of
extrinsic
possibility,
Scotus
rested
possibility
and
 impossibility
on
the
activity
of
the
divine
intellect
and
accordingly
offered
 an
alternative
view
of
the
relationship
of
possibles
to
contingencies.101
As
to
 the
second,
whereas
Aquinas
had
grounded
his
theory
of
contingency
and
 God’s
certain
knowledge
of
it
in
the
contingent
secondary
causality
of
the
 created
order
and
God’s
eternity,
Scotus
would
ground
contingency
and
 God’s
certain
knowledge
of
it
in
God’s
omnicausality
and
knowledge
of
his
 will.102 On
the
first
of
these
points
of
difference,
as
Émile
Pluzanski
long
ago
 argued,
whereas
“for
Thomas
[Aquinas],
the
essence
of
things
precedes
the
 understanding
(pensée)
that
God
has
of
them;
according
to
Scotus,
the
 divine
understanding
(pensée)
precedes
their
essence”:
according
to
Scotus,
 possibilities
are
not
known
to
God
merely
by
his
own
contemplation
of
his
 essence;
rather
they
are
produced
as
intelligible
in
a
non-temporal
moment
 or
instant
by
the
operation
of
the
divine
intellect:
things
are
“in
God
through
 the
actuality
of
the
divine
intellect,”
which
also
could
be
otherwise,
given
 that
God
could
approve
or
posit
the
opposite.103
As
Cross
points
out,
 according
to
Scotus,
“necessary
truths,
logical
possibilities,
and
possible
 individuals,
are
all
brought
into
existence
by
God.”104
The
manner
of
God’s
 working
is,
moreover,
perfect
and
by
nature
independent
of
what
it
causes,
 what
it
causes
is
produced
simply
by
the
highest
power
of
God,
and,


specifically,
it
is
“the
divine
intellect,
as
intellect
[that]
according
to
this
 manner,
produces
ideal
concepts
in
God.”105 The
issue
here,
not
only
for
Scotus
but
for
other
scholastics
as
well,
 including
Aquinas,
is
that
possibles
are
not
merely
a
set
of
logical
 possibilities—they
are
also
and,
more
importantly
for
the
existence
of
the
 finite
order,
potentially
existent
intelligible
beings
and
interactions
of
beings
 involving
the
logic
of
possibility,
impossibility,
compossibility,
and
 incompossibility,
but
known
as
possibles
by
the
divine
intellect
itself
or
to
 the
divine
intellect
in
the
divine
potentia.
As
Jacob
Schmutz
has
indicated,
 the
concept
of
simple
or
absolute
possibility,
such
that,
of
the
infinitude
of
 possibilia
known
to
God,
only
those
that
are
contradictory
or
chimerical
 lack
the
potential
or
ratio
for
existing,
was
a
scholastic
truism
by
the
 thirteenth
century—and
that
Aquinas
and
Scotus
offered
similar
readings
of
 the
same
passage
in
Aristotle’s
Metaphysica.
As
Schmutz
concludes,
it
is
 therefore
somewhat
astonishing
that
various
studies
of
Scotus
have
 identified
him
as
the
first
to
recognize
the
importance
of
this
notion
of
the
 possible
in
connection
with
causality
and
the
movement
from
potency
to
 act.106 The
difference
between
Aquinas
and
Scotus
on
this
point
rests
on
their
 respective
views
of
how
possibilitities
are
in
God,
are
known
to
God,
and
 how
the
divine
intellect
and
will
understand
and
actualize
particular
 concatenations
of
possibilities.
This
aspect
of
Aquinas’
and
Scotus’
thought —not
to
mention
the
other
medieval
variants
on
the
theme—is
 misunderstood
by
Te
Velde
and,
accordingly,
missed
in
his
assessments
of
 the
relationship
of
later,
mainly
Reformed,
theologians
to
Scotism.107
 Indeed,
as
will
be
seen
below,
this
omission
and
consequent
reduction
of
 the
question
of
possibility
to
logic
is
the
central
problem
in
the
claims
made
 by
Vos
and
his
associates
concerning
synchronic
contingency—a
 particularly
ironic
problem
given
their
claim
that
the
logical
argumentation
 they
employ
in
describing
synchronic
contingency
amounts,
presumably
by
 itself,
to
an
ontology.
(This
issue
belonged
to
the
older
scholastic
debate
 and
remained
an
issue
in
later
medieval
and
early
modern
scholasticism.
 Thus,
Durandus
and
John
Major
could
be
referenced
by
seventeenthcentury
writers
as
grounding
possibilia,
as
Aquinas
arguably
had
done,
in
 the
divine
potentia,
while
Marsilius
of
Inghen
was
understood
to
have
 grounded
possibilia
in
the
scientia
simplicis
notitiae.)108

As
Gelber
has
pointed
out,
Scotus’
understanding
of
the
requisites
of
 genuinely
free
or
contingent
willing
on
the
part
of
God
included,
with
 significant
ramifications
for
an
understanding
of
free
willing
on
the
part
of
 rational
creatures,
both
the
assumption
that
the
will
must
be
able
in
the
 same
moment
to
will
both
p
and
not-p
(i.e.,
a
freedom
of
contrariety)
and
 the
assumption
that
this
ability
would
be
excluded
if
the
willing
of
an
object
 had
to
belong
to
a
particular
moment
or
instant.
Specifically,
contingency
 would
actually
be
excluded
by
the
traditional,
Aristotelian
way
of
affirming
 contingency
as
a
necessity
of
the
consequence,
namely,
that
every
being
 must
necessarily
be
when
it
is.
Scotus,
therefore,
argued
a
way
of
opening
 the
present
to
multiple
possibilities—without,
however,
violating
the
 principle
of
noncontradiction
embodied
in
the
Aristotelian
understanding
of
 contingency.109
In
Gelber’s
words: Scotus
posed
non-temporal,
logical
“moments”
or
“instants
of
nature”
in
God.
In
the
 first
such
moment
consequent
on
God’s
knowing
himself,
God’s
intellect
produces
 intelligible
beings
(esse
intelligibile)
that
serve
as
objects
of
His
understanding.
In
the
 second
such
moment,
those
beings
exhibit
possibility.
If
no
necessity
attaches
to
them
 per
se,
and
if
no
contradiction
would
result
from
posing
their
existence
or
 nonexistence—eliminating
any
existential
necessity
or
impossibility
that
would
 compromise
their
contingency,
they
are
possible.
It
is
just
such
possible
beings
(esse
 possibile)
over
which
Scotus
believed
divine
omnipotence
has
its
range—the
range
of
 God’s
absolute
power.110

In
a
second
moment,
God
identifies
possible
beings
and,
understanding
 which
beings
are
non-compossible,
identifies
also
possible
combinations
of
 beings.
“The
third
moment
occurs
in
God’s
will
when
he
chooses
among
 the
various
possible
compossibilities
and
enacts
one
of
them,
making
some
 possible
works
the
actual
world.”111
When
the
divine
will
has
acted
to
 actualize
a
particular
world,
God
also
then
knows,
in
a
fourth
moment,
“the
 determinate
truth
of
all
future
contingents.”112 Following
Normore,
Gelber
also
argues
that
this
understanding
of
logical
 moments
or
instants
in
God
poses
a
significantly
different
approach
to
time
 and
eternity
than
that
found
in
the
thought
of
Aquinas.113
Aquinas
and
most
 of
the
earlier
tradition
understood
God’s
eternity
as
present
equally
to
all
 moments
in
time,
rendering
all
moments
ontologically
equivalent
from
the
 divine
perspective.
Scotus
countered
that
this
older
view
could
not
account
 for
genuine
divine
knowledge
of
past
and
future
and
argued
that
in
the
 divine
present,
future
temporal
contingencies
belong
to
the
second
moment


in
which
God
identifies
possible
combinations
of
beings,
specifically
the
 distinct
possible
worlds,
which,
understood
in
this
second
moment
as
 parallel
to
one
another,
simultaneously
manifest
non-compossibles,
p
and
 not-p,
in
the
same
moment.
The
third
moment,
in
which
the
divine
will
 brings
a
particular
world
into
being
in
the
temporal
order
with
its
past,
 present,
and
future,
is,
then,
“a
single
instantaneous
present
relative
to
[the
 divine]
will.”114
Given
that
in
Scotus’
formulation,
these
several
moments
 represent
a
logical
and
not
a
temporal
sequence,
and
that
the
third
nontemporal
moment
includes
the
temporal
order
as
present,
there
is,
logically
 speaking,
in
the
fullness
of
the
divine
willing
in
its
several
non-temporal
 instants,
a
possibility
of
contradictories
and
contraries
coinciding
with
 present
moments
of
time:
the
same
eternal
volition
that
wills
one
thing
to
 occur
can
also
will
its
opposite.115 The
temporal
contingent
is
so
not
because
it
is
defined
primarily
as
not
 necessary
but
because
it
is
defined
primarily
as
capable
of
being
otherwise —namely,
as
representing
a
freedom
of
contrariety
in
God
beyond
and
 including
simple
freedom
of
contradiction.116
According
to
Scotus,
 however,
this
assumption
does
not
undo
the
necessity
of
the
present:
it
does
 not,
in
other
words,
deny
the
basic
Aristotelian
premise
that
“being,
must
of
 necessity
be
when
it
is”
when
understood
as
a
de
dicto
or
logical
necessity
 in
the
composite
sense.
Scotus
only
insists
that
one
should
not
confuse
 contingency
with
a
necessity
de
re—something
that
is
contingent
is
not,
 strictly,
ontologically
necessary
when
it
is
rather
it
remains
contingent
albeit
 necessary
in
the
logical
sense.
Thus,
Scotus
denies
that
“everything
which
 is,
is
necessary
that
it
is,
when
it
is”
(the
divided
sense),
but
he
affirms
“that
 it
is
necessary
‘that
everything
is
when
it
is’”
(the
composite
sense).117
In
 short,
Scotus
accepts
the
basic
Aristotelian
premise
with
Aristotle’s
own
 qualifier,
namely,
“it
is
not
necessary
that
every
being
should
be.”
His
 argumentation,
albeit
very
different
from
that
of
Aquinas,
remains
within
 the
more
typical
range
of
medieval
Aristotelian
understandings
of
necessity
 and
contingency,
having,
however,
clarified
the
distinction
between
 contradiction
and
contrariety. Vos
and
others
provide
logical
propositions
illustrative
of
the
Scotist
 version
of
synchronic
contingency,
such
as
“God
does
p,
and
he
has
 simultaneously
the
possibility
of
not-doing
p”;
if
contrariety
is
invoked,
 “the
possibility
of
doing
not-p.”
In
cases
of
divine
and
human
willing,
the
 proposition
can
be
stated
modally:
“If
God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
is
possible


that
A
wills
not-p.”
These
propositions
function
in
the
context
of
Scotus’
 reconstrual
of
God’s
eternity
as
lacking
past
and
future
but
as
constituted
in
 a
series
of
non-temporal
instantes
or
momenta:
God
can,
in
a
second
nontemporal
moment
of
his
knowing
and
willing
consider
all
possibilia,
thus
 considering
both
p
and
not-p,
and
in
a
further
non-temporal
moment,
which,
 given
its
non-temporality,
is
eternally
simultaneous
with
the
second
nontemporal
moment,
will
p.
In
this
radical
non-temporal
sense,
p
and
not-p
are
 simultaneous
and
contingency
is
defined
not
simply
as
an
absence
of
 necessity
but
also,
and
in
the
moment,
as
the
possibility
of
being
otherwise.
 The
entire
world
order
and
any
event
in
it,
therefore,
viewed
sub
specie
 aeternitatis,
could
be
other
than
it
is,
synchronically
or
simultaneously,
 when
it
is
what
it
is.118
In
this
view,
contingency
can
be
identified
not
only
 in
the
passage
from
a
condition
A
to
a
condition
not-A
in
a
temporal
 sequence
but
in
the
genuine
alternative,
not-A,
belonging
to
the
same
 moment
or
“instant
of
nature
[instans
naturae]”
as
A.119 It
is
worth
noting
here
that
instans
and
instantia
in
Latin,
as
forms
from
 the
verb
insto,
instare,
indicate
presence,
persistence,
and
perseverance
and
 not
a
passing
moment—so
that
instans
naturae,
although
in
a
cognate
 rendering
reads
as
“instant
of
nature”
it
also
points
toward
a
presence
of
 nature,
even
a
persisting
presence.
A
divine
instans
naturae,
albeit
a
 “logical”
or
as
Antonie
Vos
terms
it
a
“structural
moment,”
then
is
not
only
 a-temporal
but
also
not
logically
or
ontologically
evanescent
in
relation
to
 other
non-temporal
“instants”
in
the
sequence. The
synchronic
or
simultaneous
contingency
and
the
understanding
of
 possibility,
then,
are
not
defined
by
the
event
and
do
not
reside
in
it.
In
this
 assumption,
Scotus
was
in
agreement
with
Aquinas
despite
their
difference
 over
the
definition
of
possibility.120
Rather,
for
Scotus,
the
synchronic
 contingencies,
understood
as
real
or
genuine
possibles,
are
defined
by
the
 agent—whether
divine
or
human—who
has
potencies
to
more
than
one
 effect.
Given
the
analogy
of
the
staff
in
the
river,
possibility
and
 contingency
are
to
be
understood
in
terms
of
the
flow
of
instantes
or
 momenta,
whether
logical
or
temporal.
Real
possibles
are
generated
in
the
 intellect
and
belong
to
the
potencies
of
will
of
the
agent.
Once
a
specific
 object
or
effect
is
actualized,
the
possibilities
remain
in
the
potency
of
the
 agent.
Although
the
freely
willed
actuality,
from
the
perspective
of
its
 event,
in
the
moment
that
it
is,
is
what
it
is
and
cannot
be
otherwise
than
 what
it
is,
from
the
perspective
of
the
possibilities
belonging
to
the


potencies
of
the
will,
could
be
otherwise.
The
synchronic
contingency
lies
 in
and
is
defined
by
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
according
to
which
the
 will,
in
the
very
moment
that
it
wills,
in
the
divided
sense
could
will
 otherwise. What
is
important
to
note
here,
however,
is
that
Scotus
did
not
deny
the
 truth
of
the
composite
sense
and,
therefore,
did
not
argue
against
the
 necessity
of
the
actual
world
order
to
be
what
it
is
in
any
given
temporal
 moment.
The
necessity
of
the
world
order
as
a
whole
is
a
necessity
of
the
 consequence,
and
given
Scotus’
application
of
the
notion
of
simultaneity
of
 potencies
to
God’s
knowing
and
willing,
any
moment
and
any
thing
at
any
 moment
in
the
created
order
could
be
otherwise.
Thus,
whereas
it
can
be
 argued,
given
Scotus’
understanding
of
eternity,
that
“if
God
wills
that
A
 wills
p,
it
is
possible
that
A
wills
not-p”
(given
the
potencies
to
be
otherwise
 that
remain
resident
in
both
the
divine
and
the
human
wills),
it
cannot
be
 argued
that
Scotus
advocated
the
claim
that
“if
God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
 can
occur
in
the
world
that
God
actualizes
that
A
actually
wills
not-p
when
 God
wills
that
A
wills
p.”
The
potency
to
will
p
and
the
potency
to
will
notp
reside
in
the
divine
and
human
wills—and
the
potency
to
will
not-p
 remains
in
the
very
moment
that
God
and
the
creature
will
p.
But
it
is
only
 one
potency
that
can
be
actualized
in
a
given
moment,
and
the
issue
 remains
one
of
simultaneous
potency:
the
phrases
“synchronic
 contingency”
and
“simultaneous
contingency,”
arguably,
only
serve
to
 confuse
the
issue. Or,
to
make
the
point
in
another
way,
the
third
and
final
non-temporal
 moment
in
Scotus’
logical
sequence
of
the
divine
willing
represents,
even
 (and
perhaps
especially)
in
God,
a
necessity
of
the
consequence:
God,
 having
the
power
to
will
otherwise,
wills
to
actualize
a
particular
world,
and
 in
that
moment
of
willing
its
actuality
cannot
equally
not
be
willing
its
 actuality—although
he
could,
potentially,
in
that
moment
be
not
willing
its
 actuality.
Scotus
was
not
proposing
to
dismiss
the
principle
of
bivalence.
 There
is,
in
other
words,
a
non-temporal
logical
sequence
in
God
that
 provides
a
foundation
for
the
diachronic
sequence
of
temporal
 contingencies.
God
has
willed
into
actuality
a
particular
world,
with
all
its
 own
necessities,
contingencies,
and
freedoms
that,
once
willed
by
God,
will
 be
what
it
is
when
it
is
what
it
is.
The
argumentation
has,
here,
added
a
 nuance
that
presents
contingency
in
a
more
vivid
manner
than
Aquinas,
but


it
does
not
alter
the
necessity
per
accidens,
whether
as
the
necessity
of
the
 actualized
present,
or
the
necessity
of
the
past. Thus,
although
this
language
of
simultaneous
potencies
offers
a
richer
 understanding
of
contingency
itself
and
a
somewhat
more
radical
sense
that
 all
things
in
the
universe
could,
given
the
absolute
power
of
God,
have
been
 otherwise,
its
implications
for
an
understanding
of
the
actual
order
of
the
 universe
remain
within
the
traditional
sense
of
the
creation
and
providential
 ordering
of
compossible
things.
What
is
more,
these
implications
can
be
 made
clear
only
in
the
context
of
Scotus’
own
understanding
of
providence
 and,
indeed,
his
understanding
of
the
relative
necessities
that
belong
to
the
 actual
order
of
things.
To
use
a
standard
scholastic
distinction,
Scotus
 insisted
on
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
(simultas
potentiae)
but
denied
as
 impossible
a
potency
of
simultaneity
(potentia
simultatis)—which
is
to
say
 that
he
argued
simultaneity
in
sensu
diviso
and
denied
it
in
sensu
composito. The
question
that
must
be
raised
here
concerns
the
nature
of
this
 development
in
the
language
of
contingency:
what
precisely
does
this
 language
add
to
the
more
traditional
language
of
contingency
and
the
 understanding
of
potency
found
in
Aquinas
and
is
the
addition
significant?
 Given
the
denial
of
a
potentia
simultatis,
grounded
in
the
principle
of
noncontradiction,
the
Scotistic
language
does
not
obviate
the
necessarily
 diachronic
character
of
contingent
events
in
the
temporal
order.
Our
favorite
 test
case,
A,
cannot
effectively
will
p
and
will
not-p
in
the
same
moment
or
 achieve
p
and
not-p
in
the
same
time,
the
same
place
and
the
same
way,
 although,
clearly,
in
the
very
moment
that
he
wills
p,
he
has
the
potency
for
 willing
not-p,
and
the
Scotistic
language
underlines
that
datum.
The
Scotist
 language
also
states
quite
clearly
that
in
actu
primo,
that
is,
in
the
moment
 of
will
on
the
cusp
of
its
effective
exercise,
A
has
the
potency
to
will
both
p
 and
not-p.
But
this
is
not
altogether
new
and
different. We
have
already
noted
the
presence
of
elements
of
synchronicity
in
 Aquinas’
otherwise
diachronic
discussions
of
contingency.
It
is
even
more
 significant
to
the
present
issue
that
Aquinas
understood
the
particular
kind
 of
contingency
identifiable
in
human
free
choice
as
resting
on
the
multiple
 potencies
of
the
human
will.
Aquinas
very
clearly
held
that
the
human
will
 is
such
that,
in
actu
primo,
it
has
potency
to
p
and
not-p.
Arguably,
 therefore,
with
regard
to
the
freedom
of
human
willing,
taken
by
itself,
 Scotus’
language
does
not
substantively
alter
the
discussion
but
only
marks


a
linguistic
advance
that
adds
some
clarity
to
the
argument
for
genuine
 contingency
and
free
choice. An
issue
that,
as
Wolter
pointed
out,
was
“obscured”
in
Scotus’
Lectura
 but
stated
rather
clearly
elsewhere
is
that
in
this
entirely
contingent
world
 order,
acts
of
free
choice
have
an
“additional
cause
of
their
contingency.”121
 In
Lectura
I
39,
it
was
fairly
clearly
argued
that
the
divine
will,
not
the
 divine
intellect,
is
the
primary
source
of
contingency
in
the
world—given
 that
God
wills
freely
and
could
will
otherwise.
“Some
things,”
Wolter
notes,
 “have
a
second
or
additional
cause
of
their
contingency
. . .
namely,
 anything
involving
a
free
act
of
our
will”
inasmuch
as
“God
has
not
only
 freely
created
and
conserved
it,
but
has
endowed
it
with
something
of
his
 own
freedom,
giving
it
the
special
power
to
determine
itself.”122
Albeit
from
 a
voluntarist
perspective,
this
aspect
of
Scotus’
argument
indicates
some
 common
ground
with
Aquinas’
understanding
of
contingency—specifically
 its
recognition
of
a
basis
for
understanding
contingency
within
the
finite
 order
itself
in
the
willing
and
actions
of
finite,
rational
agents. The
basic
character
of
the
approach
to
contingency
in
the
Scotist
model
 arises
from
the
radical
freedom
of
God
that
identifies
the
entire
world
order
 as
utterly
contingent—but
the
full
impact
of
the
synchronicity
in
the
Scotist
 model
becomes
clear
only
when
the
“additional
cause
of
contingency,”
 namely,
another
free
will,
is
added
to
the
argument
in
order
to
distinguish
 the
general
contingency
of
the
world
order
as
such
within
which
there
are
 also
relative
necessities
from
the
specifically
twofold
kind
of
contingency
 brought
about
by
the
presence
of
two
free
wills
in
their
concurrent
 interaction. For
just
as
our
will,
as
naturally
prior
to
its
act,
elicits
the
act
in
such
a
way
that
it
 could,
at
the
same
instant
[of
time]
elicit
the
opposite;
so
the
divine
will,
insofar
as
it
 alone
is
naturally
prior
to
its
volition,
tending
to
such
an
object
does
so
contingently
 in
such
a
way
that
at
the
same
instant,
i.e.,
the
now
of
eternity,
it
could
tend
towards
 the
opposite
object.123

Thus,
to
paraphrase
one
of
the
propositions
found
in
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
as
an
example,
it
would
be
of
little
consequence
to
state
modally,
 in
the
divided
sense,
that
“If
God
wills
that
a
rock
fall
off
a
cliff,
it
is
 possible
that
the
rock
not
fall
off
the
cliff”;
whereas
it
represents
a
rather
 more
significant
point
to
argue
that,
with
reference
to
a
rational
creature,
A,
 and,
again,
in
the
divided
sense,
“If
God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
is
possible
 that
A
wills
not-p.”
What
A
possesses
(and
the
rock
lacks!)
is
potency
or


potencies
to
more
than
one
effect.
Raising
the
issue
in
this
way
indicates,
 neither
in
the
case
of
the
rock
nor
in
the
case
of
A,
a
synchronicity
of
 actualized
contingencies,
but
rather,
in
the
case
of
A,
a
synchronicity
of
 possibilities
for
actualizing
contrary
contingents,
grounded
in
the
various
 potencies
resident
in
both
the
divine
and
the
human
will.
The
language
also
 assumes
that
the
actualization
of
one
potency
does
not
remove
the
contrary
 potency,
but
only
the
capability
of
A
to
its
actualize
it
in
the
same
moment.
 The
language
of
simultaneous
potencies
is,
then,
significant
in
describing
 acts
in
which
there
are
two
free
wills
and
therefore
two
distinct
causes
of
 the
contingency. 4.5
Penultimate
Reflections Several
issues
arising
from
the
examination
of
Aquinas
and
Scotus
have
 particular
importance
for
the
discussion
of
Reformed
thought
in
the
early
 modern
era
and
need
to
be
noted
before
we
proceed
to
that
discussion.
The
 distinctions
concerning
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom—specifically,
 the
distinctions
grounded
in
the
interpretation
of
Aristotle’s
De
 interpretatione
concerning
necessity
of
the
consequence
and
of
the
 consequent
thing,
necessity
de
dicto
and
de
re,
and
the
composite
versus
the
 divided
sense—are
interpretive
tools
that
assume
the
principles
of
 noncontradiction
and
bivalence
but
that
do
not
carry
with
them
a
particular
 ontology.
The
ontological
context
becomes
clear
when
the
distinctions
are
 placed
in
relation
to
assumptions
concerning
eternity
and
temporality,
the
 foundation
of
possibility,
and
the
understanding
of
concurrent
divine
and
 human
willing
in
the
actualization
of
possibles. Despite
the
major
differences
between
Aquinas’
and
Scotus’
use
of
these
 distinctions
and
between
their
explanations
of
freedom
and
contingency,
 both
Aquinas’
and
Scotus’
understandings
of
the
issues
of
necessity
and
 contingency
fall
within
trajectories
of
Western
Christian
Aristotelianism
 that
assume
both
a
divine
determination
of
all
things
and
human
free
choice —with
free
choice
as
defined
by
an
alternativity
consisting
in
the
liberties
 of
contradiction
and
contrariety.
Whereas
Scotus
departs
from
Aquinas
(as
 also
from
Henry
of
Ghent
and
others),
he
nonetheless
remains
within
the
 compass
of
argument
arising
from
the
discussion
in
Aristotle’s
De
 interpretatione.
Specifically,
Scotus’
assumption
that
the
necessity
of
a
 particular
thing
or
moment
can
be
understood
as
a
necessity
of
the


consequence
does
not
remove
the
argument
for
contingency
from
the
main
 line
of
argument
and
definition
based
on
Aristotle.
Scotus,
then,
did
not
 view
Aristotle
as
an
advocate
of
the
principle
of
plenitude,
whether
 understood
as
implying
that
all
genuine
possibles
will
sometime
be
 actualized
or
that
everything
that
is,
is
necessary
when
it
is
(a
necessity
of
 the
consequent
thing,
or
de
re),
as
distinct
from
the
assumption
that
it
is
 necessary
that
something
be
what
it
is
when
it
is
what
it
is
(a
necessity
of
 the
consequence
or
de
dicto).
As
we
have
seen,
this
deterministic
view
of
 Aristotle
is
neither
a
necessary
nor
even
probable
reading
of
Aristotle—and
 it
was
not
the
reading
of
Aristotle
presumed
by
the
larger
part
of
the
 Western
tradition. So
also,
despite
their
differences
over
the
relationship
of
intellect
and
 will,
Scotus
and
Aquinas
both
held
a
“conception
of
voluntary
action
as
 involving
the
exercise
of
a
will-based
capacity
to
be
moved
by
practical
 reason.”124
Accordingly,
once
Scotus
is
recognized
as
actually
standing
in
 continuity
with
earlier
readings
of
the
issue
of
necessities
of
the
 consequence,
and
once
his
approach
to
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
is
 recognized
as
not
so
much
a
departure
from
as
an
augmentation
and
 clarification
of
the
earlier
patterns
of
non-determinist
argumentation,
his
 theory
of
contingency
can
be
regarded
as
advancing
the
issue
rather
than
as
 a
revolutionary
alteration
of
thought
on
the
issue—certainly
rather
than
an
 utterly
new
understanding
of
contingency. A
similar
point
must
be
made
concerning
Scotus’
emphasis
language
of
 “instants
of
nature,”
or
as
Vos
prefers
to
identify
them,
“structural
 moments,”
in
God.
The
language
is
perhaps
new
to
the
time
of
Scotus
and
 newly
emphasized
by
him,
but
as
in
most
cases
of
new
philosophical
or
 theological
terminology,
the
thought
was
resident
in
the
tradition
long
 before.
Thus,
once
distinctions
are
made
between
the
absolute
and
the
 ordained
power
of
God
or,
more
to
the
point,
between
an
eternal
divine
 knowledge
of
all
possibility
(whether
identified
as
scientia
simplicis
 intelligentiae
or
scientia
necessaria)
separated
from
the
eternal
divine
 knowledge
of
all
actuality
that
is
to
be
(whether
identified
as
scientia
 visionis
or
scientia
voluntaria)
by
an
intervening
divine
willing,
a
 distinction
has
been
made
between
logically
sequenced,
non-temporal
 moments
or
instants
in
the
Godhead.
Again,
Scotus’
language
may
be
new,
 his
emphasis
on
the
issue
surely
is
greater,
but
the
issue
is
not
nearly
as
 revolutionary
nor,
indeed,
as
distinctly
Scotist
as
has
been
argued.

The
distinctive
character
of
Scotus’
approach
arises
from
his
voluntaristic
 approach
to
the
doctrine
of
God,
his
reframing
of
the
question
of
the
 relationship
of
eternity
and
time,
and
his
use
in
that
connection
of
a
 distinction
between
instants
of
time
and
non-temporal
instants
of
nature.
It
 is,
moreover,
the
latter
of
these
two
characteristics
of
Scotus’
thought
that
 produces
the
altered
understanding
of
contingency
that
has
attracted
the
 attention
of
Vos
and
others
and
not
merely
Scotus’
appeal
to
distinctions
 between
the
composite
and
the
divided
sense.
In
the
context
of
his
 alternative
understanding
of
eternal
knowing
and
willing
as
consistent
with
 a
sequence
of
a-temporal,
logical
moments
in
God,
Scotus
also
argued
the
 ground
or
root
of
possibility
to
lie
in
the
divine
intellect. Scotus
did,
however,
view
Aquinas’
intellectualist
approach
to
free
 choice
as
failing
to
assure
freedom
and
to
avoid
a
form
of
determinism.
 Scotus,
together
with
a
significant
number
of
Franciscan
predecessors,
 understood
freedom
of
choice
to
depend
on
the
utter
freedom
of
the
will,
 including
the
power
of
the
will
to
decline
the
last
determinate
judgment
of
 the
practical
intellect.
From
the
perspective
of
Scotus’
emphasis
on
the
 simultaneous
potencies
of
the
will,
this
disagreement
can
be
seen
as
a
major
 advance
in
the
conversation
and
debate. Given
these
conclusions,
what
of
synchronic
or
simultaneous
 contingency?
As
premised
at
the
outset
of
this
study,
the
terms
are
 somewhat
misleading,
given
their
double
usage,
namely,
referencing
real
or
 intrinsic
possibilities
as
synchronic
contingencies
and
also
identifying,
 under
the
same
rubric,
the
simultaneous
potencies
that
render
the
 contingencies
extrinsically
possible.
This
distinction,
moreover,
enables
 response
to
some
of
Helm’s
objections. As
was
the
case
with
Aquinas,
Scotus’
approach
does
not
merely
pose
 what
Helm
has
called
“a
contingency
of
simultaneous
logical
 alternatives.”125
Rather,
although
differing
substantively
with
Aquinas
in
his
 views
on
eternity,
the
foundation
of
possibility,
and
the
capacities
of
the
 will,
the
larger
complex
of
Scotus’
doctrine
also
sets
the
distinctions
 concerned
with
synchronic
contingency
and
simultaneous
potencies
into
an
 ontological
context.
The
possibles
related
to
free
choice—call
them
a
and
 not-a—exist
both
intrinsically
and
extrinsically
in
the
knowing
and
willing
 of
God
and
of
human
beings.
The
logical
formulae
represent
real
possibles
 that
can
be
actualized
in
the
temporal
order,
with
the
actualization
of
a
or
 not-a
depending
on
the
free
and
concurrent
willing
of
God
and
of
the


human
subject.
Once
the
ontological
issues
are
broached,
what
also
 becomes
clear
is
that
whereas
the
contrary
possibles
and
the
corresponding
 contrary
potencies
remain
synchronic,
their
actualizations
are
and
must
be
 diachronic. Scotus
did
not
so
depart
from
the
main
lines
of
Peripatetic
analysis
of
 necessity,
contingency,
possibility,
and
impossibility
as
to
support
a
concept
 of
contingency
that
rejected
either
the
law
of
excluded
middle
or
the
 principle
of
bivalence.
His
approach
to
contingency,
in
other
words,
posited
 that
a
contingency
is
something
that
could
be
otherwise,
and
not
that
a
 contingency
is
something
that
can
be
otherwise
when
it
is
what
it
is!
There
 is
certainly
a
linguistic
shift
from
the
assumption
that
a
contingent
thing
 could
have
been
otherwise
to
the
assumption
that
a
contingent
things
could
 be
otherwise.
But
Scotus
did
not
dispute
necessities
of
the
consequence,
 namely,
that
what
is,
is
necessarily
what
it
is
or,
alternatively,
that
it
is
 necessary
that
whatever
is,
is
when
it
is.
When
possibility
p
is
actualized,
 possibility
not-p
remains
a
possibility
in
potency,
but
it
cannot
in
the
same
 moment
be
in
actuality. This
model,
moreover,
as
offered
by
Scotus,
is
identical
with
respect
to
 the
sequencing
of
temporal
moments
in
the
created
order
and
the
 sequencing
of
non-temporal
moments
in
instants
of
nature
in
the
divine
 knowing
and
willing.
Scotus’
argument,
then,
does
not
provide
an
utterly
 alternative
approach
to
contingency:
actualizations
of
potencies
remain
 sequenced,
whether
in
time
or
in
the
non-temporal
sequencing
of
divine
 instants.
God,
in
his
eternity,
can
know
contrary
contingencies
 simultaneously—but
the
human
agent
cannot
simultaneously
produce
 contrary
contingent
effects.
The
Scotist
view
offers
a
nuancing
of
 diachronic
contingency
by
way
of
a
theory
of
divine
knowing
and
willing
in
 which
there
is
posited
a
non-temporal
sequence
in
the
divine
knowing
and
 willing
of
possibles,
and
further
nuanced
by
way
of
an
emphasis
on
 synchronic
or
simultaneous
potencies. Although
this
approach
to
Scotus
and
the
late
medieval
language
of
 necessity,
possibility,
and
contingency
is
somewhat
different
from
the
view
 assumed
by
Vos
and
Knuuttila,
it
in
no
way
minimizes
the
importance
and
 usefulness
of
one
of
the
linguistic
nuances:
specifically,
the
nuance
 concerning
the
simultaneity
of
potency,
that
underlies
and
explains
the
 modern
terminology
of
synchronic
contingency.
Simultaneous
potency
 presents
an
entirely
different
issue.
If
not
an
entirely
new
understanding
of


contingency
and
if
not
in
itself
an
alternative
ontology,
the
language
of
a
 synchronism
or
simultaneity
of
potencies
does
provide
a
significant
way
of
 understanding
how
the
necessary
diachronicity
of
temporal
contingencies
 does
not
undermine
understandings
of
freedom,
and,
as
argued
concerning
 the
majority
Western
reading
of
Aristotle
on
contingencies,
it
consistently
 affirms
the
law
of
excluded
middle
and
the
principle
of
bivalence. It
is,
therefore,
not
an
entirely
new
way
of
expressing
the
issues
because,
 as
we
have
seen,
the
view
latent
in
Aristotle’s
own
formulation
and
 specifically
indicated
by
Aquinas
assumed
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
to
 and
possibilities
for
the
contraries.
Still,
we
can
identify
what
is,
certainly,
 an
alteration
of
emphasis.
Whereas
Aquinas
and
others
prior
to
Scotus
had
 been
content
to
identify
potencies
to
do
or
be
otherwise
as
characteristic
 markers
of
contingency
and
freedom,
Scotus
gave
new
emphasis
to
the
 distinction,
already
indicated
by
earlier
thinkers
including
Aquinas,
 between
multiple
potencies
understood
in
terms
of
diachronic
 actualizations,
namely,
potencies
exercised
successively,
and
multiple
 potencies
understood
synchronically,
namely,
the
retention
of
a
potency
in
 the
very
moment
that
the
potency
to
the
opposite
is
exercised.126 The
root
of
this
emphasis
lies
in
Scotus’
voluntarism—and
it
serves
 significantly
to
clarify
the
issue
of
genuine
contingency
and
human
 freedom,
as
well
as
underline
the
difference
between
Scotus’
understanding
 of
freedom
and
alternativity
and
that
of
Aquinas.
Dekker
has
summarized
 the
issue
and
the
distinction: according
to
Scotus
. . .
the
will
is
the
only
true
rational
power.
This
claim
should
be
 understood
against
the
background
of
the
discussion
of
Aristotle’s
saying
that
a
 rational
power
is
capable
of
opposites.
Aristotle
thought
that
the
intellect
was
rational,
 and
thus,
capable
of
opposites.
Scotus
shows
that
in
fact
the
intellect
is
a
natural
 power,
and
that
since
the
will
is
the
only
potency
that
truly
has
capacity
for
opposites,
 only
the
will
is
truly
rational.
This
is
not
the
same
as
saying
that
the
intellect
is
just
 not
important,
it
is
only
to
say
that
in
the
sense
here
defined,
the
intellect
is
not
free
 but
natural
and
thus
not
rational.127

In
agreement
with
Aristotle
and
Aquinas,
Scotus
identified
freedom
as
 grounded
in
the
rational
faculty.
As
distinct
from
Aristotle
and
from
 Aquinas,
Scotus
identified
this
faculty
as
the
will
and
placed
alternativity
 fully
in
the
will—this
shift
in
argument
does
not,
however,
reduce
either
the
 Aristotelian
or
the
Thomistic
view
to
determinism;
it
simply
identifies
a
 different
source
of
the
alternativity
that
is
requisite
to
freedom.

We
can
now
identify
a
series
of
issues
that,
taken
individually,
do
not
 identify
an
argument
as
Scotist
but
that,
taken
together,
may
well
do
so.
 There
is
the
emphasis
on
the
freedom
of
divine
willing
pressed
to
the
point
 of
explicitly
identifying
the
divine
willing
as
contingent.
By
itself
this
 emphasis
is
not
actually
a
radical
departure
from
what
went
before,
given
 that
earlier
theologians,
including
Aquinas,
did
hold
that
God’s
will
is
free
 and
could
be
or
could
have
been
otherwise.
On
this
particular
issue,
then,
 the
argument
of
a
major
shift
from
Aquinas
to
Scotus
is
less
than
 convincing.
Scotus
did,
however,
accentuate
the
point
by
naming
it. Further,
there
is
the
Scotistic
theory
of
the
primary
foundation
of
 temporal
contingency
in
the
logical
sequence
of
instants
of
nature
in
God
 and
the
freedom
of
the
divine
willing
rather
than
primarily
in
the
 contingencies
of
things
in
the
temporal
order.
Taken
by
itself,
the
Scotist
 notion
of
non-temporal
moments
or
instants
of
nature
in
God
does
not
 actually
add
much
to
what
we
already
have
from
previous
thinkers,
 including
Aquinas,
given
that
they
quite
clearly
posited
a
scientia
simplicis
 intelligentiae
and
a
scientia
visionis,
with
the
divine
will
intervening—all
in
 eternity
and,
by
implication
therefore,
also
a
sequence
of
non-temporal
 moments
or
acts
in
God.
Aquinas
did
not
reference
this
sequence
as
a
series
 of
instants
of
nature,
but
the
absence
of
the
term
does
not
indicate
the
 absence
of
the
conceptual
structure. In
Scotus’
application
of
the
concept
of
instants
of
nature,
however,
we
 have
an
argument
that
is
relatively
distinct
from
Aquinas’
theory
of
 contingency:
whereas
for
Aquinas,
although
he
clearly
recognized
the
 freedom
of
God
to
have
not
created
the
world
or,
indeed,
to
have
created
it
 otherwise,
the
world
order
is
necessary
from
the
perspective
of
God’s
 willing
it
or
having
willed
it
to
be
the
way
it
is
and
contingent
from
the
 perspective
of
the
order
itself
and
the
things
in
it,
inasmuch
nothing
in
the
 order
or
indeed
the
order
itself
has
to
be
or,
indeed,
be
the
way
it
is. Still,
it
must
be
said
that
this
rooting
of
contingency
in
the
divine
willing
 itself
and
the
possibility
that
God
could
(or
can)
will
an
entirely
different
 temporal
order,
in
effect
defining
the
contingencies
in
this
world
in
terms
of
 the
simultaneous
existence
of
their
contraries
in
another
possible
order,
 taken
by
itself
gives
very
little
consolation
to
the
individual
human
being!
 Rather,
given
the
contingent
nature
of
the
world
order
and
the
resultant
 possibility
of
free
actions
in
the
order,
the
focus
of
arguments
concerning
 freedom
can
be
on
the
liberties
of
contradiction
and
contrariety
in
the


individual
agent
and
on
the
genuine
simultaneity
of
potencies
in
the
rational
 creature.
For
Aquinas,
given
the
divine
willing
that
is
constitutive
of
the
 entire
temporal
order,
the
primary
foundation
of
contingency
is
in
the
order
 itself
and
in
the
movements
of
its
creatures.
Scotus
shifted
the
emphasis
by
 consistently
pointing
to
a
double
foundation
of
contingency
in
any
given
 moment,
namely,
the
potency
of
the
divine
will
that
anything
or
everything
 could
be
otherwise
and
the
potencies
in
things
that
they
could
be
otherwise. The
Scotist
advance,
then,
amounts
to
a
more
voluntaristic
statement
of
 the
issue
of
freedom
in
the
individual
agent
and
a
more
emphatic
statement
 of
the
ongoing,
resident
simultaneity
of
potencies.
This
latter
point,
the
 simultaneity
of
potencies,
had
been
affirmed
by
Aquinas
and,
as
a
large
 number
of
medieval
thinkers
also
assumed,
by
Aristotle
as
well.
Scotus,
 again,
appears
somewhat
less
than
utterly
revolutionary.
What
is
more,
 whether
an
emphasis
on
simultaneity
of
potencies
is
Thomistic
or
Scotistic —or
Bradwardinian,
for
that
matter—its
full
significance
rests
on
the
larger
 complex
of
thought
of
which
it
is
a
part.
After
Scotus
and
the
developments
 of
his
era,
however,
the
larger
complex
of
thought,
which
includes
issues
of
 the
nature
and
foundation
of
possibility
and
of
the
providential
ordering
and
 governance
of
the
creation,
whatever
its
sources
and
accents,
would
need
to
 account
for
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
at
both
levels
of
causality,
the
 primary
and
the
secondary. There
is
also
Scotus’
alternative
view
of
eternity—again,
different
from
 that
of
Aquinas
in
its
emphasis,
given
its
introduction
of
the
concept
of
 instants
of
nature
or
logical
moments
in
the
divine
mind.
The
difference,
 however,
is
in
degree
of
emphasis
and
in
the
clarity
of
Scotus’
distinction
of
 instantes
naturae,
given
that
the
concept
is
present
by
implication
in
the
 earlier
distinctions
between
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
scientia
 visionis
and
between
potentia
absoluta
and
potentia
ordinata,
given
in
 particular
the
intervention
of
the
divine
will
between
the
two
forms
of
 divine
knowledge.
And
furthermore,
there
is
the
understanding
of
human
 willing
(as
well
as
divine
willing)
as
characterized
by
multiple
potencies,
 namely,
the
capability
of
willing,
not-willing,
and
willing
otherwise.
Here
 again,
we
have
not
an
absolute
difference
between
Scotus’
thought
and
that
 of
other
theologians
but
instead
a
significant
alteration
of
language
and
an
 equally
significant
alteration
of
emphasis. Taken
together
(and
leaving
aside
other
distinctive
or
relatively
 distinctive
elements
of
Scotus’
thought
like
the
univocity
of
being
and
the


formal
distinction),
we
have
a
grouping
of
concepts
that
can
identify
 Scotus’
contribution
to
the
understanding
of
contingency
and
necessity,
of
 divine
and
human
willing—a
sequence
of
instants
of
nature
in
God,
an
 emphasis
on
the
utter
contingency
of
the
created
order,
a
distinctly
 voluntaristic
conception
of
human
freedom,
a
view
of
divine
and
human
 willing
that
can
be
characterized
as
synchronic
contingency,
and
a
rather
 unique
way
of
arguing
the
freedom
of
the
will
to
reject
the
last
determinate
 judgment
of
the
practical
intellect.
Taken
apart
from
this
complex
of
 interrelated
concepts,
the
presence
of
a
theory
of
synchronic
contingency
is
 not
enough
to
identify
a
later
theologian
as
“Scotist.”
We
do
gain
a
sense
of
 the
influence
of
Scotus
teachings
on
later
Christian
theologians
and
 philosophers
and
of
the
usefulness
of
this
refined
understanding
of
freedom,
 contingency,
and
necessity
when
its
distinctions
and
argumentation
were
 drawn
into
early
modern
Reformed
thought
and
merged
with
a
set
of
highly
 specified
constructions
concerning
the
divine
knowledge,
will,
and
 providential
concursus,
but
the
point
remains
that,
when
the
larger
complex
 of
views
is
examined,
we
become
aware
of
the
significant
place
of
Scotus
in
 an
ongoing
debate
and
conversation
in
which
not
all
participants
are
Scotist —indeed,
the
very
nature
of
the
conversation,
given
the
larger
complex
of
 concepts
involved,
is
eclectic. Finally,
with
regard
to
the
broader
discussion
of
Aquinas
and
Scotus
on
 the
issues
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom,
we
can
address
the
 differences
in
scholarship
over
the
identification
of
their
views
as
either
 libertarian
or
compatibilist.
Both
have
been
identified
as
libertarian
and
 both
as
compatibilist.
It
would
certainly
be
possible
to
add
to
this
body
of
 scholarship
by
advancing
arguments
that
undermine
one
or
the
other
of
 these
conclusions.
But
it
may
be
more
suitable
to
the
case
to
raise
the
issue
 that
the
language
itself
is
problematic
and
that
the
differences
in
the
 scholarship
arise
at
least
in
part
from
the
inapplicability
of
the
terms
 “libertarian”
and
“compatibilist”
to
both
Aquinas
and
Scotus.
Both
Aquinas
 and
Scotus
assume
free
choice
identified
by
alternativity—liberty
of
 contrariety
and
liberty
of
contradiction—in
the
case
of
Aquinas
primarily
in
 the
intellect,
in
the
case
of
Scotus
clearly
and
fully
in
the
will.
(It
is
clear
 that
thinkers
following
out
the
Franciscan
voluntaristic
tradition,
including
 Scotus,
found
the
Thomist
and
generally
Dominican
intellectualist
approach
 to
alternativity
unsatisfactory—and
equally
clear
that
the
Dominican
 tradition
was
equally
dissatisfied
with
the
Franciscan
voluntarist
account.


Nonetheless,
both
traditions
affirmed
free
choice
and
assumed
that
it
was
to
 be
defined,
in
part,
by
alternativity.)
Both
also
assumed
a
synchronicity
or
 simultaneity
of
potencies
at
the
point
of
choosing,
and,
arguably,
both
also
 assume
that
an
unactualized
potency
is
removed
not
as
a
potency
when
its
 contrary
is
actualized
but
only
as
a
possible
actuality
in
that
moment.
 Accordingly,
both
Aquinas’
and
Scotus’
views
on
human
freedom
contain
a
 sense
of
alternativity
that
does
not
comport
with
modern
compatibilism.
 Aquinas
and
Scotus
also
both
assume
an
overarching
divine
power,
will,
 causality,
alone
ultimately
responsible
to
the
actualization
of
possibilities
 and
utterly
free
to
determine
from
eternity
which
possibilities
are
to
be
 actualized.
This
assumption
does
not
comport
with
libertarianism. A
possible
reason
for
the
ongoing
debate
and
the
varied
assignment
of
 these
two
theologians
to
either
libertarian
or
compatibilist
camps
is
that
 even
as
both
assume
freedoms
of
contradiction
and
contrariety,
neither
 argues
the
case
for
these
forms
of
alternativity
on
the
basis
of
indifference
 or
as
moderns
like
to
call
it,
equipoise.
Indeed,
modern
libertarianism— arguably
in
the
wake
of
Luiz
de
Molina—has
grounded
human
freedom
in
 an
ongoing
indifference
or
equipoise,
in
the
case
of
the
Molinist,
even
after
 the
determination
of
the
will,128
whereas
the
older
tradition
as
represented
 by
Aquinas
and
Scotus
did
not.

Part
III

Early
Modern
Reformed
Perspectives:
 Contingency,
Necessity,
and
Freedom
in
the
 Real
Order
of
Being

5 Necessity,
Contingency,
and
Freedom:
 Reformed
Understandings 5.1
Freedom,
Necessity,
and
Divine
Knowing
in
the
Thought
of
Calvin
 and
the
Early
Reformed
Tradition A.
The
Present
Debate.
Early
modern
Reformed
understandings
of
 divine
willing
and
human
free
choice
belong
to
the
ongoing
conversation
 and
debate
over
issues
of
freedom,
contingency,
and
necessity
that
extend
 back
through
the
Middle
Ages
into
the
patristic
period.
The
intense
debates
 of
the
Reformation
over
the
issues
of
grace,
free
choice,
and
election
 focused
the
early
Reformed
discussion
and
definition
of
human
freedom
on
 the
problem
of
human
inability
in
the
sinful
condition
of
humanity
after
the
 fall.
On
one
hand,
fallen,
unregenerate
human
beings
were
consistently
 argued
to
be
incapable
of
freely
willing
good
acts
that
would
merit
 salvation,
and
on
the
other
hand,
regenerate
human
beings
were
argued
to
 be
free
from
sin
only
insofar
as
grace
worked
in
them.
In
this
context,
free
 will
or
free
choice
was
often
denied
as
contrary
to
the
message
of
grace
 and,
indeed,
a
denial
of
divine
election.
The
emphasis
of
doctrinal
 exposition
fell,
not
on
the
more
generally
anthropological
or
philosophical
 question
of
what
constitutes
free
choice
in
daily,
civil,
or
even
ethical
 matters,
but
on
the
foundational
soteriological
question
of
the
source
or
 foundation
of
salvation.
Given,
moreover,
the
exclusion
of
human
merit
 from
salvation,
even
the
issue
of
human
responsibility
to
an
outward
 obedience
to
the
law
was
seldom
referenced
in
the
Reformers’
definitions
of
 human
freedom.
These
understandings
also
serve
to
explain
the
 development
of
Reformed
thought
as
it
moved
through
the
era
of
the
 Reformation
into
the
era
of
confessional
orthodoxy
and
the
rise,
in


Protestant
circles,
of
more
overtly
academic
or
scholastic
forms
of
 theological
argumentation. Early
Reformation
approaches
to
freedom
and
necessity
occupy
a
 significant
place
in
the
debate
over
synchronic
contingency
in
the
Reformed
 tradition
if
only
because
Helm
and
Vos
(albeit
on
rather
different
grounds)
 are
in
relative
agreement
in
their
readings
of
Calvin’s
thought
concerning
 both
divine
and
human
freedom
and,
therefore,
opposed
in
their
sense
of
 Calvin’s
relationship
to
the
later
Reformed
tradition.
As
already
noted,
Vos
 views
Luther
and
Calvin
as
holding
necessitarian
explanations
of
all
events
 in
the
world
order,
including
human
acts—ostensibly
because
they
had
not
 escaped
the
notion
of
purely
diachronic
contingency
and
its
presumed
 deterministic
implications.
According
to
Vos
and
the
authors
of
Reformed
 Thought
on
Freedom,
there
was
a
major
alteration
of
understandings
of
 necessity
and
contingency
among
the
Reformed
toward
the
beginning
of
the
 seventeenth
century
in
writers
like
Junius
and
Gomarus:
it
is
these
writers
 who
introduced
the
Scotist
understanding
of
synchronic
contingency
and
 opened
the
Reformed
tradition
to
a
more
convincing
theory
of
freedom
and
 contingency. Vos
rests
this
argument
on
the
detailed
presence
of
synchronic
 contingency
as
“the
identifying
paradigm
of
systematic
reformed
theology”
 in
the
theologies
of
Junius
and
Gomarus,
as
distinct
from
the
earlier
 Reformed
theologies
of
Calvin,
Vermigli,
and
Zanchi.
The
paradigm
 consists,
in
Vos’s
view,
in
an
architectonic
use
of
the
distinction
between
a
 necessary,
natural,
indefinite,
or
simple
knowledge
of
all
possibility
in
God
 in
a
non-temporal
or
“structural
order”
prior
to
any
act
of
the
divine
will
 and
a
free,
voluntary,
definite,
or
visionary
knowledge
in
God
subsequent
to
 and
in
a
sense
contingent
upon
the
divine
decree.1
This
paradigm
is
the
 basis
for
language
of
synchronic
contingency
and
the
basis
therefore
also
of
 the
ability
of
later
Reformed
theologians
like
Junius
and
Gomarus
to
step
 beyond
what
in
Vos’
view
is
the
more
deterministic
approach
of
Calvin,
 Vermigli,
and
Zanchi.
By
arguing
in
this
manner,
Vos
explicitly
overturns
 the
older
approach
of
historians
like
Graafland
and
Hall,
who
saw
a
descent
 into
determinism
in
the
historical
development
of
Reformed
orthodoxy,
 replacing
it
with
an
approach
that,
quite
to
the
contrary,
understands
the
 Reformed
development
as
a
constructive
movement
away
from
an
 originally
deterministic
model.2
According
to
Vos,
Calvin
held
to
a
 deterministic
view
that
identified
both
divine
and
human
willing
as


necessary—a
view
that
corresponds
roughly
to
an
incompatibilist
approach.
 Vos’
approach,
therefore,
raises
the
question
of
a
discontinuity
between
the
 earlier
Reformers
and
later
Reformed
theology—albeit
in
a
way
nearly
 completely
opposite
to
the
assumptions
of
older
“Calvin
against
the
 Calvinists”
discontinuity
theory,
which
tended
to
view
the
later
Reformed
 as
more
“decretal”
and
accordingly
more
deterministic
than
Calvin. Helm
argues,
to
the
contrary,
that
the
early
Reformers,
Calvin
in
 particular,
ought
to
be
identified
as
compatibilist.3
Helm
also,
rather
 pointedly,
objects
to
Vos’
reading
of
Calvin’s
doctrine
of
God.
Helm
reads
 Calvin
as
quite
clearly
advocating
the
divine
freedom,
including
the
 potency
of
God
to
have
actualized
possibilities
other
than
those
that
now
 obtain
in
the
world
order,
explicitly
disputing
Vos’
reading
of
Calvin
as
 necessitarian
with
regard
to
God’s
willing.4
He
therefore
differs
strongly
 with
Vos
over
the
later
Reformed
tradition:
in
Helm’s
reading,
Calvin’s
 compatibilism
carried
over
into
the
thought
of
later
Reformed
writers
like
 Zanchi
and
Junius
and
is
echoed
in
the
high
orthodox
era,
notably
in
the
 thought
of
Francis
Turretin.5
And,
of
course,
this
reading
of
Calvin
as
a
 compatibilist
also
stands
in
some
relationship
to
older
lines
of
Calvin
 scholarship
that
interpreted
his
thought
(and
later
Reformed
orthodoxy
as
 well)
as
focused
on
predestination—whereas
the
shift
in
Calvin
studies
that
 took
place
in
the
mid-twentieth
century
tended
to
re-read
the
Reformer’s
 thought
as
“christocentric,”
leaving
the
task
of
creating
the
mythological
 predestinarian
system
to
the
later
“Calvinists.”6
The
debate
between
Helm
 and
Vos,
in
other
words,
bears
a
certain
similarity—albeit
in
reverse—to
the
 sequence
of
older
scholarship
that
led
to
the
“Calvin
against
the
Calvinists”
 theory
of
development
in
the
Reformed
tradition.
We
will,
therefore,
have
 to
register
partial
dissent
from
both
of
these
analyses,
particularly
over
their
 somewhat
similar
readings
of
Calvin’s
thought. Vos
is
certainly
correct
that
Reformed
orthodox
theology
was
 characterized
by
an
architectonic
conception
of
an
ultimate
and
absolute
 divine
knowledge,
identified
either
as
scientia
necessaria
or
scientia
 simplicis
intelligentiae,
and
consisting
in
God’s
knowledge
of
himself
and
 of
all
possibility,
contrasted
with
a
respective
knowledge,
identified
either
 as
scientia
voluntaria,
scientia
libera,
or
scientia
visionis,
subsequent
to
the
 divine
will
or
decree
and
consisting
in
God’s
knowledge
of
all
actuality.
 Both
forms
of
knowledge
are
eternal,
the
former
“indefinite”
and
with
 regard
to
possibles,
the
latter
“definite”
and
with
regard
to
actuals.7
Vos
is


also
quite
correct
in
arguing
that
this
architectonic
understanding
of
the
 divine
knowing,
with
its
eternal,
non-temporal
distinction
of
instants
or
 moments
of
nature
in
God
provides
the
basis
for
synchronic
or
 simultaneous
contingency
and
accounts
for
the
freedom
or
contingency
of
 the
decree
itself.
We
have
already
seen,
however,
that
the
distinction
itself
 originated
prior
to
Scotus’
use
of
it
and
can,
in
fact,
already
be
found
in
 Aquinas’
thought,
as
also
can
notions
of
synchronic
contingency. The
distinctions,
then,
are
present;
taken
together
they
are
architectonic;
 their
presence
in
Reformed
theology
beginning
with
Junius
and
Gomarus
 marks
a
major
development
for
conceptualizing
the
relationship
between
 God
and
the
created
order.
Their
presence,
however,
is
not
an
absolute
 indication
of
Scotist
backgrounds—these
and
other
distinctions
came
into
 the
early
modern
from
a
varrety
of
sources
representative
of
a
long-term
 theological
and
philosophical
debate
and
conversation.
Furthermore,
the
 backgrounds
of
early
modern
Reformed
thought
also
must
be
analyzed
in
 terms
of
other
architectonic
issues,
such
as
eternal
and
actual
providence,
 conceptions
of
divine
concurrence,
and
the
understanding
of
possibles
in
 God. Vos’
theory
of
historical
development
also
runs
up
against
an
immediate
 problem
in
the
case
of
Calvin
(and
Luther
as
well).
It
seems
just
a
bit
 incongruous
and
ahistorical
to
identify
Calvin’s
or
Luther’s
 necessitarianism
(if
indeed
their
thought
can
be
classified
in
this
way)
either
 as
utterly
detached
from
late
medieval
developments
concerning
divine
 freedom,
necessity,
and
contingency,
given
Luther’s
nominalist
training
and
 given
the
generally
eclectic
patterns
of
Calvin’s
thought,
including
its
 various
Scotistic
or
at
least
late
medieval
accents—or
as
lapsing
into
the
 advocacy
of
a
reading
of
Aristotle
as
deterministic
that
ran
counter
to
the
 main
lines
of
medieval
interpretation.
In
addition,
given
the
medieval
 origins
of
the
distinction
between
modes
of
divine
knowing
and
of
the
 coordinate
distinction
between
the
two
powers
of
God,
absolute
and
 ordinate,
Luther,8
Calvin,9
Vermigli,
and
Zanchi
were
not
ignorant
of
varied
 uses
of
these
distinctions
and
their
implications.10 Beyond
these
issues
concerning
the
rather
complicated
trajectories
of
 conversation
and
debate
flowing
from
the
later
Middle
Ages
into
the
 theologies
of
the
Reformers
and
their
successors,
there
is
also
the
issue
of
 the
immediate
context
of
their
formulations.
Early
modern
Protestant
 thinkers
were
not
involved
merely
in
the
mixed
reception
and
appropriation


of
later
medieval
theological
and
philosophical
ideas;
they
were
also
 involved
in
polemics
over
various
forms
of
Renaissance
philosophy,
some
 of
which
were
profoundly
necessitarian,
while
others
undermined
 assumptions
of
providence
and
overarching
divine
causality.
Calvin,
for
 one,
railed
against
the
fatalistic
cosmology
of
the
Stoics
and
the
otiose
deity
 of
the
Epicureans.
He
also
made
a
concerted
effort
to
avoid
examination
of
 non-soteriological
issues
concerning
the
intricacies
of
knowing
and
willing,
 whether
divine
or
human.
By
the
close
of
the
sixteenth
century
and
on
into
 the
early
seventeenth
century,
Reformed
thinkers
were
beginning
to
deal
 with
developments
in
post-Tridentine
second
scholasticism
and
accordingly
 were
drawn
to
a
more
sophisticated
encounter
with
distinctions
concerning
 the
divine
knowledge
and
will,
the
relationship
of
intellect
and
will
in
 human
choice,
and
the
understanding
of
various
levels
and
kinds
of
 necessity
in
relation
to
both
God
and
rational
creatures.
Many
of
the
 differences
between
Reformation
era
and
later
Reformed
argumentation
 can,
therefore,
be
explained
contextually
as
arising
from
differing
degrees
 of
appropriation
of
the
complex
traditionary
background
rather
than
from
 major
shifts
in
fundamental
doctrinal
intention. B.
Calvin
on
Necessity,
Contingency,
and
Freedom.
The
widely
 differing
interpretations
of
Calvin
on
the
subjects
of
divine
and
human
 freedom
found
in
the
accounts
of
Vos
and
Helm
belong
to
a
much
broader
 debate
over
these
aspects
of
Calvin’s
theology.
There
is
a
long
line
of
 argumentation
that
has
identified
Calvin
as
a
strict
determinist,
usually
with
 reference
to
human
willing,
on
the
assumption
that
the
divine
decree
 imposes
absolute
necessity
on
all
events
and
actions
in
the
world
order.
Vos
 agrees
with
this
reading
and
adds
a
deterministic
understanding
of
divine
 willing
as
well.
There
are
also
various
alternatives
to
this
reading
of
Calvin.
 Calvin’s
view
has
been
described
as
compatibilist—notably
in
the
recent
 literature,
by
Paul
Helm.
Alternatively,
Calvin’s
view
has
been
rather
 unconvincingly
characterized
as
intentionally
avoiding
strict
logical
 coherence
(as
if
strict
logic
were
the
sole
determining
factor
in
other
 Reformed
discussions
of
human
freedom
and
as
if
Calvin
viewed
logic
as
 problematic
in
theology)
and
stressing
the
“loving
care
of
God”
rather
than
 an
“arbitrary
decree.”11
A
more
substantive
approach
to
the
topic
has
 analyzed
Calvin’s
understanding
of
the
freedom
of
God
as
underlying
the
 contingencies
and
freedoms
in
the
world
order.12
Calvin’s
view
has
also
 been
characterized
as
allowing
for
human
freedom
only
through
the
gift
of


grace;13
it
has
been
argued
as
inconsistent,
evidencing
elements
of
a
 libertarian
view
of
human
willing
and
choosing
in
an
otherwise
 deterministic
system;14
it
has
been
described
as
advocating
free
choice
as
 belonging
to
the
work
of
providence,
as
evidenced
in
its
insistence
on
God
 working
in
and
through
human
responsibility;15
and
it
has
been
argued
as
 understanding
the
will
as
capable
of
choosing
one
or
the
other
of
objects
set
 before
it,
albeit
incapable
of
willing
a
truly
righteous
or
meritorious
work.16
 Other
studies
have
identified
a
limited
or
dependent
freedom
in
Calvin’s
 approach
to
the
issue,
specifically
a
freedom
from
necessity—albeit
with
 different
interpretations
of
its
implications.17 Some
of
this
rather
radical
divergence
of
opinion
concerning
Calvin’s
 views
on
contingency
and
human
freedom
can
be
explained
on
the
basis
of
 the
diversity
of
Calvin’s
statements
on
a
wide
variety
of
issues— predestination,
providence,
human
willing,
sin—ranging
from
his
 sometimes
hyperbolic
statements
uttered
in
the
context
of
discussions
of
sin
 and
grace
that
human
beings
can
do
no
good,
to
his
fairly
consistent
 insistence
on
human
responsibility
in
diverse
genres,
namely,
 commentaries,
sermons,
catechisms,
polemical
treatises,
and
the
Institutes,
 all
representing
address
to
differing
audiences
in
diverse
contexts. In
the
Institutes,
which
among
Calvin’s
writings
comes
the
closest
to
a
 systematic
expression,
contextual
concerns
both
positive
and
polemical
 govern
the
exposition.
Here,
as
in
his
polemical
treatises,
Calvin
was
 concerned
primarily
to
ward
off
what
he
took
to
be
a
Pelagianizing
 emphasis
on
human
freedom
in
soteriological
matters
in
much
of
the
 Roman
theology
of
the
era
and
at
the
same
time
to
avoid
association
with
 the
deterministic
philosophies
of
the
era,
notably
the
fatalistic
aspects
of
 Stoicism
and
the
pantheism
that
he
encountered
among
the
so-called
 Libertines.18
Even
in
the
Institutes,
notably
in
the
specific
case
of
the
 question
of
contingency
and
free
choice,
Calvin
offers
less
than
a
complete
 analysis
of
the
topic,
and
the
exposition
is
clouded
by
polemic.19
It
is
also
 the
case
that
Calvin’s
lack
of
theological
training
and
his
continuing
 wariness
of
the
medieval
scholastics
stood
in
the
way
of
a
full
appropriation
 of
scholastic
distinctions
that
later
Reformed
writers
would
employ
in
the
 resolution
of
issues
concerning
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom. Accordingly,
it
is
difficult,
if
not
impossible,
to
ascertain
the
scholastic
 backgrounds
of
Calvin’s
thought
on
the
subject.
Calvin’s
does
not
readily
 classify
as
Thomist,
Scotist,
or
nominalist—and
his
statements
concerning


the
nature
of
human
willing
are
so
bound
to
soteriological
questions
that
it
 may
well
be
impossible
to
elicit
from
his
thought
a
clear
relationship
to
any
 of
the
more
detailed
accounts
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
found
 among
the
various
schools
of
late
medieval
thought.
Still,
some
basic
 characteristics
are
evident.
When
Calvin
comments
on
the
divine
causality
 in
human
acts,
he
is
quite
consistent
in
his
assumption
that
God
in
no
way
 causes
human
agents
to
act
contrary
to
their
natures
or
to
will
contrary
to
 their
own
inclinations.20
When
he
comments
on
the
inclusion
of
the
fall
in
 the
eternal
decree,
he
insists
that
God
wills
the
fall
in
such
a
way
as
to
 include
Adam’s
free
choice.21
Calvin
affirms
secondary
causes
and
their
 contingent
operation
as
well
as
arguing
genuine
human
agency
and
 responsibility.22
He
specifically
countered
Stoic
fatalism.23
And
Calvin
also
 borrowed
from
Bernard
of
Clairvaux’s
paradigm
for
understanding
liberty,
 indicating
that
freedom
from
sin
and
freedom
from
misery
had
been
lost
in
 the
fall,
but
that
freedom
from
necessity
was
the
permanent
property
of
 human
beings.24 These
fundamental
characteristics
of
Calvin’s
position
serve
to
 undermine
Vos’
claim
that Calvin
is
convinced
that
God
necessarily
wills
everything
that
happens
and
is
done.
 He
tightly
connects
will
and
necessity.
If
God
necessarily
wills
everything
there
is,
 then
he
necessarily
knows
everything
too. . . .
Therefore,
everything
is
necessary.
 Because
the
whole
of
reality
is
necessary,
God
knows
and
acts
necessarily,
and
 because
God
knows
and
acts
necessarily,
everything
is
necessary
too.25

The
claim
is
highly
unnuanced
and
undifferentiated
and
neglects
Calvin’s
 assumptions
concerning
the
freedom
of
God
and
of
human
beings
from
 necessity
and
his
use
of
the
standard
distinctions
between
the
necessity
of
 the
consequent
thing
and
the
necessity
of
the
consequence.
By
admitting
 only
a
concept
of
absolute
necessity
in
Calvin’s
thought,
the
claim
also
 assimilates
Calvin
to
the
minority
modern
reading
of
Aristotle
and
to
the
 problematic
reading
of
Aquinas
that
we
have
already
noted.26 Calvin
does
not
elaborate
on
the
issue
of
divine
freedom—but
as
Helm
 has
pointed
out,
Calvin’s
argumentation
concerning
the
divine
will
does
not
 accord
with
Vos’
utterly
necessitarian
interpretation.27
Calvin
does
not
deny
 divine
freedom
and
does
not
deny
that
God
could
have
willed
otherwise.
In
 other
words,
whereas
Calvin
quite
clearly
taught
that
whatever
God
has
 willed
or
decreed
is
necessary,
he
does
not
argue
that
God’s
will
as
such
is
 necessary
or
that
God
necessarily
wills
what
he
wills.
Thus,
Calvin


indicates
that
although
“what
God
decrees,
must
necessarily
come
to
pass”
 this
is
nonetheless
“not
by
absolute
or
natural
necessity.”28
If,
moreover,
as
 Calvin
states,
God
“in
his
own
wisdom,
has,
from
the
remotest
eternity,
 decreed
what
he
would
do,”29
the
implication
of
the
language
is
that
God
 could
have
decreed
otherwise.
Wisdom
implies
judgment.
Further,
Calvin
 counters
what
he
considers
a
Stoic
fatalism
with
the
assumption
that
“the
 will
of
God
. . .
governs
all
things
through
its
utter
freedom”
and
does
so
in
 such
a
way
as
to
include
contingency
in
the
world
order—with
contingency
 meaning
that
things
or
events
“could
occur
in
one
way
or
another.”30
 Similarly,
also
arguing
against
Stoic
fatalism,
he
defines
“predestination”
as
 “the
free
counsel
of
God.”31
Calvin
also
consistently
identifies
God’s
 election—namely,
God’s
choice—of
some
for
salvation
as
free.32
There
can
 be
no
doubt
that
Calvin
understood
God
to
be
utterly
free
and,
without
 giving
any
clear
indication
of
his
relation
to
patterns
of
medieval
thought,
 understood
the
world
order
as
contingent
and
dependent
on
God
as
first
 cause. Calvin
did,
of
course,
argue
the
necessity
of
human
sinfulness
as
well
as
 the
necessity
of
grace
against
various
doctrines
of
salvation
that
included
 elements
of
human
free
choice,
and
in
this
context
he
did
make
a
series
of
 statements
that,
taken
by
themselves,
could
be
interpreted
as
a
theory
of
 absolute
necessity
in
all
things.
Calvin
does
identify
unchangeability
with
 necessity:
citing
Aristotle,
he
indicates
that
if
something
cannot
be
 otherwise,
it
is
necessary.
Further,
by
way
of
arguing
the
point
that
human
 beings
are
not
coerced
into
sinful
acts,
Calvin
argues
that
the
necessary
and
 the
voluntary
can
“sometimes
coincide.”33
The
issue
here
is
complicated
 somewhat
by
Calvin’s
nearly
exclusive
focus
on
the
problem
of
sin
and
the
 impossibility
of
human
beings
performing
meritorious
or
salvific
good
in
 their
sinful
condition.
In
this
context,
Calvin
defined
freedom
as
opposite
to
 coercion
and
as
consisting
in
a
capability
of
moving
of
one’s
own
accord
 rather
than
as
a
power
or
ability
to
choose
either
good
or
evil.34
Freedom,
 then,
can
never
be
defined
as
a
freedom
from
sin
nor,
indeed,
from
the
 necessity
of
acting
according
to
one’s
own
nature. Calvin
can
also
indicate
that
in
matters
of
free
choice,
human
beings
are
 not
free
from
providence:
“God,
whenever
he
designs
to
prepare
the
way
 for
his
providence,
inclines
and
moves
the
wills
of
men
even
in
external
 things,
and
that
their
choice
is
not
so
free,
but
that
its
liberty
is
subject
to
 the
will
of
God.”35
Calvin
goes
on
to
emphasize
the
priority
of
the
divine


will:
“you
must
be
constrained
to
conclude
from
this
daily
experience
[of
 providence]
that
your
mind
depends
more
on
the
influence
of
God,
than
on
 the
liberty
of
your
own
choice,
whether
you
are
willing
or
not.”36
As
it
 stands,
the
statement
confirms
a
view
of
Calvin
as
set
apart
from
the
highly
 nuanced
expressions
of
the
later
Reformed,
but
like
so
many
other
similar
 statements
found
in
Calvin’s
work,
it
fails
to
detail
how
precisely
liberty
is
 constituted
and
how
willing,
not
willing,
or
willing
otherwise
ought
to
be
 understood. Still,
as
A.
N.
S.
Lane
comments,
it
is
less
than
helpful
to
classify
Calvin
 as
a
determinist,
on
grounds
of
such
statements,
inasmuch
as
the
term
itself
 is
rather
vague
and
Calvin
does
allow
for
some
sense
of
human
choice,
 albeit
recognizing
that
human
choices
are
not
“purely
undetermined.”37
 Arguably,
like
various
of
his
contemporaries,38
Calvin
distinguished
 between
the
issue
of
free
choice
in
daily
activities
or
civil
matters
and
the
 issue
of
free
choice
in
matters
of
salvation.
His
highly
necessitarian
denials
 of
free
choice
are
confined
to
discussions
of
sin,
grace,
and
salvation.
 Calvin
does
little
to
address
questions
of
human
liberty
in
quotidian
and
 civil
matters.
Calvin,
moreover,
like
the
later
Reformed
scholastics,
fairly
 pointedly
opposed
what
he
took
to
be
Stoic
“fatalism,”
just
as
he
also
 opposed
assumptions
of
natural
necessity:
“we
do
not,
with
the
Stoics,
 imagine
a
necessity
arising
from
a
perpetual
concatenation
and
intricate
 series
of
causes,
contained
in
nature:
but
we
make
God
the
arbiter
and
 governor
of
all
things.”39
In
addition,
at
the
very
point
that
he
cites
Aristotle
 on
necessity,
Calvin
recognizes
that,
in
Aristotle’s
view,
the
possibility
of
 one
or
another
of
two
things
occurring
stands
opposed
to
necessity
and
that
 Aristotle
understands
some
necessities
to
take
the
form
of
necessities
of
the
 consequence,
having
followed
on
a
moment
in
which
there
were
alternative
 possibilities:
“when
someone
has
thrown
a
stone,
he
can
no
longer
take
it
 back,
but
it
was
in
his
power
to
hold
on
to
it
or
to
throw
it.”40
Even
more
 convincingly,
Calvin
could
indicate
that
neither
the
certainty
of
a
future
 prophesied
event
nor
the
appointment
of
the
event
by
God,
namely,
Judas’
 betrayal
of
Jesus,
imposed
a
necessity
on
the
event.41
Calvin
does
not
raise
 the
issue
of
the
retention
of
the
momentarily
unactualizable
potency
to
the
 opposite
in
the
instant
of
the
act
itself,
but
he
clearly
recognizes
that
human
 beings
have
potencies
to
more
than
one
effect,
and
he
recognizes,
also,
that
 as
contingent,
such
effects
stand
as
necessities
of
the
consequence.

We
have
already
seen
that
Calvin
followed
Bernard
in
holding
a
human
 freedom
from
necessity.
Beyond
this
most
basic
reference
to
medieval
 backgrounds,
Calvin
also
offered
some
comment
on
the
relationship
of
 intellect
and
will,
indicating
that
the
will,
when
operating
rightly,
depends
 on
the
command
or
judgment
of
the
intellect,
although
he
indicates
almost
 immediately
thereafter
that
this
is
not
always
the
case.42
In
a
subsequent
 section
of
the
Institutes,
he
argues
at
some
length
that
this
order
has
been
 subverted
in
the
corruption
of
both
intellect
and
will
and
that
the
fallen
will
 cannot
strive
after
what
is
good.43
The
result
is
a
form
of
soteriological
 voluntarism
that
does
not
address
the
philosophical
question,
namely,
 whether
the
will
itself
has
the
power
to
order
its
own
choices
and
refuse
the
 judgment
of
the
intellect.
Calvin’s
initial
philosophical
definition
could
be
 assimilated
to
a
more
or
less
Thomistic,
intellectualist
perspective,
but
his
 subsequent
discussion
of
fallen
humanity
may
have
affinities
with
the
more
 voluntaristic
Franciscan
views,
perhaps
with
Scotus—or,
given
Calvin’s
 general
lack
of
training
in
the
writings
of
the
scholastics
and
his
immersion
 in
Augustine,
the
voluntaristic
turn
in
an
otherwise
intellectualistic
 psychology
could
simply
be
the
result
of
an
Augustinian
adaptation
of
a
 fairly
traditional
Aristotelian
understanding
of
the
faculties. Brief
reference
to
alternative
possibility
is
present,
moreover,
in
Calvin’s
 approach
to
the
relationship
of
Adam’s
fall
to
the
eternal
decree:
although
 Calvin
quite
clearly
places
the
fall
of
Adam
in
the
eternal
decree,
he
also
 insists
that
God
wills
the
fall
in
such
a
way
that
Adam
also
fell
of
his
own
 will.
Adam
was
created
with
free
will
and,
had
he
so
chosen,
could
have
 “obtained
eternal
life.”44
Calvin
adds
that
introduction
of
the
topic
of
the
 decree
into
discussion
of
Adam’s
choice
to
sin
is
unnecessary,
even
 “unreasonable,”
inasmuch
as
the
issue
is
“not
. . .
what
might
possibly
have
 happened
or
not,
but
of
what
sort
was
the
real
nature
of
man.”45
Auguste
 Lecerf,
for
one,
concluded
from
Calvin’s
somewhat
diverse
comments
that
 Calvin’s
notion
of
a
determined
freedom,
albeit
indicating
that
Adam
might
 have
willed
not
to
sin
and
fall,
did
not
imply
“the
equal
possibility
of
 contrary
and
indeterminate
decisions
of
the
will,”
given
the
“metaphysical
 imperfection
and
frailty
of
the
creature”
and
given,
moreover,
that
God
in
 some
sense
willed
or
decreed
that
the
fall
occur.46
What
Calvin
does
not
 provide
is
a
full
exposition
of
the
issue
of
a
view
of
alternativity
that
might
 reveal
the
medieval
background
to
his
argument.

Calvin
indicates
that
it
would
be
quite
“absurd”
to
claim
that
there
was
 no
contingency
in
the
world:
on
the
one
hand,
what
God
ordains
necessarily
 occurs—but
the
things
that
God
has
ordained
“are
not
necessary
in
their
 own
nature
[suapte
natura].”47
Although
the
“order
of
nature”
is
“ordained
 [positum]”
by
God,
this
ordination
does
not
exclude
contingency—indeed,
 God
works
through
means
so
that
his
“certain
providence”
is
conjoined
 with
contingencies:
providence
does
not
bind
the
hands
of
human
beings.48
 At
this
point,
at
least,
Calvin’s
argumentation
may
approximate,
albeit
 without
the
technical
language
and
scholastic
distinctions,
the
model
of
 “dependent
freedom”
developed
as
an
interpretation
of
Reformed
 orthodoxy
in
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
as,
indeed,
its
editors
 indicate,49
in
some
contrast
to
Vos’
strictly
deterministic
reading
of
Calvin. Calvin’s
approach,
in
other
words,
did
have
general
affinities
with
 understandings
of
divine
and
human
causality
found
in
the
medieval
 tradition,
specifically
in
his
balance
of
a
divine
primary
causality
with
a
 human
secondary
causality
and
in
his
adoption
of
the
distinction
between
 necessity
of
the
consequence
and
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing.50
It
 would
be
a
major
misunderstanding
of
Calvin’s
thought
to
assume
that
he
 would
have
regarded
divine
willing
in
and
of
itself
as
the
sufficient
cause
of
 a
human
act.
As
Helm
recognizes,
“whatever
the
theoretical
difficulties
of
 holding
to
two
sets
of
necessary
and
sufficient
causal
conditions
for
the
 occurrence
of
some
event,”
Calvin
consistently
affirmed
that
events
occur
 through
the
actions
of
both
primary
and
secondary
causality,
a
point
that
is
 in
no
way
diminished
by
the
assumption
that
God
endows
his
creatures
with
 causal
powers
and
upholds
the
creatures
in
their
acts.51 Calvin’s
language
of
causality,
although
facilitated
by
his
acceptance
of
 the
distinction
between
necessity
of
the
consequence
and
necessity
of
the
 consequent
thing,
does
lack
the
suppleness
of
various
earlier
and
later
 thinkers
who
had
recourse
to
the
distinctions
between
the
composite
and
the
 divided
sense
and
between
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
and
the
potency
of
 simultaneity.
Calvin
also
offers
little
or
no
indication
of
how
he
might
have
 understood
possibility—nor
do
his
expositions
of
divine
concurrence
offer
 enough
technical
detail
to
determine
how
he
might
have
understood
the
 interrelationship
of
multiple
potencies
in
the
human
will
to
the
divine
 determination
of
all
things.
Arguably,
much
of
Vos’
attempt
to
draw
a
sharp
 distinction
between
the
deterministic
Calvin
and
the
non-deterministic
later
 Reformed
rests
on
the
absence
of
technical
usages
and
elaborations
from


Calvin’s
works,
on
Calvin’s
lack
of
interest
in
the
underlying
philosophical
 problem
of
freedom,
and
on
Calvin’s
sometimes
hyperbolic
statements
 concerning
human
inability
to
perform
good
works,
rather
than
on
the
 presence
of
clearly
stated
substantive
differences
in
basic
assumptions. In
sum,
Calvin’s
approach
to
human
freedom
is
untechnical
and,
 consequently,
somewhat
vague,
perhaps
even
imprecise.
He
certainly
did
 assume
both
an
overarching
divine
determination
of
all
things
and
a
human
 freedom
from
necessity
or
coaction,
and,
as
in
the
case
of
Adam,
indicating
 that,
in
some
sense,
a
choice
or
act
could
have
been
otherwise.
Helm’s
 reading,
then,
is
more
accurate
than
that
of
Vos.
This
is
also
the
case
 concerning
Helm’s
insistence
that
Calvin
affirmed
the
freedom
of
God
and
 the
contingency
of
the
world
order:
Vos’
interpretation
falls
quite
short.
We
 have
also
found
much
with
which
to
agree
in
the
readings
offered
by
Lane
 and
Lecerf
concerning
a
limited
and
determined
sense
of
freedom
in
 Calvin’s
thought. Still,
as
will
become
clear
from
our
discussion
of
other
Reformed
 approaches
to
the
problem
of
freedom,
Vos
has
rightly
recognized
that
 Calvin’s
formulations
did
not
provide
much
basis
for
later
Reformed
 argumentation,
where
there
would
be
a
full
and
nuanced
consideration
of
 the
philosophical
issues
concerning
divine
determination
and
human
 freedom
and,
accordingly,
major
recourse
to
the
scholastic
tradition.
There
 is
no
hint
of
a
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
or
simultaneity
of
 potencies
in
Calvin’s
formulations,
but
also
no
argument
against
or
strictly
 contrary
to
the
concept.
This
conclusion
does
not
indicate
that
Calvin
was
 inconsistent—over
against
the
argumentation
of
Vincent
Brümmer—only
 that
he
focused
on
the
issue
of
sin
and
grace
while
declining
to
elaborate
on
 the
broader
philosophical
issues.
His
thought
does
not
fit
a
strict
determinist
 pattern,
but
it
is
unclear
how
he
understood
alternativity
in
the
general
 operations
of
intellect
and
will. C.
Freedom
and
Necessity
in
the
Thought
of
Vermigli.
Peter
Martyr
 Vermigli,
who
wrote
on
these
topics
contemporaneously
with
Calvin,
was
 considerably
clearer
in
his
argumentation,
primarily
because
of
his
more
 consistent
use
of
traditional
scholastic
distinctions.
As
the
authors
of
 Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
indicate,
Thomistic
backgrounds
are
present
 in
Vermigli’s
thought
and
Vermigli
evidences
a
fuller
grasp
of
the
use
of
 distinctions
concerning
necessity
and
contingency.52
Although
as
James
and


others
have
shown,
Aquinas
does
not
provide
the
only
medieval
 background
to
Vermigli’s
thought.
Vermigli
also
drew
positively
on
 Gregory
of
Rimini
and
evidenced
a
fairly
strong
opposition
to
Scotistic
 argumentation.53
He
also
drew
on
early
Reformation
sources—notably
 Valdés
and
probably
Martin
Bucer,
and
he
engaged
in
an
ongoing
epistolary
 dialogue
with
Calvin.54 Vermigli’s
several
approaches
to
the
problem
of
divine
will
and
 foreknowledge,
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
are
distributed
 throughout
his
commentaries,
with
the
larger
portions
collated
into
the
loci
 on
free
choice
and
predestination
found
in
the
posthumous
Loci
 communes.55
Vermigli
is
quite
clear
that
divine
foreknowledge
does
not
 remove
contingencies.
He
references
the
crucial
argumentation
from
 Augustine’s
De
civitate
Dei
in
which
the
two
positions
enunciated
in
 Cicero’s
De
divinatione
are
disputed—namely,
either
that
there
is
an
 overarching
providential
foreknowledge
and
no
free
choice
or
there
is
free
 choice
and
no
foreknowledge.
With
Augustine
Vermigli
insists
that
the
 certainty
of
divine
foreknowledge
in
no
way
impedes
contingency
or
 freedom.56
Divine
foreknowledge
itself
is
not
causal,
inasmuch
as
 foreknowledge
is
not
a
matter
of
will.
This
distinction
itself
will
allow
for
a
 foreknowledge
of
future
contingencies—but
it
also,
Vermigli
recognized,
 must
be
reconciled
with
the
assumption
that
God
cannot
have
 foreknowledge
of
something
that
he
has
not
willed,
given
that
nothing
can
 exist
unless
God
wills
that
it
exist.57 Vermigli
rests
his
argument
on
a
set
of
distinctions
drawn
explicitly
from
 the
“scholastics.”
The
necessary,
by
definition,
is
“something
that
cannot
be
 otherwise
[quod
non
potest
aliter
se
habere].”58
Such
things,
however,
must
 be
distinguished
according
to
the
ground
or
principium
or
their
necessity:
 necessity
can
arise
either
from
an
interior
ground
or
an
exterior
cause.
 Those
necessities
grounded
on
an
interior
principle
are
intrinsically
 necessary.
Some
intrinsic
necessities
are
absolute:
it
would
be
contradictory
 for
them
to
be
otherwise.
In
this
sense,
God
is
necessary,
and
it
is
necessary
 that
four
be
an
even
number
and
that
four
plus
three
equals
seven.
Other
 intrinsic
necessities
are
absolute
only
“if
they
follow
the
usual
pattern
of
 things,”
the
cursus
rerum.
Fire
burns,
the
sun
moves
in
its
diurnal
course,
 but
these
necessities
all
belong
to
a
contingent
order
of
things
and,
in
the
 case
of
the
three
children
in
the
fiery
furnace
and
the
sun
standing
still
for
 Joshua,
God
can
alter
the
“proper
operation”
of
things.
These
intrinsic


necessities
are,
therefore,
not
absolute.59
The
point
is
important
inasmuch
 as,
by
way
of
two
biblical
miracles,
it
registers
the
implication
of
God’s
 freedom
in
creation
ex
nihilo,
namely,
that
God
could
have
willed
otherwise
 and
that,
therefore,
the
entire
world
order
in
which
some
things
occur
 necessarily
according
to
their
natures
is
nonetheless
entirely
and
utterly
 contingent. Vermigli
next
lists
distinctions
between
simple
or
absolute
necessity
and
 necessity
of
supposition
or
ex
hypothesi,
intrinsic
and
extrinsic
or
exterior
 necessity,
necessity
of
the
consequence
and
necessity
of
the
consequent
 thing,
and
necessity
of
certainty
and
necessity
of
coaction.60
The
 hypothetical
necessity
must
be
further
explained
in
terms
of
understanding
 an
event
or
thing
and
its
contrary
in
a
composite
sense
or
in
a
divided
sense.
 Vermigli
draws
on
a
standard
example:
it
is
impossible,
in
the
composite
 sense,
that
something
be
black
and
white.
When
it
is
black,
it
cannot
be
 white
and
vice
versa.
It
is
possible,
however,
for
something
that
is
black
to
 become
white—so
that
in
this
divided
sense,
a
thing
can
be
black
and
 white.61
We
will
come
back
to
this
point
below
when
Vermigli
argues
the
 issue
of
divine
knowledge
of
all
possibles
in
relation
to
the
foreknowledge
 of
actuals. As
to
freedom
and
contingency,
Vermigli
defined
them
in
terms
of
their
 immediate
principia,
or
grounds.
He
therefore
indicated
that
works
or
 effects
that
proceed
from
the
human
will
as
their
principium
are
identified
 as
free
and
those
things
that
are
produced
in
nature
such
that
their
contrary
 could
occur
are
identified
as
contingent.62 Vermigli
also
argues
the
case
for
free
choice
(liberum
arbitrium)
far
more
 clearly
than
what
we
have
seen
in
Calvin.
His
locus
on
the
issue,
drawn
 from
the
Roman
commentary,
identifies
free
choice
as
what
the
Greek
 philosophers
called
autexousion,
an
acting
by
one’s
own
power
or
right
and
 the
Latin
tradition
termed
libertas
arbitrii.
This
libertas
arbitrii
is
evident
 in
a
human
agent
“who
follows
not
the
will
of
another
but
his
own.”63
This
 ability
depends
both
on
the
reason
or
intellect
and
on
the
will,
arguably,
 placing
the
arbitrium,
or
judgment,
primarily
in
the
intellect
and
the
 libertas,
or
freedom,
primarily
in
the
will: Choice
(arbitrium)
seems
to
consist
in
this,
that
we
follow
things
that
are
appointed
 by
reason
(à
ratione
decreta),
as
they
are
deemed
good.
Then,
without
doubt,
the
will
 (voluntas)
is
free
when
it
embraces
those
things
that
are
approved
on
the
part
of
 knowing
soul
(à
parte
animi
cognoscente).The
nature
of
free
choice
(liberi
arbitrii


natura),
therefore,
although
it
appears
to
belong
mostly
to
the
will,
has
its
root
in
the
 reason.64

Vermigli
goes
on
to
emphasize
the
relation
of
this
freedom
to
deliberation
 and
judgment,
with
primary
examples
drawn
not
from
instances
in
which
 the
good
is
clear
but
in
cases
where
what
is
best
to
be
done
is
less
easily
 identified
or,
indeed,
lapses
into
indifference.
That
God
must
be
worshiped
 and
that
it
is
useful
for
human
beings
to
live
in
towns
or
cities
are
not
 matters
that
require
much
in
the
way
of
deliberation—but
how
God
is
to
be
 worshiped
and
the
kinds
of
government
and
laws,
are
matters
belonging
 clearly
to
choice.
Free
choice,
then,
“is
a
faculty
(facultas)
by
which,
as
is
 agreeable
to
us,
we
either
accept
or
refuse
those
things
that
are
appointed
by
 reason.”65
Vermigli,
then,
does
not
reduce
freedom
to
spontaneity
or
 absence
of
coercion—clearly,
spontaneity
is
requisite
to
freedom,
but
 libertas
arbitrii
also
implies
deliberation
and
alternativity.66 Vermigli
grounds
his
conclusion
that
contingency
and
freedom
are
 genuine
and
that
the
things
that
are
could
be
otherwise
on
several
basic
 assumptions.
First,
neither
God’s
foreknowledge
nor
God’s
will
disrupt
or
 destroy
finite
natures,
nor
do
they
remove
faculties
or
powers
from
natures —so
that
the
power
of
the
will
to
operate
freely
and
to
choose
is
not
 removed
either
by
God
foreknowing
its
act
or
by
the
divine
concurrence.67
 God
does
ultimately
bring
all
things
and
events
into
being,
but
inasmuch
as
 his
determination
respects
secondary
causes
and
in
no
way
impedes
their
 freedom
of
operation,
the
certainty
of
the
divine
foreknowledge
does
not
 impose
causal
necessity.68 Second,
he
draws
on
the
traditional
distinction
between
scientia
simplicis
 intelligentiae
and
scientia
visionis,
between
the
knowledge
of
all
possibility
 and
the
knowledge
of
all
actuality
that
will
come
to
pass:
“God,”
according
 to
Vermigli,
“foreknows
that
there
are
many
possibles
that
truly
will
never
 be:
and
although
they
will
never
come
to
pass,
the
foreknowledge
of
God
 does
not
prevent
them
from
being
possible.”69
Vermigli
follows
this
point
 with
the
example
of
Christ’s
statement
that
he
could
call
down
from
heaven
 legions
of
angels
to
defend
him
“which
did
not
occur,
and
which
in
no
way
 would
come
to
pass.”
He
continues,
“Although
God
foreknew
that
it
could
 have
occurred,
but
in
no
way
would
come
to
pass,
it
was
not
impeded
by
 this
foreknowledge,
but
rather
was
possible,”
and
concludes,
“since
 therefore
the
foreknowledge
of
God
does
not
obstruct
possibility,
so
also
 does
it
not
remove
contingency
and
freedom.”70

Vermigli,
thus,
not
only
accepts
the
view
that
he
could
have
drawn
from
 Aquinas,
that
God
knows
many
possible
things
that
he
does
not
will
into
 actuality,
he
also
presses
the
point
to
argue
that
unactualized
possibilities
 are
not
removed
from
the
realm
of
the
possible
by
actualization
of
their
 contradictories.
Indeed,
much
as
would
later
Reformed
writers,
he
rests
 contingency
on
a
simultaneity
of
potencies.
His
argumentation
quite
clearly
 reflects
the
scholastic
assumption
that,
although
no
choice,
act,
or
event
can
 be
simultaneously
with
its
negation
(there
can
be
no
potency
of
 simultaneity),
the
possibility
of
not-A
remains
a
genuine
possibility
and
is
 not
removed
by
the
occurrence
of
A
(there
is
a
simultaneity
of
potencies)— even
though
it
does
not
and
cannot
occur
in
the
temporal
order
in
the
same
 moment
as
A.
Vermigli’s
point
has
returned
to
the
issue
of
an
impossibility
 in
the
composite
sense
that
remains
possible
in
the
divided
sense. This
is
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency—but
it
also
roots
 contingency
firmly
in
the
realm
of
second
causes
and
effects
that
could
be
 otherwise
and
recognizes
that
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
does
not
indicate
 a
potency
of
simultaneity.
Vermigli
here
clearly
reflects
the
later
medieval
 discussions
of
contingency
and
freedom,
albeit
given
his
focus
on
 contingency
as
primarily
rooted
in
second
causes,
not
in
a
Scotist
manner.
 Given
Vermigli’s
pattern
of
argumentation,
particularly
its
insistence
that
 possibles
that
never
will
be
actualized
are
nonetheless
truly
possibles,
Vos
 appears
to
be
mistaken
in
his
argument
that,
because
of
a
Thomistic
 understanding,
synchronic
contingency
was
not
recognized
among
the
 Reformers
and
was
introduced
into
Reformed
thought
at
a
later
date.
 Aspects
of
the
Thomistic
approach
are
evident,
but
so
also
is
the
 simultaneity
of
potencies
that
is
associated
with
synchronic
contingency. D.
Zanchi
and
Ursinus
on
Contingency
and
Freedom.
Although
only
 seven
years
Calvin’s
junior,
given
both
the
provenance
of
his
productivity
 and
his
long
life,
Girolamo
Zanchi
represents
a
third
generation
of
 Reformed
thought
and,
more
importantly,
offers
clear
indication
of
the
 depth
of
scholastic
learning
that
became
characteristic
of
later
Reformed
 theology
and
philosophy.
Zanchi’s
theology,
as
noted
in
a
previous
chapter,
 has
been
broadly
characterized
as
Thomistic,
as
evidencing
other
later
 medieval
backgrounds,
but
as
theologically
“Calvinistic,”
having
used
 scholastic
methods
to
weld
these
strands
into
a
basically
Reformed
whole.
 The
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
recognize
the
continuity


between
Vermigli
and
Zanchi
and
rightly
note
that
Zanchi
rests
his
 understanding
of
contingency
on
of
the
possibilities
of
being
or
not
being,
 acting
or
not
acting,
prior
to
the
moment
of
the
actualization
of
a
thing
or
 effect.
This
in
their
view
provides
a
strictly
diachronic
approach
to
 contingency,
rooted
in
a
Thomistic
model:
once
the
thing
or
effect
is
 actualized,
in
their
view,
the
contingency
is
removed
and
the
thing
or
effect
 is
necessary.71
What
they
do
not
note,
however,
is
that,
given
Zanchi’s
 assumptions
concerning
the
contingent
nature
of
the
causality,
the
necessity
 of
the
resulting
event
is
not
a
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
but
a
 necessity
of
the
consequence.
The
resultant
thing
or
effect
that
Zanchi
 identifies
as
necessary
is
a
matter
of
contingency—its
necessity
is
simply
 the
datum
that,
once
actualized,
it
is
and
must
be
what
it
is.
Even
so,
Zanchi
 elsewhere
quite
clearly
states,
also
with
reference
to
the
principle
that
 “Omne
quod
est,
dum
est,
necesse
est,
ut
sit,”
that
all
things
considered
by
 God
in
the
divine
foreknowledge
and
will
necessarily
will
occur.
But
 Zanchi
immediately
adds
that
when
things
are
considered
in
their
secondary
 and
proximate
causes,
not
all
things
are
necessary:
some
are
necessary
and
 others
contingent.
Those
are
necessary
that
arise
from
necessary
secondary
 causes;
those
are
contingent
that
arise
from
free
and
contingent
secondary
 causes.72
By
lodging
the
contingency
primarily
in
the
secondary
causes,
 Zanchi
does
reveal
his
Thomist
leanings. Zanchi
goes
on
to
indicate
that
“we
call
therefore
causes
necessary
which
 are
not
able
according
to
their
nature
to
be
otherwise,
or
to
act
otherwise
 than
they
act”
and
that
“we
call
[those]
causes
contingent
or
free,
which
are
 able
according
to
their
own
nature
to
be
otherwise,
&
to
act
otherwise
than
 they
act.”73
The
definition,
arguably,
is
significant
in
itself,
since
Zanchi
 could
have
used
the
alternative
definition
of
contingency
as
capable
of
 being
or
not
being,
but
chose
the
definition
that
is
more
suitable
as
a
 description
of
genuine
contrariety
and
not
merely
contradiction.
Zanchi,
 therefore,
fully
accepts
the
standard
distinction
between
the
necessity
of
the
 consequent
thing
and
the
necessity
of
the
consequence,
typically
identifying
 the
latter
as
occurring
ex
hypothesi
rather
than
using
the
term
necessitas
 consequentiae.
But
the
meaning
is
the
same.
He
also
specifically
associates
 contingency
or
freedom,
defined
as
the
capability
of
being
and
acting
 otherwise,
with
human
freedom.74 Te
Velde,
however,
leaves
the
reader
with
the
impression
that,
in
Zanchi’s
 Thomistic
view,
the
contingency
of
the
thing
or
event
stands
prior
to
its


actualization
and
disappears
with
the
actualization,
so
that
the
thing
or
 event,
in
actuality,
is
not
contingent
but
necessary.
But
Zanchi
clearly
does
 not
indicate
this:
some
things
are
contingent—and
they
are
so
because
their
 causes
could
have
operated
otherwise.
The
necessity
that
accrues
to
the
 actualized
contingent
is
a
necessity
of
the
consequence—because
the
thing
 must
be
what
it
is
when
it
is
what
it
is.
Te
Velde
adds
that
Zanchi’s
 approach
to
contingency
does
not
rule
out,
and
even
may
require
 “structural,
synchronic
contingency,”
but
that
the
text,
as
it
stands,
shows
 Zanchi
to
follow
a
diachronic
Thomistic
approach
and
indicates
that
“he
did
 not
consciously
think
in
the
Scotist
way.”75
True,
Zanchi’s
argument
cannot
 be
assimilated
to
a
Scotist
paradigm,
but
its
diachronic
aspects
do
not
 reduce
to
determinism.
Clearly,
if
the
real
meaning
of
synchronic
 contingency
is
that
the
potency
for
the
opposite
remains
as
a
genuine
but,
in
 the
present
moment,
unactualized
potency,
Zanchi’s
non-Scotist
approach
 argues
for
synchronic
contingency,
rooting
it
in
a
specifically
Thomistic
 manner
in
the
order
of
secondary
causality. As
we
have
seen,
Scotus
also
assumed
that
present
events
and
things
 were
necessary
in
the
sense
of
necessities
of
the
consequence—and
 accordingly
assumed
the
diachronicity
of
contingent
events
in
the
temporal
 order.
What
Scotus
added
to
the
account
of
contingency
was
not
only
 pronounced
reference
to
simultaneous
potencies
in
the
temporal
order
(an
 issue
not
absent
from
the
thought
of
his
predecessors)
but
also
an
emphasis
 on
the
sequencing
of
non-temporal
moments
in
God
and
on
the
related
 grounding
of
contingency
in
the
divine
will
rather
than
in
the
nature
of
the
 secondary
causes
themselves.
Admittedly,
these
latter
Scotistic
points
are
 absent
from
Zanchi’s
argumentation,
and
given
their
absence,
he
can
be
 identified
as
indebted
to
Aquinas’s
understanding
of
contingency—but
what
 we
do
not
have
here
is
any
lessened
sense
of
the
contingency
of
the
world
 order
or
of
individual
things
in
it.
Indeed,
given
that
the
Thomist
model
 both
indicates
the
freedom
of
God
in
creating,
thereby
yielding
a
view
of
 the
world
order
as
a
whole
as
contingent,
and
lodges
the
contingency
of
 finite
things
in
the
finite
causality
that
produces
them,
the
Thomistic
model
 arguably
provides
as
clear,
perhaps
a
clearer
place
for
a
simultaneity
of
 potencies
in
cases
of
divine
and
creaturely
willing—namely,
in
cases
where
 two
free
wills,
the
divine
and
the
human,
are
involved
in
bringing
about
the
 same
effect.

The
argument
in
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
is
somewhat
misleading
 at
this
point
inasmuch
as
Thomas
Aquinas
and
later
Thomists
did
not
deny
 that
an
unactualized
potency
to
an
alternative
effect
remained
in
the
 individual
free
agent
during
or
after
an
act,
although
they
denied
that
such
a
 potency
to
do
or
to
be
otherwise
was
actualizable
in
the
same
moment.
In
 other
words,
they
upheld
the
principle
of
bivalence
and
taught
a
 simultaneity
of
potencies
but
not
a
potency
for
simultaneity
(a
formulation
 that,
by
the
way,
we
will
also
find
clearly
stated
in
later
Reformed
thinkers
 like
Francis
Turretin).
Since
a
Scotist
view,
moreover,
also
upheld
the
 principle
of
bivalence
and
the
necessarily
diachronicity
of
actualized
 possibilities,
the
difference
claimed
by
Vos,
Te
Velde,
and
others
between
 the
Thomist
and
Scotist
approaches
is
exaggerated
at
the
same
time
that
 their
common
ground
is
obscured. When
he
comes
to
his
basic
definition
of
free
choice,
Zanchi
objects
to
 the
notion
that
what
is
free
(liberum)
is
the
will
and
what
renders
the
choice
 or
judgment
(arbitrium)
is
the
intellect—given
that
in
the
term
liberum
 modifies
arbitrium
and
therefore
references
a
single,
unified
potency
of
free
 choosing.
In
order
to
resolve
the
issue,
Zanchi
makes
a
distinction
that
he
 finds
in
both
Aristotle
and
Aquinas
between
the
“deliberation
[deliberatio]”
 and
“consultation
[consultatio]”
of
the
intellect
and
the
“agreement
of
the
 will
[voluntatis
placitum]”
that
determines
the
end
of
the
act.76
Thus,
in
its
 strictest
sense,
liberum
arbitrium
refers
to
agreement
of
the
will
to
the
 deliberation
of
the
intellect,
the
will
having
the
freedom
to
will
or
will
not,
 to
elect
or
reject.77
Having
the
power
of
free
choice,
therefore,
means
 having
a
free
will.
The
definition
is
derivative
of
both
Thomist
and
 Franciscan
approaches
inasmuch
as
Aquinas
identified
free
choice
not
as
a
 distinct
habitus
or
as
an
independent
faculty
but
as
an
appetitive
power
not
 distinct
from
the
will
and
standing
in
a
positive
relation
to
the
deliberative
 function
of
the
intellect—and
inasmuch
as
the
Franciscans,
including
 Scotus,
assumed
the
ability
of
the
will
to
refuse
the
judgment
of
the
 practical
intellect. This
broadly
Thomistic
understanding
of
free
choice
as
an
intellective
 and
volitional
power
carried
over
into
later
Reformed
orthodoxy.78
What
is
 significant
here
is
that
this
modified
definition
also
implied
its
own
 approach
to
contingency:
in
Zanchi’s
version,
it
implies
both
a
free
 deliberation
of
the
intellect,
and
given
the
freedom
of
the
will
to
will
or
not
 will,
to
accept
or
reject,
it
also
implies
a
freedom
of
contradiction—namely,


potency
to
more
than
one
effect.
In
other
words,
what
Te
Velde
has
not
 shown
in
the
case
of
Zanchi
is
that
Zanchi’s
generally
Thomistic
 understanding
of
contingency
as
diachronic
coupled
with
his
eclectic
 reading
of
free
choice
resolves
into
a
form
of
determinism
in
need
of
 correction
by
an
influx
of
specifically
Scotistic
insight. Zanchi’s
younger
contemporary
Zacharias
Ursinus
provided
developing
 Reformed
orthodoxy
with
a
set
of
similar
arguments
concerning
necessity,
 contingency,
and
human
freedom,
valuable
in
particular
for
their
clarity
in
 the
division
of
the
topic.
The
distinction
between
necessity
and
contingency
 serves
to
explain
the
relationships
of
causes
and
effects:
“contingency
is
the
 order
between
a
mutable
cause
and
effect:
just
as
necessity
is
the
order
 between
a
necessary
cause
and
effect.”79
The
cause,
Ursinus
continues,
will
 therefore
be
of
the
same
kind
and
stand
in
continuity
with
the
effect,
 although
an
effect
can
be
produced
in
different
“respects”
by
more
than
one
 cause;
indeed,
an
effect
can
be
produced
conjointly
by
a
necessary
and
a
 contingent
cause
and,
accordingly,
be
understood
as
necessary
in
one
 respect
and
contingent
in
another. This
distinction
is
particularly
important
for
understanding
the
 relationship
of
divine
and
human
causality.
When
God
works
through
 creatures,
both
God
and
the
creature
are
causes
of
the
effect: Thus,
with
respect
to
God
there
is
an
unchangeable
order
between
cause
and
effect:
 But
with
respect
to
creatures,
there
is
a
mutable
order
between
the
cause
and
the
same
 effect.
Accordingly,
from
the
perspective
of
God
there
is
necessity,
from
the
 perspective
of
the
creature
there
is
contingency
in
the
same
effect.
It
is
therefore
not
 absurd
that
the
same
effect
is
said
to
be
necessary
&
contingent
with
respect
to
 different
causes,
that
is,
with
respect
to
the
immutable
first
cause
acting
necessarily:
 [and]
with
respect
to
mutable
proximate
cause
acting
contingently.80

Ursinus
also
distinguishes
between
different
kinds
of
necessity.
The
 necessity
of
something
that
is
willed
by
God
in
a
creature
is
not
a
necessity
 of
constraint
or
compulsion
but
a
necessity
or
immutability
that
does
not
 remove
the
contingency
of
the
creature
or
the
freedom
of
creaturely
 willing.81
By
way
of
clarification,
necessity
and
constraint,
contingency
and
 freedom
are
related
to
each
other
as
general
and
particular
cases.
 Everything
that
is
constrained
is
necessary,
but
not
all
that
is
necessary
is
 constrained.
Accordingly,
necessity
can
be
distinguished
into
a
broader
 category
of
that
which
is
immutable
or
which
has
occurred
or
will
occur
 immutably.
Given
the
absence
of
constraint
where
something
“is
moved


violently,
solely
by
an
external
source
of
motion
[externo
principio],”
there
 remains
a
necessity
of
immutability
that
can
accord
with
voluntary
acts
 where
the
movement
occurs
naturally,
“moving
and
being
moved
from
an
 inward
source
of
motion
[
interno
principio].”82
Similarly,
contingency
is
 the
larger
category,
of
which
freedom
is
a
subset:
all
that
is
free
is
 contingent,
but
not
all
that
is
contingent
is
free;
“what
is
free
is
a
species
of
 the
contingent,”
and
there
are
also
contingencies
that
are
“fortuitous”
or
 “casual”
but
not
free.83 Ursinus
understands
freedom
(libertas)
as
the
opposite
of
constraint,
and
 when
associated
with
the
will,
it
is
understood
as
a
“quality”
or
 characteristic
of
the
will
or,
in
Ursinus’
more
precise
definition,
“a
natural
 power
of
an
intelligent
nature,
conjoined
with
the
power
of
willing.”84
This
 power
is
a faculty
of
choosing
or
refusing,
according
to
its
proper
operation
and
without
 constraint,
an
object
or
action
presented
by
the
intellect,
the
nature
of
the
will
being
 and
remaining
capable
of
the
opposite
or
of
choosing
otherwise,
or
of
suspending
 action:
as
[for
example]
a
man
can
be
willing
to
walk
or
not
to
walk.85

This
freedom,
moreover,
is
a
power
to
act
“following
deliberation,
which
is
 the
mode
of
operation
proper
to
the
will.”86
That
the
will
both
is
and
 remains
capable
of
the
opposite
or
of
doing
otherwise
indicates
a
 simultaneity
of
potencies
in
the
will
as
indicative
of
its
freedom
in
its
very
 moment
of
operation. The
free
operation
of
the
will,
whether
in
God,
or
in
angels,
or
in
human
 beings,
is
called
liberum
arbitrium,
free
choice
or
free
deliberation. That
is
called
liberum
which
is
endowed
with
this
faculty
or
liberty
of
willing
or
not
 willing.
Arbitrium
is
the
will
itself,
as
it
follows
or
rejects
the
judgment
of
the
mind
 [mentis
iudicium].
For
it
comprehends
both
of
the
faculties
of
the
soul.87

There
is,
however,
a
distinction
to
be
made
between
divine
and
human
 freedom.
Ursinus
indicates
that
“God
alone
is
simply
&
absolutely
free,
that
 is,
by
himself
moving
all
things,
himself
moving
and
dependent
on
no
 other”:
rational
creatures
are
not
absolutely
free,
as
if
they
depended
on
no
 other,
“for
although
they
move
themselves
by
an
internal
source
of
motion
 [interno
principio],
the
intellect
offering
an
object,
and
the
will
choosing
or
 refusing
by
its
proper
motion,
without
constraint:
nonetheless,
they
are
set
 in
motion
by
another,
namely
God,
who
both
offers
objects
. . .
and
by
them


affects,
moves,
inclines,
and
influences
the
wills
of
whatever
persons,
both
 whenever
and
however
he
pleases.”88
Ursinus
also
reiterates
his
definition
 in
slightly
shorter
form: Free
choice
[liberum
arbitrium]
is
therefore
the
faculty
or
power
of
willing
or
not
 willing,
or
of
choosing
or
rejecting
an
object
presented
by
the
intellect,
according
to
 its
proper
operation
[and]
without
any
constraint.89

By
arguing
the
ultimate
freedom
of
the
will
to
include
the
power
to
reject
 the
judgment
of
the
intellect,
Ursinus
rules
out
even
the
element
of
 determinism
that
could
be
associated
with
an
intellectualist
account
of
 freedom—while
at
the
same
time
insisting
that
human
freedom
remains
 dependent
on
God.
This
more
voluntaristic
approach
relates
directly
to
the
 non-Thomistic
aspects
of
Zanchi’s
definition
and,
arguably,
represents
a
 Reformed
reflection
of
Franciscan
lines
of
thought
or,
perhaps
a
reflection
 of
Henry
of
Ghent—and
as
in
the
case
of
Zanchi’s
formulation
offers
an
 indication
of
the
eclectic
character
of
Reformed
orthodoxy. 5.2
Eternal
God
and
the
Contingent
Temporal
Order:
Reformed
 Orthodox
Approaches
to
the
Problem A.
Early
Modern
Reformed
Views:
The
Basic
Formulation.
As
 already
noted
in
the
comparison
of
Aquinas
and
Scotus,
there
are
three
 significant
grounds
of
difference
between
their
views
on
contingency,
 namely,
their
divergent
understandings
of
divine
eternity
and
its
relation
to
 time,
their
differing
emphases
on
the
primary
source
of
or
reason
for
 contingency
in
the
temporal
order,
and
the
differences
related
to
Aquinas’
 intellectualism
and
Scotus’
voluntarism.
The
question
we
address
here
 concerns
the
patterns
of
appropriation
of
these
understandings
of
divine
 eternity
in
relation
to
temporal
contingency
found
in
Reformed
thought.
 Early
modern
Reformed
theologians
including
Amandus
Polanus,
 Gulielmus
Bucanus,
the
Synopsis
Purioris,
William
Twisse,
Thomas
 Barlow,
Johannes
Hoornbeeck,
Samuel
Maresius,
Richard
Baxter,
Franz
 Burman,
Abraham
Heidanus,
Francis
Turretin,
Johannes
Marckius,
 Benedict
Pictet,
and
John
Edwards,
regardless
of
the
immediate
sources
of
 their
thought,
understood
eternity
as
a
non-successive
duration
having
no
 beginning
or
end
and
as
co-existing
with
all
times,
past,
present,
and
future,
 but
in
such
a
way
that
temporal
moments,
past,
present,
and
future,
retain


their
diachronicity
and
do
not
coexist
with
each
other.90
This
being
said,
the
 refinement
and
nuancing
of
the
doctrine
by
various
of
these
thinkers
offers
 evidence
of
reception
and
debate
over
directions
taken
in
the
understanding
 of
eternity
in
the
later
Middle
Ages,
identifiable
in
the
increasing
reliance
 on
an
understanding
of
non-temporal
logical
sequence
in
the
divine
 knowing
and
willing. Among
the
early
orthodox,
Polanus’
definition
and
discussion
of
the
 divine
eternity,
like
Zanchi’s
before
him
and
many
after
him
including
the
 authors
of
the
Leiden
Synopsis,
briefly
identifies
God
as
before
all
 beginnings,
after
all
endings,
and
utterly
without
succession.91
By
itself
this
 could
indicate
a
Thomistic
tendency,
and
taken
together
with
his
comments
 on
the
eternal
divine
knowledge
of
the
finite
order
the
Thomist
direction
of
 his
views
is
quite
apparent.
Thus,
in
Polanus’
view
God
knows
all
things
in
 himself,
which
is
to
say
in
or
through
his
own
essence—and
accordingly
 “knows
all
things
at
once
in
a
single
eternal,
&
immutable
act
of
 understanding,
as
if
in
a
single
moment,
that
is,
in
one
simple
intellection,
 neither
discursive
nor
by
means
of
discourse;
nor
successive,
as
if
he
knew
 one
thing
after
another;
neither
by
a
ratiocinative
gathering
and
 understanding
one
thing
on
the
basis
of
others;
nor
proceeding
from
what
is
 known
to
what
is
unknown,
as
Thomas
rightly
teaches
in
the
first
part
of
the
 Summa.”92 Polanus
is
aware
of
a
series
of
objections
to
this
doctrine
of
divine
 omniscience,
notably,
arguments
that
deny
to
God
knowledge
of
singular
 things
and
knowledge
of
future
contingents,
several
of
which
are
relevant
to
 the
present
discussion.
In
the
first
of
these,
the
eternity
of
God
is
posed
as
a
 ground
of
ignorance
of
singulars:
God
cannot
know
things
that
do
not
 always
exist.
In
response
Polanus
indicates
that
God
does
not
know
things
 the
way
that
human
being
know
them. For
the
divine
knowledge
(scientia
Dei)
does
not
depend
on
things,
as
does
ours.
He
 knows
all
things
through
his
essence,
either
things
that
exist
or
things
that
do
not;
 whether
they
will
be,
or
never
will
be,
but
are
capable
of
being.93

The
premise
that
God
knows
all
things,
possible,
actual,
and
future
through
 his
essence
is
clearly
Thomistic,
a
point
to
which
we
will
return
in
 examining
Reformed
understandings
of
the
foundation
of
possibility.94
Nor
 does
Polanus’
affirmation
of
the
distinction
between
the
divine
scientia
 simplicis
intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
visionis
alter
this
premise:
whereas


the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
is
clearly
understood
as
antecedent
to
 the
act
of
the
divine
will
and
the
scientia
visionis
as
subsequent,
Polanus
 does
not
rest
the
visionary
knowledge
on
the
act
of
will
but
instead
still
 indicates,
in
accord
with
his
definition
that
God
knows
these
things
as
 present
and
in
seipso
and
“distinct
from
[his]
will,”
as
things
that
he
can
 bring
into
being.95 There
is
no
indication
in
the
Syntagma
that
Polanus
considered
the
 Scotist
notion
of
non-temporal
momenta
or
instantes
in
God:
for
Polanus,
 all
divine
knowing
is
simul
and
uno
momento—although,
as
we
have
noted
 of
the
Thomist
approach
to
the
scientia
Dei,
once
a
distinction
is
made
 between
simple
or
absolute
and
visionary
knowledge,
it
is
possible
to
argue
 a
certain
logical
sequencing
in
the
mind
of
God,
without
adopting
the
later
 language
of
a
succession
if
instants
of
nature.96
We
are
reminded
that
 Aquinas
had
indicated
that
the
reason
God
knows
all
things
in
his
essence
is
 because
God
knows
his
essence
perfectly
and
therefore
necessarily
knows
 the
extent
of
his
power.97 A
further
objection
argues
that
if
God
knows
singulars,
he
must
either
 always
know
them
or
(given
that
they
are
temporal)
in
a
certain
sense
by
 turns
know
them
and
not
know
them.
But
God
cannot
always
know
things
 that
do
not
always
exist—and
if
he
knows
them
only
when
they
exist,
then
 his
knowledge
is
variable.
God,
therefore,
cannot
know
singulars.
Polanus
 responds,
again
echoing
Aquinas,
that
God
always
knows
all
things
because
 all
things
are
present
to
him
in
his
eternity.98 A
third
objection
denies
that
future
contingents
have
determinate
truth:
 future
contingents
can
either
come
to
be
or
not
come
to
be.
In
response,
 Polanus
notes
that
the
argument
is
quite
true
concerning
human
knowledge
 inasmuch
as
their
causes
are
either
unknown
to
us
or
uncertain.
This
is
not
 the
case,
however,
with
God,
who
knows
the
causes
of
all
things.
Indeed,
 God,
whose
wisdom
or
knowledge
is
“always
the
same,
incapable
of
 variation,
increase,
or
decrease”
inasmuch
as
he
“knows
in
his
infinite
 knowledge
all
past,
present,
and
future
things,
necessary
and
contingent”
as
 present
to
him.99
Accordingly,
God
knows
contingents,
namely,
things
that
 in
themselves
and
as
far
as
finite
knowers
are
concerned,
are
contingent— but
“he
does
not
know
them
contingently,
but
necessarily
and
infallibly.”100
 The
point,
in
Polanus’
view,
carries
also
to
future
things,
which
God
 “foreknows
necessarily
and
infallibly.”101

This
necessity,
however,
is
consistently
identified
as
a
“necessity
of
 infallibility”
or
a
“necessity
of
certainty”
in
relation
to
the
contingent
order
 and
the
actuality
of
the
order
defined
typically
as
a
necessity
of
the
 consequence
rather
than
as
a
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing.
As
Bucanus
 indicated,
a
distinction
must
be
made
between
“absolute
necessity”
and
 “necessity
of
the
consequence”
or
“by
hypothesis
[ex
hypothesi],”
the
 former
identifying
“those
things
the
opposites
of
which
are
simply
 impossible
according
to
the
nature
of
the
cause
or
subject”
and
the
latter
 identifying
instances
when,
an
antecedent
cause
being
granted,
the
effect
 must
follow,
but
in
such
a
way
that
“their
causes
either
might
not
have
 been,
or
might
be
altered.”102
Bucanus
goes
on
to
apply
this
logical
 understanding
to
the
divine
decree:
“Those
things
are
necessary
that
God
 has
decreed
or
brought
about
by
reason
of
the
immutability
of
the
divine
 decree:
nonetheless
what
God
has
most
freely
done,
that
is
[done]
from
 eternity,
he
could
either
have
refrained
from
decreeing
or
decreed
 otherwise.”103 This
argument
applies
to
the
temporal
order
in
two
ways.
As
Bucanus
 concludes,
“there
is
no
contradiction
that
the
same
thing,
in
different
 respects,
be
necessary
and
contingent.”104
On
the
one
hand,
relative
 necessities
in
the
world
order,
in
an
ultimate
sense,
going
back
to
the
 freedom
of
God’s
decree,
are
contingent.
Things
that
are
brought
about
by
 secondary
causes
“that
according
to
their
own
nature
cannot
operate
 otherwise”
can
nonetheless
be
altered
by
God:
the
sun
moves
necessarily
 but
God
can
make
it
stand
still;
fire
burns
bodies
but
not
Shadrach,
 Meshach,
and
Abednego
in
the
fiery
furnace.105
On
the
other
hand,
from
the
 perspective
of
the
world
order
itself,
future
events,
considered
in
relation
to
 their
proximate
causes
and
in
their
own
natures,
could
be
otherwise
and
are
 contingent.
Considered,
however,
in
terms
of
the
decree
as
immutable
first
 cause
and
the
divine
foreknowledge
as
utterly
certain,
they
are
necessary,106
 namely,
as
necessities
of
the
consequence,
that
as
known
for
what
they
are,
 they
must
be
what
they
are,
without
disturbing
the
contingencies
of
the
 temporal
order. B.
Development
of
Reformed
Conceptions
of
Eternity.
The
more
 developed
formulations
that
are
found
in
Reformed
orthodox
writers
of
the
 mid-seventeenth
century
often
consider
the
question
of
how
it
is
that
all
 times,
past,
present,
and
future,
coexist
with
the
eternity
or
non-successive


duration
of
God
without
those
times
themselves
being
eternal.
One
reason
 for
the
occurrence
of
the
question
was
the
opposition
to
Conrad
Vorstius,
 who
had
denied
the
traditional
notion
of
eternity
as
non-successive
on
 precisely
the
ground
that
it
either
set
God
out
of
relation
to
time
or,
if
 coexistence
with
all
times
were
assumed,
rendered
every
temporal
moment
 eternal
and
who
had
defined
eternity
as
an
infinite
duration.107 In
the
wake
of
Vorstius’
critique,
a
considerable
number
of
Reformed
 theologians
adopted
the
view
that,
although
eternity
fully
and
always
 coexists
with
past,
present,
and
future,
past
present,
and
future
do
not
 coexist
with
each
other
but
stand
in
a
successive
relation
to
one
another— and
that,
therefore,
from
the
perspective
of
the
temporal
order,
times
coexist
 with
eternity
only
when
they
actually
exist.
As
Turretin
framed
the
issue,
 from
the
perspective
of
temporal
things,
“the
past
when
it
was,
coexisted
 with
eternity,
the
present
coexists
now,
and
the
future
will
coexist.”108
 Along
a
similar
line
of
argument,
Barlow,
Twisse,
and
Baxter,
despite
other
 significant
differences
among
them
over
the
issue
of
future
contingents,
are
 insistent
that
God
knows
futures,
not
as
if
futurity
is
an
existent,
but
as
 “things
that
will
be,”
inasmuch
as
in
his
knowledge
of
the
order
that
will
be,
 he
knows
the
relationships
of
things,
whether
before,
with,
or
after
one
 another:
it
is
not,
therefore,
that
the
“future”
somehow
exists
eternally,
but
 that
all
things
in
their
finite
and
transitory
durations
are
known
to
God
in
his
 own
infinite
and
eternal
duration
as
things
that
will
be
and
will
be
ordered
 as
he
wills
them
to
be
ordered.109 This
view,
albeit
posed
against
Vorstius,
stood
in
continuity
with
the
 older
scholastic
tradition
and
with
contemporary
Roman
Catholic
 scholasticism
as
well.110
We
cannot
here
trace
out
its
sources
in
full,
but
 suffice
it
to
say
that
the
issue
was
clearly
recognized
by
the
medievals,
who
 recognized
that
the
absence
of
temporal
priority
and
posteriority
in
God
did
 not
lead
to
the
conclusion
that
all
moments
of
time
exist
simultaneously
 with
respect
to
God’s
knowledge
of
them.111
There
is,
perhaps,
the
clearest
 adumbration
of
the
later
Reformed
view
in
the
thought
of
Gregory
of
 Rimini.112 Baxter
makes
a
point
of
stating
that
Scotus,
Durandus,
Gabriel
Biel,
 Gregory
of
Rimini,
and
Luis
Molina
failed
properly
to
understand
“how
 things
may
be
said
to
coexist
with
God
in
Eternity.113
He
offers
correction
in
 particular
to
what
he
takes
to
be
the
Scotist
view,
“that
Eternity
indeed
 includeth
all
Time
successively
as
present
in
it,
but
not
future
Time.”114


Clearly
time
is
successive
and
only
the
present
“instant”
exists.
That
which
 “is
not”
does
not
coexist
with
eternity
or,
indeed,
with
anything—but
 eternity
is
“indivisible”
and
it
is
incorrect
to
claim
that
“part
of
it
. . .
coexisteth
with
one
of
our
Instants”;
rather
all
of
eternity
coexists
indivisible
 with
each
instant
and
in
that
sense,
even
futures
are
present
to
it.115
Since
 time
has
no
“real
being,”
and
accordingly,
both
“possibility
and
futurition”
 are
merely
references
to
what,
respectively,
God
can
and
will
do.116 In
order
to
resolve
the
problem
of
sequence
in
God
from
the
pure
 possibility
to
willed
futurity
without
temporalizing
God,
Baxter
offers
an
 approach
to
a
logical
succession
of
momenta
or,
as
he
calls
them,
“instants”
 or
“instances”
in
God
that,
if
not
precisely
Scotist,
is
certainly
reflective
of
 Scotus’
impact
on
late
medieval
discourse—Baxter’s
comment
that
God
 knows
possibles
in
his
omnipotence,
however,
is
clearly
not
Scotistic: Gods
Intellect
is
Relatively
denominated
Omniscient,
in
respect
to
three
sorts
of
 Objects
also
in
three
instants:
1)
In
the
first
instant
he
knoweth
all
Possibles,
in
his
 own
Omnipotence:
For
to
know
things
to
be
Possible,
is
but
to
know
what
he
can
do.
 2)
In
the
second
Instant
he
Knoweth
all
things,
as
Congruous,
eligible
and
Volenda,
fit
 to
be
Willed:
And
this
out
of
the
perfection
of
his
own
wisdom:
which
is
but
to
be
 perfectly
Wise,
and
to
know
what
perfect
Wisdom
should
offer
as
eligible
to
the
Will.3)
 In
the
third
Instant
he
knoweth
All
things
willed
by
him
as
such
(as
Volita):
which
is
 but
to
know
his
own
Will,
and
so
that
they
will
be. In
all
of
these
instances
we
suppose
the
Things
themselves
not
to
have
yet
any
 Being:
But
speak
of
God
as
related
to
Imaginary
beings,
according
to
the
common
 speech
of
men. These
therefore
are
not
properly
Transient
Acts
of
God;
because
it
is
but
Himself
 that
is
the
object
indeed,
viz.
His
own
Power,
Wisdom
and
Will.117

This
approach
allows
Baxter
to
maintain
both
that
the
future
and
future
 contingents
do
not
exist,
even
for
God,
and
also
that
God
can
know
them,
 given
that
God
knows
his
own
power,
knows
the
entire
range
of
possibility,
 and
also
knows
eternally
what
he
will
actualize.118
God
does
not,
therefore,
 know
future
contingents
in
the
same
way
that
he
knows
presently
actual
 existents:
he
knows
present
existents
“because
they
exist”
and
future
 contingents
because
he
“foreknoweth
that
they
will
be,”
because
he
knows
 his
own
will.119
God’s
foreknowledge
of
future
contingents,
in
other
words,
 does
not
rest
on
the
contingents
themselves
as
if
they
existed,
rather
it
rests
 on
his
eternal
knowledge
of
his
will
to
actualize
certain
possibles. This
is
one
point
on
which
Baxter
and
John
Owen
stood
in
agreement,
 despite
Baxter’s
clear
antipathy
to
a
Thomistic
notion
of
praemotio
physica.


On
the
one
hand,
Owen
identified
God
as
“always
immutably
subsisting
in
 his
own
infinite
being”
and
assumed
that
the
divine
decrees,
as
internal
and
 eternal
acts
of
will,
are
“unchangeable
and
irrevocable.”120
This
must
be
the
 case
inasmuch
as
“every
eternal
act
of
God’s
will
is
immanent
in
himself,
 not
really
distinguished
from
himself;
whatever
is
so
in
God
is
God.”121
As
 eternal
and
immanent,
however—and
here
is
Owen’s
point
of
agreement
 with
Baxter
and,
we
may
conclude,
also
with
Twisse—the
divine
decree
in
 eternity
does
not
reference
actual
existents.
Its
reference
to
and
relation
 with
actuals
arises
not
in
the
decree
in
eternity
but
in
its
execution
in
time.
 Thus,
the
decree
“puts
nothing
into
the
creature
concerning
whom
it
is,
nor
 alteration
of
its
condition
at
all;
producing
no
effect
until
some
external
act
 of
God’s
power
do
make
it
out.”122
Therefore,
also
“the
consequence
is
 good
from
the
divine
purpose
to
the
futurition
of
any
thing,
and
the
 certainty
of
its
event,
not
to
its
actual
existence.”123 The
decree,
then,
as
we
saw
indicated
in
a
brief
manner
early
on
by
 Vermigli
and
later
among
the
early
orthodox
by
Bucanus,
grounds
divine
 foreknowledge
in
the
sense
of
establishing
a
necessity
of
certainty
or
 infallibility,
but
not
an
absolute
necessity.
From
the
perspective
of
God’s
 eternity,
the
future
contingents
do
not
exist
until
actualized
and
in
the
 eternal
decree
itself,
they
are
known
with
certainty:
“No
purpose
of
God,
no
 immanent
eternal
act
of
his
will
doth
produce
any
outward
effect,
or
change
 any
thing
in
nature
and
condition
of
that
thing
concerning
which
his
 purpose
is;
but
only
makes
the
event
and
success
necessary
in
respect
of
 that
purpose.”124
Freedom
and
contingency,
therefore,
although
remotely
 rooted
in
the
freedom
of
the
divine
decree,
can
also
be
proximately
or
 immediately
rooted
in
the
order
of
second
causes. Toward
the
close
of
the
high
orthodox
era,
John
Edwards
similarly
 indicated
that
temporal
contingencies
“cannot
be
said
to
be
contingent”
 with
respect
to
God
and
God’s
foreknowledge:
“all
things
are
certain
with
 God,
be
they
never
so
free,
arbitrary
and
contingent,
as
to
Men.”125
 Contingency,
thus,
is
understood
in
terms
of
the
order
of
created
or
 secondary
causality.
At
least
in
this
particular
definition,
the
direction
of
the
 Reformed
argument
is
more
in
accord
with
Aquinas
than
with
Scotus.

6 Scholastic
Approaches
to
Necessity,
 Contingency,
and
Freedom:
Early
 Modern
Reformed
Perspectives 6.1
Preliminary
Issues There
are
a
few
studies
that
touch
on
the
issue
of
free
will
or
free
choice
 and
necessity
in
the
thought
of
individual
orthodox
Reformed
theologians— notably,
Peter
Martyr
Vermigli,
Wolfgang
Musculus,
Jerome
Zanchi,
and
 Francis
Turretin.1
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
remains,
however,
the
 most
extended
analysis
of
the
issues
concerning
necessity,
contingency
and
 freedom
in
the
thought
of
the
Protestant
orthodox.
Discussions
of
 seventeenth-century
thought
on
freedom
and
determinism
have
not
done
 much
to
place
the
theological
discussions
of
the
era
concerning
these
issues
 into
the
context
of
the
philosophical
debates
of
the
era.2
Of
the
essays
that
 deal
with
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
in
early
modern
Reformed
 thought,
it
is
only
those
by
Paul
Helm
that
engage
in
critical
examination
of
 the
presence
of
a
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
among
the
Reformed.3 There
is
a
danger
that
critics
of
the
argument
in
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
will
understand
it
as
a
declaration
that
all
events
in
the
actual
 world
are
uniformly
contingent
on
the
ground
of
the
radical
contingency
of
 the
order
as
a
whole—or
that
contingency
be
defined
solely
with
regard
to
 the
freedom
of
divine
willing
and
not
register
the
equally
important
point
 that
temporal
contingencies
are
also
identified
as
not
to
be
known
or
 foreknown
in
their
temporal
causes
and,
in
the
case
of
free
choice,
as
rooted
 in
the
potencies
of
the
human
agent
as
well
as
in
the
freedom
of
God.
Yet
it
 is
clear
both
from
what
we
have
seen
in
the
discussion
of
medieval
 backgrounds
and
from
the
approaches
to
the
issue
that
we
find
among
the


early
modern
Reformed
that
this
is
not
the
case.
The
contingency
of
the
 world
order,
however
rooted
in
the
freedom
of
the
divine
will,
was
never
 the
full
explanation
of
contingency,
nor
was
it
ever
assumed
to
rule
out
 causal
necessities
within
the
temporal
order.
As
we
have
seen,
the
 underlying
issue
is
that
contingency
and
freedom
must
be
understood
at
 both
levels
of
causality,
both
the
primary
and
the
secondary.
Temporal
 contingencies
are
rooted
in
the
fact
that
the
order
of
secondary
causes
 includes
events
that
could
be
otherwise
given
the
nature
of
temporal
 causality—and
these
temporal
contingencies
are,
furthermore,
identifiable
 in
the
world
order
in
their
contrast
to
events
that
could
not,
from
the
 temporal
perspective,
be
otherwise.
When
the
Westminster
Confession
 declares
that
God’s
providence
orders
all
things
“to
fall
out,
according
to
 the
nature
of
second
causes,
either
necessarily,
freely,
or
contingently,”
it
 assumes
not
only
contingencies
but
also
necessary
and
free
acts
and
events
 arising
out
of
the
order
of
finite
or
secondary
causes.4 Accordingly,
Reformed
theologians
and
philosophers
of
the
early
modern
 era
consistently
indicated
that
the
contingent
order,
as
willed
or
decreed
by
 God,
contains
actions
and
events
that
are
necessary,
contingent,
and
free
 and,
moreover,
that
these
actions
and
events
must
be
understood
as
such
 both
with
reference
to
divine
willing
and
to
the
nature
of
the
contingent
 things
and
causes
in
themselves.
John
Davenant
noted
specifically,
 referencing
Aquinas
and
Augustine,
that
God
has
“decreed
that
some
things
 should
happen
naturally,
some
necessarily,
some
freely
and
contingently”;5
 God,
moreover,
brings
about
contingencies
by
freely
executing
his
decree
 through
the
instrumentality
of
causes
that
are
themselves
not
necessary
but
 contingent
or
free.6
As
Courtenay
observed
of
the
medieval
Scotist
and
 Nominalist
background
on
this
issue,
the
divine
willing
of
the
world
order
 renders
it
contingent,
so
that
neither
the
order
nor
anything
in
it
is
 absolutely
necessary
but
rather
“is
only
relatively
or
contingently
 necessary”
as
“established
by
God
out
of
free
choice,”7
but,
again,
it
was
 Aquinas
who
firmly
lodged
contingency
in
the
order
of
secondary
causality
 and
could,
therefore,
indicate
that,
relative
to
the
order,
some
things
occur
 necessarily
and
come
contingently. Turretin
similarly
argues
(without
citing
any
sources),
but
given
his
 identification
of
contingency
as
grounded
both
in
the
divine
freedom
and
in
 the
secondary
causes
but
focused
on
the
latter,
the
argument
is
couched
in
a
 more
or
less
Thomistic
manner:

Concerning
the
state
of
the
question,
Note
1.
A
Contingent
can
be
understood
in
two
 ways
(bifariam):
either
with
respect
to
the
first
cause
(causa
prima),
given
that
it
can
 either
be
produced
or
not
produced
by
God;
and
accordingly
all
creatures
are
 contingent
with
respect
to
God,
who
could
have
created
none
had
he
so
willed:
Or
 with
respect
to
secondary
causes
(causarum
secundarum),
which
can
either
produce
 or
not
produce
their
effect,
&
which
are
in
this
way
distinguished
from
necessary
 causes;
We
deal
here
with
future
contingents
in
the
latter,
not
in
the
former
sense.8

Hoornbeeck
similarly
indicates,
also
reflecting
a
more
Thomistic
approach,
 that
contingency
in
things
is
properly
referred
not
to
primary
but
to
 secondary
causality,9
and
that
their
necessity
with
respect
to
the
first
cause
 does
not
imply
either
an
internal
or
a
natural
necessity—and,
as
far
as
the
 temporal
order
is
concerned,
the
necessary,
as
opposed
to
the
contingent,
is
 that
which
is
necessary
by
nature
or
intrinsically.
With
respect
to
the
divine
 decree,
things
are
future
by
divine
determination,
but
they
are
not
in
 themselves
necessary.10
Given
the
divine
decree,
it
is
necessary
that
future
 things
will
be,
but
not
all
future
things
are
necessary—some
being
 contingent.11
Turretin
further
clarifies
the
issue,
indicating
that A
thing
can
be
considered,
either
according
to
the
certitude
of
its
occurrence
(quoad
 certitudinem
eventus),
or
according
to
the
manner
of
production
(modi
productionis):
 a
future
contingent
references
both
[of
these
considerations],
since
as
future,
it
 references
the
certainty
of
its
occurrence,
[and]
as
contingent,
its
manner
of
 production;
the
former
has
its
first
cause
from
the
decree,
the
latter
from
the
 disposition
of
secondary
causes.12

There
were,
it
should
be
noted,
variations
in
the
definitions
of
necessity
 and
contingency
among
the
Reformed
theologians
and
philosophers
of
the
 early
modern
era.
Specifically
there
are
two
basic
patterns
of
definition,
 both
of
which
assume
that
all
being
is
either
necessary
or
contingent.
Some
 of
the
Reformed,
like
Franco
Burgersdijk
and
Turretin,
define
the
 “necessary”
as
“that
which
cannot
not
be
[necessarium
generatim
dicitur,
 quod
non
potest
non
esse],”
and
the
“contingent”
as
“that
which
is
and
is
 able
not
to
be
[contingens
dicitur,
quod
est,
&
potest
non
esse].”13
 Burgersdijk
adds,
the
“possible”
is
that
which
is
not
and
which
is
able
to
be
 or
exist
[possibile,
quod
non
est,
&
potest
esse].”14
Alternatively,
various
 other
of
the
Reformed
identify
the
“necessary”
as
“that
which
cannot
be
 otherwise
or
other
than
what
it
is
[quod
non
potest
aliter
se
habere],”
and
 the
“contingent”
as
“that
which
is
able
to
be
other
than
what
it
is
[quod
 potest
aliter
se
habere].”15
Here,
at
least,
we
have
a
difference
in
definition
 that
can
potentially
be
traced
to
Duns
Scotus,
namely,
the
broadening
of
the


definition
of
contingency
from
“able
not
to
be”
to
“able
to
be
other
than
 what
it
is”:
the
former
definition,
if
taken
strictly,
identifies
contingency
 simply
in
terms
of
a
contradiction,
whereas
the
latter
can
be
taken
to
imply
 also
contrariety
and,
therefore,
a
clearer
or
fuller
conception
of
contingency.
 The
question
remains,
of
course,
as
to
whether
the
difference
in
definitions
 actually
implies
significantly
different
conceptions
of
contingency
and,
if
 so,
whether
it
actually
represents
a
shift
from
what
can
loosely
be
called
 Thomist
to
a
more
Scotistic
understanding. 6.2
Junius,
Gomarus,
and
Early
Orthodox
Scholastic
Refinement A.
Junius’
disputations
on
free
choice.
The
academic
efforts
of
 Franciscus
Junius
occupy
a
prominent
place
in
the
establishment
of
the
 patterns
and
definitions
of
early
orthodox
Reformed
thought.
Perhaps
best
 remembered
for
his
contribution
to
theological
prolegomena,16
Junius
was
 also
a
significant
force
in
stabilizing
and
refining
the
theological
curriculum
 at
Leiden
largely
in
the
form
of
coordinated
cycles
of
academic
 disputations.
During
his
tenure
at
Leiden,
he
presided
over
several
 disputations
on
free
choice,
one
of
which
belongs
to
the
second
repetition
of
 the
cycle
of
disputations,17
another
considerably
longer
and
more
elaborate
 disputation
was
also
published
in
Junius
Opera,18
plus
one
other
 disputation,
which
was
probably
set
for
a
preliminary
student
exercise
 distinct
from
the
cycle
of
pro
gradu
disputations.19
There
is
also
a
 disputation
on
free
choice
set
by
Junius
during
his
earlier
tenure
at
 Heidelberg.20 Examination
of
Junius’
several
sets
of
theses
on
free
choice
in
the
 context
of
early
modern
Reformed
expression
identifies
his
work
as
very
 much
a
part
of
the
main
line
of
development
of
Reformed
thought
on
the
 subject.
Elements
of
strong
continuity
with
earlier
writers
like
Vermigli
and
 Zanchi
are
evident
as
are
commonalities
with
the
thought
of
his
major
 contemporaries.
Since
Junius
does
not
employ
the
distinction
between
the
 divided
and
the
composite
sense
and
does
not
raise
the
issue
of
the
 simultaneity
of
potencies,
his
argumentation
serves
to
clarify
reformed
 understandings
of
free
choice
but
does
not
broach
the
logical
issues
related
 to
synchronic
contingency. The
theses
in
Junius’
Heidelberg
disputation
represent
an
earlier,
perhaps
 more
simplified
form
of
definition
than
the
later
theses.
They
introduce


briefly
a
contrast
between
divine
and
human
freedom
that
will
become
a
 major
theme
in
both
sets
of
Leiden
disputations
found
in
the
Opera.
In
 these
early
theses,
Junius
begins
by
defining
free
choice
as
“a
natural
 potency
of
choosing
or
refusing
good
or
evil
by
its
own
proper
motion,
 without
compulsion.”21
We
find
similar
language
in
the
works
of
his
 contemporaries:
“Freewill
. . .
is
taken
for
a
mixt
power
in
the
minde
and
 will
of
man,
whereby
discerning
what
is
good
and
what
is
evill,
he
doth
 accordingly
choose
or
refuse
the
same.”22 By
way
of
further
definition,
liberum
arbitrium,
it
consists
in
two
terms,
 the
latter,
arbitrium,
identifying
the
mind
or
intellective
function
of
 approving
or
disapproving
of
an
object
that
it
presents
to
the
will,
the
 former,
liberum,
identifying
the
will,
which
spontaneously
chooses
or
 refuses
the
object.
Junius
will
later
depart
from
this
neat
apportioning
of
the
 choice
or
judgment
to
the
intellect
and
of
freedom
to
the
will. The
difference
between
divine
and
human
freedom
comes
into
focus
 when
Junius
turns
to
the
question
of
the
“subject”
of
free
choice,
namely,
 the
being
endowed
with
freedom
in
its
knowing
and
willing.
Junius,
 followed
verbatim
by
the
younger
Lucas
Trelcatius
and
various
other
 Reformed
writers,
defines
the
finite
or
created
subject
in
which
such
free
 choice
is
located
as
“an
intelligent
created
being
. . .
endowed
with
reason”
 in
whom
understanding
and
will
are
essential
“parts”
predicated
 analogically,
and
freedom
is
identified
as
belonging
to
the
parts
as
an
 incidental
and,
accordingly,
separable
property.23
By
contrast,
free
choice
is
 predicated
of
God
either
univocally
as
an
essential
attribute
that
is
 inseparable
from
the
divine
essence
or
figuratively,
given
that
the
definition
 as
based
on
finite
rational
creatures
does
not
comport
with
the
simplicity,
 eternity,
and
immutability
of
God.
Whereas
the
object
of
free
choice
in
 creatures
concerns
moral
good
and
moral
evil,
the
object
of
divine
freedom
 is
the
goodness
of
God
himself,
which
always
disapproves
of
evil.24 Junius’
understanding
of
human
attributes
as
analogically
predicated
and
 divine
attributes
as
univocally
predicated
rests
on
his
assumption
that
the
 divine
attribute,
in
this
case,
freedom,
is
a
“prototype”
or
“exemplar”
of
the
 human
and
that
the
human
attribute
is
a
representation,
understood
by
 analogy,
of
the
divine.25
Arguably,
this
view
draws
on
a
broader
theme
of
 God
knowing
all
things
in
himself
as
the
exemplar—or
of
the
divine
ideas
 as
the
exemplars—of
all
created
things,
stated
by
Junius
in
his
commentary


on
Genesis26
and
offering
an
instance
of
the
Thomistic
background
to
many
 of
the
arguments
found
among
the
early
modern
Reformed.27 In
his
later
theses,
Junius
offered
what
can
be
called
a
more
integral
or
 integrated
definition
of
free
choice
that
attributed
the
choice
or
judgment
 (arbitrium)
and
its
freedom
(libertas)
to
both
intellect
and
will.
The
 judgment,
considered
as
a
deliberation,
is
referred
to
the
intellect,
whereas
 considered
as
a
choice
(electio),
it
is
referred
to
the
will.
There
is,
 accordingly,
a
judgment
of
the
intellect
(arbitrium
intellectus)
that
is
an
 action
of
the
mind
by
which
a
being
capable
of
understanding
can
 deliberate
and
discern
the
truth
or
falsehood
of
“intelligible
objects.”28
 There
is
also
a
judgment
of
the
will
(voluntatis
arbitrium)
that
is
an
action
 of
the
will
by
which
it
either
chooses
(eligit)
something
good
or
rejects
 something
bad
or
evil
that
has
been
discerned
by
the
intellect
and
proposed
 by
it
to
the
will.
This
choice
or
elective
act
of
the
will
is
also,
then,
 identified
as
an
arbitrium,
or
judgment,
inasmuch
as
it
is
a
kind
of
“opinion
 [sententia]”
or
“final
decision
[iudicium
ultimum]”
of
the
will.29
Junius
 offers
here
no
indication
of
either
a
strictly
intellectualist
or
voluntarist
 approach.
Although
the
intellect
provides
the
will
with
its
object,
Junius
 does
not
state
whether
the
will
can
reject
the
judgment
of
the
intellect— specifically,
whether
the
will
can
choose
or
refuse
what
the
object
presented
 by
the
intellect.
Rather,
Junius
simply
places
judgment
in
both
faculties
and
 implies
the
prior
operation
of
the
intellect.
Other
Reformed
of
the
era
would
 identify
free
choice
as
a
“mixed
faculty”
to
similar
effect,30
some
holding
a
 more
identifiably
intellectualist
approach,31
others
to
a
more
overtly
 voluntaristic
reading.32 In
the
shorter
of
the
two
1601
disputations,
in
accord
with
various
of
his
 Reformed
contemporaries,
Junius
indicates
that
freedom
is
opposed
not
to
 all
necessity
but
specifically
to
the
necessity
of
coaction
or
coercion.
The
 freedom
and
spontaneity
of
human
willing
must
always
subserve
God’s
 providence,
and
after
the
fall,
the
human
will
is
enslaved
to
sin,
utterly
 lacking
the
freedom
not
to
sin.
But
it
belongs
to
the
very
nature
of
willing
 that
it
is
spontaneous
and
not
externally
determined:
both
before
and
after
 the
fall,
the
will
is
free
from
coercion.33
The
longer
1601
disputation
adds
a
 freedom
from
obligation,
understood
as
a
freedom
with
regard
to
means
or
 with
respect
to
“adjuncts”
or
“collateral
circumstances
[adiuncta].”
It
also
 distinguishes
between
“necessity
properly
so
called”
and
coaction
as
a
kind
 of
necessity
included
in
the
more
general
category,
indicating
that
human


beings
are
free
from
both,34
a
point
of
clarification
not
found
either
in
 Junius’
other
disputations
or
in
the
Reformed
materials
we
have
previously
 examined,35
indicating
a
development
in
Junius’
position,
if
not
in
 Reformed
thought
in
general. Freedom
from
obligation
consists
in
the
ability
of
an
individual
willing
 subject
being
free
to
act
as
he
pleases
according
to
his
own
nature,
without
 prohibition
of
impediment.36
With
regard
to
means,
this
freedom
entails
the
 ability
to
choose
the
means
for
achieving
a
given
end.
As
B.
J.
D.
van
 Vreeswijk
indicates,
this
freedom
relates
not
so
much
to
willing
itself
as
to
 “the
executing
of
what
a
person
wills.”37
Freedom
from
coaction
or
 coercion
assumes
the
unconstrained
spontaneity,
simply
put,
the
willingness
 or
voluntary
character
of
the
will,
which
remains
even
in
the
case
of
acts
 that
are
necessarily
performed
in
the
sense
that
they
are
incapable
of
not
 being
done. At
this
point,
Junius
argues
that
“self-evident”
or
intrinsically
good
goals,
 like
happiness,
are
necessary
but
are
also
willed
freely,38
an
argument
that
 comports
with
a
Thomistic
line
of
thought
and
rather
pointedly
counters
a
 Scotist
model.
Scotus
argued
strongly
against
a
natural
necessitation
of
the
 will.39
This
Thomistic
accent
is
also
found
in
the
work
of
John
Weemes,
 who
studied
with
Junius.40
Here
also,
presumably,
can
be
included
what
is
 commonly
identified
as
a
necessity
of
nature:
a
person
can
will
freely
 according
to
his
nature,
namely,
according
to
who
and
what
he
is,
but
his
 nature
delimits
his
willing:
a
person
who
is
five
feet
tall
cannot
will
himself
 to
be
six
feet
tall—or,
indeed,
a
sinful
person
wills
freely
but
cannot
will
 not
to
be
sinful.41 By
far
the
more
important
part
of
Junius’
definition,
however,
concerns
 what
he
defines
as
freedom
from
“necessity
properly
so
called
[necessitas
 proprie
dicta].”
This
freedom
consists
in
the
ability,
according
to
one’s
 judgment
(arbitrium),
“to
will,
to
reject,
to
not
reject,
or
to
not
will
[velle,
 nolle,
non
nolle,
non
velle].”42
Freedom
from
necessity
in
this
proper
sense
 includes,
therefore,
two
kinds
of
positive
willing
(willing
to
accept
or
 reject),
and
two
kinds
of
negative
willing
(willing
not
to
accept
or
not
to
 reject).
Van
Vreeswijk
rightly
argues
that
this
definition
reflects
the
full
 logical
square
of
opposition:
the
contraries,
willing
p
and
willing
not-p;
and
 the
subcontraries,
not
willing
not-p
and
not
willing
p.43
Junius’
formulation
 accords
with
arguments
of
his
Reformed
contemporaries
but
is
arguably


somewhat
clearer
because
of
its
patterning
according
to
the
logic
of
the
 square
of
opposition.44 To
make
clear
that
in
willing
in
any
of
these
four
ways
human
beings
are
 utterly
free
from
necessity,
Junius
adds
that
such
willing
is
free
both
from
a
 necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
(necessitas
consequentis)
and
from
a
 necessity
of
the
consequence
(necessitas
consequentiae)—the
former
being
 an
absolute
necessity,
the
latter
a
logical
necessity.
Allowing
for
those
cases
 in
which
an
object
of
willing
is
by
nature
“determined
to
one”
effect,
 neither
an
“internal
or
external
foundation”
or
any
other
“cause”
can
stand
 in
the
way
of
this
freedom
of
willing.
Thus,
ruling
out
what
we
have
 identified
as
necessities
of
nature,
the
will
stands
in
a
fully
“contingent
and
 free”
relation
to
its
objects.45 This
set
of
arguments
yields
a
more
elaborate
definition
than
that
found
 in
Junius’
1592
Heidelberg
theses:
“libertas
arbitrii
may
be
defined,
not
 inappropriately,
as
a
faculty
of
a
discerning
will,
free
from
necessity,
by
 which
an
intelligent
nature
[natura
intelligens],46
chooses
one
thing
over
 another
from
the
objects
presented
by
the
intellect,
or,
according
to
a
 judgment,
either
accepts
one
and
the
same
thing
as
good
or
rejects
it
as
 bad.”47
Accordingly,
the
action
(actus)
of
choosing
can
take
place
in
two
 distinct
ways:
one
of
two
objects
can
be
chosen
or
one
object
can
be
chosen
 from
among
many—or
if
only
one
object
is
proposed
it
can
be
either
 accepted
or
rejected:
in
the
first
instance,
there
is
a
freedom
of
contrariety
 (libertas
contrarietatis),
in
the
latter
a
freedom
of
contradiction
(libertas
 contradictionis).48 There
should
be
no
question
that
Junius,
much
in
accord
with
 predecessors
in
the
Reformed
tradition
like
Vermigli,
Zanchi,
and
Ursinus,
 has
insisted
that
human
freedom,
liberum
arbitrium,
is
characterized
by
 alternativity.
There
is
also
much
in
Junius’
later
definitions
that
echoes
 Zanchi’s
sense
of
a
unified
potency
of
free
choosing:
there
is
a
deliberation
 of
the
intellect
and
an
agreement
of
the
will,
both
engage
in
the
judgment
 (arbitrium),
and
libertas
modifies
the
conjoint
judgment.
Junius
makes
 explicit
Zanchi’s
implication
of
a
freedom
of
contradiction
and
he
echoes
 both
Vermigli
and
Zanchi
in
his
appeal
to
the
distinctions
concerning
 freedom
of
contradiction
and
freedom
of
contrariety.
Junius’
definitions
of
 choice
as
consisting
in
willing,
refusing,
not
refusing,
and
not
willing,
 echoes—perhaps
with
some
clarification—Ursinus’
language
of
choosing
 or
refusing,
choosing
the
opposite,
or
suspending
willing.
Junius,
in
other


words,
was
not
revolutionary.
He
did
not
suddenly
insert
a
new
pattern
of
 argumentation
into
the
Reformed
tradition,
and
his
work
does
not
evidence
 a
sudden
shift
from
a
more
or
less
Thomistic
viewpoint
to
Scotism.
Nor
do
 we
have
in
his
theses
a
clear
insertion
of
the
language
of
simultaneous
 potencies
and
of
a
distinction
between
the
composite
and
the
divided
sense,
 or
as
it
has
come
to
be
called,
synchronic
contingency—but
we
do
find
a
 clear
argument
for
free
choice
as
an
alternativity
that
cannot
be
reduced
to
 mere
spontaneity
or
freedom
from
compulsion. B.
Gomarus
on
freedom
and
necessity.
As
Dekker
and
Marinus
 Schouten
note,
Gomarus
published
a
significant
essay
on
divine
providence —his
first
major
work—early
on
in
his
career
at
Leiden,
in
which
he
argued
 the
case
for
contingency
in
the
world
order,
specifically
in
human
actions.49
 The
sources
cited
in
the
treatise
are
worthy
of
note:
in
addition
to
its
 strongly
biblical
case,
the
treatise
lacks
significant
citation
of
scholastic
 materials,
draws
consistently
on
classical
philosophical
sources,
most
 notably
Aristotle,
and
is
highly
reliant
on
patristic
works,
most
notably
the
 works
of
Augustine
but
also
on
the
Greek
tradition,
including
citation
of
 such
writers
as
John
of
Damascus,
Gregory
of
Nyssa,
Theodoret,
and
 Chrysostom.
Of
the
scholastics,
Gomarus
references
Aquinas,50
Gregory
of
 Valencia,51
and
Peter
Lombard.52
Aquinas
is
by
far
the
most
frequently
 cited,
in
several
cases
identified
as
representative
of
the
scholastici.
The
 reference
to
the
Jesuit
theologian
Gregory
of
Valencia
is
of
interest,
 inasmuch
as
it
is
Gomarus’
sole
citation
of
an
early
modern
Roman
 scholastic—cited
as
in
agreement
with
Aquinas
on
divine
foreknowledge.53
 Duns
Scotus
is
nowhere
mentioned.
There
are
also
citations
of
Beza,
 identified
by
Gomarus
as
gravissimus
Theologus,54
of
Calvin
as
doctissimus
 Theologus,55
and
of
Vermigli.56 While
at
Leiden,
Gomarus
also
presided
at
three
disputations
on
free
 choice
and
at
least
three
on
providence.57
His
argumentation
has
much
in
 common
with
Junius’
definitions,
although
arguably
the
voluntaristic
aspect
 of
choice
is
emphasized
more
by
Gomarus.
Like
Junius
and
other
Reformed
 writers
of
the
era,
Gomarus
specifically
links
freedom
with
rational
or
 intelligent
being:
“free
choice
is
the
free
power
of
an
intelligent
nature,”
 conducing
to
a
goal
that
has
been
rationally
chosen
over
another.58
Such
 rational
freedom
belongs
only
to
God,
angels,
and
human
beings,
namely,
to
 beings
endowed
with
will.
Will
and
free
choice
(liberum
arbitrium)
are


actually
the
same
faculty,
differently
considered:
the
faculty
is
identified
as
 will
“with
respect
to
the
goal”
and
as
free
choice
“with
respect
to
the
 means”—just
as,
Gomarus
adds,
the
faculty
of
understanding
is
called
 intellect
“with
respect
to
first
principles”
and
reason
with
respect
to
 “conclusions.”59 Paralleling
Junius,
Gomarus
identifies
freedom
itself
as
twofold—from
 external
coercion
and
from
internal
necessity
understood
as
an
absence
of
 an
initial
indeterminacy.
Specifically,
absence
of
coercion
identifies
the
act
 as
spontaneous,
but
to
be
free
in
the
proper
sense
of
a
liberum
arbitrium,
 the
act
also
is
free
from
necessity,
such
that
“by
itself
it
is
indeterminate”
 and
“determines
itself
by
an
intrinsic
potency
to
elicit
its
own
act.”60
This
 latter
point
is
characteristic
of
much
early
modern
Reformed
argumentation
 on
freedom—and
we
will
see
it
again
with
some
emphasis
in
Turretin:
the
 free
choice
rests
on
an
initial
indifference
and,
with
that
indifference,
 potencies
to
more
than
one
effect.
The
choice
itself
is
a
free
act
or
relative
 self-motion
in
which
a
potency
is
engaged
and
the
indifference
overcome
 by
the
act
of
the
rational
agent
or
natura
intelligens. The
disputation
does
not
elaborate
on
the
nature
of
this
indeterminacy,
 nor
does
it
follow
the
pattern
of
Junius’
disputation
and
elaborate
on
the
 definition
of
necessity.
Fortunately
Gomarus
does
address
this
latter
issue
 elsewhere,
namely,
in
his
Conciliatio
doctrinae
orthodoxae
de
providentia
 Dei,
where
he
offers
an
analysis
of
what
is
commonly
identified
as
a
 necessity
of
the
consequence
or
necessity
of
the
present.
Gomarus
clearly
 did
not
view
Aristotle’s
formulation
of
this
kind
of
necessity
as
 deterministic: Aristotle’s
dictum
Whatever
exists,
as
it
exists
(I
add,
whatever
is
to
be
as
it
is
to
be)
is
 necessary,
is
no
less
true
because
in
common
use:
for
otherwise
two
contradictories
 could
be
true
simultaneously:
which
contradicts
nature
&
the
truth
of
God,
in
whom
 Yes
&
No
do
not
co-exist.61

Gomarus’
citation,
of
course,
is
the
very
text
of
Aristotle
that
Hintikka
and
 Vos
have
argued
implies
a
strict
determinism,
but
Gomarus,
like
the
vast
 majority
of
thinkers
before
him
in
the
Western
tradition,
reads
it
as
 indicating
contingency.
He
continues
with
a
citation
of
Augustine,
filling
 out
the
meaning
of
his
own
parenthetical
addition
to
Aristotle:
given
that
 God
knows
all
his
acts,
including
his
future
acts,
it
is
just
as
impossible
for
 that
which
is
future
not
to
be
as
it
is
impossible
for
that
which
is
past
not
to


have
happened,
“for
it
is
not
in
the
will
of
God,
that
something
which
is
true
 might
be
false.”62
Gomarus
concludes
that
if
one
looks
to
“the
things
of
 nature
&
secondary
causes
(which
God
does
not
remove,
but
ordains),”
 recognizing
human
ignorance
of
the
divine
work,
“there
are
innumerable
 contingencies”—and,
equally
so,
if
one
conjectures
concerning
the
divine
 decree
and
foreknowledge,
“all
things
are
necessary
by
hypothesis,
by
a
 necessity,
so
called,
of
immutability
and
of
the
consequence.”63 Accordingly,
in
a
single
thing
or
event,
there
is
both
contingency
and
 necessity,
albeit
in
different
ways,
respecting
both
the
contingency
of
the
 world
order
and
events
in
it
and
the
necessity
that
what
God
knows
to
be
 true
is
indeed
true.
Gomarus
offers
the
example
of
Joseph,
sold
into
Egypt,
 subsequently
raised
to
prominence,
and
forgiving
the
brothers
who
had
 betrayed
him:
the
events
were
both
contingent
and
necessary.
The
 contingency
is
identified
in
“the
nature
of
Joseph
himself
&
the
series
of
 secondary
causes”
leading
to
the
outcome:64
causal
means
are
contingent
by
 nature
and
in
their
sources
of
motion
(principia),
and
so
also,
therefore,
are
 the
effects
that
follow.
Temporal
events
and
their
outcomes
are
“uncertain
 [arbitraria].”65
On
the
other
hand,
the
same
occurrences
are
necessary
in
 view
of
the
divine
providence,
given
that
nothing
can
exist
that
God
does
 not
decree,
effect,
or
permit—and
given
the
certainty
following
the
decree
 of
the
divine
foreknowledge
and
prophecy.
As
in
the
case
of
Joseph,
so
also
 in
the
case
of
the
death
of
Ahab,
who
was
killed
“contingently
&
 fortuitously
on
consideration
of
the
secondary
causes”
but
“necessarily
by
 reason
of
the
decree
&
prediction
of
God.”66
The
basis
of
contingency
is
 lodged
in
the
finite
order,
in
secondary
causes
and
in
the
nature
of
the
 agents—it
is
not
merely
epistemic
on
the
assumption
that
the
future
is
not
 known.
The
necessity
is
not
absolute
but
hypothetical,
arising
from
a
decree
 of
God
that
could
be
otherwise
but
that
establishes
all
things
as
they
were,
 are,
and
will
be,
indeed,
that
decrees
the
contingency
of
the
secondary
 causes.67
(This
is
not,
by
the
way,
a
characteristically
Scotistic
formulation,
 inasmuch
as
contingency
is
grounded
primarily
in
the
secondary
causality.) Free
acts
and
freedom
itself
are
also
twofold.
Using
somewhat
different
 language
than
Junius,
Gomarus
proposes
the
equivalent
of
Junius’
square
of
 opposition
concerning
free
actions
in
relation
to
known
objects.
Free
acts
 are
free
as
to
the
kind
of
act,
so
that
an
object
that
is
accepted
could
also
be
 rejected
and
an
object
that
is
rejected
could
also
be
accepted,
namely,
as
to


acceptance
or
rejection
of
an
object.
They
are
also
free
as
to
the
exercise,
 inasmuch
as
a
rational
agent
can
either
act
or
not
act.68 The
distinction
between
freedom
itself
and
free
acts
enables
Gomarus
to
 make
a
highly
significant
further
distinction
between
free
choice
as
a
 “potency
or
faculty
flowing
from
the
essence
of
a
soul”
and
the
free
act:
 liberum
arbitrium
belongs
to
the
human
being
as
a
rational
agent
or
 intelligent
nature
whether
or
not
he
acts.
As
a
faculty,
free
choice
functions
 as
the
ruler
(domina)
of
its
own
act
and69
accordingly,
capable
of
a
 judgment
(arbitrium)
whether
to
act
or
not
act.
As
a
potency
or
faculty,
 moreover,
belonging
to
the
essence
of
the
soul,
this
freedom
cannot
be
 coerced
or
removed,
and
it
exists
in
the
primary
actuality
of
the
soul,
prior
 to
its
action
or
operation.70
The
other
conclusion
that
Gomarus
draws
from
 the
identification
of
free
choice
as
a
potency
or
faculty
is
that,
unlike
habits
 or
disposition,
it
is
not
determined
to
one
effect:
it
is
a
“free
potency”
and,
 as
he
had
previously
defined
it,
the
“ruler
of
its
own
act.”71
The
argument
 has
echoes
in
Aquinas,
who
also
argued
that
liberum
arbitrium
is
not
a
habit
 but
a
power
or
potency.72 The
identity
of
free
choice
as
a
faculty
or
potency,
then,
guarantees
 alternativity.
This
point
is
carried
forward
in
thesis
viii
of
the
disputation,
 where
Gomarus
explains
free
choice
as
consisting
both
in
freedom
of
 contrariety
and
in
freedom
of
contradiction.
Both
of
these
freedoms,
in
 Gomarus’
explanation,
concern
the
capability
of
a
free
agent
to
choose
the
 means
to
be
used
to
reach
a
particular
goal.73
The
former
freedom
 references
a
situation
in
which
a
person
chooses
one
thing
over
another
and
 there
are
two,
even
three,
four,
or
more
means
by
which
the
choice
can
be
 made.
Freedom
of
contradiction,
in
Gomarus’
terms,
occurs
when
there
is
 but
one
means
of
choice
and
the
issue
is
acceptance
or
rejection
of
the
 object.74
Here
again,
very
clearly,
alternativity
is
assumed
and,
moreover,
is
 assumed
in
the
context
of
Gomarus’
prior
definition
of
free
choice
as
a
 potency
or
faculty
that,
unlike
a
habit
or
disposition,
is
not
determined
to
 one
effect.
The
general
portion
of
the
disputation
concludes
with
a
thesis
 that
the
choice
occurs
“as
reason
judges
to
be
most
advantageous”
but
“not
 because
the
judgment
of
reason
determines
the
will,
as
Bellarmine
would
 have
it.”75
Gomarus’
argumentation,
then,
classifies
as
intellectualist
but
not
 to
the
point
of
undermining
the
freedom
of
the
will.
The
argument
is
in
 accord
with
what
we
have
seen
in
Aquinas,
where
the
intellect
provides
the
 specification
of
the
object
but
not
the
exercise
of
the
will—and
it
clearly


does
not
coincide
with
the
approach
of
Scotus
and
various
other
Franciscan
 scholastics
to
argue
that
the
will
can
reject
the
judgment
of
the
intellect.
 There
is
also
to
be
noted
here,
both
in
the
case
of
Gomarus
and
in
that
of
 Junius,
not
a
major
shift
as
indicated
in
Vos’
narrative,
but
the
development
 of
scholastic
patterns
of
argument
in
continuity
with
Vermigli’s,
Urinius’,
 and
Zanchi’s
understandings
of
freedom
and
contingency,
liberty
of
 contradiction
and
contrariety,
and
the
necessity
of
the
consequence. 6.3
William
Twisse:
Contingency,
Freedom,
and
the
Reception
of
the
 Scholastic
Tradition William
Twisse’s
work
occupies
a
significant
place
among
the
Reformed
 contributions
to
the
early
modern
debates
concerning
the
divine
powers,
the
 eternal
decree,
predestination,
providence,
and
freedom—consisting,
in
 order
of
publication,
in
a
refutation
of
Thomas
Jackson’s
work
on
the
divine
 attributes,
a
massive
defense
of
William
Perkins
against
Arminius,
an
 extensive
treatise
debating
the
doctrine
of
middle
knowledge,
an
extended
 critique
of
John
Cotton’s
doctrine
of
predestination,
a
detailed
response
to
 Arminius’
critique
of
Franciscus
Junius,
a
treatise
in
explanation
and
 defense
of
the
Reformed
Synods
of
Dort
and
Arles,
and
a
work
defending
 both
the
infra-
and
supralapsarian
doctrines
of
predestination
against
the
 Arminianizing
Samuel
Hoard.76
Throughout
these
works,
Twisse
addresses
 the
related
issues
of
divine
and
human
willing,
necessity,
contingency,
and
 freedom
in
scholastic
detail,
evidencing
a
mastery
both
of
the
medieval
and
 early
modern
literature
and
of
the
complex
of
distinctions
it
employed. The
extant
scholarship
on
Twisse
has
argued
rather
different
conclusions.
 An
older
essay
by
Hutton
examined
the
controversy
between
Twisse
and
 Thomas
Jackson
and
identified
Twisse
as
an
Aristotelian
scholastic
in
 contrast
to
Jackson’s
Neoplatonic
approach.
Hutton
finds
Twisse
biased
and
 quibbling
in
his
“anti-Platonism,”
so
intent
on
scholastic
niceties
that
his
 primary
criticism
of
Jackson
is
the
latter’s
lack
of
scholastic
usages,
and
 representative
of
a
view
of
divine
omnipotence
that
denies
human
free
 will.77
Two
more-recent
studies,
one
by
Bac
and
the
other
by
T.
Theo
 Pleizier
and
Bac,
evidence
less
interest
in
Twisse’s
polemics
against
 Jackson
and
far
more
in
the
way
that
Twisse
appropriates
the
older
 scholastic
tradition
and
materials
from
the
second
scholasticism
in
his
 arguments.
Contrary
to
Hutton’s
conclusions,
they
identify
Twisse
as
a


subtle
defender
of
the
contingency
of
the
world
order
and
the
dependent
but
 nonetheless
free
choice
of
human
beings,
in
Bac’s
case,
looking
not
only
to
 Twisse’s
response
to
Jackson
but
also
to
Twisse’s
Dissertatio
de
scientia
 media
and
Vindiciae
gratiae.
Both
of
these
latter
essays
also
strive
to
 explain
Twisse’s
account
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
as
 belonging
to
a
fundamentally
Scotistic
understanding,
even
when
Twisse
 draws
heavily
on
Thomistic
sources.78 Twisse’s
understanding
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom,
as
well
as
 his
interest
in
scholastic
sources
both
past
and
contemporary
for
suitable
 argumentation
on
these
issues,
was
generated
by
his
primary
interest
in
 refuting
Jesuit
and
Arminian
teachings.
His
seemingly
exhaustive
citation
 of
the
scholastics,
including
numerous
citations
of
Aquinas,
served
both
to
 make
his
polemical
point
that
the
Jesuits
were
not
acceptable
expositors
of
 the
older
tradition
and
to
argue
his
own
position,
in
profound
accord
with
 the
main
lines
of
that
tradition.
In
Twisse’s
view,
stated
succinctly
in
the
 treatise
against
Cotton,
“the
insoluble
demonstration
that
cuts
the
throat
of
 Scientia
media,
whereupon
the
Jesuites
and
Arminians,
and
all
that
oppose
 the
absolutenesse
of
Gods
proceedings,
do,
and
must
relye”
was
the
 argument
that
the
only
basis
for
possibles
passing
over
into
actuals
is
the
 will
of
God.79
He
also
recognized
that,
given
this
uncontrovertible
premise,
 the
burden
of
his
argument
would
also
be
to
show
that
the
primary
divine
 causality
does
not
disrupt
or
remove
contingencies
in
the
created
order
or
 undermine
the
freedom
of
human
acts—most
notably
the
fall
of
Adam.80 Perhaps
taking
a
page
out
of
Augustine,
Twisse
insists
that
for
events
and
 things
to
be
foreknown
by
God
as
future,
they
must
be
future:
“unless
they
 are
future,
they
are
not
knowable
to
be
future.”81
Further,
all
future
 contingents,
as
contingent
and
capable
either
of
existing
or
not
existing,
are
 “in
their
own
nature”
as
pure
possibles,
“indifferent,
as
well
to
be
not
future
 as
[to
be]
future.”82
Such
possibles
cannot
“become
future
without
a
cause,”
 and
that
cause
can
only
be
the
will
of
God.
Still,
in
God’s
willing
these
 possibles
to
become
actual,
their
contingency
is
not
removed.
In
the
specific
 case
of
Adam’s
sin,
“upon
supposition
of
God’s
will
to
permit
Adam
to
fall,
 it
was
necessary
that
Adam
should
fall,”
but
that
he
should
do
so
“not
 necessarily,
but
contingently,
and
freely.”83 This
argument
concerning
the
divine
foreknowledge
of
futures
as
future
 already
contains
one
element
of
the
complex
of
concepts
contributing
to
the
 theory
of
synchronic
or
simultaneous
contingency,
namely,
the
recognition


that
God,
although
eternal
and
simple,
nonetheless
can
be
understood
as
 knowing
and
willing
possibles
in
a
logical
ordering,
indeed,
in
a
sequence
 of
non-temporal
instants
of
nature.
Twisse’s
problem
with
Cotton’s
treatise
 on
predestination
was
that
its
arguments
concerning
the
divine
purpose
 confused
the
ordering
of
divine
priorities
and
unwittingly
gave
some
 support
to
the
Arminian
cause.
As
an
initial
premise,
therefore,
Twisse
 indicated
that
“God
doth
not
propose
one
thing
before
another
in
time,
all
 things
are
at
once
present
with
him;
but
the
things
purposed
by
God,
God
 doth
order
them
one
for
another,
and
so
is
rightly
said
to
purpose
one
thing
 in
order
before
the
other.”84
In
other
words,
although
God
eternally
knows
 all
things,
there
is
a
non-temporal
ordering
in
the
mind
and
purpose
of
God
 that
provides
the
foundation
for
and
corresponds
with
the
ordering
of
events
 and
things
in
time. Taking
Adam’s
freedom,
considered
in
itself,
as
constituted
in
the
same
 way
as
the
freedom
even
of
fallen
humanity,
Twisse
continues,
“no
other
 necessity
is
at
this
day
found
in
man
for
the
performing
of
a
particular
 sinful
act,
but
such
as
is
joyned
with
liberty;
and
that
in
such
sort,
as
that
 the
necessity
is
only
Secundum
quid;
the
liberty
is
Simpliciter;
so
called,
I
 say,
in
respect
of
any
particular
act.”85
This
assumption
in
no
way
removes
 the
issue
that
“there
is
an
absolute
necessity
of
sinning,
in
generall,
laid
 upon
man
by
the
Fall
of
Adam,”
but
instead
asserts
that
human
beings,
now
 by
nature
sinful
and
necessarily
acting
according
to
their
nature,
retain
the
 freedom
that
is
essential
to
humanity
and
retain
it
simpliciter,
which
is
to
 say
absolutely.
From
the
temporal
perspective,
the
necessity
of
the
act,
 given
that
it
was
once
future
and
purely
possible,
is
secundum
quid,
relative
 or
hypothetical,
a
necessity
of
the
consequence.
Elsewhere,
Twisse
 indicated
that
he
held,
with
Aquinas,
that
future
contingents,
when
 considered
as
future
in
their
causes,
must
be
recognized
as
“not
yet
 determined
to
one
effect”—in
other
words
lodging
the
primary
sense
of
 contingency
in
the
order
of
secondary
causality.86
“Wee
say
with
Aquinas,
 that
Gods
will
is
so
efficacious,
as
to
cause
all
things
to
come
to
passe
after
 such
a
manner
as
they
doo
come
to
passe;
to
wit,
necessary
things
 necessarily,
and
contingent
things
contingently,
or
freely,
whether
in
good
 or
evill.”87 Twisse,
who
expressed
admiration
for
and
some
indebtedness
to
Scotus,
 often
looked
to
Aquinas
for
his
definitions.
This
is
the
case
when
Twisse
 grounded
both
necessity
and
contingency
in
the
world
order
on
the
divine


will
and,
at
the
same
time,
argued
that
God’s
will,
once
decreed,
cannot
be
 changed.
Twisse
has
recourse
to
the
most
basic
form
of
the
distinction
 between
the
absolute
and
the
ordained
power
of
God,
the
former
prior
to
the
 divine
will,
the
latter
following
it: Gods
absolute
power
is
one
thing,
his
ordinate
power
another,
for
this
includs
his
will.
 God
could
have
refused
to
make
the
world,
when
he
did
make
it,
&
he
made
it
freely;
 but
supposing
Gods
decree
to
make
it,
&
to
make
it
at
that
time
it
was
impossible
it
 should
be
otherwise,
as
it
is
impossible
that
Gods
will
should
be
changed.88

As
we
have
seen,
this
understanding
quite
clearly
reflects
the
form
of
the
 distinction
found
in
scholastics
of
the
thirteenth
century,
notably
Aquinas:
it
 should
not
be
read
as
a
non-Thomistic
concept
expressed
through
Aquinas’
 words. God’s
willing,
therefore,
is
free
and
in
a
sense
contingent,
inasmuch
as
it
 could
be
otherwise
(as
Twisse
later
indicates)—but
this
simultaneity
of
 potencies
in
no
way
removes
the
diachronic
issue
that,
once
the
divine
will
 to
create
is
actualized
in
the
eternal
decree,
the
contradictory
possibility
can
 no
longer
be
understood
in
any
way
as
actualizable
in
the
created
order:
 once
willed
or
decreed,
the
world
cannot
be
otherwise
than
what
it
is.
Its
 existence
is
a
necessity,
certainly
from
the
divine
perspective
a
necessity
of
 the
consequence,
but
still
the
necessity
that
it
be
what
it
is
when
it
is.
 Twisse
can,
therefore,
argue supposing
the
will
of
God
that
a
such
thing
shall
come
to
passe,
eyther
by
his
 operation
or
by
his
permission;
it
is
impossible
in
sensu
composito,
in
a
compound
 sense,
that
it
should
not
come
to
passe.
But
this
impossibility
is
not
absolute
but
only
 secondum
quid,
in
respect
of
somewhat,
to
witt
Gods
will,
decreeing
it,
&
it
is
 allwayes
joyned
with
an
absolute
possibility
of
coming
to
passe
otherwise
in
sensu
 diviso. . . .
For
to
come
to
passe
contingently,
is
to
come
to
passe
in
such
sort,
as
 joyned
with
an
absolute
possibility
of
coming
to
passe
otherwise.89

Clearly,
Twisse
argues
a
case
for
synchronic
or
simultaneous
contingency
 (understood
as
a
simultaneity
of
potencies)—but
it
bears
examination
as
to
 how
his
argument
reflects
precisely
what
is
claimed
for
synchronic
 contingency,
namely,
“that
for
one
moment
of
time,
there
is
a
true
 alternative
for
the
state
of
affairs
that
actually
occurs”?90
The
answer
to
the
 question
rests
on
the
definition
of
a
“true
alternative.”
Elsewhere,
in
defense
 of
Perkins
against
Arminius,
Twisse
notes
the
accusation
that
Reformed
 theology
held
the
removal
of
freedom
when
God
moves
the
will—as
if
the
 Reformed
held
that
the
will
is
incapable
of
not
moving
or
acting
when
it
is


moved
by
God.
He
responds
on
the
contrary,
“that
the
human
will
in
the
 very
moment
that
it
is
moved
by
God,
is
able
to
move
otherwise,”
when
the
 statement
is
understood
in
sensu
diviso.
Twisse,
then,
does
hold
that
in
the
 very
particular
sense
identified
as
“divided,”
there
is
a
genuine
alternative
 to
the
actualized
possibility
in
the
very
moment
of
actualization.91
The
issue
 that
he
is
addressing,
however,
is
that
although
the
will
as
such
is
sufficient
 to
act
apart
from
the
divine
concurrence,
it
requires
the
divine
concurrence
 as
the
ultimate
source
of
motion
in
the
very
same
moment
that
it
is
able
to
 move
or
not
move.
There
is,
therefore
also
a
sense—namely,
the
composite
 sense—in
which
there
can
be
no
alternative
in
the
moment
of
actualization
 to
the
effect
or
state
of
affairs
that
actually
occurs.
There
is
no
denial
here
 of
the
law
of
non-contradiction. The
only
way
in
which
possibles,
eternally
known
to
God,
can
be
 actualized,
is
if
God
wills
to
actualize
them.
This
includes
possibilities
in
 the
created
order
that
are
actualized
also
by
finite
beings
acting
as
 secondary
causes.92
Secondary
causality
operates,
and
necessarily
so,
in
 subordination
to
primary
causality:
“Wherefore
for
God
to
move
a
creature
 to
every
act
of
his
congruously
to
his
nature,
and
so
to
determine
him,
is
 most
agreeable
to
reason,
and
nothing
at
all
obnoxious
to
contradiction.”93
 As
dependent
on
God,
the
free
motion
or
action
of
the
will
is
therefore
 subject
to
several
kinds
of
necessity—namely,
the
necessities
grounded
in
 divine
foreknowledge,
permission,
and
in
the
operation
of
the
divine
will.94
 After
reviewing
a
wide
array
of
scholastic
arguments,
Twisse
concludes
that
 Alvarez’
solution,
based
on
Aquinas,
correctly
identified
such
necessity
as
 either
“a
necessity
in
sensu
composito”
or
as
“a
modal
necessity
de
dicto,”95
 with
the
latter
necessity
being
applicable
in
the
case
of
contingencies. Given
these
strictures,
Twisse’s
reference
to
“an
absolute
possibility
of
 coming
to
passe
otherwise”
does
not
imply
the
actualization
of
something
 possible
at
the
same
moment
in
the
same
real
order
as
its
opposite:
the
 “absolute
possiblity”
references
the
realm
of
all
possibilities
known
to
God
 prior
to
his
willing
of
a
particular
order
of
compossibles.
The
language
here
 belongs
to
the
context
established
by
Twisse’s
earlier
reference
(cited
 above)
to
the
distinction
between
potentia
absoluta
and
potentia
ordinata.
 The
absolute
possibility
corresponds
with
the
absolute
power,
understood
in
 its
basic
sense
as
the
power
of
God
that
is
capable
of
actualizing
all
that
is
 intrinsically
possible,
but
it
is
not
an
operative
power.
The
impossibility
in
 sensu
composito
that
contradictories
occur
at
the
same
time
reflects
the


operative,
ordained
power
of
God
as
subsequent
to
his
willing—it
is
a
 relative
(secundum
quid)
impossibility
because
God
could
have
willed
 otherwise,
namely,
could
have
willed
a
different
order
of
things.
The
 language
itself,
which
Twisse
has
in
common
with
nearly
all
his
 contemporaries,
is
neither
specifically
Thomistic
nor
specifically
Scotistic
 in
its
source.
Arguably
it
is
a
common
early
modern
scholastic
inheritance. The
“absolute
possibility”
of
the
contradictory
occurring
in
sensu
diviso
 reflects
the
absolute
power
of
God,
prior
to
his
willing:
in
actu
primo,
 namely,
prior
to
operation,
there
is
a
simultaneity
of
potencies.
In
God,
it
 must
be
added,
this
priority
is
utterly
non-temporal.
That
simultaneity
of
 potencies
can,
further,
be
understood
as
an
index
to
the
contingency
of
all
 events
and
acts
from
the
perspective
of
God’s
will
or
decree.
“For
even
 those
things
which
God
decreeth
to
come
to
passe
contingently
as
the
 actions
of
men,
must
necessarily
by
the
virtue
of
Gods
decree
come
to
 passe,
in
such
a
manner
as
joyned
with
a
possibility
of
not
comming
to
 passe,
otherwise
it
were
impossible
that
they
should
not
come
to
passe
 contingently.”96
Such
language
affirms
the
contingency
of
the
event
and
in
 the
case
of
a
free
act
the
simultaneity
of
potencies—but
does
not
insert
a
 simultaneity
into
creation
such
that
the
contingency
of
an
actual
event
in
the
 actual
order
could
be
understood
other
than
in
a
diachronic
manner
in
 relation
to
the
actual
accomplishment
of
its
contrary. As
can
also
be
noted
in
the
case
of
Turretin,
Twisse
affirms
a
 simultaneity
of
potency
to
more
than
one
effect
but
denies
as
impossible
a
 potency
of
simultaneity
with
regard
to
effect.
Synchronicity
is
present
in
 potency,
but
the
contingent
actuality
proceeds
diachronically.97
Twisse’s
 language,
therefore,
points
toward
a
qualification
of
the
usage
“synchronic
 contingency”
in
terms
of
a
concept
of
synchronic
or
simultaneous
 potencies:
it
is
not
as
if
there
can
be
a
simultaneous
or
synchronic
presence
 of
an
event
and
its
contrary.
Rather
in
a
contingent
event
there
is
an
 originating
simultaneity
or
synchronicity
of
contrary
potencies
that
 generates
an
effect
that
must
be
the
actualization
of
one
potency
at
the
same
 time
that
the
other
remains
unactualized
(and,
in
the
case
of
human
choices,
 often
in
potency
for
actualization
in
another
moment). This
point,
Twisse
indicates,
is
in
agreement
with
Aquinas’
view
“that
 the
efficacious
nature
of
Gods
decree
is
the
cause
why
contingent
things
 come
to
passe
contingently
&
necessary
things
necessarily.”98
To
claim
that
 although
Twisse
cites
Aquinas
his
argument
actually
pursues
“a
rather


different
train
of
thought,”
largely
on
the
ground
that
Aquinas
had
not
 overcome
“the
necessitarianism
of
the
Aristotelian
potency-act
scheme”
is
 highly
unconvincing.99
As
we
have
seen,
this
is
a
misinterpretation
of
both
 Aristotle
and
Aquinas.
Both
Aristotle
(according
to
the
dominant
line
of
 medieval
interpretation)
and
Aquinas
(following
out
the
same
line)
had
 argued
genuine
contingency
by
clearly
distinguishing
between
necessities
 of
the
consequent
thing
and
necessities
of
the
consequence.100
The
potencyact
schema
does
not
imply
determinism,
inasmuch
as
not
all
possibilities
 that
exist
either
in
the
divine
potentia
or
in
the
potentia
of
finite
beings
need
 be
nor,
indeed,
will
be
actualized.
What
is
at
stake
in
the
interpretation
of
 Twisse’s
argument,
therefore,
is
actually
differing
interpretations
of
 Aristotle
and
Aquinas—with
Twisse
interpreting
Aquinas
(indeed,
 interpreting
him
rather
differently
from
Vos
and
Bac)
as
arguing
genuine
 contingency
in
the
finite
order,
including
the
contingent
relationships
of
 proximate
causes
and
effects.
In
other
words,
the
claim
that
Twisse
read
 Aquinas
through
a
Scotist
lens
rests
on
a
misreading
of
Aquinas
as
a
 determinist
whose
thought
could
not
provide
an
adequate
foundation
for
 arguing
contingency
and
freedom. Similarly,
whereas
it
is
clear
that
Twisse
took
his
initiual
premise
for
 arguing
divine
foreknowledge
of
future
contingents
from
Scotus,101
it
is
not
 the
case
that
Twisse
accepted
Aquinas’
approach
to
the
issue
as
true
only
 insofar
as
it
was
interpreted
by
way
of
Scotus’
argumentation.102
Twisse’s
 point,
then,
is
not
that
Aquinas’
views
must
be
read
through
Scotistic
 glasses
in
order
to
be
found
acceptable.
Rather
his
entire
argument
is
 directed
against
Jackson’s
claim
that
some
highly
mistaken
theologians
 “derived
infallible
certainty
of
Gods
foreknowing
things
future,
from
an
 infallible
necessity
. . .
laid
upon
them
(before
they
had
being)
by
his
 immutable
decree,”103
and
is
intended
to
show
Jackson’s
mistaken
reading
 of
these
theologians,
notably,
both
Aquinas
and
Scotus. Twisse
identifies
the
target
of
Jackson’s
argument
as
Calvin
and
Lorenzo
 Valla
and,
in
defense
of
Calvin
and
his
own
views
on
the
point,
indicates
 that
he
early
on
learned
to
frame
the
argument
properly
from
Scotus.
Scotus
 had
impugned
the
theories
according
to
which
God
knows
future
 contingents
from
the
ideas
of
them
eternally
in
his
mind
or
from
“their
reall
 existence
in
eternitie,”
the
former
view
being
attributed
to
Bonaventure,
the
 latter
to
Aquinas,
and
had
argued,
in
Twisse’s
view
conclusively,
“That
God
 knowes
all
future
contingents
by
knowing
his
owne
will
and
purpose
to


produce
them.”104
Scotus’
definition,
Twisse
continues,
is
basically
what
 Calvin
and
Valla
expressed,
despite
the
fact
that
they
scorned
for
it,
and
he
 is
viewed
as
fully
capable
of
defending
the
definition.
Were
this
as
far
as
 Twisses’s
argument
went,
we
might
conclude
with
Pleizier
and
Bac
that
 Twisse
had
adopted,
against
both
Bonaventure
and
Aquinas,
a
 fundamentally
Scotist
conclusion—although
on
the
simple
ground
that
 Twisse
expressed
a
preference
for
Scotus,
not
on
the
basis
of
a
claim
that
 Twisse
read
Scotistic
meanings
into
a
Thomistic
text.105 This
is
not,
however,
where
Twisse
ends
his
argument,
nor
is
it
where
he
 leaves
the
Thomistic
approach
to
the
divine
knowledge
of
future
 contingents.
Twisse
considers
the
issue
“a
little
farther”
and
notes
that
the
 Dominican
Diego
Alvarez
makes
much
the
same
point
as
Scotus.
But
he
 now
identifies
it
as
the
basic
argument
found
in
Aquinas,
regarding
the
 grounding
of
foreknowledge
in
“the
reall
existence
of
all
future
things
in
 eternity”
as
a
secondary
argument
in
Aquinas
that
actually
presupposes
“the
 determination
of
Gods
will
for
the
producing
of
them.”106
Twisse
might
also
 have
referenced
Aquinas
on
the
issue
of
the
divine
will
intervening
between
 the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
visionis—and,
indeed,
 on
the
point
that
God
knows
futures
in
himself
because
he
knows
the
extent
 of
his
own
power
or,
phrased
alternatively,
knows
all
singular
things
 including
future
contingents,
inasmuch
as
he
is
their
cause.107
Twisse
 concludes,
that
the
opinion
Jackson
censures
as
the
view
of
Calvin
and
 Valla
actually
belongs
to
various
schools
of
thought,
including
the
Thomists
 who
often
oppose
Scotus
but
clearly
agree
with
him
on
this
particular
 point.108 Bac
consistently
claims
a
Scotist
framework
behind
arguments
shared
by
 Twisse
(and
other
Reformed
writers)
with
various
early
modern
Thomists— although
he
offers
no
genuine
documentation
of
the
point,
apparently
 assuming
that
arguments
resting
on
the
divine
will
are
ipso
facto
Scotist.109
 In
this
particular
case,
Twisse
has
not
identified
himself
as
a
Scotist
nor
has
 he
claimed
that
Aquinas’
thought
ought
to
be
read
in
a
Scotist
way
in
order
 to
render
it
acceptable
nor,
indeed,
has
he
engaged
in
the
medieval
practice
 of
reverent
exposition
and
read
Aquinas
in
a
Scotist
manner
in
order
to
 avoid
placing
two
authorities
in
contradiction
to
one
another!
Twisse’s
 patterns
of
argument
offer
no
evidence
of
unwillingness
to
declare
incorrect
 the
views
of
medievals
or
to
express
preference
for
one
argument
over
 another.
Rather,
in
this
instance,
he
has
advocated
a
position
that
he


personally
first
found
in
Scotus
and
that
Scotus
had
argued,
not
against
 Aquinas
broadly,
but
against
one
only
of
several
arguments
made
by
 Aquinas.
Scotus
had,
moreover,
reached
a
conclusion
rather
similar
to
that
 already
reached
by
Aquinas
in
other
arguments,
namely,
his
assumption
that
 God
as
first
cause
knows
all
that
he
causes.
That
Aquinas
had
argued
this
 conclusion
need
not
be
assumed
only
on
the
testimony
of
Alvarez:
it
can
 easily
be
cited
directly
out
of
Aquinas
himself.110 In
Twisse’s
view,
God
has
ordained
all
secondary
causes
to
work
in
the
 manner
proper
to
them—so
that
contingent
causes
operate
contingently
and
 necessary
causes
operate
necessarily:
rational
beings
operate
contingently,
 whereas
physical
causes
operate
necessarily—God
“setteth
them
going
in
 working
agreeably
to
their
natures,
the
one
contingently,
the
other
 necessarily.”111
In
other
words,
things
are
necessary
or
contingent
according
 to
the
potency
that
God
had
ordained
in
them,
and
although
all
things
in
 sensu
diviso
could
have
been
and
operated
differently
given
the
absolute
 power
of
God,
things
as
decreed
by
God
necessarily
operate
according
to
 the
natures
that
God
has
given
them—some
operating
necessarily,
others
 contingently,
and
still
others
freely—with
freedom
understood
as
a
specific
 case
of
contingency. Within
the
contingent
order,
then,
distinction
must
be
made
between
 necessary
and
free
causes.
As
Twisse’s
contemporary
Burgersdijk
indicates,
 a
necessary
cause
acts
without
deliberation
by
a
necessity
of
nature,
 whereas
a
free
cause
operates
with
deliberation.112
Physical
causality
has
 only
a
potency
to
one
effect,
operating
necessarily,
in
a
relative
sense,
so
 that
as
Burgersdijk
explained,
physical
or
necessary
causes
“are
determined
 to
one
thing”
and
“able
to
act,
but
not
able
not
to
act:
&
are
capable
only
of
 doing
what
they
do,
&
nothing
else,
&
they
only
do
as
much
as
they
are
 able.”113
Lightning
doesn’t
always
have
precisely
the
same
effect,
but
it
 only
has
one
potency
and
does
as
much
as
it
is
capable
of
doing,
given
the
 circumstances.
Free
causes,
notably
rational
beings
acting
causally,
have
 multiple
potencies:
they
can
do
otherwise.
Again,
Burgersdijk:
a
free
cause
 “is
able
to
act,
&
not
act,
[doing]
whatever,
as
much,
and
whenever
it
 pleases.”114 It
is
simply
not
the
case
that
the
event
of
a
rational
being
A
willing
p
 rather
than
willing
not-p
is
contingent
in
the
same
way
that
the
event
of
an
 oak
tree
producing
little
acorns
rather
than
not
producing
little
acorns
is
 contingent.
In
both
of
these
events
there
is
the
possibility
of
a
different


outcome,
and,
of
course,
neither
A
nor
the
oak
tree
exists
necessarily
in
the
 absolute
sense.
Whereas,
however,
A,
as
a
rational
being,
has
potency
to
 multiple
effects,
the
oak
tree
has
potency
only
to
one
effect:
if
nothing
 impedes
the
willing
of
A,
A
can
chose
p,
not-p,
or
x,
y,
or
z
(not
to
mention
 not-x,
not-y,
and
not-z)—but
if
nothing
impedes
the
life
of
the
oak,
it
cannot
 choose
not
to
produce
acorns,
and
it
also
cannot
elect
to
produce
walnuts
or
 pecans.
Inasmuch
as
the
oak
tree,
like
other
things
in
the
natural
order,
has
 potency
only
to
one
effect,
its
production
embodies
a
certain
kind
of
 necessity—namely,
a
relative
or
subordinate
form
of
a
necessity
of
the
 consequent
thing
occurring
within
a
contingent
order,
which,
given
its
 relativity
and
relative
variability,
is
typically
identified
as
a
physical
 necessity. The
same
kind
of
necessity
can
be
exemplified
by
lightning
striking
a
 tree:
there
is
a
potency
only
to
damage.
Unlike
a
human
agent
striking
the
 same
tree,
the
lightning
cannot
produce
a
table.
Certainly,
the
entire
world
 order
is
contingent
and
every
thing
and
action
in
it
is
therefore
also
in
some
 sense
contingent,
but
among
these
globally
understood
contingencies
 distinction
must
be
made
between
those
that
occur
according
to
the
relative
 necessity
of
natural
processes
having
potency
to
one
effect
only
and
those
 that
occur
according
to
acts
of
will
having
potencies
to
multiple
effects.
Or,
 to
make
the
point
from
the
perspective
of
the
human
agent,
the
ultimate
 contingency
of
the
entire
world
order
under
God,
although
it
is
ultimately
 the
basis
for
all
temporal
contingencies
and
freedoms,
has
little
immediate
 relevance
to
his
freedom:
what
matters
to
the
human
agent
is
the
nature
of
 his
own
contingency
and
freedom
in
the
order
of
secondary
causality—and
 this
is
where
the
Reformed
writers
consistently
place
the
issue,
much
as
did
 Aquinas. Thus,
in
addition
to
potentially
Scotistic
accents,
there
are
significant
 elements
of
Twisse’s
thought
that
belong
to
the
broad
tradition
of
Christian
 Aristotelianism
and
others
that
are
distinctly
Thomist.
In
his
larger
Latin
 works,
notably
his
De
scientia
media
and
his
Vindiciae
gratiae,
Twisse
 evidences
a
penchant
for
citing
Thomas
Aquinas
as
his
primary
scholastic
 resource
against
the
Jesuits
and
Arminius.115
He
cites
also
such
early
 modern
Dominicans
as
Cajetan,
Diego
Alvarez,
and
Balthasar
Navarrete— indeed,
citing
the
latter
while
at
the
same
time
declaring
that
the
Franciscan
 and
Scotist
approaches
were
less
than
satisfactory
in
responding
to
the
 problem
of
middle
knowledge.116
Twisse
clearly
advocates
the
Thomist


view
of
the
unity
of
essence
and
existence
in
God
and
in
the
same
breath
 argues
against
any
univocal
(namely,
Scotist)
predications
concerning
God
 and
creatures
and
in
favor
of
analogical
predication—on
the
distinctly
 Thomistic
ground
that
“God
is
entitie
by
essence;
every
other
thinge
is
an
 entity
only
by
participation.”117
Elsewhere,
Twisse
will
specifically
deny
the
 Scotist
concept
of
the
univocity
of
being.118
Beyond
this,
as
Baxter
pointed
 out,
Twisse’s
approach
to
the
divine
concursus
as
a
praemotio
physica,
also
 had
a
Thomistic
background.119 We
can
conclude
from
an
examination
of
Twisse’s
work,
in
partial
 agreement
with
Hutton,
that
Twisse
was
(as
ought
to
be
expected)
a
 proponent
of
early
modern
Peripateticism.
Still,
Twisse’s
was
not
an
 unnuanced
Aristotelianism.
Hutton
is
quite
right
in
distancing
Jackson
from
 Pelagianism
while
at
the
same
time
registering
his
Arminian
sensibilities— but
her
assumption
that
Twisse’s
anti-Arminian
views
involved
a
denial
of
 free
will
is
quite
mistaken,
as
Bac
and
Pleizier
rightly
argue.
Hutton’s
 reading
of
his
work
as
faulting
Jackson
largely
because
Jackson
failed
the
 test
of
mastering
scholastic
argumentation
also
falls
quite
short
of
the
mark:
 Twisse
uses
the
scholastic
argumentation
of
the
day
to
show
as
clearly
as
he
 could
that
Jackson’s
understanding
of
God
and
world
lacked
a
sound
view,
 specifically
in
what
we
have
examined
here,
of
necessity
and
contingency.
 On
the
other
hand,
whereas
there
are
obvious
strengths
in
Bac’s
and
 Pleizier’s
analyses
of
the
arguments
that
Twisse
presents
concerning
divine
 freedom,
the
contingency
of
the
world
order,
and
the
freedom
of
human
 choice,
their
attempts
to
argue
a
fully
Scotistic
reading
of
Twisse
are
less
 than
successful,
particularly
inasmuch
as
they
rest
on
the
misreading
of
 both
Aristotle
and
Aquinas
as
deterministic.
Thus,
Bac
argues,
largely
on
 the
basis
of
Twisse’s
dismissal
of
Aristotle’s
theory
of
the
eternity
of
the
 world
and
what
he
took
to
be
an
Aristotelian
assumption
that
God
created
 by
necessity,
that
Twisse
was
not
Aristotelian
but
rather
Scotist.120
Bac’s
 point
does
not
appear
to
allow
for
differences
between
Aristotle’s
teaching
 on
specific
issues
and
later
Peripateticism,
particularly
what
has
come
to
be
 identified
as
Christian
Aristotelianism.
Bac
also
assumes,
in
denying
that
 Twisse
was
Aristotelian,
that
Aristotle’s
philosophy
(in
contrast
to
Twisse’s)
 was
deterministic—a
point
that
is,
as
we
have
seen,
highly
disputable.
 Aquinas,
albeit
indebted
to
Aristotle,
both
denied
the
eternity
of
the
world
 and
a
divine
necessity
to
create.
Once
these
differences
are
identified,
 Twisse
emerges
as
belonging
to
the
Christian
Aristotelian
tradition
and
as


participating
in
a
somewhat
eclectic
retrieval
and
reception
of
scholastic
 materials,
although,
given
his
identification
with
a
number
of
Thomistic
 doctrines
and
theologians,
this
eclecticism
leans
more
in
a
Thomistic
 direction
on
the
topic
under
consideration. 6.4
John
Owen
on
Contingency
and
Freedom John
Owen
did
not
write
as
much
on
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
 as
his
older
contemporary
William
Twisse,
but
Owen’s
argumentation
 largely
in
the
service
of
his
anti-Arminian
polemic
stands
in
a
positive
 relationship
both
to
Twisse’s
work
and
to
the
basic
formula
concerning
the
 relationship
of
the
divine
decree
to
necessities
and
contingencies
in
the
 world
order.
Owen
offers
a
set
of
clear
definitions
of
terms
and
issues
and,
 importantly,
in
the
context
of
argumentation
specifically
against
 Arminianism,
affirms
human
freedom
and
does
so
with
reference
to
a
broad
 series
of
scholastic
authors,
both
medieval
and
early
modern.
As
in
the
case
 of
Twisse,
Owen
evidences
Protestant
reception
of
the
second
scholasticism
 of
writers
like
Alvarez. In
accord
with
a
traditional
Christian
Peripatetic
understanding
of
the
 world
order
and
levels
of
causality,
primary
and
secondary,
Owen
argued
a
 contingent
or
dependent
universal
order
under
divine
governance.
All
 things
“are
carried
along
through
innumerable
varieties
and
a
world
of
 contingencies,
according
to
the
regular
motions
and
goings
forth
of
a
free,
 eternal,
unchangeable
decree:
as
all
inferior
orbs,
notwithstanding
the
 eccentricities
and
irregularities
of
their
own
inhabitants,
are
orderly
carried
 about
by
the
first
Mover.”121
There
are,
moreover,
as
Owen
indicated,
two
 kinds
of
contingency
in
the
contingent
world
order,
those
that
“are
only
so”
 and
those
that
“are
also
free”: (1)
Such
as
are
only
so
are
contingent
only
in
their
effects:
such
is
the
falling
of
a
 stone
from
a
house,
and
the
killing
of
a
man
thereby.
The
effect
itself
was
contingent,
 nothing
more;
the
cause
necessary,
the
stone,
being
loosed
from
what
detained
it
upon
 the
house,
by
its
own
weight
falling
necessarily
to
the
ground.
(2)
That
which
is
so
 contingent
as
to
be
also
free,
is
contingent
both
in
respect
of
the
effect
and
of
its
 causes
also.122

As
his
example
of
a
free
act,
Owen
instances
the
piercing
of
Christ’s
side:

The
effect
was
contingent,—such
a
thing
might
have
been
done
or
not;
and
the
cause
 also,
for
they
chose
to
do
it
who
did
it,
and
in
respect
of
their
own
elective
faculty
 might
not
have
chosen
it.
That
a
man
shall
write,
or
ride,
or
speak
to
another
person
 to-morrow,
the
agent
being
free,
is
contingent
both
as
to
the
cause
and
to
the
effect.123

The
point
is
quite
clear:
Owen
assumes
that
free
human
acts
rest
on
choice,
 that
they
are
to
be
defined
as
capable
of
being
otherwise—and,
further,
that
 the
contingency
is
defined
by
the
free
action
of
the
secondary
cause.
 Elsewhere,
he
notes, We
grant
man,
in
the
substance
of
all
his
actions,
as
much
power,
liberty,
and
freedom
 as
a
mere
creature
is
capable
of.
We
grant
him
to
be
free
in
his
choice
from
all
 outward
coercion,
or
inward
natural
necessity,
to
work
according
to
election
and
 deliberation,
spontaneously
embracing
what
seemeth
good
unto
him.
Now
call
this
 power
free-will,
or
what
you
please,
so
you
make
it
not
supreme,
independent,
and
 boundless,
we
are
not
at
all
troubled.124

Divine
foreknowledge,
moreover,
does
not
rule
out
contingency
and
 freedom:
given
that
God
is
perfect,
God
must
be
understood
as
knowing
all
 that
is
knowable
(scibile).
It
is
true,
Owen
adds,
that
“if
there
be
in
the
 nature
of
things
an
impossibility
to
be
known,
they
cannot
be
known
by
the
 divine
understanding.”125
Such
unknowables
include
things
that
have
no
 determinate
cause.
Anything,
however,
that
has
a
“determinate
cause”
is
 capable
of
being
known—even
those
things
that
are
future.
He
does
not
 contest
the
point
that
from
the
perspective
of
finite
causality
and
human
 knowing,
some
things
lack
a
determinate
cause
and
cannot
be
known,
but
 he
does
identify
the
exception
to
the
rule
that
must
be
recognized
on
the
 grounds
of
divine
omniscience
and
omnipotence.
Future
things
that
cannot
 be
known
to
human
beings
can
be
known
by
one
who
“perfectly
knows
that
 cause
which
doth
so
determine
the
thing
to
be
known
unto
existence.”126
 Even
the
future
free
actions
of
human
beings
can
therefore
be
known
to
 God,
and
known
as
free
and
contingent
acts
in
the
created
order:
“it
is
true,
 in
respect
of
their
immediate
causes,
as
the
wills
of
men,
they
are
 contingent,
and
may
be
or
not
be,”127
but
although
they
are
“not
precisely
 necessitated
by
their
own
internal
principle
of
operation,”128
nonetheless
 have
a
determinate
cause
in
the
divine
willing.
This
is
evident
because
 future
things
are
existent
“in
their
own
time
and
order”:
a
genuinely
future
 act,
“before
it
was,
it
was
to
be.”129
The
“present
performance”
of
a
thing
 “is
sufficient
demonstration
of
the
futurition
it
had
before.”130

Owen
goes
on
to
indicate,
citing
Aquinas,
that
“the
determinate
cause
of
 contingent
things,
that
is,
things
that
are
future
(for
every
thing
when
it
is,
 and
as
it
is,
is
necessary),
is
the
will
of
God
himself
concerning
their
 existence
and
being.”131
This
divine
willing,
as
argued
by
Scotus,
Durandus,
 John
Major,
Alvarez,
and
Martinez
de
Ripalda,
is
either
by
“efficiency
and
 working”
or
by
“permission”:
the
former
category
of
divine
causality
 references
“all
good
things,”
whether
moral
or
physical,
including
human
 actions;
the
latter
category
references
moral
evils
understood
as
 “irregularity
and
obliquity
attending
. . .
actions”
that
are
“entitative
and
 physically
good,
as
the
things
were
which
God
at
first
created.”132
Future
 contingents
are
known
to
God
and
are
dependent
on
him,
yet,
nonetheless
 contingent: God
knew
before
the
world
was
made,
or
any
thing
that
is
in
it,
that
there
would
be
 such
a
world
and
such
things
in
it;
yet,
than
the
making
of
the
world
nothing
was
 more
free
or
contingent.
God
is
not
a
necessary
agent
as
to
any
of
the
works
that
 outwardly
are
of
him.
Whence,
then,
did
God
know
this?
In
brief,
these
future
 contingencies
depend
on
something
for
their
existence,
or
they
come
forth
into
the
 world
in
their
own
strength
and
upon
their
own
account,
not
depending
on
any
other.
 If
the
latter,
they
are
God;
if
the
former,
the
will
of
God
or
old
Fortune
must
be
the
 principle
on
which
they
do
depend.
Was
it
not
from
his
own
decree
and
eternal
 purpose
that
such
a
world
there
should
be?
And
if
the
knowledge
of
one
contingent
 thing
be
known
from
hence,
why
not
of
all?133

All
events
in
the
world
order
are
accomplished
by
the
“determinate
 counsel”
of
God
and
are
fulfillments
of
his
will,
but,
Owen
adds,
again
 referencing
Aquinas
and
also
Alvarez, God
can
work
with
contingent
causes
for
the
accomplishment
of
his
own
will
and
 purposes,
without
the
least
prejudice
to
them,
either
as
causes
or
as
free
and
 contingent.
God
moves
not,
works
not,
in
or
with
any
second
causes,
to
the
producing
 of
any
effect
contrary
or
not
agreeable
to
their
own
natures.
Notwithstanding
any
 predetermination
or
operation
of
God,
the
wills
of
men,
in
the
production
of
every
one
 of
their
actions,
are
at
as
perfect
liberty
as
a
cause
in
dependence
of
another
is
capable
 of. . . .
The
purpose
of
God,
the
counsel
of
his
will,
concerning
any
thing
as
to
its
 existence,
gives
a
necessity
of
infallibility
to
the
event,
but
changes
not
the
manner
of
 the
second
cause’s
operation,
be
what
it
will.134

Against
John
Biddle’s
and
Faustus
Socinus’
claim
that
divine
 foreknowledge
and
predetermination
are
“inconsistent
with
. . .
independent
 liberty
of
will
and
contingency,”
Owen
declares
that
it
is
a
“figment
 unworthy
of
the
thoughts
of
any
who
indeed
acknowledge
[God’s]


sovereignty
and
power”
to
claim
that
God
“cannot
accomplish
and
bring
 about
his
own
purposes
by
free
and
contingent
agents,
without
the
 destruction
of
the
natures
he
hath
endued
them
withal.”135
On
the
one
hand,
 the
formulation
clearly
defines
free
acts
as
exemplifying
a
“dependent
 freedom,”
as
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
have
argued.
On
 the
other
hand,
Owen’s
referencing
of
Aquinas
and
Alvarez
is
quite
 straightforward—an
accurate
representation
of
their
meaning—and
clearly
 ought
not
to
be
thought
of
as
a
reading
of
Thomistic
texts
through
Scotist
 lenses! Owen
has
little
to
say
about
free
choice
apart
from
the
issue
of
sin
and
 grace
and,
accordingly,
does
not
provide
a
full
exposition
of
the
nature
of
 human
freedom.
Nonetheless,
he
does
quite
clearly
argue
the
case
for
a
 Reformed
understanding
of
the
“liberty
of
will”
over
against
the
Arminian
 perspective.
He
objects
in
particular
to
Arminius’
identification
of
the
 freedom
of
will
with
an
indifference
to
willing
or
not
willing
even
when
 “all
things
required
to
enable
it
to
will
any
thing”
have
been
 “accomplished”
and
to
the
implication
of
Remonstrant
argumentation
that
 even
providence
and
the
divine
decree
cannot
definitively
bring
about
a
 particular
action
or
effect,
including
as
far
as
Johannes
Corvinus
was
 concerned,
conversion.136
The
Reformed,
as
Owen
indicates,
do
not
 “absolutely
oppose
free-will,
as
if
it
were
‘nomen
inane,’
a
mere
figment
 . . .
but
only
in
that
sense
the
Pelagians
and
Arminians
do
assert
it.”137
The
 Reformed
argue
that
a
human
being
has
“in
the
substance
of
all
his
actions
 as
much
power,
liberty,
and
freedom
as
a
mere
created
nature
is
capable
 of.”138 Human
beings,
then,
are
free
in
their
“choice
from
all
outward
coaction,
 or
inward
natural
necessity,
to
work
according
to
election
and
deliberation,
 spontaneously
embracing
what
seemeth
good.”
This
freedom
is
“not
 supreme,
independent,
and
boundless”
but
the
limitation
of
human
freedom
 does
not
yield
the
conclusion
that
human
will
is
“debarred,
or
deprived
of
 their
proper
liberty”—not
even
“in
spiritual
things.”
Nor
does
grace
take
 anything
away
from
the
“original
freedom”
of
which
human
natures
are
 capable.139
For
Owen
the
will
is
free
in
its
election
and
deliberation
and
that
 freedom
both
remains
in
sinful
human
beings
and
is
in
its
essence
 undisturbed
by
grace:
both
before
and
after
grace,
human
beings
are
 capable
of
deliberation
and
of
choice.

The
Arminians
claim
that
“the
good
acts
of
our
wills
have
no
dependence
 on
God’s
providence
as
they
are
acts,
nor
on
his
grace
as
they
are
good.”140
 Owen
denies
both
claims:
the
former
is
impossible
inasmuch
as
human
 beings
are
created;
the
latter
inasmuch
as
human
beings
are
corrupted.
On
 the
first
issue,
which
belongs
to
the
analysis
of
human
freedom
as
such,
 Owen
elaborates
his
argument:
“their
creation
hinders
[human
beings]
from
 doing
any
thing
of
themselves
without
the
assistance
of
God’s
 providence”—as
creatures
they
lack
“a
self-sufficiency
of
operation,
 without
the
effectual
motion
of
Almighty
God,
the
first
cause
of
all
 things.”141
Owen’s
language
here
again
suggests
a
version
of
what
has
been
 called
“dependent
freedom”:
“we
grant
as
large
a
freedom
and
dominion
to
 our
wills
over
their
own
acts
as
a
creature,
subject
to
the
supreme
rule
of
 God’s
providence,
is
capable
of.”142 This
freedom
is
characterized
over
against
both
“outward
compulsion
 and
inward
necessity”
as
an
“elective
faculty”
that
is
free
in
its
choice
of
 external
objects
and
free
in
its
inward
“vital
power
and
faculty.”
What
is
 lacking
is
not
a
freedom
to
will
or
not
will
or
a
freedom
to
act
or
not
act,
but
 a
remaining
freedom
to
will
or
not
will,
act
or
not
act,
once
“all
other
things
 requisite”
to
the
choice
are
“presupposed,”
specifically
a
remaining
 indifference
subsequent
to
such
requisites
as
the
divine
decree
and
human
 deliberation.
Owen
specifically
excludes
at
this
point
a
conception
of
 freedom
that
has
been
abstracted
from
the
divine
decree
and
considered
in
 the
“divided
sense.”143 Although
in
this
particular
place,
Owen
appears
to
rule
out
the
kind
of
 modal
statement
that
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
attribute
 to
the
Reformed
orthodox—“When
God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
is
possible
 that
A
wills
not-p,”
he
does
not
reject
all
use
of
the
composite
sense-divided
 sense
distinction.
He
presumably
would
have
no
objection
to
its
use
to
 describe
a
simple
necessity
of
the
consequence
such
as
in
the
composite
 sense
it
is
impossible
that
Socrates
sits
and
runs,
while
in
the
divided
sense
 it
is
possible
that
Socrates
sits
and
possible
that
Socrates
runs.
Elsewhere,
 for
example,
Owen
could
note
that
“in
acts
of
the
divine
will,
purely
free
 . . .
in
a
divided
sense,
God
may
do
any
thing
(that
is,
he
may
create
new
 worlds),
which
if
a
decree
of
creating
this
and
no
other
be
supposed,
he
 could
not
do.”144
Here
he
does,
however,
explicitly
reject
an
Arminianizing
 use
of
the
distinction
to
redefine
and
expand
free
choice
by
considering
the
 choice
in
isolation
from
one
of
its
“requisites.”

Such
freedom
in
the
divided
sense
would
imply
an
absolute
 independence
of
the
willing
agent,
namely,
an
agent
who
is
pure
actuality,
 and
therefore
is
“a
god
. . .
possessing
such
liberty
by
virtue
of
its
own
 essence.”145
Inasmuch
as
“an
independent
principle
of
operation”
implies
an
 “independent
being,”
it
will
also
be
the
case
that
a
dependent
being
will
 have
a
dependent
principle
of
operation:
it
has
its
being
by
participation
and
 will
also
have
its
freedom
or
liberty
by
participation.
This
dependent
liberty,
 understood
as
liberty
by
participation,
in
turn
yields
for
Owen
the
point
that
 a
dependent
being
will
be
characterized
in
all
its
operations
by
“an
 imperfect
potentiality”
that
“cannot
be
brought
into
act
without
some
 premotion
. . .
of
a
superior
agent.”146
Not
only
does
Owen’s
language
 reflect
the
Thomistic
concept
of
praemotio
physica;147
it
also
draws
on
the
 Thomistic
assumption
that
creatures
exist
by
participation
in
the
being
of
 God:
there
is
little
evidence
of
a
Scotist
interest. Since
this
premotion
is
not
intrinsic
to
the
secondary
cause,
but
rather
 extrinsic
to
it,
Owen
indicates
that
it
does
not
remove
the
freedom
of
the
 will.
This
can
be
the
case,
given
that
a
distinction
can
be
made
between
the
 extrinsic
premotion
that
enables
the
operation
of
the
will
to
take
place
and
 the
operation
itself:
“true
liberty
of
the
will”
requires
“that
the
internal
 principle
of
operation
be
active
and
free,
but
not
that
the
principle
be
not
 moved
to
that
operation
by
an
outward
superior
agent.”148
The
finite
agent,
 then,
is
both
free
and
ontologically
dependent,
self-moved
but
only
 relatively
and
not
absolutely
so—and,
thus,
free
as
defined
by
its
own
finite
 and
created
nature.
It
follows,
moreover,
that
not
only
the
creaturely
agent
 but
also
its
acts
are
ontologically
dependent: All
acts
of
the
will
being
positive
entities,
were
it
not
previously
moved
by
God
 himself,
“in
whom
we
live,
move,
and
have
our
being,”
must
needs
have
their
essence
 and
existence
solely
from
the
will
itself;
which
is
thereby
made
αὐτο
όν,
a
first
and
 supreme
cause,
endued
with
an
underived
being.149

Finite,
creaturely
freedom
is
not
impeded
by
the
primary
causality
of
God.
 It
is
made
possible
by
the
primary
causality.
Owen
concludes,
“it
is
no
more
 necessary
to
the
nature
of
a
free
cause,
from
whence
free
action
must
 proceed,
that
it
be
the
first
beginning
of
it,
than
it
is
necessary
to
the
nature
 of
a
cause
that
it
be
the
first
cause.”150 6.5
Voetius
on
Free
Will,
Choice,
and
Necessity

Gisbertus
Voetius,
called
by
his
adversaries
the
Papa
Ultrajectinus,
was
 certainly
the
equal
of
Twisse
and
Owen
in
his
mastery
of
sources.
His
 gathered
disputations
bristle
with
references
to
patristic,
medieval,
and
early
 modern
materials,151
and
analysis
of
his
argumentation
indicates
a
profound
 grasp
of
the
theological
and
philosophical
issues.152
As
Beck
has
shown,
 Voetius’
doctrine
of
God
and
God’s
relation
to
the
works
cannot
be
 characterized
as
a
thoroughgoing
determinism
as
characteristically
argued
 in
the
older
literature,
inasmuch
as
Voetius,
like
Twisse
and,
as
we
will
see
 below,
Turretin,
argued
rather
pointedly
that
the
divine
determination
of
the
 created
order
rested
on
the
free
will
of
God
and
included
the
determination
 of
certain
things
and
events
in
the
created
order
to
be
contingent
and
free.153
 Voetius
also
recognized
that
the
human
will,
unlike
non-rational
causes,
was
 not
determined
to
one
effect
and,
prior
to
the
accomplishment
of
all
that
is
 requisite
to
an
action,
was
characterized
by
an
indifference
to
one
or
 another
object—although
the
actual
basis
for
freedom
could
not
be
reduced
 either
to
indifference
or
to
an
unfettered
spontaneity
of
the
will.154
This
 view
indifference,
however,
serves
to
underline
the
assumption
of
the
 traditional
faculty
psychology
that
although
a
rational
creature
has
habits
 and
dispositions
these
do
not
stand
as
necessary
causes:
this
is
not
a
 psychology
that
views
choices
as
necessitated
by
predispositions. The
disputation
on
the
freedom
of
will
(libertas
voluntatis)
over
which
 Gisbertus
Voetius
presided
in
1652,
which
was
not
included
in
the
five
 volumes
of
his
Selectae
disputationes,
has
been
translated
and
analyzed
in
 Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom.
The
disputation
provides
a
set
of
 definitions
requisite
to
a
proper
understanding
of
early
modern
Reformed
 argumentation
concerning
human
freedom
and
necessity,
particularly
given
 Voetius’
extensive
interactions
both
with
the
medieval
tradition
and
with
 such
representatives
of
second
scholasticism
as
Rodrigo
de
Arriaga,
 Francisco
de
Oviedo,
and
Diego
Alvarez—not
to
mention
Reformed
 contemporaries
like
Samuel
Rutherford.155
As
Beck
indicates,
there
may
be
 some
question
concerning
the
immediate
authorship
of
the
disputation— whether
it
was
written
by
Voetius
himself
or
by
the
student
respondent,
 Engelbertus
Beeckman.
There
is
also
the
issue
of
the
disputation’s
extensive
 use
of
Samuel
Rutherford’s
Examen
Arminianismi—but
there
is
no
doubt
 that
Voetius
supervised
the
production
of
the
disputation
and
that
it
 represented
his
thought
on
the
issue
of
freedom
and
necessity.156

Voetius
defined
the
free
will
as
“The
faculty
that
of
itself
and
with
respect
 to
[its]
immanent
mode
of
operation,
can
choose
and
not
choose
this
or
that,
 by
strength
of
its
internal,
elective
and
vital
command,”157
set
in
explicit
 opposition
to
the
definitions
offered
by
various
Jesuit
thinkers,
notably
 Arriaga
and
Oviedo—which
Voetius
summarizes
as
“a
free
potency
by
 which,
all
things
requisite
to
operation
being
posited,
someone
can
act
or
 not
act,
can
do
this
or
that.”158
Voetius
notes
that
the
Jesuits
consistently
 assume
both
freedom
of
contradiction
and
freedom
of
contrariety,
an
 affirmation
with
which
he
in
fact
agrees,
but
that
in
arguing
their
case
they
 err
in
two
ways.
They
first
define
freedom
in
terms
of
an
unsupportable
 kind
of
indifference,
and
they
declare
an
“immunity”
of
the
will
not
only
 from
“intrinsic,
absolute,
natural
necessity”
but
also
from
“extrinsic,
 hypothetical”
necessity.
Voetius,
therefore,
takes
as
the
point
of
the
 disputation
a
twofold
investigation—first,
the
proper
understanding
of
what
 is
essential
to
freedom
and,
second,
the
relationship
between
freedom
and
 necessity.159 From
the
outset,
it
is
important
to
note
that
Voetius
has
carefully
chosen
 his
vocabulary:
his
broader
topic
is
not
what
is
typically
rendered
as
“free
 choice,”
liberum
arbitrium,
but
the
facultas
or
capacity
for
free
action
or
 operation
in
human
beings
that
is
properly
identified
as
the
“freedom
of
 will,”
or
libertas
voluntatis.
This
capacity
he
further
defined
as
a
“formal”
 and
“elicitative”
principium,
a
foundation
or
source
of
one’s
own
acts.
 There
is
a
sense,
which
he
will
define
in
a
subsequent
thesis
of
the
 disputation,
in
which
God
is
understood
to
be
the
“efficient
cause”
of
these
 acts
or
operations
but
is
not
to
be
understood
as
the
“formal
cause”
or
even
 as
a
concurrent
formal
cause.”160
If
God
were
the
formal
cause
or
even
a
 concurrent
formal
cause
of
the
will’s
operation,
the
act
would
be
entirely
of
 God
and
there
would
be
no
genuine
human
will. This
distinction
between
an
ultimate
efficient
causality
and
the
formal
 causality
belonging
to
the
will
itself
brings
Voetius
to
the
issue
of
 indifference.
If
the
will
is
indeed
a
“free
potency,”
it
must
be
characterized
 by
a
“twofold
indifference”:
an
“objective”
indifference
concerning
the
 means
of
attaining
an
end
and
a
“vital,
internal,
and
elective”
indifference
 inherent
in
the
will,
understood
as
a
“free
potency”
prior
to
a
final
 determination
of
practical
judgment.
Together,
the
“objective”
indifference
 and
the
“vital,
internal,
and
elective”
indifference
constitute
the
“formal
 basis
of
freedom
[formalis
ratio
libertatis]”
in
a
created
being.161
Over


against
the
Jesuit
position,
Voetius
has
allowed
for
indifference
in
the
will
 regarded
as
a
potency
to
action
or
operation
but
denied
it
in
the
 actualization
of
the
will
in
choosing
a
particular
object.
The
indifference,
 therefore,
belongs
to
the
primary
actuality
(actus
primus)
of
the
will—an
 issue
that
we
will
also
see
raised
by
Turretin—but
not
to
its
operation
or
 secondary
actuality
(actus
secundus).
Once
operative,
its
choice
of
object
 having
been
made,
the
will
is
not
and
cannot
be
indifferent. Accordingly,
if
one
understands
the
electio
or
choice
of
the
will
as
one
of
 the
things
requisite
to
its
action
(judgment
or
determination
of
the
object
 being
another),
there
can
no
longer
be
a
“free
potency”
to
“act
or
not
act”
or
 to
do
“this
or
that,”
as
the
Jesuit
definition
indicated.
Voetius
is
quite
intent
 on
arguing
that
the
free
potency
of
the
will
is
capable
of
choosing
or
not
 choosing
or
of
choosing
one
thing
or
another—but
not
that
in
the
moment
 of
choosing
the
will
remains
indifferent
to
its
own
choice.
As
far
as
Voetius
 is
concerned,
the
Jesuit
definition
would
imply
that
the
will
can
 simultaneously
be
indifferent
and
not
indifferent,
simultaneously
choosing
 and
not
choosing,
simultaneously
choosing
this
and
choosing
that;
in
other
 words
claiming
something
to
be
possible
in
the
composite
sense
that
can
 only
be
possible
in
the
divided
sense.162
Given
that
the
will
is
a
“free
 potency”
and,
as
free,
has
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
to
multiple
effects
 prior
to
its
choice,
it
is
quite
true
that,
in
sensu
diviso,
it
can
choose
or
not
 choose,
choose
one
thing
or
another
thing.
Voetius’
colleague
Hoornbeeck
 makes
the
point
perhaps
even
more
clearly:
“A
human
being
has
 simultaneously
a
potency
to
opposites,
not
however
a
potency
of
 simultaneity,
with
respect
to
opposite
acts.”163
Accordingly,
contrary
acts
 that
are
utterly
opposed
to
one
another
cannot
be
accomplished
at
the
same
 time,
but
the
potency
to
do
one
of
these
acts
is
not
exclusive
of
the
potency
 to
do
the
other.164
The
entire
purpose
and
direction
of
willing
is
to
move
 from
this
initial
indifference
defined
by
multiple
potencies
to
the
 determination
and
election
of
an
object
by
actualizing
one
potency
rather
 than
another. Having
indicated
that
God
is
involved
in
acts
of
the
human
will
as
an
 efficient
cause
but
having
also
argued
that
as
formal
cause
the
will
remains
 a
free
potency,
Voetius
can
begin
his
arguments
concerning
the
relationship
 (consociatio)
between
necessity
and
freedom.
He
does
not
raise
the
typical
 point
that
the
will
is
free
from
physical
necessity
and
coercion,
but,
 presuming
the
standard
argumentation,
he
indicates
(against
the
Jesuits)


three
kinds
of
necessity
that
do
not
remove
freedom:
namely,
the
necessity
 arising
from
the
divine
decree;
the
necessity
of
a
physical
premotion
prior
 to
any
finite
act,
and
the
necessity
arising
from
a
determination
of
practical
 judgment.165 With
regard
to
the
first
kind
of
necessity,
the
necessity
of
the
decree,
 Voetius
argues
a
parallel
between
divine
and
human
willing,
specifically
 parallel
elections
or
choices
occurring
at
different
levels
of
causality
that
 concur
in
the
same
effect.
Citing
Philippians
2:13
to
the
effect
that
God
 works
in
human
beings
to
accomplish
his
ends,
he
argues
that
the
end
point
 or
terminus
ad
quem
of
the
eternal
divine
decree
and
the
temporal
human
 action
are
one
and
the
same.166
This
co-causality,
given
the
freedom
both
of
 the
divine
and
of
the
human
willing,
can
be
illustrated
with
reference
to
a
 series
of
objects,
A,
B,
and
C,
as
willed
to
occur
by
God
and
by
a
human
 being.
God
“by
his
absolutely
free
&
independent
governance”
wills
B
and
 thereby
removes
his
indifference
to
A
and
C
“in
the
composite
sense.”
The
 human
subject,
initially
indifferent
to
A,
B,
and
C,
acting
in
accordance
 with
his
own
“dependent
freedom”
wills
B,
thereby
also
removing
his
 indifference
to
A
and
C.
Voetius
concludes, Therefore,
the
will
is
no
more
necessitated
by
the
decree,
with
respect
to
the
 connatural
mode
of
acting,
than
by
itself:
for
although
diverse
with
respect
to
their
 origin
(terminus
a
quo),
these
necessities
are
the
same
with
respect
to
their
goal
 (terminus
ad
quem)
and
remove
the
same
indifferences.
For
the
will
itself
removes
the
 very
same
objects
in
time
that
by
virtue
of
the
absolute
divine
decree
could
not
be
 actualized,
and,
conversely,
establishes
those
objects
that
were
to
be
actualized
 temporally
by
virtue
of
the
same
decree,
as
causing
their
futurition
from
eternity.167

Hoornbeeck,
again,
provides
a
significant
clarification,
here
by
way
of
an
 example:
Given
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
to
opposite
effects,
 Hoornbeeck
argues,
man
was
not
determined
by
God
to
sin
in
such
a
way
as
 to
render
the
fall
necessary
in
the
man
himself
(necessario
in
homine).
The
 divine
determination
of
the
fall
did
not,
in
other
words,
alter
Adam’s
 potencies
to
be
able
to
sin
or
not
to
sin.
In
the
composite
sense,
having
 willed
to
fall,
Adam
could
only
fall:
in
himself,
in
his
causal
potencies,
in
 the
divided
sense,
it
was
possible
that
Adam
not
fall.168
There
is,
then,
a
 necessity
of
futurity
that
arises
from
the
divine
decree,
but
it
does
not
 cancel
the
freedom
of
the
second
causes—rather,
in
Voetius’
opinion,
the
 necessity
of
futurity
arising
from
the
decree
parallels
and
coincides
with
the
 necessity
of
the
consequence
arising
from
human
willing.

This
resolution
of
the
problem
of
the
relationship
of
divine
willing
to
 human
willing
does
not
remove
the
point
that
the
divine
freedom
is
absolute
 while
human
freedom
is
dependent—specifically
dependent
on
God.
 Voetius’
next
argument
serves
to
clarify
the
relationship
by
arguing
a
 particular
view
of
providential
concurrence,
namely,
physical
premotion
 (praemotio
physica),
an
explanatory
option
taken
up
also
by
Rutherford,
 Owen,
and
Turretin.
What
needs
to
be
noted
here
is
that
Voetius
assumes
 two
basic
points
concerning
this
view
of
concurrence:
on
the
one
hand,
 concursus
very
specifically
presumes
willing
and
operation
on
the
part
of
 God
and
on
the
part
of
the
human
being;
on
the
other
hand,
the
premotion,
 understood
as
purely
“physical”
or
enabling,
identifies
the
divine
 providential
role
in
enabling
the
dependent
creature
to
act,
namely,
to
move
 from
primary
to
secondary
actuality.
Voetius
also
indicates
that
the
divine
 priority
indicated
by
praemotio
is
understood
as
in
signo
rationis,
in
a
 relation
of
reason—not
as
belonging
to
the
order
of
time
but
having
a
 rational
or
logical
and
non-temporal
priority.169
There
is,
then,
a
necessity
of
 ultimate
efficient
causality
that
also
allows
for
the
freedom
of
the
secondary
 causes—indeed,
that
renders
possible
the
freedom
of
secondary,
dependent
 causality. As
to
the
third
and
final
kind
of
necessity,
that
which
arises
from
the
 “judgment
of
the
practical
intellect,”
Voetius
notes
disagreement:
“some
 papists”—specifically
Thomists—defend
this
assumption
together
with
 Voetius
and
some
of
the
Reformed,
whereas
other
of
the
Reformed
deny
it,
 along
with
the
Jesuits.170
Voetius
does
not
dwell
on
the
issue
at
length,
but
 in
arguing
for
a
general
agreement
with
the
Thomistic
view
against
the
 Jesuit
opinion,
he
notes
some
differences
among
the
Reformed.
First,
he
 indicates
that
the
will
is
“effectuated”
by
the
determination
of
the
practical
 intellect
in
a
manner
that
does
not
remove
freedom,
inasmuch
as
it
is
not
a
 “physical
influx,”
but
actually
provides
essential
support
to
the
determinate
 or
dependent
freedom
of
the
will.
What
the
determination
of
the
practical
 intellect
removes
is
the
freedom
of
indifference
in
the
composite
sense— which
is
to
say
that
it
does
not
alter
the
potencies
of
the
will
in
its
primary
 actuality,
according
to
which
A,
B,
and
C
are
all
possible
choices,
but
 removes
indifference
of
will
in
actu
secundo,
where
B
is
the
object
of
 choice.
The
practical
judgment
provides
“specification”
with
which
the
will
 freely
agrees.171

Aquinas
himself
had
argued
that
the
will
was
determined
by
the
intellect
 in
the
“specification”
of
the
act,
but
not
in
the
“exercise”
of
the
act.
As
 Voetius
indicates
elsewhere,
Aquinas
had
argued
that
“the
intellect
moves
 the
will
as
to
the
specification
of
the
act,”
but
“the
will
moves
the
intellect
 as
to
the
exercise
of
the
act.”172
Both
in
this
and
in
other
places,
Voetius
 acknowledges
two
Reformed
views
concerning
the
relation
of
the
practical
 intellect
to
the
will:
some
Reformed
simply
follow
Aquinas
in
holding
that
 the
“specification”
or
“determination”
of
the
act
of
will
rests
on
the
 practical
intellect,
whereas
others,
notably
Rivetus
and
Maccovius,
argue
 that
both
the
“specification”
and
the
“exercise”
of
the
act
follow
the
 determination
of
the
practical
intellect.173
This
latter
view,
which
is
not
 precisely
Thomist,
appears
to
be
Voetius’
preference.
In
his
own
major
 disputation
on
the
issue,
he
concludes
with
the
comment
that
if
anyone
was
 looking
for
a
middle
way
between
the
Thomists
and
the
Scotists,
there
is
a
 series
of
“hypotheses”
that
could
be
used
for
definition—among
them,
 identification
of
the
intellect
as
the
cognitive
and
the
will
as
the
appetitive
 faculty;
the
assumption
that
the
actions
of
the
will
necessarily
presume
the
 intellective
cognition
not
only
for
the
sake
of
apprehending
the
object
but
 also
for
the
sake
of
both
theoretical
and
practical
judgment;
recognition
that
 this
cognition
is
not
the
formal
and
intrinsic
principle
of
the
will’s
freedom,
 nor
is
it
an
influx
into
the
will
nor
a
kind
of
coaction,
but
an
antecedent
 condition
and
determination;
and
the
identification
of
the
will’s
 determination
by
the
intellect
as
a
necessity
or
the
consequence
or
 hypothetical
necessity.174 Voetius,
in
sum,
argues
both
a
version
of
free
choice
that
includes
 liberties
of
contrariety
and
contradiction
and
a
doctrine
of
the
divine
 determination
of
all
things,
with
the
specific
qualification
that
the
divine
 determination,
whether
understood
as
the
primary
causality
of
the
decree
or
 the
ongoing
concurrence
of
providence,
does
not
remove
but
actually
 undergirds
the
human
determination
of
individual
choices. 6.6
Francis
Turretin
on
Necessity,
Contingency,
and
Human
Freedom Turretin’s
approach
to
human
freedom—in
this
case,
with
emphasis
on
 the
liberum
arbitrium,
or
free
judgment—argues
much
the
same
conclusion
 as
the
Voetian
argument,
but
perhaps
more
fully
and
clearly
sets
the
 discussion
of
free
choice
into
the
context
of
definitions
of
contingency.175


Turretin
indicates
that
any
given
thing
may
be
contingent
in
two
ways,
 either
“with
respect
to
the
first
cause”
or
“with
respect
to
second
causes.”176
 In
the
first
sense,
contingency
belongs
to
the
nature
of
all
creatures
 inasmuch
as
they
“can
be
produced
or
not
produced
by
God”:
given
the
 freedom
of
the
divine
will,
God
might
have
willed
to
create
nothing
or
to
 create
otherwise.
In
the
second
sense,
contingency
refers
to
finite
causes
 that
can
either
produce
or
not
produce
their
effect.
And
it
is
this
latter
sense
 that
becomes
the
focus
of
discussion
concerning
both
divine
foreknowledge
 and
human
freedom.
If
the
question
of
future
contingents
involves
the
 examination
of
secondary
causes,
it
nonetheless
also
has
reference
to
the
 divine
decree
as
well
as
to
the
finite
order.
This
twofold
reference
of
the
 future
contingent
arises
because
its
certain
futurity
rests
on
the
divine
 decree
but
its
contingency
arises
from
“the
disposition
[constitutio]
of
the
 second
cause.”177
The
focus
of
Turretin’s
discussion
of
contingency,
as
with
 Aquinas,
is
on
secondary
causality.
Turretin
even
makes
the
point
that
there
 is
no
question
or
debate
concerning
the
contingency
of
all
things
in
 relationship
to
the
first
cause:
in
relation
to
God
as
first
cause,
even
the
 “most
necessary”
things
that,
from
the
perspective
of
the
finite
order
itself,
 could
not
be
otherwise,
are
contingent
inasmuch
as
“they
are
able
to
be
and
 not
to
be.”
In
the
finite
order
and
in
relation
to
secondary
causes,
however,
 there
are
contingencies
that
have
a
“free
and
indifferent”
causation.178 What
Turretin
addresses
here
is,
specifically,
the
divine
foreknowledge
of
 future
contingencies—which
he
must
analyze
in
such
a
way
as
to
indicate
 how
it
is
that
whereas
they
are
unknowable
to
human
beings,
they
are
fully
 knowable
to
God
and
knowable
in
such
a
manner
as
to
remain
genuinely
 contingent.
In
Helm’s
analysis
of
Turretin’s
argument,
the
issue
of
 knowability
on
God’s
part
rests
firmly
on
the
decree
(as
it
does
in
Turretin’s
 argumentation),
but
the
issue
of
non-knowability
on
the
part
of
human
 beings
rests
on
the
epistemic
limitation
of
the
mind
prior
to
its
having
made
 a
“fixed
choice.”179
But
Helm’s
analysis
only
acknowledges
a
part,
and
not
 the
most
substantive
part,
of
Turretin’s
argumentation. Behind
Turretin’s
approach
to
the
problem
is
the
standard
assumption
of
 the
traditional
Peripatetic
approach
to
necessity
and
contingency
that
a
 necessary
event,
the
cause
of
which
has
a
potency
to
only
one
effect,
can
be
 known
in
its
cause,
whereas
a
contingent
event,
the
cause
of
which
has
 potency
to
more
than
one
effect,
cannot
be
known
in
its
cause.
Thus,
a
 necessary
future
event
can
be
known
by
a
finite
knower
prior
to
its


occurrence,
whereas
a
contingent
future
event
cannot.
Or,
to
make
the
point
 in
another
way,
necessary
future
events,
even
though
future,
have
a
 “determinate
truth”
because
they
are
the
sole
possible
effect
of
their
cause
 or
causes.
Contingent
futures,
resulting
from
causes
that
have
more
than
 one
possible
effect,
do
not
have
a
“determinate
truth.”180
Turretin
resolves
 the
problem
by
making
a
distinction
that
is
not
merely
epistemological
but
 that
also
embodies
causal
and
therefore
ontological
aspects: Where
there
is
no
determinate
truth
concerning
things,
there
cannot
be
certain
and
 infallible
knowledge,
if
they
are
indeterminate
absolutely
&
in
every
manner:
but
 future
contingents
are
not
such
things:
For
if
they
are
indeterminate
with
respect
to
the
 second
cause
&
in
themselves,
they
are
not
with
respect
to
the
first
cause,
which
 decreed
their
futurition;
if
their
truth
is
indeterminate
with
respect
to
us,
who
cannot
 see
where
the
free
second
cause
is
about
to
incline
itself,
it
is
not
so
with
respect
to
 God,
to
whom
all
future
things
are
regarded
as
present.181

Turretin’s
point
is
not
focused,
as
Helm
presents
it,
on
human
inability
to
 discern
a
personal
choice
prior
to
it
being
made
but
on
human
inability
in
 general
to
know
future
effects
given
the
indeterminacy
of
future
contingents
 as
effects
of
causes
that
could
operate
to
different
effects.
This
is
not
merely
 a
matter
of
epistemic
limitation,
as
Helm
would
have
it;
it
is
also
and
 primarily
a
matter
of
different
patterns
of
causality
and
ultimately
different
 levels
of
causality—primary
and
secondary—as
they
relate
to
different
 knowers.182
Further,
the
presence
of
all
future
things
to
God,
as
defined
by
 Turretin,
is
not
simply
a
version
of
the
Boethian
notion
of
an
eternal
present
 but
more
importantly
a
conclusion
drawn
from
the
eternal
divine
 knowledge
of
all
that
will
be,
understood
as
the
scientia
visionis
or
scientia
 libera,
including
contingencies
and
free
acts
that
have
been
decreed
in
such
 a
way
that
they
occur
by
means
of
contingent
or
free
causes. Turretin’s
distinction
between
“the
certitude
of
the
occurrence
 [certitudine
eventus]”
as
indicating
futurity
and
the
“manner”
or
“mode
of
 production
[modus
productionis]”
of
a
thing
as
identifying
its
contingency
 carries
over
into
his
explanation
of
contingencies.
In
Turretin’s
view,
which
 here
draws
on
a
more
or
less
Thomistic
perspective,
the
“foundation
of
the
 possibility
of
things”
absolutely
considered
is
the
divine
essence
itself
as
 “imitable
by
the
creatures”
and
“capable
of
producing
them”183—but
for
 possibiles
to
become
actuals,
the
decree
or
will
of
God
must
intervene
 between
the
eternal
divine
knowledge
of
all
possibility
and
the
eternal
 divine
knowledge
of
the
actuality
that
is
to
be,
bringing
things
from
a
state


of
possibility
(status
possibilitatis)
to
a
state
of
futurity
(status
 futuritionis).184
Accordingly,
in
Turretin’s
view,
the
foundation
of
possibility
 reflects
what
we
have
already
noted
in
the
discussion
of
Aquinas:
there
is
 the
intrinsic
possibility
belonging
to
the
idea
in
the
divine
essence
which
is
 “imitable
by
the
creatures”;
but
there
is
also
the
extrinsic
possibility
arising
 from
the
divine
power
and
will
to
actualize
the
idea. These
considerations
yield
the
assertion
that
“it
is
not
inconsistent
for
the
 same
thing
to
be
viewed
as
simultaneously
possible
&
impossible,
albeit
in
 different
ways:
it
may
be
possible
with
respect
to
potency
or
with
respect
to
 secondary
causality,
considered
in
itself
and
in
the
divided
sense.”
It
may
be
 impossible,
moreover,
“relatively,
on
the
hypothesis
of
the
divine
 decree.”185
Turretin
takes
the
crucifixion
as
a
negative
example
of
the
rule:
 on
the
basis
of
the
potencies
of
the
human
agents
and
in
view
of
the
 secondary
causality,
it
was
possible
that
it
might
not
have
occurred—on
the
 hypothesis
of
the
divine
decree
(which
is
hypothetical,
inasmuch
as
it
too
 could
be
otherwise),
the
crucifixion
was
impossible
not
to
have
occurred.
 Thus,
in
the
divided
sense,
holding
the
hypothesis
of
the
divine
will
and
the
 operation
of
second
causes
logically
apart,
God
decreed
the
crucifixion
but
 did
not
set
aside
the
freedom
of
the
human
agents
according
to
which
it
was
 possible
that
it
would
not
occur.
Or,
in
other
words,
God
decreed
the
 futurity
of
the
event
but
in
such
as
way
as
to
locate
the
mode
or
manner
of
 its
production
or
occurrence
in
the
operation
of
secondary
causes—in
this
 case,
human
beings
who
have
potencies
to
the
opposite
effect. Turretin
carefully
distinguishes
between
the
statement
that
“it
is
possible
 for
something
to
be
done
or
not
to
be
done”
and
the
statement
that
“it
is
 possible
simultaneously
to
be
about
to
exist
and
not
about
to
exist.”
In
the
 first
statement,
the
thing
is
said
to
be
possible
of
accomplishment
but
also
 possible
not
to
occur.
This
form
of
statement,
as
identified
in
the
preceding
 paragraph
of
Turretin’s
argument,
references
the
divided
sense,
or
sensus
 divisus,
and
indicates
a
“simultaneity
of
potency
[simultas
potentiae],”
 namely,
a
potency
to
exist
or
not
to
exist.
There
is
no
contradiction.
The
 latter
statement,
however,
indicates
a
“potency
of
simultaneity
[potentia
 simultatis],”
assuming
that
“something
can
simultaneously
exist
and
not
 exist.”186
The
statement
is
framed
in
the
composite
sense
(sensus
 compositus)—and
embodies
a
contradiction.187 Accordingly,
contingencies
are
to
be
described
in
the
former
manner,
as
 characterized
by
a
simultaneity
of
potencies.
Contingencies
are
identified
as


things
or
events
that
could
be
otherwise
given
the
presence
in
their
causes
 of
multiple
potencies.
In
the
composite
sense,
it
is
not
possible
that
the
 event
occur
and
the
event
not
occur—but
it
remains
the
case,
for
Turretin,
 that
the
decree
ensures
the
certain
futurity
of
the
event
without
removing
 the
contingent
manner
of
its
eventuation:
“what,
therefore,
is
impossible
not
 to
occur
in
the
composite
sense
&
on
supposition
of
the
decree
of
God
 concerning
futurition
of
the
event,
nonetheless
in
the
divided
sense
&
apart
 from
the
decree,
was
possible
not
to
have
taken
place.”188
By
removing
the
 “supposition
of
the
decree”
from
consideration
as
the
root
of
contingency
in
 the
divided
sense,
the
syntax
of
the
sentence
thrusts
into
the
foreground
the
 location
of
contingency
in
the
created
order.
Turretin’s
argument
places
the
 possibility
of
the
event
taking
place
or
not
taking
place
primarily
in
terms
of
 the
potencies
resident
in
finite
or
secondary
causality.
In
the
case
of
an
 individual
human
being
making
a
choice,
the
indeterminacy
of
the
future
 event
arises
not
merely
from
an
absence
of
knowledge
concerning
what
the
 choice
is
going
to
be
or,
as
Helm
puts
it,
from
an
unexpected
or
fortuitous
 result,189
but
the
indeterminacy
itself
as
well
as
the
absence
of
 foreknowledge
arising
from
it
rests
on
the
simultaneous
presence
of
 potencies
to
contrary
effects
belonging
to
the
human
will.
What
Helm’s
 analysis
does
not
consider
is
the
simultaneous
presence
in
the
human
will
of
 genuine
potencies
to
different
effects
and
the
resultant
issue
that
all
choices,
 as
contingencies
or
necessities
of
the
consequence,
could
be
otherwise. The
exposition
of
human
freedom
and
free
choice
found
in
Turretin’s
 Institutio
theologiae
elencticae
is
rooted
in
Turretin’s
assumptions
 concerning
necessity
and
contingency
inasmuch
as
the
free
choices
of
 rational
creatures
are
a
specific
kind
of
contingency.
Turretin’s
exposition
is
 found
primarily
in
three
different
loci,
two
prelapsarian
and
one
 postlapsarian,190
reflecting
his
assumption
that
freedom
is
a
fundamental
 characteristic
of
the
rational
creature,
belonging
to
it
by
nature.
This
version
 of
the
Reformed
approach
to
the
doctrine
coheres
well
with
the
phrase
 “dependent
freedom”
used
by
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom,
and
that,
for
all
the
difference
between
human
freedom
before
 and
after
the
fall,
rightly
belongs
to
all
the
earthly
states
of
humanity.191
 Echoing
what
we
have
already
noted
in
Owen,
Turretin
says
of
fallen
 humanity,
“the
lack
of
power
to
the
good
is
strongly
asserted,
but
the
 essence
of
freedom
is
not
destroyed.”192

Liberum
arbitrium,
Turretin
notes,
is
not
a
term
that
arises
from
 Scripture,
but
rather
derives
from
philosophy.
Among
the
ancient
Greek
 philosophers,
and
following
their
language
by
the
Greek
fathers,
it
was
 identified
as
the
αὐτεξουσιος
or
“self-determining
power.”193
Turretin
notes
 that
the
Pauline
usage
of
ejcousiva
indicates
not
a
“freedom
of
choice
 [liberum
arbitrium]”
but
a
“facility
of
executing
[exequendi
facilitas].”
The
 problem
that
Turretin
has
with
the
term
“self-determining
power”
is
 precisely
the
same
as
Owen’s
problem:
human
beings,
as
finite
creatures,
do
 not
have
autonomy.
They
are
neither
self-actualized
nor
capable
of
utterly
 independent
self-motion.
Thus,
too,
in
his
doctrine
of
providence,
Turretin
 indicates
that
“although
[the
will]
determines
itself,
nevertheless
this
does
 not
prevent
it
from
being
determined
by
God,
since
the
determination
of
 God
does
not
exclude
the
human
determination.”194
Still,
Turretin
argues
for
 the
retention
of
the
term
rightly
defined
and
understood.
He
even
insists
 that,
once
free
choice
is
properly
understood,
it
will
be
apparent
that
the
 Reformed
approach
to
human
freedom
more
adequately
establishes
 freedom
than
the
Pelagianizing
approach—presumably
of
the
Arminians
 and
Jesuits.195 Properly
understood,
free
choice
is
a
“mixed
faculty”
arising
out
of
a
 conjunction
and
interaction
of
intellect
and
will
understood
as
distinct
 powers
of
soul,
with
the
judgment,
or
arbitrium,
deriving
from
the
intellect
 and
the
freedom
or
libertas
belonging
to
the
will.
Having
thus
parsed
 arbitrium
and
libertas,
Turretin,
like
other
of
the
Reformed,
also
presses
the
 issue
of
their
interrelationship:
“even
as
the
judgment
of
the
intellect
 terminates
in
the
will;
so
is
the
freedom
of
the
will
rooted
in
the
 intellect.”196
Turretin’s
point
is
that
the
judgment
that
arises
from
the
 intellect
finds
its
terminus
ad
quem,
its
goal,
in
the
will—it
is
directed
 toward
and
completed
in
the
will.
Given
this,
moreover,
the
freedom
that
 belongs
to
the
will
finds
its
root,
arguably
its
fundamentum
or
terminus
a
 quo,
in
the
intellect.
For
intellective
judgment
to
be
completed
in
a
choice
 or
election,
it
must
be
engaged
by
the
will—and
for
the
will
to
act
on
its
 freedom
it
must
receive
a
judgment
of
the
intellect.
The
distinction
between
 intellect
and
will
does
not
imply
any
separation.
Indeed,
the
opposite
is
the
 case:
intellect
and
will
are
necessarily
conjoined,
so
that
their
distinction
is
 neither
“real”
as
of
one
thing
from
another
nor
“intrinsic.”
Rather
the
 distinction
of
intellect
and
will
is
“extrinsic”
and
made
with
respect
to
the
 object
that
is
judged
and
chosen.
Judgment
and
election
are
parallel,
the


former
consisting
in
“affirmation
and
negation,”
the
latter
in
“desire
and
 avoidance.”197 In
order
to
define
his
Reformed
position
with
clarity
over
against
Jesuit
 and
Remonstrant
understandings
of
human
freedom,
Turretin
next
raises
the
 issues
of
necessity
and
indifference.
His
opponents
posit
that
the
“essence
 of
freedom”
consists
in
“indifference”
and
that
this
freedom
is
utterly
 opposed
to
all
necessity.198
In
Turretin’s
view,
they
err
on
both
points—and
 they
do
so
in
order
to
identify
the
will
as
utterly
“mistress
of
its
own
acts
 [Domina
suorum
actuum],”
returning
the
argument
to
the
initial
point
 insisted
on
by
Owen
as
well
as
Turretin,
that
human
freedom
is
not
a
radical
 self-movement
or
self-determination.
It
is
simply
not
true
that
all
necessity
 is
opposed
to
freedom—nor
can
it
be
claimed
that
all
necessity
comports
 with
freedom—nor,
further
is
it
true
that
freedom
cannot
comport
with
 antecedent
determination
or
determination
to
one
effect.
The
issue
is
to
 distinguish
various
kinds
of
necessity
and
to
parse
carefully
where
and
how
 indifference
and
determinations
of
effects
are
to
be
understood.199 Much
as
we
saw
in
Gomarus’
argumentation,
there
are
two
kinds
of
 necessity
that
rule
out
contingency
and,
therefore,
freedom
as
well:
the
 necessity
of
coercion
and
physical
necessity.
In
the
case
of
a
necessity
of
 coercion,
the
choice
or
determination
has
been
imposed;
in
the
case
of
 physical
necessity,
there
is
a
potency
to
one
and
only
one
effect.
Other
 necessities
are
not
contrary
to
contingency
and
do
not
rule
out
freedom:
the
 “necessity
of
dependence”
of
all
creatures
on
God;
the
“rational
necessity
of
 a
determination
to
one
[object]
by
the
judgment
of
the
practical
intellect”;
a
 “moral
necessity”
or
“necessity
of
servitude”
arising
from
disposition
to
 good
or
evil;
and
“the
necessity
of
the
existence
of
a
thing
or
[the
necessity]
 of
the
event,
according
to
which
a
thing
is—such
as
when
it
is,
it
cannot
not
 be.”200
Turretin’s
insistence
here
that
the
will,
as
a
rational
faculty,
cannot
 resist
the
practical
intellect
and
must
follow
the
last
judgment
of
the
 practical
intellect
frames
his
argumentation
clearly
in
a
more
Thomistic
 than
a
broadly
Franciscan
or
specifically
Scotistic
manner—he
in
no
way
 implies
the
possibility
of
the
will
rejecting
the
intellectual
judgment.201
This
 necessity
of
following
the
judgment
of
the
intellect
does
not,
however,
 impede
freedom.
Rather,
it
defines
freedom
as
a
matter
not
of
indifference
 but
as
the
free
determination
and
free
election
or
rejection
of
an
object
by
 the
conjoint
action
of
intellect
rendering
judgment
and
will
freely
electing
 or
rejecting
the
object
presented
by
the
intellect.
The
“necessity
of


determination
to
one
object”
does
not
import
a
necessary
determination
of
 one
object
rather
than
another
but
rather
the
necessity
that
there
be
the
 determination
of
one
object
by
the
understanding
in
order
that
the
will
have
 an
object—and,
then,
all
of
the
requisites
to
the
free
choice
being
present,
 indifference
be
overcome
and
an
object
chosen
or
rejected.202 This
argument
could
be
interpreted
as
a
form
of
necessitarianism
were
it
 not
for
Turretin’s
insistence
on
the
indifference
of
the
will
in
actu
primo
and
 on
the
absence
of
any
compulsion
placed
on
the
will.
The
formal
basis
or
 foundation
of
freedom
lies
in
this
rational
willingness,203
according
to
 which
the
intellect
specifies
an
object
and
the
exercise
of
the
will
either
 accepts
or
rejects
the
object.
As
Aquinas
had
argued,
the
intellect
specified
 the
object,
the
act
or
exercise
of
freely
electing
the
object
belongs
to
the
 will.
Arguably,
in
the
standard
formulation
that
the
will
must
follow
the
 judgment
or,
more
precisely,
the
last
determinate
judgment,
of
the
practical
 intellect,
the
phrase
“must
follow”
or
“cannot
not
follow,”
does
not
imply
a
 command
but
a
necessary
order.
In
Turretin’s
words,
there
is
“a
rational
 necessity
of
determination
to
one
thing
by
the
practical
intellect”
in
order
 for
there
to
be
a
voluntary
act,
given
that
the
will
is
“a
rational
appetite.”204
 The
intellect,
in
other
words,
does
not
determine
the
will,
it
determines
the
 object—and
it
does
not
command
the
will,
it
judges
and
presents
the
object.
 The
intellect
regulates
and
directs,
having
a
priority
in
operation,
but
it
does
 not
constrain
or
compel
the
will.
The
will
remains,
as
traditionally
defined,
 “the
mistress
of
its
own
acts.”205 The
two
other
necessities,
although
they
do
not
remove
or
rule
out
 freedom,
do
reveal
its
limits,
namely,
the
necessity
of
dependence
and
 moral
necessity.
The
necessity
of
dependence
does
not
impede
freedom
but
 only
reflects
the
nature
or
condition
of
the
creature:
creatures
are
not
 absolutely
self-moved
or
self-determining.
Human
beings,
however,
as
 created,
are
dependent
on
the
God
who
has
created
them
both
contingent
 and
free.
The
necessity
of
dependence,
moreover,
serves
to
set
the
creature
 into
the
context
of
providence,
where
the
understanding
of
freedom
is
 governed,
as
already
noted,
by
the
two
levels
of
causality—with
God’s
 decree
determining
the
futurity
of
the
act
but
not,
as
Turretin
insists,
its
 mode
of
production
(a
distinction
paralleling
what
we
have
seen
in
Voetius’
 distinction
between
the
ultimate
efficient
cause
and
the
formal
cause
of
 willing).
Turretin
emphasizes
in
several
places
that
the
will
is
“is
 determined
by
God
so
as
also
to
determine
itself.”206

The
moral
necessity
does
not
impede
freedom
so
much
as
also
describe
 its
nature
and
condition.
Whereas
it
is
true
that
habits
or
dispositions
 determine
the
way
in
which
the
will
acts,
this
does
not
undermine
the
 fundamental
nature
of
human
freedom,
lodged
as
it
is
in
the
will
itself—in
 the
state
of
human
sinfulness,
there
is
a
servitude
to
habits
and
dispositions,
 but
freedom
remains,
albeit
limited
by
sin
as
also
by
human
nature
in
 general.207
As
in
the
case
of
the
necessity
of
dependence,
so
also
in
the
case
 of
moral
necessity,
human
beings
remain
free
to
will
and
act
according
to
 their
nature.
What
is
more,
as
we
have
also
noted
in
Junius’
exposition,
 human
freedom
is
consistently
viewed
by
Turretin,
as
also
by
other
 Reformed
orthodox
writers,
as
including
the
necessity
of
(freely)
willing
 one’s
happiness,
namely,
willing
the
good
as
perceived,
rightly
or
wrongly,
 in
the
moment
of
willing.208
Again,
this
is
a
Thomistic,
not
a
Scotistic
 accent. The
remaining
two
necessities,
“rational
necessity
of
a
determination
to
 one”
and
the
“necessity
of
the
existence
of
the
thing”
or
“event,”
actually
 define
freedom
in
a
positive
sense.
The
former,
against
the
Jesuit
and
 Arminian
doctrine
of
indifference,
assumes
that
it
belongs
to
the
very
nature
 of
free
choice
that
the
human
subject
can
make
a
rational
determination
of
 one
object
out
of
many
and
do
so
freely.
The
latter
simply
identifies
what
is
 typically
called
a
necessity
of
the
consequence,
a
hypothetical
necessity,
or
 sometimes
the
necessity
of
the
present
and
which,
as
defined
in
Aristotelian
 tradition,
represents
a
logical
necessity
or
a
necessity
de
dicto
that
can
be
 used
to
describe
a
contingency.
In
the
case
of
a
rational
being,
it
can
be
used
 to
describe
a
free
choice,
as
illustrated
by
the
necessity
of
Socrates
begin
 seated
while
he
is
sitting.
Helm
is
quite
correct,
then,
that
contingency
does
 not
always
imply
freedom:
contingencies
can
result
from
the
convergence
 of
causes
that
are
not
necessarily
or
consistently
related
to
one
another—but
 he
mistakes
Turretin’s
point
that
a
free
choice
is
a
specific
kind
of
 contingency
and
that
it
is
contingent
not
merely
because
the
outcome
of
a
 decision
is
unknown
prior
to
it
being
made.209
The
outcome
of
the
decision
 is
unknown
because
the
human
subject
has
multiple
potencies
and,
prior
to
 the
determination
of
the
object
and
the
exercise
of
a
particular
potency,
 could
do
otherwise—and,
beyond
that,
in
the
moment
of
exercise,
retains
 the
potency
to
do
otherwise.
The
human
being
lacks,
as
Turretin
states,
a
 potency
of
simultaneity
but
has
a
simultaneity
of
potencies.

Helm
also
rightly
stresses
the
potentially
greater
importance
of
 spontaneity
or
rational
willingness
to
Turretin’s
arguments
concerning
 human
freedom
than
even
his
definitions
of
contingency,
particularly
in
 distinction
from
the
views
of
the
Jesuits.210
Over
against
the
Jesuit
 grounding
of
freedom
in
indifference
of
will,
Turretin
provides
a
delicately
 nuanced
approach
to
a
root
indifference
in
the
will
according
to
its
primary
 actuality
and
a
“rational
willingness
[lubentia
rationalis]”
in
its
secondary
 actuality.211
In
this
approach,
whereas
the
underlying
possibility,
one
might
 even
say
the
foundation
or
basis
of
freedom
of
will,
lies
in
the
indifference
 or
absence
of
determination
of
the
will
prior
to
its
operation
(in
actu
primo),
 the
“formal
basis
of
free
choice
[ratio
formalis
liberi
arbitrii]”
of
freedom
 lies
in
the
spontaneous
and
uncoerced
“rational
willingness”
of
the
will
that
 belongs
also
to
its
operation
(in
actu
secundo).212
Freedom,
then,
is
fully
 defined
only
in
the
complete
operation,
in
which
the
rational
willingness
of
 the
individual
freely
determines
and
elects
its
object.
As
Pleizier
nicely
 sums
up
the
issue,
“Indifferent
freedom
is
undecided
freedom”213—and
in
 Turretin’s
view,
freedom
necessarily
includes
decision. In
referencing
Turretin’s
argument
in
this
way,
we
identify
a
minor
point
 of
disagreement
with
the
argumentation
of
Dekker
and
Pleizier,
already
 registered
in
relation
to
Beck’s
translation
of
Voetius:
arguably,
their
 rendering
of
ratio
formalis
as
“essential
structure”
is
somewhat
misleading
 and
apart
from
Turretin’s
point.214
The
essential
or
foundational
structure
of
 the
will
surely
coincides
with
its
primary
actuality,
when
it
is
in
fact
 indifferent;
just
as
the
absence
of
determination
toward
an
object
in
this
 foundational
indifference
provides
the
possibility
for
the
rational
 willingness
to
operate
freely
in
secondary
actuality.
What
is
more,
the
use
 of
formalis
here
points
specifically
not
to
essence
or
basic
quiddity
but
to
 the
nature
or
character
of
the
activity,
which
is
to
say,
when
the
will
is
 willing
freely,
it
is
formally
understood
as
rational
willingness,
a
free
 activity
receptive
to
rational
judgments.
Turretin’s
usage
here
is,
moreover,
 quite
distinct
from
Voetius’
reference
to
a
ratio
formalis,
although
the
 meaning
of
the
term
is
the
same:
Turretin
here
specifically
refers
not
to
the
 will
(voluntas)
but
to
the
choice
or
judgment
(arbitrium). The
disagreement
here
is
minor,
Dekker
and
Pleizir
return
to
a
careful
 discussion
of
Turretin’s
doctrine
of
free
choice,
particularly
with
regard
to
 the
issues
of
indifference
and
multiple
potencies.
Their
point
is
that
 Turretin,
very
much
like
Voetius,
stresses
the
movement
of
the
will
from


indifference
in
actu
primo
to
a
determination
of
its
object
in
actu
secundo.
 Turretin,
moreover,
explains
this
movement
in
terms
of
the
distinction
 between
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
and
the
potency
of
simultaneity:
the
 will
can
have,
simultaneously,
potencies
to
opposite
or
contradictory
effects —what
it
cannot
do
is
simultaneously
act
on
opposite
or
contradictory
 potencies.
In
its
primary
actuality
(in
actu
primo)
or
most
fundamental
 existence,
apart
from
any
operation
and
prior
to
any
determination
of
an
 object,
the
will
can
be
identified
as
indifferent
inasmuch
as
it
possesses
 simultaneously
potencies
to
different
effects.
In
its
secondary
actuality
(in
 actu
secundo)
or
operation
as
determined
toward
a
particular
object,
the
 will
is
no
longer
indifferent
and,
having
acted
upon
one
of
its
potencies,
has
 excluded
the
opposites
from
its
present
operation.215
Here
again,
Turretin’s
 argument
stands
in
accord
with
that
of
Voetius—indicating
an
underlying
 character
or
essence
of
will
embodying
multiple
potencies
and
an
operative
 character
actualizing
a
particular
potency.

7 Divine
Power,
Possibility,
and
 Actuality 7.1
The
Foundation
of
Possibility:
Reformed
Understandings A.
Meanings
of
“Possible”
and
“Possibility.”
Early
modern
Reformed
 approaches
to
necessity
and
contingency
reflect
a
line
of
argument
 extending
back
into
the
later
Middle
Ages
over
the
nature,
indeed,
the
 origin,
of
possibility.1
As
in
the
analysis
of
Reformed
approaches
to
 necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom,
the
issue
here
also
is
to
identify
the
 place
of
Reformed
argumentation
in
the
ongoing
conversation
and
debate
 over
the
meaning
of
the
terms
and
their
use
in
particular
theological
and
 philosophical
contexts.
First-generation
Reformers
offer
little
on
this
 particular
issue
given
their
limited
interest
in
philosophical
matters,
but
 recognition
of
the
importance
of
definition
increases
dramatically
among
 second-
and
third-generation
writers.
Calvin
can
loosely
identify
an
 impossibility
as
something
that
has
never
been
and
never
will
be
 accomplished—implying
that
the
possible
is
that
which
is
capable
of
 accomplishment—and
he
clarifies
his
point,
indicating
that
he
will
not
enter
 into
needless
discussion
of
“various
kinds
of
possibilities,”
declaring
“I
call
 ‘impossible’
both
what
has
never
been,
and
what
God’s
ordination
and
 decree
prevents
from
being
in
the
future.”2
Vermigli
offers
a
positive
use
of
 the
term,
including
a
clear
sense
of
intrinsic
possibility
and
the
recognition
 that
possibiles
or
possibilities
include
things
that
could
exist
even
though
 they
never
will:
“God
foreknows
many
things
that
are
possible
but
will
 truly
never
occur:
and
although
they
never
will
be,
nonetheless
God’s
 foreknowledge
does
not
remove
their
possibility.”3 Zanchi
provides
a
still
more
detailed
statement
of
the
issues.
He
notes,
 initially,
that
the
term
possibilia
references
two
varieties
of
possibility—

specifically
identifying
the
importance
of
an
issue
that
Calvin
had
purposely
 bypassed.
He
recognizes
that
possibility
and
impossibility
can
be
defined
 either
extrinsically
or
intrinsically.
There
is
the
question
of
whether
 something
can
be
effected—and
also
the
question
of
whether
the
thing
in
 question
implies
a
contradiction.
Citing
Aquinas,
Zanchi
notes
that
once
all
 things
implying
a
contradiction
are
excluded,
God
is
able
to
do
all
that
 remains.
Indeed,
the
notion
of
divine
omnipotentia
means
that
God
has
 potentia
for
actualizing
possibilia.
Absence
of
contradiction,
therefore,
 indicates
possibility
simpliciter,
in
the
absolute
sense,
and
corresponds
with
 the
divine
omnipotence,
but
possibility
must
also
be
understood
 respectively
in
relation
to
potencies
of
particular
beings.
Absolute
 impossibility
is
identified
intrinsically
by
the
incompatibility
of
a
predicate
 with
a
subject;
relative
impossibility
is
identified
extrinsically
by
a
 limitation
or
lack
of
potentia
to
accomplish
something.4
God,
then,
cannot
 do
the
absolutely
impossible.
Among
other
examples,
Zanchi
offers
a
series
 of
absolute
impossibilities
involving
God
denying
himself:
God
is
unable
to
 be
not
God—and
therefore,
by
extension,
unable
to
be
not
one,
unable
to
be
 corporeal.
There
are,
however,
no
relative
impossibilities
for
God
such
as
 there
are
for
creatures.5
All
intrinsic
possibilities
are
extrinsically
possible
 for
God—whereas
only
some
intrinsic
possibilities
are
extrinsically
 possible
for
creatures. Similar
references
to
possibility
and
impossibility
appear
in
many
of
the
 later
Reformed
orthodox.
By
way
of
example,
John
Yates
indicates
that
 God’s
omnipotence
is
“that
whereby
he
is
able
to
effect
all
that
he
doth,
yea,
 and
whatsoever
he
doth
not,
which
is
absolutely
possible.”6
Further,
citing
 Aquinas
and
Robert
Bellarmine,
Yates
comments
there
are
things
that
are
 impossible
to
God,
specifically
“all
such
things
as
contradict
either
his
 owne
essence,
or
the
nature
of
things.”7
Similarly,
Polanus
defined
God
as
 absolutely
capable
of
actualizing
all
possibles
and
as
incapable
of
the
 absolutely
impossible.
There
are
things
impossible
to
nature
(impossibilia
 naturae)
that
exceed
the
powers
of
created
beings
and
things
impossible
by
 nature
(impossibilia
natura)
that
are
absolutely
impossible
given
that
they
 involve
a
contradiction—such
as
a
man
that
is
not
an
animal,
unequal
radii
 of
a
circle,
and
so
forth.8
Thus,
there
are
some
absolute
possibilities
that
 God
wills
to
actualize
and
some
that
he
does
not.
Possibility
in
the
absolute
 sense
is
anything
that
does
not
imply
a
contradiction,
namely,
that
which
is
 intrinsically
possible.

These
different
understandings
of
“possible”
and
“impossible”
in
the
 standard
or
traditional
philosophical
usage
of
the
sixteenth
and
seventeenth
 centuries
reflect
the
distinction
of
meanings
that
we
have
previously
noted
 as
taken
from
Aristotle
by
the
medievals—and
they
are
stated
in
detail
in
 lexical
works
of
the
early
modern
era.
In
the
logical
and
ontically
absolute
 sense
of
the
term,
as
Johannes
Altenstaig
and
others
defined
it,
something
is
 possible
“that
does
not
include
a
contradiction”
and
that,
accordingly,
can
 exist,9
namely,
something
that
is
intrinsically
possible
Altenstaig
also
noted
 two
different
approaches
to
defining
extrinsic
possibility:
a
twofold
way
of
 defining
possibility
as
either
belonging
or
not
belonging
to
the
“free
power
 of
a
rational
creature,”
and
a
threefold
way
of
understanding
possibility
in
 terms
of
causation:
something
possible
through
inferior
or
secondary
 causality;
something
possible
through
superior
or
primary
causality;
and
 something
requiring
superior
and
inferior,
primary
and
secondary
 causality.10
These
basic
definitions
also
yield
two
meanings
for
the
possible
 relative
to
the
issue
of
actual
existence:
something
that
does
not
now
exist
 but
can
exist;
and
something
that
now
exists
but
need
not
exist.
The
 understanding
of
a
possible
as
something
that
does
not
now
exist
but
 (necessarily)
will
exist
at
some
time,
a
version
of
the
principle
of
plenitude,
 is
not
typical
of
early
modern
writers. Something
is
impossible,
then,
if
it
includes
or
implies
a
contradiction— or,
if,
ontologically
speaking,
it
cannot
exist.
By
extension,
the
impossible
 can
also
be
defined
as
something
that,
if
proposed
as
true
or
actual,
would
 entail
the
incompatible
or
the
absurd.
As
at
least
one
philosophical
 lexicographer
of
the
era
argued,
if
one
would
postulate
that
God
does
not
 exist,
then
creatures
would
also
not
exist
inasmuch
as
their
being
is
 essentially
dependent
on
God.
Since
creatures
do
actually
exist,
the
claim
 that
God
does
not
is
an
absurdity
and
his
non-existence
an
impossibility.11
 This
variant
of
a
traditional
proof
of
God’s
existence,
whether
or
not
taken
 as
a
good
and
useful
piece
of
philosophy,
does
serve
to
indicate
the
 foundational
relationship
between
God
and
possibility
in
the
minds
of
many
 early
modern
philosophers
and
theologians. An
absolute
impossibility,
then,
can
be
defined
as
something
that
is
by
 nature
impossible
(impossibile
natura),
whether
logically
or
ontologically,
 even
for
God.
In
a
comparative
sense,
possibile
is
to
be
understood
with
 respect
to
a
particular
potency,
namely,
what
is
possible
for
a
being
 according
to
its
nature—with
a
necessary
distinction
made
between
what
is


possible
for
creatures
and
what
is
possible
for
God.
There
are,
in
other
 words,
things
impossible
to
nature
(impossibilia
naturae)
in
the
finite,
 created
sphere
that
are
not
by
nature
impossible
(impossibilia
natura)
but
 are
in
fact
possibilities
for
God
(possibilia
Deo),
who
can
accomplish
 whatever
does
not
involve
a
contradiction
or
incompossibility.12 This
extension
of
the
understanding
of
possibility
to
distinguish
between
 things
by
nature
impossible
and
things
that
impossible
from
the
perspective
 of
the
natural
order
points
toward
another
significant
distinction
concerning
 possibilia,
one
that
we
have
already
engaged
in
the
discussion
of
Aquinas,
 namely,
the
distinction
between
the
intrinsically
or
absolutely
possible
and
 the
extrinsically
or
relatively
possible.
Inasmuch
as
all
genuine
possibles
 are
possibly
for
God,
the
divine
power
extends
to
all
that
is
intrinsically
 possible
and
is
limited
only
by
such
things
as
are
by
their
very
nature
 impossible.
All
that
is
intrinsically
possible
is
extrinsically
possible
for
God —or,
to
state
the
point
from
the
perspective
of
the
divine
power,
God
knows
 all
possibilities
as
residing
in
his
potentia.13
The
distinction
appears
in
early
 modern
philosophical
texts
as
between
possibility
considered
absolute
and
 possibility
considered
comparate
or
respectively:
the
absolutely
possible
is
 that
which
does
not
involve
a
contradiction
and
of
its
very
nature
can
be
 done;
the
respective
possibility
is
possible
in
view
of
a
potency,
either
 active
or
passive.14 The
importance
of
the
distinction
becomes
evident
when
rational
 creatures
enter
consideration:
here
extrinsic
possibility
does
not
match
 intrinsic
or
absolute
possibility.
As
Rudolph
Goclenius
illustrates
extrinsic
 or
respective
(comparate)
possibility,
“it
is
possible
for
a
man
to
walk
since
 he
has
the
potency
to
walk:
it
is
impossible
for
him
to
fly,
since
he
lacks
the
 potency
to
fly.”15
With
reference
to
the
real
order,
specifically
citing
Scotus,
 Goclenius
defines
the
possible
as
“the
terminus
or
object
of
all
potencies,
 namely,
that
which
is
not
incompatible
(non
repugnat)
with
existence,
and
 which
cannot
be
necessary
of
itself.”16 Thus,
a
contingent
thing
can
be
identified
as
a
possible.
Beyond
this,
 however,
a
possible
can
also
be
defined
as
“a
thing,
which
can
exist,
that
is
 not
yet
in
actuality”17
or,
in
Burgersdijk’s
definition,
as
something
that
“is
 not,
and
is
capable
of
being.”18
In
this
latter
sense,
a
possible
is
to
be
 contrasted
with
a
contingent:
the
possible
is
something
that
can
exist
but
 does
not,
while
a
contingent
is
something
that
exists
but
that
can
cease
to
 exist.
As
Pierre
Bayle
would
similarly
point
out
early
in
the
eighteenth


century,
there
are
two
distinct
meanings
of
“possible”:
in
the
broadest
sense,
 a
possible
can
be
taken
as
something
the
existence
of
which
does
not
imply
 a
contradiction;
more
narrowly,
a
possible
can
be
taken
as
something
that
 does
not
exist
but
that
can
exist,
given
God’s
power
to
actualize
it.19 Goclenius’,
Burgersdijk’s,
and
Bayle’s
explanations,
it
should
be
 observed,
offer
a
twofold
definition
that
identifies
possibles
as
not
involving
 a
contradiction
and
as
contingents
(i.e.,
as
states
of
affairs
dependent
on
 God
as
creator).
They
also,
in
identifying
non-existent
possibles,
define
 them
as
capable
of
existing,
and
not
as
not
yet
existent
things
that
will
 sometime
exist.
Thus,
in
its
broadest
sense
as
something
that
does
not
 involve
a
contradiction,
a
possibility
need
never
be
actualized—it
is
 something
that
may
be
but
concerning
which
there
also
may
not
be
any
 determination
in
God
that
it
ever
will
be.
“Possibility”
therefore
is
not
an
 attribute
of
a
thing
but
“exterior
denomination”
referencing
the
existence
or
 potential
existence
of
the
thing.20 Building
on
his
definition
of
possibility
as
an
“exterior
denomination,”
 Bayle
adds,
that
possibles,
considered
absolutely
in
themselves,
do
not
 possess
an
intrinsic
perfection
that
impossibles
lack.
Rather
one
can
argue
 of
the
soul,
for
instance,
that
it
evidences
an
indifference
to
existing
or
not
 existing,
an
indifference
that
is
nothing
other
than
the
freedom
of
God
to
 create
or
not
create.
The
indifference
to
existence,
then,
belongs
not
to
the
 essence
of
the
thing
but
rather
to
the
will
of
God—indifference,
then,
 together
with
the
capacity
to
determine
the
will,
is
a
foundational
 characteristic
of
freedom
in
God
as
well
as
in
creatures.21
Even
so,
as
John
 Norton
argued,
something
is
possible
in
this
broader
sense
as
“founded
in
 the
sufficiency
of
God,”
who
could
bring
it
about
if
he
so
willed,
whereas
in
 the
narrower
sense,
the
possible
is
something
that
does
not
exist
but
that
 has,
granting
the
divine
will
or
decree,
a
definite
futurition.22
With
specific
 regard
to
possibles
understood
as
objects
of
the
divine
omnipotence,
while
 all
are
capable
of
being
actualized,
they
nonetheless
can
be
distinguished
 into
two
kinds,
namely,
those
that
God
wills
or
decrees
to
actualize,
and
 those
that
he
does
not
will
or
decree
to
actualize—or,
to
make
the
 distinction
in
another
way,
there
are
possibles
that
are
known
to
God
 eternally
as
in
potentia
in
the
sense
of
possibles
to
be
actualized
and
there
 are
pure
possibles,
known
to
God
as
intrinsically
possible
and
as
 extrinsically
possible
in
his
power,
but
not
to
be
actualized.23

B.
The
Foundation
of
Possibility.
There
is,
therefore,
one
more
issue
 concerning
the
nature
of
possibility
belonging
to
the
early
modern,
as
also
 to
the
earlier
medieval
discussion—namely,
the
issue
of
the
ground
or
 foundation
for
possibility,
a
foundation
beyond
the
basic
logical
question
of
 whether
something
was
neither
self-contradictory
or
incompossible
with
 another
possibility.
The
question
addressed
by
medievals
and
Reformed
 orthodox
alike
was
the
identity
or
nature
of
that
ground.
Specifically,
was
 the
basis
of
foundation
of
possibility
somehow
in
God,
and
given
the
 implication
of
the
answer,
what
was
the
impact
of
this
understanding
of
 possibility
on
the
language
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
in
the
 created
order?24
As
in
the
medieval
discussion
of
the
issue,
the
early
 modern
Reformed
did
not
allow
a
foundation
of
possibility
extra
Deum,
 whether
understood
intrinsically
or
extrinsically:
there
are
no
ideas
and,
 accordingly,
no
exemplars
of
things
independent
of
God.25
Reformed
 answers
to
the
question
were
typically
framed
with
reference
to
their
 opposition
to
Jesuit,
Arminian,
or
Socinian
views—and
the
Reformed
could
 differ
on
their
resolution
of
the
question. As
Melchior
Leydekker’s
account
of
the
question
indicates,
there
are
 several
answers.
He
poses
the
question,
“Whether
the
root
and
foundation
 of
the
possibility
of
things
is
in
the
decree
and
will
or
God,
or
in
his
 omnipotence?”
He
responds
negatively
to
the
first
option,
positively
to
the
 second,
with
citations
of
Franz
Burman’s
Synopsis
theologiae
and
 Christoph
Wittich’s
Theologia
pacifica—as
representing
the
first
option;
 and
Rutherford’s
Disputatio
scholastica
de
divina
providentia,
and
 Johannes
Clauberg’s
Elementa
philosophiae
sive
ontosophia—as
 contributing
to
his
solution,
Rutherford
for
lodging
possibility
in
the
divine
 potentia,
Clauberg
for
offering
a
useful
definition
of
possibility
or
 potency.26 Burman
had
raised
the
issue
in
his
discussion
of
the
scientia
Dei,
where
 he
had
identified
the
necessary
and
natural
knowledge
of
God
as
the
 scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae,
“antecedent
to
all
decrees
of
God
&
resting
 entirely
on
his
essence”
and
corresponding
with
the
absolute
power
of
God
 that
extends
to
all
possibles.”27
Accordingly,
in
Burman’s
view,
the
 foundation
of
this
necessary
knowledge
of
absolute
understanding,
which
is
 also
the
“root
of
the
possibility
of
things,”
is
“the
power
of
God
as
 inseparably
conjoined
with
his
wisdom.”28
The
object
of
the
divine
scientia
 simplicis
intelligentiae,
therefore,
is
all
possible
things
posited
in
some


order,
from
which
it
follows
that
the
divine
decree
itself
is
not
so
much
the
 orderer
of
things
as
the
divine
power
and
wisdom.
What
the
decree
does
is
 transfer
the
ordering
from
the
realm
of
possibility
to
the
realm
for
things
 that
will
be.
Yet,
Burman
continues,
this
is
not
the
final
definition
of
the
 matter:
given
these
considerations,
“the
root
of
the
possibility
of
things
is
 not
so
much
the
power
(potentia)
as
it
is
the
will
of
God,
upon
which
all
 possibility
depends;
[and
therefore]
nothing
other
than
the
will
of
God
can
 be
posited
as
the
foundation
of
this
knowledge”
of
possibility—and
so,
to
 this
extent,
he
concludes,
the
knowledge
of
the
possibility
of
all
things
is
 not
really
antecedent
to
the
divine
decree.29
Burman
has
focused
his
 argument
on
possibility
understood
as
what
is
possible
to
be
in
the
actual
 order
of
things
and
has
lodged
the
root
of
possibility
in
the
divine
will
and
 decree—and,
accordingly,
it
seems,
has
considered
possibility
primarily
in
 terms
of
what
God
has
eternally
decreed
to
do. For
the
basis
of
this
argument,
Burman
refers
his
readers
to
a
previous
 section
of
his
chapter,
where
he
has
dealt
with
the
issue
of
God’s
knowledge
 of
possibles
that
“neither
are
nor
will
ever
be.”30
God
knows
his
own
power
 and
so
knows
such
possibles,
limited
only
by
opposition
and
impossibility:
 God
most
fully
(plenissime)
comprehends
an
infinite
knowledge
and
 therefore
knows
the
infinite
imitability
of
his
potentia.
So
much
is
true—but
 for
Burman
the
issue
must
be
concerned
with
possibility
from
the
 perspective
of
human
considerations:
since
“God
cannot
will
or
operate
 other
than
as
he
has
willed
from
eternity,”
from
the
human
perspective
there
 are
no
possibles
conceivable
apart
from
what
God
has
willed
or
decreed.31
 This
understanding
of
the
possible
stands
against
not
only
the
heresies
of
 Vorstius
and
the
Socinians
but
also
against
the
Remonstrant
version
of
 scientia
media,
according
to
which
God
foreknows
all
things
as
prior
to
his
 decree.32 Wittich,
who
was
more
overtly
Cartesian
than
Burman,
first
“grants”
that
 “the
possibility
of
things
is
nothing
other
than
their
non-incompatibility
 with
existence
through
the
omnipotence
of
God,”33
drawing
together
 intrinsic
and
extrinsic
possibility
into
a
single
definition.
Thus,
from
 eternity
the
human
being
is
possible,
namely,
not
incompatible
with
 existence,
inasmuch
as
the
conjunction
of
body
and
soul
does
not
involve
a
 contradiction,
and
therefore
also
capable
of
being
created
by
God.
This
 understanding
of
possibles,
albeit
true
in
general,
must
not,
however,
be
 viewed
as
prior
to
the
divine
will—unless
such
things
might
be
willed
prior


to
the
divine
will,
and
this,
Wittich
comments,
is
absurd.
Anything
 conceived
as
conceptually
distinct
and
as
having
reality,
whether
mental
or
 corporeal,
whether
triangular
or
quadrilateral,
has
its
reality
by
the
will
of
 God—for
it
is
by
the
will
of
God
that
the
human
mind
is
res
cogjtans,
not
 res
extensa,
and
that
a
triangle
has
three
sides
and
not
four!34 As
a
preliminary
to
his
negation
of
the
views
of
Burman
and
Wittich,
 Leydekker
proposes
a
series
of
definitions.
He
first
offers
the
standard,
 logical
definition
of
possibility
as
that
which
is
“not
repugnant
to
existence”
 but
immediately
indicates
that
a
distinction
must
be
made
between
 possibility
with
respect
to
primary
and
with
respect
to
secondary
causality
 and
argues
further
definition
in
the
case
of
primary
causality.
Possibility,
 with
respect
to
the
first
cause,
is
directly
opposed
to
impossibility,
the
latter
 indicating
something
that
simply
cannot
be
or
be
made;
and
as
the
 “Philosophers
&
Scholastics”
have
noted,
there
must
accordingly
be
a
 “twofold
impossibility,”
either
an
immediate
impossibility
given
the
nature
 of
God
or
a
“mediate
&
hypothetical”
impossibility
given
the
decree
of
 God.35
Without
directly
making
the
point,
Leydekker
here
has
identified
 Burman’s
and
Wittich’s
definitions
as
at
best
partial,
as
secondary
to
a
more
 basic
definition,
and
therefore
as
problematic. God,
in
an
infinite
act
of
the
divine
mind,
knows
all
possibilia,
which
 considered
in
relation
to
the
potentia
Dei,
as
distinct
from
their
own
 potency
to
be
actualized,
are
infinite.
As
Andreas
Essenius
defined
the
 issue,
the
absolute
or
“simple”
knowledge
of
God
comprehends
the
 essences
of
things
simpliciter,
absolutely,
without
respect
to
their
 determination
by
the
free
decree
of
God.
He
clarifies
the
point
by
adding
 that
this
knowledge
of
simple
essences
is
antecedent
to
the
divine
decree
in
 signo
rationis,
which
is
to
say,
in
a
rational
manner
or
order
as
distinct
from
 a
temporal
order.
Such
antecedent
knowledge
of
possible
things
(res
 possibiles)
belongs
to
God
at
the
level
of
his
essence,
persons,
sufficiency,
 and
omnipotence.
The
reason,
moreover,
that
this
knowledge
of
all
possible
 things
is
so
intrinsic
to
the
divine
nature
is
that
“the
ideas
of
all
possibles
 are
in
the
Divine
mind”
and
that
“these
ideas
are
the
perfections
of
the
 Divine
essence
itself,
as
they
are
imitable
and
expressible
outside
of
God,
 and
are
known
as
such
by
him.”36
This
basically
Thomistic
language
of
 divine
ideas
as
exemplars
or
as
imitable
ad
extra
by
the
creatures
is
found
 with
some
consistency
among
the
Reformed
orthodox.37
The
language
of
an
 ordering
in
the
divine
mind
in
signo
rationis
takes
the
argument
past
its


basic
Thomistic
statement
into
conversation
with
the
later
medieval
 development,
notably
by
Scotus,
of
logical,
non-temporal
instantes,
or
 moments,
in
the
divine
knowing
and
willing.
As
noted
in
the
context
of
the
 medieval
discussion,
this
development
serves
to
clarify
the
issue
already
 present
in
the
original
distinctions
of
an
eternal
scientia
simplicis
 intelligentiae
and
eternal
scientia
visionis,
with
the
divine
will
intervening. Further,
as
Leydekker
argues,
the
possibility
of
things
(whether
 contingent
or
necessary)
is
also
twofold,
intrinsic
and
extrinsic.
Things
are
 intrinsically
possible
simply
when,
considered
in
their
essential
predicates,
 they
are
not
contradictory
or
repugnant
to
existence.
They
are
extrinsically
 possible
when
they
are
capable
of
being
made
by
virtue
of
the
efficient
 causality
of
God.38
This
distinction
between
intrinsic
and
extrinsic
 possibility,
as
made
with
respect
to
God,
has
already
been
noted
among
the
 medievals,
particularly
in
the
thought
of
Aquinas.39
Here
again,
the
 definition
counters
Burman
and
Wittich
by
offering
an
alternative
to
their
 resting
of
possibility
on
the
divine
decree,
but,
as
Leydekker’s
subsequent
 arguments
indicate,
also
stands
with
them
in
refutation
of
Jesuit
and
 presumably
Remonstrant
argumentation.
The
Jesuit
view,
according
to
 Leydekker,
places
the
root
of
possibility
and
impossibility
in
things
 themselves,
identifying
the
possible
as
something
in
which
there
are
no
 contradictory
predicates
and
thereby
lodges
the
foundation
of
the
futurition
 of
hypothetically
existent
things
in
the
things
themselves
and
not
in
God.
 The
“sounder
Scholastics
&
the
Reformed”
accordingly
place
the
root
of
 possibility
and
of
impossibility
in
God
himself.40 Possibility,
then,
is
identical
with
the
capability
of
God
to
produce
 something.
This
is
obviously
not
true
in
the
case
of
finite
causes—but
in
 God
“intrinsic
possibility
is
not
by
nature
prior
to
extrinsic
possibility,
nor
 is
it
the
cause
[of
extrinsic
possibility].”41
Possibility
rests
both
on
the
truth
 and
on
the
infinite
power
of
God.
The
divine
essence
itself
is
the
root
and
 rule
(radix
&
regula)
of
all
truth
and
accordingly
is
the
source
of
intrinsic
 possibility
as
well
as
the
being
of
things.
Accordingly,
“the
impossibility
&
 possibility
of
things
does
not
rest
primarily
&
proximately
on
the
will
&
 free
decree
of
God,
but
on
the
divine
omnipotence.”42 The
divine
intellect
and
the
divine
omnipotence
can
be
distinguished,
 while
still
allowing
the
utter
simplicity
of
God:
the
intellectus
Dei
extends
 to
all
knowables
(omnia
scibilia),
whereas
the
potentia
Dei
extends
to
all
 possibles
(omnia
possibilia).43
Further
distinction
needs
to
be
made,


moreover,
between
the
potentia
Dei
absoluta,
which
extends,
without
 restriction,
to
the
infinitude
of
all
possibility,
and
the
potentia
Dei
ordinata,
 which
extends,
as
restricted
or
limited
by
the
divine
will,
only
to
those
 possibilities
that
are
actualized.44 “God
knows”
and
in
his
knowledge
“passes
into”
or
“penetrates”
all
 things
“in
an
infinite
manner;
possibiles
however
are
not
infinite
[in
 number]
except
in
potency.”45
The
potentia
Dei
extends
to
all
that
is
 possible,
specifically,
to
the
possibility
of
things
(rerum
possibilitatem),
 which
is,
understood
logically
and
a-temporally,
as
in
God
prior
to
his
 willing.
The
possible
is
that
which
is
not
contradictory
or
repugnant
to
God
 or
to
the
nature
of
the
thing—specifically
the
possible
does
not
contravene
 either
the
goodness
and
truthfulness
of
God
or
the
divine
existence,
nor
 does
it
contravene
the
laws
of
non-contradiction.46
There
is,
then,
a
 correlation
between
the
power
of
God
absolutely
considered
and
the
realm
 of
possibility
as
such:
the
divine
potentia
absoluta
stands
over
against
all
 possibility,
defining
what
is
possible
in
an
ultimate
sense.
All
possibility
 belongs
to
the
purview
of
the
potentia
absoluta
and
what
does
not
belong
to
 the
purview
of
the
potentia
absoluta
is
not
possible.
Even
so,
Polanus
could
 declare
“those
things
that
will
never
come
to
be,
provided
that
they
are
not
 absolute
impossibilities,
have
being
in
the
omnipotence
of
God.”47
Resting
 possibility
in
the
divine
ability
or
posse,
Norton
indicated
that
“The
 sufficiency
of
the
Creator
is
the
possibility
of
the
creature.
The
possibility
 of
the
creature
is
nothing
else
but
God
able
to
create
the
creature
. . .
the
 futurition
of
the
creatures
is
nothing
else
but
God
willing
the
creature
to
 be.”48
Possibility,
then
for
these
writers
rests
on
the
divine
potentia,
futurity
 on
the
divine
voluntas. God’s
knowledge
of
the
possible
belongs
to
the
“natural”
knowledge
of
 God,
other
wise
known
as
the
knowledge
of
absolute
or
simple
intelligence —as
distinct
from
God’s
free
or
“intuitive
&
visionary”
knowledge.
The
 divine
natural
knowledge
precedes
the
divine
decree
in
a
purely
rational
or
 logical
manner
(in
signo
rationis),
according
to
our
finite
manner
of
 conception
and,
with
regard
to
possibilia,
is
a
knowledge
that
God
has
in
 and
of
himself
and
not
on
the
basis
of
any
things,
inasmuch
as
“prior
to
his
 decree
nothing
has
being
or
actuality
or
potentiality
(nullam
habent
 entitatem
vel
actualem
vel
potentialem)”
but
is
known
to
God
“in
his
 absolute
potentia
and
in
his
eternal
ideas,
&
accordingly
as
he
knows


himself
as
imitable
ad
extra
through
the
Creatures,
if
he
freely
produces
 them.”49 Distinction,
then,
must
be
made
between
the
purely
possible
and
what
is
 in
potentia:
“everything
that
is
in
potentia
is
possible,
but
viceversa
not
 everything
that
is
possible
is
in
potentia.”50
This
argumentation,
as
 developed
by
the
early
modern
Reformed
in
reliance
on
medieval
scholastic
 argumentation,
overcomes
the
obstacles
to
notions
of
possibility
found
in
 the
Master
Argument
of
Diodorus
to
the
extent
that
the
concept
of
the
 possible
is
removed
from
the
temporal
sphere
in
which
possibility
could
be
 understood
as
defined
by
eventual
actuality.
In
this
altered
understanding,
 the
possible
is
not
something
manifested
as
possible
by
its
eventual
 actualization
in
the
temporal
order
but
something
identified
as
possible
in
 view
of
the
power
of
God,
restricted
only
by
the
law
of
non-contradiction,
 and
capable
not
only
of
being
actualized
in
another
possible
world
but
of
 being
represented
by
the
continuance
of
a
potency
to
be
actualized
in
this
 actual
world
(not
actualizable,
of
course,
in
the
moment
of
its
contrary,
but
 nonetheless
present
as
a
potency).
God,
then, sees
possible
things
as
possible,
not
as
things
that
ever
are
or
shall
be.
If
he
saw
them
 as
existing
or
future,
and
they
shall
never
be,
this
knowledg
would
be
false,
there
 would
be
a
deceit
in
it,
which
cannot
be.
He
knows
those
things
not
in
themselves,
 because
they
are
not,
nor
in
their
causes
because
they
shall
never
be:
he
knows
them
 in
his
own
Power,
not
in
his
Will:
He
understands
them
as
able
to
produce
them,
not
 as
willing
to
effect
them.
Things
possible
he
knows
only
in
his
Power,
things
future
he
 knows
both
in
his
Power
and
his
Will,
as
he
is
both
able
and
determin’d
in
his
own
 good
pleasure
to
give
being
to
them.51

Thus,
in
order
for
possibilia
to
be
potential,
God
must
know
them
as
objects
 of
the
divine
willing,
specifically,
as
objects
suitable
to
brought
into
 existence
and,
as
an
order
of
things
compossible
with
one
another,
namely,
 as
belonging
to
the
divine
decree.
Things
in
potentia
must
not
only
be
 known
by
God
in
his
necessary
knowledge
of
all
possibility
but
also
be
 known
as
willed
to
have
future
existence
by
God—or,
if
understood
in
 relation
to
God’s
eternity,
known
to
be
willed
to
come
into
existence,
“for
 the
first
cause
of
the
futurition
of
things
is
the
will
of
God.”52
The
divine
 ideas
“prior
to
the
decree
of
God
at
most
are
possible
things,
since
the
ideas
 of
future
things
are
grounded
in
his
decrees.”53
Turretin
similarly
identifies
 the
divine
decree
as
that
“by
which
things
pass
over
from
the
state
of
 possibility
to
the
state
of
futurity.”54

Baxter,
formalizing
what
we
have
already
seen
in
Maresius,
clearly
 identifies
three
moments
or
“instants”
in
the
divine
knowing
and
willing
of
 possibles: Gods
Intellect
is
Relatively
denominated
Omniscient,
in
respect
of
three
sorts
of
 Objects
also
in
three
instants:
1.
In
the
first
instant
he
knoweth
all
Possibles,
in
his
 own
Omnipotence:
For
to
know
things
to
be
Possible,
is
but
to
know
what
He
can
do.
 2.
In
the
second
Instant
he
Knoweth
all
things,
as
congruous,
eligible
and
Volenda,
fit
 to
be
Willed:
And
this
out
of
the
perfection
of
his
own
wisdom:
which
is
but
to
be
 perfectly
Wise,
and
to
know
what
perfect
Wisdom
should
offer
as
eligible
to
the
will.
3.
 In
the
third
instant
he
knoweth
All
things
willed
by
him
as
such
(as
Volita):
which
is
 but
to
know
his
own
will,
and
so
that
they
will
be.55

Similarly,
“the
Will
of
God
as
Related
to
things
not
yet
existent,
hath
in
 several
instants
a
threefold
object,
(as
we
may
conceive
of
God
after
the
 manner
of
men),”
namely,
as
in
the
case
of
divine
knowing,
their
possibility,
 their
congruity,
and
their
future
existence.56
The
implication
of
Baxter’s
 argument
at
this
point
is
that
it
is
rooted
in
a
reading
of
“Bradwardine
and
 many
other
Schoolmen,”
probably
not
including
Scotus
at
this
point,
albeit
 echoing
what
we
have
identified
in
Scotus’
series
of
instants
of
nature
in
 God.57
The
more
Thomistic
Owen,
it
should
be
noted,
could
also
argue
nontemporal
“moments”
in
God—indicating
clearly
the
eclectic
reception
of
 the
concept
and
reducing
its
significance
as
an
indicator
of
Scotism.58 Maresius,
Baxter,
Stephen
Charnock,
and
Turretin,
therefore,
assume
an
 order
in
God
that
moves
from
pure
possibles
in
the
scientia
naturalis
to
 things,
indeed,
an
order
of
things
in
potentia
in
the
divine
decree,
to
the
 actualization
of
things
by
the
divine
will
and
known
by
the
scientia
visionis,
 which
is
considered
together
(conjunctim)
with
the
divine
decree.59
There
 are,
then,
two
(and
only
two)
modes
of
divine
knowing,
but
there
are
three
 relations
between
God
and
created
things:
as
pure
possibilia
or
mere
ideas
 in
the
mind
of
God,
as
possibilia
in
potentia
considered
in
the
decree
as
 ideas
of
things
that
are
compossible
and
will
be
created,
and
as
actualia
or
 things
created.
Maresius
does
not
identify
these
modes
of
knowing
or
 relations
between
God
and
the
objects
of
his
knowing
as
momenta
or
 instantes
in
the
divine
mind,
although,
given
their
distinction
only
in
signo
 rationis,
they
appear
to
be
what
others
using
a
more
Scotistic
vocabulary
 would
have
identified
as
non-temporal
momenta
or
instantes.60 Patrick
Gillespie,
with
reference
to
the
eternal
decree,
comments
on
 “eternal
acts”
of
God
that
belong
to
an
“order
of
Nature”
that
implies
“no


order
of
time,
nor
priority
nor
posteriority
of
that
kind
among
the
decrees
of
 God.”61
There
are,
moreover,
several
“rules”
according
to
which
this
order
 of
nature
is
to
be
interpreted.
Thus, According
to
the
futurition
of
things;
that
is,
these
decrees
and
eternal
acts
of
the
will
 of
God
about
things
ad
extra
without,
which
do
suppose
the
futurition
of
things
about
 which
these
decrees
are
past;
these
decrees
(I
say)
do
necessarily
suppose
some
other
 acts
of
the
will
of
God
antecedent
to
these
in
order
of
nature,
whence
the
things
 supposed
in
that
decree
had
their
futurition.62

There
is,
however,
a
finite
number
of
things
that
are
to
be
actualized:
only
 some
of
the
infinite
number
of
possibles
will
be
brought
into
being
by
God,
 “by
whose
decree
things
pass
over
from
the
order
of
possibles
(ex
ordine
 possibilium)
into
the
order
of
things
to
be
(in
ordinem
futurorum).”63 God
therefore
knows
not
only
the
past
and
the
present,
but
also
the
future,
whether
 necessary,
or
free,
or
contingent,
the
truth
of
which
is
not
determinate
on
the
part
of
 things
(ex
parte
rei),
but
is
such
on
the
part
of
God
(ex
parte
Dei).
Nor
is
it
 inconsistent
that,
according
to
its
infallible
futurition,
something
necessarily
eventuate
 and
come
to
be,
and
so
also
be
foreknown,
with
respect
to
the
first
cause,
that
 nonetheless
according
to
its
manner
of
production,
is
rendered
free
or
contingent
with
 respect
to
the
secondary
causes,
on
which
depend
the
denomination
&
specification
of
 [its]
actuality:
Contingency
and
freedom
are
inconsistent
with
natural
&
absolute
 necessity,
on
the
part
of
the
proximate
agent
determined
to
one
result
by
its
nature:
[so
 also
with
necessity
that
is]
antecedent
&
of
the
consequent
thing,
according
to
which
 something
considered
in
itself
cannot
not
be,
&
is
or
may
exist
in
a
purely
necessary
 manner;
they
are
not
[inconsistent],
however,
[with
a
necessity
that
is]
consequent,
 hypothetical,
of
the
consequence
&
relative,
on
the
hypothesis
(ex
suppositione)
of
the
 decree
or
foreknowledge
of
God
concerning
the
futurition
of
things:
For
indeed
a
 necessity
sequent
or
consequent
and
of
the
consequence
is
such
as
things
themselves
 bring
about,
indeed
as
fully
contingent
or
free,
or
as
indicated
axiomatically,
 Whatever
is,
of
itself
being
what
it
is,
of
necessity
is
what
it
is.64

A
future
contingent
or
future
free
act,
therefore,
will
be
uncertain
“with
 respect
to
us
&
secondary
causes”
but
utterly
certain
“with
respect
to
the
 first
cause.”65 Note
that,
despite
the
potentially
Scotist
or
Bradwardinian
sense
of
nontemporal
sequence
in
the
divine
intellect,
the
analysis
of
certainty
in
God
 and
the
root
of
contingency
in
things
still
coincides
with
the
basic
Thomist
 position—which,
as
we
have
seen,
Scotus
would
also
acknowledge
but
not
 emphasize.
Furthermore,
this
solution
to
the
problem
of
the
relationship
of
 the
possible
and
the
actual,
albeit
traceable
to
Scotus’
understanding
of
nontemporal
momenta
in
the
divine
mind,
cannot
ultimately
be
identified
as


purely
or
precisely
Scotist,
given
the
Reformed
approach
to
the
foundation
 of
possibility.
The
Reformed
root
possibilities
not
in
the
divine
intellect,
but
 in
the
divine
potentia
or
in
a
complex
of
essence,
power,
and
will,
inasmuch
 as
“the
object
of
divine
power
are
all
things
simply
and
in
their
own
nature
 possible”
as
they
are
objects
of
the
power
and
knowledge
of
God.66
“A
 possible
thing
is
that,
the
doing
of
which
may
be
an
effect
of
Gods
wisdom
 and
power.”67
Thus, entire
and
full
possibility
connotes
a
reference
to
the
productive
power
of
an
Agent;
so
 that
it
is
equally
absurd
to
say
that
things
are
only
possible,
because
there
is
no
 repugnancy
in
their
Idea’s,
as
it
is
to
say
they
are
only
possible
because
some
Agent
 can
do
them.
Inasmuch
as
the
entire
possibility
if
their
existence
imports
both,
that
 there
is
no
repugnancy
in
their
Idea’s
(which
if
there
be,
they
are
every
way
nothing
 . . .)
and
also,
that
there
is
a
sufficient
power
to
produce
them.68

As
Baxter
put
it,
for
God
“to
know
things
to
be
Possible,
is
but
to
know
 what
He
can
do.”69 Rutherford
deals
with
the
issue
at
some
length,
specifically
identifying
 the
present
real
order
as
but
one
of
possible
worlds
that
God
can
create:
 “God
knows
what
creatures
are
able
to
do
in
this
or
another
order
of
things,
 by
knowledge
of
simple
intelligence,
in
the
mirror
of
omnipotence.”70
 Rutherford
goes
on
to
comment
on
the
power
of
God
alone
to
make
“many
 worlds,
of
other
choirs
of
Angels,
&
of
infinite
species,”
and
to
 apostrophize,
“O
most
fecund
production
of
Omnipotence,
O
depth
without
 beginning,
without
end,”
on
the
infinitude
of
possibilities
coeternal
in
 God.71
Positively
citing
Cajetan
and
Suarez,
he
argues
that
God,
in
loving
 his
own
omnipotence
necessarily,
also
loves
an
infinitude
of
possibilities
ad
 intra.72 Similarly,
it
is
quite
clear
from
Turretin’s
discussion
of
the
divine
 potentia
and
its
object,
namely,
possibilia,
that
the
limit
of
the
divine
power
 is
not
merely
logical.
The
possible
is
defined
as
that
which
is
not
repugnant
 to
be
done
by
God.73
More
specifically,
there
are
two
ways
in
which
 something
is
understood
to
be
possible:
first,
the
possible
is
something
that
 “can
be
done”
or
is
“not
repugnant”
a
parte
rei—which
is
to
say,
something
 that
can
be
done
without
contradiction;
and
second,
something
that
God
can
 do
or
is
“not
repugnant”
a
parte
Dei,
not
a
violation
of
God’s
“most
perfect
 nature.”74
The
second
branch
of
the
bifurcation
involves
the
logical
issue
 that
God
cannot
do
things
that
are
by
nature
impossible
(impossibile
natura)
 because
they
either
involve
a
fundamental
contradiction
or
because
they
are


incompossible,
but
it
also
involves
the
nature
or
essence
of
God,
who
is
 good,
just,
and
true.
On
this
latter
point,
there
are
things
that
are
logically
 possible,
as
not
involving
a
contradiction,
that
God
also
cannot
do
because
 he
is
good
and
just.
This
latter
point,
moreover,
does
not
imply
a
“defect
in
 the
potentia
Dei.”75 There
are
a
series
of
variant
formulations
among
the
early
modern
 Reformed
concerning
the
source
of
possibility
in
God.
Several
Reformed
 writers
held
that
the
divine
intellect,
in
its
knowledge
of
the
divine
power,
is
 “the
source
or
root
of
all
possibility,”
but
also
that
all
possibility
ought
to
be
 therefore
referred
to
the
divine
potentia.76
Alternatively,
Petrus
van
 Mastricht
comments,
“God
is
incapable
of
this
or
that,
not
because
it
is
 impossible;
rather,
it
is
impossible
because
God
is
incapable
of
it.
For
the
 root
and
foundation
of
possibility
&
impossibility
is
not
in
things,
but
in
the
 power
of
God.”77
In
Turretin’s
more
clearly
Thomistic
terms,
the
“divine
 essence
. . .
is
the
foundation
[fundamentum]
of
the
possibility
of
things”
 inasmuch
as
the
possibilities
for
things
resident
in
the
divine
essence
are
 “imitable
by
creatures”
and
are
“capable
of
producing
them.”78
Similarly,
 Edward
Polhill
reads
Acts
15:18
as
indicating
that
God
has
known
all
his
 works
eternally.
But
there
are
distinctions
to
be
made
in
the
way
in
which
 God
knows
these
things—as
essences,
God
knows
them
in
his
own
essence;
 as
“works
to
be
done,”
he
knows
them
in
his
decree;
but
as
possibles,
he
 knows
them
in
his
divine
power
or
omnipotence.
Indeed,
there
are
“infinite
 possibles
lying
in
the
bosom
of
Omnipotence.”79
Or
as
J.
H.
Heidegger
 commented,
in
language
much
like
that
of
Mastricht,
“only
that
is
possible,
 which
God
is
able
to
command,
designate,
and
make
to
his
glory,”
given
 that
nothing
is
“possible
in
itself,
as
if
there
were
something
outside
of
God
 independent
of
him”—rather
possibility
resides
“in
the
essence,
power,
and
 will
of
God,
which
is
the
root
and
foundation
of
possibility
(possibilitas
 radix
&
fundamentum
est).”80
More
strictly
stated,
God
knows
possibles
“in
 his
own
Power,
not
in
his
Will:
He
understands
them
as
able
to
produce
 them,
not
as
willing
to
effect
them.”81
There
is
no
principle
of
plenitude
 here.
The
closest
medieval
parallels
are
probably
to
be
found,
not
in
Scotus,
 who
looked
to
the
intellectus
Dei
as
the
ground
of
possibility,
but
in
 Aquinas
and
Henry
of
Ghent,
both
of
whom
grounded
possibility,
 extrinsically
understood,
in
the
divine
potentia,
and
perhaps
in
Ockham,
at
 least
according
to
one
reading
of
his
thought.82
This
understanding
of
the
 grounding
of
possibility
has
been
neglected
by
proponents
of
the
Scotistic


reading
of
early
modern
Reformed
thought
like
Te
Velde
and
Bak,
resulting
 in
a
tendency
to
reduce
the
issues
of
possibility
and
contingency
to
matters
 of
logic,
without
considering
the
relationship
of
the
various
Reformed
 formulations
of
the
era
to
issues
of
divine
power
and
its
exercise
in
the
 providential
concursus.83 The
nature
and
existence
of
possibles,
then,
is
not
merely
defined
by
the
 Reformed
in
terms
of
the
logic
of
possibility
and
impossibility,
 compossibility
and
incompossibility.
The
understanding
of
possibles,
in
this
 older
theological
and
philosophical
sense,
as
directly
concerned
with
 ultimate
ontological
issues
of
divine
power
and
will
and
of
creation,
can
be
 identified
as
actualizable
rational
entities.
The
issue,
then,
concerns
not
only
 the
impossibility
of
such
beings
as
the
famed
hircocervus,
or
“goat-stag”— namely,
beings
that
are
contradictory—but
the
possibility
of
goats,
stags,
 horses,
cats,
and
so
forth,
or
perhaps
of
such
unrealized
creatures
as
 unicorns
and
griffins.
Logic,
which
is
actually
a
logic
of
impossibility,
does
 not
(and
cannot)
determine
the
extent
of
the
possible:
specifically,
logic
 does
not
generate
a
goat
as
a
possible
and
cannot
determine
whether
a
 unicorn
is
a
possible
(unless
its
existence
could
be
shown
to
involve
a
 contradiction).
In
the
positive,
ontic
sense,
possibles
are
divine
ideas,
 belonging
to
the
divine
essence
and
known
to
God
as
in
his
potentia
and
as
 imitable
by
creatures.
The
Reformed,
in
sum,
do
not
take
up
the
Scotist
 definition
on
this
point:
they
typically
refer
possibility
to
the
potentia
rather
 than
to
the
intellectus
Dei. 7.2
Absolute
and
Ordained
Power
in
Early
Modern
Reformed
Thought A.
The
Historiographical
Problem.
Reformed
reception
and
use
of
the
 distinction
between
absolute
and
ordained
power
reflected
the
varieties
of
 late
medieval
thought
and
therefore
provide
an
important
theological
or
 philosophical
index
to
the
ways
in
which
various
Reformed
theologians
 understood
the
relationship
of
God
to
the
world
and
the
issues
of
necessity
 and
contingency.
What
is
more,
their
reception
of
these
variants
also
 provides
a
historical
index
to
the
relationship
between
their
approaches
to
 possibility,
necessity,
and
contingency
and
the
medieval
backgrounds.
 Specifically,
how
the
Reformed
understood
the
potentia
absoluta/potentia
 ordinata
distinction
clarifies
their
relationship
to
Thomist,
Scotist,
and
other
 trajectories
of
argumentation
in
the
later
Middle
Ages—and
serves
to


indicate
fairly
clearly
why
the
mere
presence
of
the
distinction
is
not
an
 indication
of
Scotism
and
why
on
this
issue
the
Reformed
ought
not
 uniformly
to
be
identified
as
Scotist.84 It
is
clear
that
the
typical
seventeenth-century
Reformed
use
of
the
 distinctions
between
divine
knowledge
of
all
possibility
and
divine
 knowledge
of
all
actuality
does
not
reflect
Aquinas’
rather
limited
 discussion
in
the
Summa
theologiae.
There,
as
noted
above,
scientia
 simplicis
intelligentiae
appears
to
refer
in
a
rather
limited
way
to
not-to-beactualized
possibles.
The
Reformed,
to
the
contrary,
equate
the
scientia
 simplicis
intelligentiae
with
the
necessary
divine
knowledge
of
all
 possibility,
identify
the
realm
of
all
possibility
as
the
sphere
of
the
potentia
 absoluta,
and
set
the
divine
will
between
the
scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
 and
the
scientia
visionis
(rendering
the
distinction
virtually
identical
with
 that
between
scientia
necessaria
and
scientia
voluntaria).
Nonetheless,
 given
what
we
have
seen
concerning
Aquinas’
own
definitions,
notably
as
 found
in
his
commentary
on
Lombard’s
Sententiae,
it
should
be
clear
that
 the
definitional
structure
followed
by
the
Reformed
does
not
indicate
an
 accommodation
of
Thomist
terms
to
Scotist
understandings.
The
same
point
 must
be
made
with
reference
to
the
intervention
of
divine
will
between
the
 scientia
simplicis
intelligentiae
and
the
scientia
visionis:
Reformed
 definitions
that
identify
this
role
of
the
divine
will
or
decree
are
not
 uniformly
to
be
understood
as
Scotist
readings
of
a
Thomistic
distinction.
 Whereas
this
may
be
true
in
some
cases,
it
will
not
be
so
in
others— resolution
of
the
question
of
Thomist
or
Scotist
inclination
depends
on
the
 way
in
which
the
distinction
is
used
in
relation
to
other
issues
in
the
 theological
argument. Various
Reformed
writers
of
the
early
modern
era
access
the
distinction
 between
the
two
kinds
of
divine
knowledge
by
way
of
their
discussion
of
 the
radical
freedom
of
the
divine
will
or
divine
decree—a
pattern
of
 exposition
that,
given
its
apparent
voluntarism,
might
point
in
a
Scotist
 direction.
But
there
can
be
other
elements
of
the
argument
that
press
in
 other
directions.
Thus,
for
example,
Matthew
Scrivener,
after
indicating
 how
the
divine
decree
ought
to
be
considered
as
essential
and
therefore
in
a
 sense
necessary
in
God
but
also
as
utterly
uninfluenced
and
unimpeded
and
 therefore
in
another
sense
radically
free,
raises
the
question
of
the
 interrelationship
of
the
divine
knowledge
and
the
divine
will.
As
an
act
of
 will
directed
toward
known
objects,
the
decree
must
be
posterior
to
the


divine
understanding
in
which
those
objects
or
the
ideas
of
those
objects
 reside.
A
distinction
is
therefore
to
be
made
between
the
“Knowledge
of
 Simple
Intelligence,
as
they
call
it,
or
pure
Understanding;
and
the
 Knowledge
of
Vision
in
God:
By
the
first
is
meant
the
understanding
of
all
 things
possible
to
come
to
pass
by
the
Divine
Power,
to
which
nothing
is
 impossible:
By
the
Second,
the
understanding
of
all
things
future.”85
This
 lodging
of
the
ground
of
possibility
in
the
divine
power,
or
potentia,
as
we
 have
seen
is
not
Scotist—nor,
indeed,
is
the
sense
of
divine
will
intervening
 between
the
knowledge
of
simple
intelligence
and
the
knowledge
of
vision
 a
Scotistic
accent
thrown
into
an
otherwise
Thomistic
distinction!86 There
are,
arguably,
three
approaches
to
the
examination
of
this
issue
in
 the
historiography,
all
related
to
stages
in
our
understanding
of
the
thought
 of
Duns
Scotus
and
his
formulation
of
the
potentia
absoluta/potentia
 ordinata
distinction.
First,
there
is
an
approach
rooted
in
the
nineteenthcentury
assumption
that
the
language
of
potentia
absoluta,
wherever
it
 occurred,
indicated
a
doctrine
of
an
arbitrary
God
whose
will
alone
 determines
what
is
good
and
just.
Second,
there
is
an
approach
that
 developed
following
the
reassessment
of
Scotus’
doctrine
by
Reinhold
 Seeberg
and
Parthenius
Minges—according
to
which
Scotus
understood
 God
to
operate
within
the
law
of
non-contradiction
and
according
to
his
 nature,
which,
by
definition,
is
both
good
and
just.
Third,
there
is
an
 approach,
following
the
work
of
Courtenay
and
Heiko
Oberman,
that
 recognizes
different
understandings
and
uses
of
the
potentia
 absoluta/potentia
ordinata
distinction
and
that
has
also
identified
a
 development
in
which
Scotus
stands
at
a
moment
of
significant
alteration
of
 the
concept.
The
one
study
of
uses
of
the
potentia
absoluta/potentia
 ordinata
distinction
among
the
Reformers
that
takes
into
full
consideration
 the
work
of
Courtenay
in
arguing
a
development
of
the
concept
is
Jordan
 Ballor’s
examination
of
covenant
and
causality
in
the
thought
of
Wolfgang
 Musculus.
Ballor
has
argued
convincingly
that
Musculus’
reception
of
the
 distinction
was
not
Scotistic
but
represents
the
pre-Scotist
form
of
the
 distinction.87 B.
Calvin
and
the
Potentia
Absoluta.
At
least
as
early
as
Albrecht
 Ritschl’s
mid-nineteenth-century
studies
of
the
doctrine
of
God,
the
name
of
 Calvin
has
been
associated
with
a
late
medieval
nominalist
understanding
 of
the
potentia
Dei
absoluta—although
in
Ritschl’s
case
the
claim
was


tempered
by
the
recognition
that
Calvin
had
opposed
notions
of
God
as
ex
 lex
and
had
rejected
the
concept
of
a
potentia
absoluta
as
taught,
Ritschl
 infers,
by
the
doctors
of
the
Sorbonne.88
Still
others,
Émile
Doumergue
 among
them,
have
argued
on
the
basis
of
Calvin’s
rejection
of
“Papist
 theologians’”
language
of
“the
absolute
power
of
God”
that
Calvin
was
not
 influenced
by
Scotus.89
As
Wendel
points
out,
having
noted
this
 development
in
scholarship,
the
entire
question
of
Calvin’s
relationship
to
 Scotus
and
Scotism
has
to
be
assessed
in
view
of
the
significant
 reinterpretations
of
Scotus
offered
by
Seeberg
and
Minges.
In
this
context,
 Calvin’s
attack
on
a
“Papist”
doctrine
of
God
as
ex
lex
and
capable
of
 “profane”
acts
of
will
has
little
bearing
on
the
question
of
his
Scotism.90
 Thus,
Seeberg
understood
Calvin
as
holding
to
a
Scotist
version
of
the
 absolute
power
of
God—although
he
noted
both
Thomist
and
Augustinian
 accents
in
Calvin’s
thought
as
well.91 Still,
there
remains
debate
over
Calvin’s
reading
of
the
distinction.92
In
 Oberman’s
view,
Calvin
accepted
the
distinction
but
did
not
associate
the
 potentia
absoluta
merely
with
the
realm
of
possibility—rather,
for
 Oberman,
Calvin
understood
the
absolute
power
of
God
as
the
hidden,
 inscrutable
rule
of
God
beyond
the
law
(etiam
extra
legem)
albeit
not
ex
lex —a
reading
that,
if
correct,
would
place
Calvin
in
a
positive
relationship
to
 Scotus.
In
Oberman’s
view,
the
potentia
absoluta,
for
Calvin,
hovers
behind
 the
potentia
ordinata
as
an
“absolute
and
inscrutable”
power
beyond
the
 order,
thus
also
beyond
the
law,
not
accessible
by
human
reason
(and
 therefore
also
not
by
the
humanly
logical
law
of
non-contradiction),
but
 nonetheless
reflected
in
what
God
actually
does.
The
potentia
ordinata
 would
then
have
the
same
referent
as
the
potentia
absoluta
but
would
 function
as
the
powerful
commitment
of
God
to
maintain
all
that
he
does.93
 S.
Mark
Heim’s
essay
follows
Oberman’s
simplest
statement
of
the
 distinction,
both
identifying
the
potentia
ordinata
with
all
that
God
has
 actually
done
and
the
potentia
absoluta
with
what
God
can
or
might
do,
 with
the
qualification
that
this
does
not
violate
the
law
on
non-contradiction —thereby
missing
the
nuance
of
Oberman’s
point
while
also
accepting
 Oberman’s
explanation
that,
for
Calvin,
the
potentia
absoluta
“does
not
 indicate
what
God
could
have
done
but
what
he
actually
does.”94
Given
his
 lack
of
acquaintance
with
the
broader
scholarship
on
the
point—notably
the
 work
of
Courtenay—Heim
does
not
indicate
any
sense
of
the
coordination
 of
the
absolute
power
with
infinite
possibility
or
any
recognition
that,
for
a


significant
number
of
the
medieval
writers,
the
potentia
absoluta
is
not
 operative
power:
he
goes
on
to
identify
providence
as,
according
to
Calvin,
 “the
expression
of
God’s
absolute
power,”
even
though
Calvin
taught
that
 God
usually
operates
by
means
of
secondary
causes.95
Heim
appears
to
 equate
absolute
power
with
infinite
power,
and
he
concludes
that
“Calvin
 envisions
a
single,
unified
order
in
which
God’s
actions
partake
of
the
 potentia
absoluta
and
potentia
ordinata
at
the
same
time.”96
In
short,
 according
to
Heim,
Calvin
accepts
the
distinction
but
modifies
it
rather
 drastically. An
entirely
different
reading
of
Calvin’s
argumentation
is
presented
by
 David
C.
Steinmetz
and
Susan
E.
Schreiner.
Steinmetz
returns
to
the
point
 that
had
been
the
basis
of
an
older
scholarship’s
rejection
of
a
Scotist
 background
to
Calvin,
notably
Calvin’s
rather
strident
denials
of
an
absolute
 power
of
God—not
for
the
sake
of
arguing
that
Calvin’s
thought
lacked
 Scotist
backgrounds
but
for
the
specific
purpose
of
indicating
that
Calvin
 rejected
the
distinction
between
potentia
absoluta
and
potentia
ordinata.
 Steinmetz
examines
a
large
sampling
of
Calvin’s
objections
to
the
language
 of
absolute
power
and
concludes
that
Calvin
understood
the
term
as
 indicating
a
potentia
inordinata,
a
disordered
and
utterly
arbitrary
power
of
 God,
radically
separated
form
the
divine
justice.
Steinmetz
concludes
that
 in
Calvin’s
view,
“all
power
of
God,
realized
and
unrealized,
actual
and
 potential,
is
potentia
ordinata,
power
ordered
by
God’s
justice.”97
Schreiner
 concurs
in
this
assessment,
arguing
further
that
Calvin’s
sense
of
the
divine
 self-limitation
characteristic
of
Scotist
understandings
of
the
potentia
 ordinata
extends
to
“the
heart
of
the
divine
essence”—again,
with
the
result
 that
Calvin
understood
the
infinite
power
of
God
as
nonetheless
always
 ordinate,
albeit
incomprehensible.98
Schreiner
also
takes
the
step
of
 indicating
that
Calvin’s
assessment
of
the
distinction
was
“inaccurate”
at
 least
in
the
sense
that
Calvin’s
sense
of
a
radically
inordinate
divine
power
 did
not
reflect
either
the
original,
pre-Scotist
or
the
Scotist
usage.99
What
 also
becomes
of
interest
here,
in
favor
of
Steinmetz’s
and
Schreiner’s
 reading,
is
that
Calvin
does
echo
one
particular
medieval
opinion,
namely,
 that
of
Bonaventure,
Richard
Rufus
of
Cornwall,
and
Henry
of
Ghent,
who
 rejected
the
distinction
on
the
ground
that
the
concept
of
potentia
absoluta
 rendered
God
disorderly
and
irrational.100 Another
approach
to
the
problem
can
be
found
in
Helm’s
rather
extensive
 discussion
of
absolute
and
ordained
power
in
Calvin’s
thought.101
Helm,
in


effect,
reverts
to
an
older
understanding
of
Calvin’s
view
that
had
been
 expressed
by,
among
others,
Turretin
in
the
era
of
Reformed
orthodoxy.
In
 this
view,
Calvin
fully
understood
the
distinction
and
rejected
only
an
 abusive
form
such
as
he
encountered
among
some
of
the
scholastics
 whether
of
the
very
late
Middle
Ages
or
of
his
own
time,
perhaps
most
 notably
in
the
Sorbonne.
Calvin
is,
thus,
understood
as
positively
holding
 the
form
of
the
distinction
that
identifies
the
potentia
absoluta
as
 referencing
all
that
God
can
possibly
do
and
the
potentia
ordinata
as
 referencing
all
that
God
actually
does—and
as
rejecting
a
form
of
the
 distinction
that
assumed
the
potentia
absoluta
to
be
an
operative
power. What
none
of
these
studies
has
taken
into
account
is
the
rather
simple
 fact
that
Calvin
does
not
actually
pose
the
distinction.
He
objects
 specifically
to
an
operative,
ex
lex
understanding
of
the
potentia
absoluta
 and
makes
no
mention
of
the
potentia
ordinata.
Nor
does
Calvin
seem
ever
 to
have
referenced
the
paired
distinction
of
divine
potentia
as
either
 absoluta
or
ordinata.
Thus,
in
the
strictest
sense,
Calvin
cannot
be
said
 either
to
have
rejected
or
to
have
accepted
the
distinction:
he
simply
does
 not
pose
it,
even
though
his
rejection
comes
preciously
close
to
various
 medieval
rejections
of
the
full
distinction.
Steinmetz
and
Schreiner
are,
 therefore,
correct
in
the
assumption
that
Calvin
assumes
an
infinite
divine
 power
that
is
utterly
unconstrained
and
incomprehensible
but
never
 inordinata.
Both
of
these
approaches
stand
in
a
positive
relation
to
 Oberman’s
somewhat
more
paradoxical
formulation
of
the
problem,
 without
engaging
in
the
highly
interesting
question
of
whether
the
law
of
 non-contradiction
ultimately
references
God.
Helm
is
also
correct,
however,
 in
the
sense
that
Calvin
consistently
acknowledges
that
God
can
do
far
 more
than
he
actually
does
and
therefore
formulates
his
understandings
of
 divine
power
within
the
boundaries
of
the
classic
form
of
the
distinction
 according
to
which
the
potentia
absoluta
is
not
an
operative
power
but
only
 an
expression
of
God’s
ability
to
actualize
all
genuine
possibilities— although
the
actual
absence
of
the
formula
from
Calvin’s
work
stands
in
a
 certain
measure
against
Helm’s
broader
conclusion.
Heim’s
reading
of
the
 issue
misses
the
mark
rather
completely
by
its
conflation
of
absolute
and
 ordained
power. Arguably,
Calvin’s
formulations
stand
within
the
framework
of
the
 distinction
even
though
he
does
not
actually
pose
it
in
its
standard
form.
 Perhaps
he
did
reject
the
particular
formulation
or
formulations
of
the


distinction
with
which
he
was
familiar,
either
without
sensing
a
need
to
 offer
an
agreeable
formulation
or
without
knowing
that
there
had
been
a
 formulation
with
which
he
could
have
agreed.
He
may
have
also
been
 aware
of
the
medieval
rejections
of
the
distinction—although
there
is
no
 evidence
that
he
had
any
first-hand
knowledge
of
the
thought
of
 Bonaventure,
Richard
Rufus
of
Cornwall,
or
Henry
of
Ghent.
We
may
 never
be
able
to
determine
which
of
these
possible
solutions
to
the
question
 is
correct.
Perhaps
more
significantly,
apart
from
Oberman’s
argument
that
 the
utter
inscrutability
of
God
may
well
place
God,
for
Calvin,
beyond
the
 law
of
non-contradiction
(albeit
never
violating
it
and
perhaps
incapable
of
 doing
so!),
there
is
actually
nothing
in
Calvin’s
reading
of
the
distinction
 that
places
his
usage
into
the
very
late
medieval
context
in
which
the
 potentia
absoluta
is
an
operative
power,
albeit
not
necessarily
an
arbitrary
 one.
For
Calvin,
God
can,
absolutely,
do
more
than
he
has
done
and,
indeed,
 more
than
he
ever
will,
but
operatively
God
will
work
ordinately
and
never
 ex
lex.
We
can
at
least
conclude
that
Calvin’s
understanding
of
divine
 potentia,
if
placed
positively
into
the
context
of
the
distinction,
would
 reflect
the
most
basic
reading,
namely,
the
pre-Scotist
form.102 C.
Reformed
Orthodoxy
and
the
Two
Powers
of
God.
Whereas
the
 Reformers
did
not
use
the
distinction
between
absolute
and
ordained
power
 very
widely
and
Calvin
rejected
the
one
form
of
the
distinction
with
which
 he
was
acquainted,
later
Reformed
theologians,
beginning
with
the
early
 orthodox
writers,
rather
wholeheartedly
accepted
the
distinction
as
useful
to
 their
discussions
of
the
divine
will
and
power—albeit
typically
following
 the
earlier,
pre-Scotist
form
according
to
which
the
potentia
absoluta
was
 not
an
operational
power.103
Various
of
the
orthodox
writers,
notably
those
 who
produced
the
more
detailed
theologies,
discuss
the
potentia
Dei
in
 terms
of
the
distinction
between
absolute
and
ordained
or,
as
some
re-stated
 the
distinction,
between
absolute
and
actual
power.
Their
definitions,
 typically,
indicate
that
God’s
power
is
infinite
and
perfect
and
capable
of
 bringing
about
all
that
God
wills;
the
absolute
power
referencing
all
that
 God
can
will
or
do,
assuming
that
God
can
do
more
than
he
actually
does
or
 wills;
and
the
ordained
or
actual
power
referencing
all
that
God
has
actually
 done
or
will
do.104 In
nearly
all
the
more
extended
Reformed
expositions
of
the
potentia
or
 omnipotentia
Dei,
the
primary
issue
was
to
affirm
the
absolute
power
of


God
in
the
face
of
objections
such
as
the
seeming
failure
of
God’s
power
to
 extend
either
to
all
possibles
or
to
impossibles.
Polanus
and
Marcus
 Friedrich
Wendelin,
who
use
the
absoluta/activa
form
of
the
distinction,
 rest
their
argument
on
the
principle
that
God,
being
infinite,
is
infinite
in
 power.
The
“absolute
omnipotence”
of
God
is
such
that
God
is
perfectly
 capable
of
bringing
into
existence
whatever
is
capable
of
existing
(quicquid
 esse
potest).105
God’s
power
is
infinite
in
three
ways,
in
itself,
inasmuch
as
 it
is
identical
with
the
infinite
divine
essence;
with
respect
to
its
objects,
 since
it
is
capable,
at
will,
of
producing
innumerable
things;
and
with
 respect
to
the
acts
that
it
performs
or
is
able
to
perform,
since
there
is
no
act
 of
God
that
could
be
performed
more
effectively
or
excellently.
Just
as
the
 knowledge
of
God
extends
to
all
knowables,
which
are
infinite,
so
does
the
 power
of
God,
as
infinite
or
absolute,
extend
to
all
possibles.106
This
power
 is
absolute
inasmuch
as
God
is
not
limited
by
the
law
of
nature,
as
if
he
 were
incapable
of
doing
what
is
apart
from
or
above
it:
thus,
the
power
of
 God
“can
absolutely
and
simply
do
all
things
that,
absolutely
and
simply,
 are
possible,
namely
things
that
do
not
imply
a
contradiction,
and
which
are
 not
repugnant
to
the
will
of
God,
even
if
they
will
never
come
to
pass.”107 It
is
not
an
indication
of
a
limitation
of
divine
power
that
God
actualizes
 only
some
of
the
possibilities
that
he
knows.
In
an
absolute
sense
God
can
 actualize
any
possibility
known
to
him—it
is
only
in
a
relative
sense,
with
 respect
to
external
objects
that
God’s
knowledge
of
possibles
exceeds
his
 power.108
Nor
is
it
a
limitation
of
power
that
God
cannot
do
that
which
is
 impossible
in
itself
in
an
absolute
sense,
specifically
that
God
cannot
 actualize
contradictories
or
incompossibilities.
For
God
to
actualize
 contradictories,
he
would
have
to
make
things
that
exist
and
do
not
exist
or
 that
are
true
and
not
true
at
the
same
time—but,
as
Turretin
notes,
a
 contradictory
is
a
“non-being”
or
“non-existent
[non
ens]”
and
God’s
power
 is
concerned
with
“Being
[Ens].”109
The
divine
potentia,
in
other
words,
is
 concerned
with
potencies
(potentiae)
or
possibilities—and
it
is
not
a
 limitation
of
potentia
to
indicate
that
nothings,
non-entities
even
in
potency,
 are
not
among
its
objects. Significantly,
among
these
impossibilities,
Turretin
includes
alteration
of
 the
past:
God
cannot
change
the
past
in
the
sense
of
rendering
not
past
what
 is
past.
Here,
however,
he
offers
a
distinction
and
qualification
that
relates
 directly
to
the
issue
of
contingencies:
in
sensu
diviso
and
before
it
was
past,
 God
could
make
the
past
not
to
be
the
past.
Thus,
although
there
is
a


particular
past
event,
the
event
is
such
that
it
was
(and
in
a
sense,
is)
 possible
that
it
could
be
otherwise.
Still,
in
sensu
composito,
God
cannot
 make
what
is
now
past
be
not
now
past
“since
it
is
no
less
impossible
for
a
 thing
to
have
been
and
not
to
have
been,
than
[for
it]
to
be
and
not
be.”110
In
 short,
“with
God
nothing
is
impossible
[whether]
any
word
or
thing,
that
is
 capable
of
having
the
nature
of
a
genuine
Being.”111
The
last
phrase,
“quae
 potest
habere
rationem
veri
Entis,”
is
surely
reflection
of
the
definition
of
a
 contingent
thing
as
“quod
potest
aliter
se
habere,”
that
which
is
capable
of
 being
other
than
it
is:
the
possible
is
something
that
need
not
exist
or,
if
it
 exists,
could
be
otherwise. The
actual
omnipotence
of
God
is
what
God
wills
and
decrees,
often
 identified
as
the
omnipotentia
Dei
ordinata
or
ordinaria
since
it
respects
the
 ordination
of
God
and
the
laws
of
nature.
It
is
the
effective
and
working
or
 operating
(efficax,
operans)
power
of
God
that
works
in
all
things
in
 creation
and
conservation.
Accordingly
there
are
many
things
that
God
will
 never
do
according
to
his
ordained
power
that
he
could
do
according
to
his
 absolute
power.112
What
should
be
fairly
clear
is
that
Turretin’s
approach
to
 the
potentia
absoluta/potentia
ordinata
distinction
is
what
we
have
 identified
as
the
original
approach
to
the
distinction,
prior
to
Scotus’
 development
of
the
concept.
In
this
approach,
therefore,
regardless
of
 whether
his
reading
of
Calvin
on
the
point
was
correct,
Turretin
stood
on
 much
the
same
ground
as
Calvin
in
his
understanding
of
infinitude
and
of
 the
self-limitation
of
divine
power. The
place
where
Turretin
and
his
contemporaries
move
beyond
the
 sphere
of
all
the
early
Reformed
approaches
to
the
distinction
lies
in
their
 referencing
of
the
law
of
non-contradiction,
of
the
foundation
and
scope
of
 possibility,
and
the
issue
of
compossibility
and
non-compossibility
in
 relation
to
the
divine
willing
of
concatenations
of
events
and
things.
 Whether
we
accept
Oberman’s
reading
of
Calvin
as
understanding
the
 power
of
God
to
be
etiam
extra
legem
but
never
ex
lex,
Helm’s
reading
of
 Calvin
as
obliging
the
distinction,
or
Steinmetz’s
and
Schreiner’s
 assumption
that
he
rejected
it,
we
are
pressed
to
conclude
that
the
Reformed
 orthodox
are
not
only
invested
in
a
rather
more
scholastically
developed
use
 of
the
distinction
than
can
be
dredged
out
of
Calvin;
they
are
also
invested
 in
a
distinctly
more
ordinate
understanding
of
God
himself
according
to
 which
the
ad
extra
revealed
nature
of
God
coordinates
more
directly
with
 the
ad
intra
hidden
nature
of
the
divine
being.

8 Divine
Concurrence
and
Contingency 8.1
Approaches
to
Concurrence:
Early
Modern
Issues
and
Modern
 Scholarly
Debate A.
The
Modern
Debate.
The
argumentation
found
in
studies
by
Vos
and
 his
associates
as
well
as
the
counter-argumentation
found
in
Helm’s
essays
 call
for
further
discussion
and
for
some
critique
and
refinement.
 Specifically,
Bac’s
claim
that
the
Reformed
interpretation
of
the
concursus
 divinus
“as
dependent,
essentially
ordered-co-causality”
or
as
“an
 essentially
ordered
relation
of
dependence
between
superior
and
inferior
 cause”
is
fundamentally
Scotist
falls
into
the
same
trap
as
Bac
earlier
noted
 in
Stephen
Strehle’s
work:
namely,
reading
an
“indefinite
concept”
as
 evidencing
a
highly
particularized
school
of
thought.1
Bac’s
definition
of
 concursus
is
so
vague
that
it
covers
a
series
of
possible
readings
of
the
 concept.
There
were,
in
fact,
several
rather
different
understandings
of
the
 concursus
found
among
theologians
of
the
early
modern
era
that
fit
Bac’s
 general
description,
notably,
non-Scotist
understandings
that
argued
 different
versions
of
simultaneous
concurrence
and
others
that
argued
a
 “physical
premotion,”
as
well
as
assuming
further
distinctions
between
 “physical”
and
“moral”
or
“immediate”
and
“mediate”
concurrence.2 On
the
other
hand,
leaving
the
question
of
Scotism
aside,
Helm
arguably
 does
not
do
justice
to
the
issue
of
the
kind
of
freedom
and
contingency
 belonging
to
the
divine
willing,
as
described
in
a
series
of
instants
of
nature
 that
are
logically
or
rationally
but
not
temporally
distinct.3
As
Helm
quite
 rightly
points
out,
this
is
not
an
issue
addressed
by
Calvin—but
it
is
an
issue
 addressed
by
the
Reformed
orthodox
both
with
reference
to
the
eternal
 divine
knowledge
of
possibilities,
some
of
which
God
has
willed
to
 actualize,
and
with
reference
to
potencies
to
opposite
effects
simultaneously


present
in
the
human
will.
Whereas
Helm
acknowledges
that
in
its
 creaturely
application,
the
synchronic
contingency
of
possible
alternatives
 may
have
some
use
as
an
explanation
given
the
temporality
of
the
creature,
 he
argues
against
an
application
of
similar
argumentation
to
God
on
the
 ground
of
divine
eternity
and
simplicity.
In
the
case
of
God
having
chosen
 and
eternally
willed
“x,”
there
may
be,
Helm
indicates,
a
purely
logical
 alternative
of
God
having
chosen
and
eternally
willed
“y”—but
given
the
 divine
simplicity
and
eternity,
this
does
not
“constitute
“an
alternative
that
 could
have
been
exercised.”4
Helm,
in
other
words,
disputes
the
premise
of
 instants
of
nature
or,
in
the
usage
adopted
by
Vos
and
various
others,
 “structural
moments,”
in
God
and,
as
a
result
denies
that
there
can
be
 alternativity
in
God
in
the
sense
implied
by
the
language
of
instants
of
 nature.
The
problem
here
is
that
various
of
the
Reformed
orthodox
did
 adopt
the
notion
of
instants
of
nature
in
God,
precisely
for
the
purpose
of
 indicating
the
utter
freedom
of
the
divine
willing. Early
modern
Reformed
discussions
of
concursus,
broadly
examined,
 evidence
not
only
these
distinctions
but
also
debate
over
several
trajectories
 of
thought.
Moreover,
the
theological
disputations,
treatises,
and
systems
 produced
in
Reformed
theological
faculties
often
identified,
sometimes
in
 significant
detail,
the
medieval
and
early
modern
scholastic
backgrounds
to
 the
debates
of
their
own
era,
outlining
the
views
of
Durandus
of
Sancto
 Porciano,
Ludovicus
de
Dola,
Thomas
Aquinas,
and
various
later
 Dominicans
like
Cajetan
and
Alvarez,
as
well
as
the
Jesuit
writers,
Molina,
 Bellarmine,
Suarez,
and
Gabriel
Vasquez—often
giving
preference
to
the
 Thomist
line
of
argument,
albeit
not
without
debate,5
and
sometimes
noting
 a
Scotistic
alternative
as
a
minority
view.6 B.
The
Early
Modern
Issues.
The
logical
language
of
contingency,
 whether
synchronic
or
diachronic,
taken
by
itself,
does
not
and
cannot
 constitute
an
ontology.
Particularly
given
that
this
language
involves
 necessities
of
the
consequence
or
de
dicto,
in
and
of
itself
it
offers
logical,
 not
ontological
constructs.
In
order
for
its
implications
to
be
made
clear,
 indeed,
for
it
to
have
any
identifiable
implications
for
the
real
order
of
 being,
consideration
must
be
given
to
the
accompanying
language
of
 providence,
specifically
to
the
language
of
divine
concurrence,
or
 concursus.
The
doctrine
of
divine
conservation
and
governance
of
the
 created
order
is
the
locus
of
ontological
explanation.
It
in
the
locus
de


providentia,
specifically
in
the
definitions
and
discussions
of
divine
 concursus,
that
the
Reformed
orthodox
writers
offer
their
explanation
of
the
 way
in
which
the
being
of
the
entire
order
of
contingent
things
is
sustained
 and,
accordingly,
the
basis
for
their
understanding
of
the
relationship
 between
divine
causality
and
human
freedom.7
In
the
early
modern
era,
 moreover,
there
were
several
distinct
and
opposing
understandings
of
divine
 concurrence,
each
with
medieval
roots,
that
were
available
to
the
Reformed
 orthodoxy.
Their
choice
of
particular
understandings
of
concurrence,
 therefore,
relates
directly
to
the
question
of
the
Reformed
reception
of
the
 older
scholastic
tradition.
Examination
of
Reformed
approaches
to
the
 doctrine
serves
to
identify
the
medieval
sources
of
Reformed
opinion
and
 the
ways
in
which
the
Reformed
received
and
appropriated
medieval
 understandings,
whether
in
a
Thomist,
Scotist,
or,
indeed,
an
eclectic
 manner. The
Reformed
writers
of
the
era
were
in
agreement
that
human
freedom
 could
only
be
exercised
in
the
context
of
divine
providence,
specifically
in
 the
context
of
a
concurrent
divine
willing. Nor
is
an
intellectual
creature
exempt
from
the
ordering
of
the
first
cause
in
actions
of
 the
free
will;
since
it
is
utterly
necessary
that
each
creature
and
each
action,
and
even
 the
manner
and
completion
of
whatever
kind
of
action
it
takes
are
traced
back
to
God,
 as
to
the
first,
most
perfect
and
accordingly
most
efficient
cause.
Therefore
it
follows
 that
in
creatures
there
is
no
freedom
of
the
will
which
does
not
arise
from
 participation
in
the
highest,
uncreated
freedom,
which
is
the
first,
proper
and
 innermost
cause
of
all
created
freedom,
and
of
all
free
actions,
insofar
as
they
are
of
 that
sort.8

Use
of
the
term
“participation
[participatio]”
here
echoes
the
Thomistic
 language
of
participation
in
being—the
fundamental
premise
that
“all
 beings
apart
from
God
are
not
their
own
being,
but
are
beings
by
 participation.”9
To
underline
the
point
that
this
dependence
on
the
divine
 will
is
not
a
form
of
fatalism,
the
argument
continues
with
the
insistence
 that
“the
operation
of
divine
providence”
does
not
destroy
“the
freedom
of
 the
created
will”—rather
all
things,
including
the
will,
depend,
on
“the
 efficacy
of
the
divine
will.”
Therefore,
“the
freedom
of
human
actions
is
not
 destroyed
through
God’s
providence,
but
established.”10 The
beginnings
of
Reformed
appropriation
of
the
Thomist
understanding
 of
concurrence
in
terms
of
physical
premotion
were
seen
as
problematic
 early
on
in
the
seventeenth
century
by
John
Cameron,
who
argued
an


ethical
rather
than
a
physical
divine
motus
as
preceding
human
reception
of
 grace—his
point
being
that
the
will
ought
to
be
regarded
as
self-moved
 except
for
the
ethical
impediment
of
sin.11
Some
of
the
Reformed
 approaches
are
difficult
to
identify
with
precision.
Twisse’s
as
well
as
 Rutherford’s
thought
on
the
issue
was
quite
specifically
identified
in
their
 own
time
as
a
Thomist
praemotio
physica
and
critiqued
by
Richard
Baxter
 on
grounds
similar
to
those
of
Cameron,12
although
Twisse
was
also
 identified
as
holding,
at
least
in
one
place,
to
the
more
Scotistic
line
of
 argument.13
The
background
to
Rutherford’s
and
Turretin’s
doctrine
of
 concursus,
as
identified
by
their
own
explicit
references,
was
largely
 Thomist,
drawing
both
on
Aquinas’
arguments
and
on
those
of
later
 Thomist
thinkers—and
in
Rutherford’s
case,
identifying
Aquinas’
views
a
 illustrative
of
the
saniores
scholastici.14 Turretin’s
colleague
and
contemporary
Johann
Heinrich
Heidegger
 similarly
argued,
as
had
Franz
Burman,
for
two
forms
of
divine
 concurrence,
one
preceding
(praevius),
according
to
which
God
as
the
first
 cause,
in
whom
nothing
is
in
potentia,
predetermines
all
secondary
causes
 to
their
operations,
the
other
simultaneous,
according
to
which
God
 operates
in
conjunction
with
secondary
causes
undergirding
the
free
 operation
of
the
secondary
causes.
Whereas
Heidegger
appears
to
have
 advocated
both
a
premotion
of
predetermining
concourse
and
a
 simultaneous
concourse,
Burman
quite
specifically
distinguished
the
two
as
 alternative
explanations
and
argued
for
a
“predetermining”
concurrence.15
 Leydekker
and
Rutherford,
much
like
Burman,
assumed
the
need
for
God
 as
first
cause
to
move
or
excite
all
secondary
causes
and
defined
 providential
concurrence
as
the
divine
actus
by
which
God,
as
first
cause,
 excites
all
secondary
causes
to
their
actions
or
operations
by
the
application
 of
an
efficacious
premotion.16
By
contrast,
the
Scottish
philosophers
Robert
 Baron
and
John
Strang
were
critiqued
in
their
own
time
as
Durandian.17
 Baxter,
accordingly,
described
at
least
three
patterns
of
thought
rooted
in
the
 medieval
scholastics
and
issuing
forth
in
his
own
time:
he
proposed
an
 alternative
view
intended
to
resolve
“the
Controversie
between
Durandus
 and
his
Followers,
and
the
Jesuites
and
Dominicans.”18
He
also
identified
a
 Scotist
view,
and
while
indicating
an
appreciation
for
Scotus
on
the
point,
 Baxter
also
indicated
that
none
of
the
earlier
scholastic
resolutions
of
the
 issue
fully
satisfied
him.19

Reformed
orthodox
theology,
then,
evidences
not
a
single
view
of
the
 concursus
divinius
but
rather
a
spectrum
of
opinion.
The
Durandian
view,
 according
to
which
the
divine
concurrence
extended
to
the
establishment
of
 individual
rational
creatures
with
intellect,
will,
and
power
to
act,
but
 understood
the
creature
as
the
sole
cause
of
its
acts
and
their
effects
was,
 like
the
Jesuit
view,
identified
as
highly
problematic
by
those
Reformed
 writers
who
mentioned
it.
Nor
were
the
Reformed
typically
satisfied
with
 the
concept
of
a
purely
simultaneous
concurrence.
The
majority,
arguably,
 held
a
version
of
praemotio
physica,
a
view
with
Thomist
roots,
together
 with
a
language
of
the
simultaneity
of
potencies
and
the
logical
apparatus
 associated
with
synchronic
contingency. 8.2
Divine
Concurrence
in
Early
Modern
Reformed
Thought In
Turretin’s
view,
the
concursus
must
be
both
a
praemotio
and
a
 concursus
simultaneus,
inasmuch
as
there
could
be
no
simultaneous
or
 conjoint
action
unless
the
two
wills,
divine
and
human,
were
joined
together
 prior
to
the
act.
There
are,
he
argues,
three
ways
in
which
this
could
occur: That
two
free
wills
may
be
conjoined
and
agree
to
elicit
the
came
common
action
 simultaneously
and
immediately,
proximately
and
undividedly,
and
that
not
causally
 or
fortuitously
but
infallibly
and
certainly
so
as
to
imply
a
contradiction
for
one
to
 elicit
such
an
action
without
the
other,
either
[1]
both
ought
to
be
conjoined
by
a
very
 powerful
superior
cause
to
elicit
the
same
action
at
the
same
point
in
time;
or
[2]
both
 by
their
nature
are
determined
to
that
operation
so
that
they
cannot
help
producing
it.
 Or
[3]
one
determines
the
operation
of
the
other
and
consequently
determines
the
 other
cause
to
act;
for
beside
these
no
other
mode
of
conjunction
and
concurrence
for
 the
production
of
one
and
the
same
operation
can
be
imagined;
but
no
one
of
these
 three
except
the
third
can
belong
to
the
first
cause.20

The
first
mode
of
conjunction
is
impossible
because
it
would
subordinate
 God
as
first
cause
to
some
third
inferior
cause.
The
second
mode
of
 conjunction
is
impossible
inasmuch
as
God
and
human
will
are
free,
 specifically,
are
not
determined
to
one
effect.
The
third
option
remains,
as
 suitable
to
God—but
it
must
be
qualified
as
a
premotion
or
 predetermination
that
“conserves”
the
“freedom
of
will”
in
such
a
manner
 that
“it
can
always
be
indifferent
in
the
first
act
and
in
the
divided
sense;
in
 such
a
way
that
the
will,
when
it
determines
itself,
can
still
be
indifferent
in
 itself.”21

This
latter
point
of
Turretin,
that
not
only
is
the
will
indeterminate
“in
the
 first
act
[in
actu
primo]”
but
that
this
indeterminacy
remains
to
the
will
“in
 itself”
even
when
it
has
“determined
itself”
and
is
engaged
with
an
object
in
 actu
secundo,
is
crucial
to
his
understanding
of
freedom
and
will
carry
over
 into
his
understanding
of
human
freedom.
Turretin’s
approach
to
 indeterminacy
or
indifference
goes
to
the
heart
of
the
issue
of
freedom
and,
 in
the
case
of
his
discussion
of
human
freedom,
underlines
the
difference
 between
his
Reformed
approach
and
the
Jesuit
argument
for
indifference.
 For
Turretin,
there
cannot
be
indifference
remaining
in
the
operation
or
 secondary
actuality
of
willing,
given
that
the
will
has
fastened
on
its
object —but
his
understanding
of
freedom
is
defined
in
a
basic
way
by
the
 uncoerced
ability
of
the
rational
being
to
choose
and
in
choosing
pass
from
 indifference
to
determination
of
an
object.
This
ability
presumes
an
 underlying,
essential
indifference
of
the
will
in
its
primary
actuality,
just
as
 it
also
assumes
that
the
primary
actuality
of
the
will
(or,
indeed,
of
the
 being,
prior
to
any
operation)
does
not
dissolve
into
secondary
actuality
but
 remains
as
the
essential
foundation
for
the
operation.
In
parallel
with
this
 assumption
of
the
underlying
primary
actuality,
Turretin
will
also
assume
 that
even
in
its
act
of
choosing
one
object,
the
will
retains
its
simultaneity
of
 potencies,
namely,
its
potency
to
the
contrary. Significantly,
the
Reformed
tend
to
describe
divine
freedom
much
as
they
 do
human
freedom
in
terms
of
the
liberties
of
contradiction
and
contrariety.
 Perkins
notes
that
“the
liberty
of
will,
stands
in
a
double
power,”
 specifically, The
first
is,
when
it
wils
any
thing
of
it
owne
selfe,
to
bee
apt
and
able
to
nill
the
 same:
and
so
on
the
contrary:
and
it
is
called
in
schooles,
the
liberty
of
contradiction.
 The
second
is,
when
it
wills
any
thing,
to
bee
able
to
will
another
thing,
or
the
 contrary.
As
for
example,
when
God
willed
the
creation
of
the
world,
he
could
have
 nilled
the
same:
and
when
he
willed
the
creation
of
the
world,
hee
could
have
willed
 the
creation
of
more
worlds.
And
this
latter
is
called
the
liberty
of
contrariety.22

The
parallel
explanations
of
divine
and
human
willing
indicate
that
the
 faculty
psychology
model
used
to
explain
human
knowing
and
willing
 functioned
by
way
of
analogy
in
the
Reformed
understanding
of
divine
 attributes
of
knowledge
and
will,
an
analogy
supported
by
the
assumption
 that
human
beings
are
created
in
the
image
of
God.
In
the
context
of
 Reformed
understandings
of
the
contingency
and
dependence
of
created
 beings,
moreover,
the
parallels
also
serve
as
a
basis
for
arguing
that
the


divine
knowing
and
willing
that
there
be
free
acts
of
contingent
rational
 creatures
can
concur
precisely
with
the
dependent
knowing
and
willing
of
 the
creatures
themselves. Thus,
Turretin’s
underlying
assumption
is
that
the
finite,
dependent
will
 does
not,
as
dependent,
have
the
power
to
bring
about
an
action
absolutely
 independently:
its
ability
of
self-movement
is
itself
dependent—so
that
in
 the
case
of
free
choice,
there
is
in
God
a
parallel
knowing
and
willing
of
the
 event
or
act
that
concurs
on
the
level
of
primary
causality
with
the
human
 knowing
and
willing
on
the
level
of
secondary
causality.
This
assumption
 coincides
with
Turretin’s
only
slightly
reserved
advocacy
of
the
Thomistic
 understanding
of
providence
as
entailing
a
praemotio
physica,
and
it
 depends
on
a
view
of
the
universe
as
characterized
by
two
levels
of
 causality,
a
primary
and
a
secondary,
both
of
which
must
be
operative— indeed,
both
of
which
must
be
concurrently
operative
if
anything
is
to
 occur.
The
divine
willing
is
necessary
but
in
itself
insufficient
to
explain
 events
in
the
temporal
order—and
even
so,
finite
efficiencies
are
necessary
 but
in
themselves
insufficient
to
explain
the
same
events:
taken
together
the
 divine
willing
and
the
finite
causality
are
necessary
and
sufficient.
(Helm,
 by
the
way,
expresses
difficulty
with
such
a
construction.)23 In
conclusion,
the
favored
line
of
argument
among
the
early
modern
 Reformed
(as
identified
in
the
era)
was
rooted
in
and
adapted
from
the
 thought
of
Thomas
Aquinas
and
from
the
so-called
second
Thomism
of
 thinkers
like
Domingo
Bañez
and
Alvarez.
Advocacy
of
praemotio
physica
 on
the
part
of
the
Reformed
hardly
can
be
claimed
as
a
reading
of
Thomist
 formulae
through
Scotist
glasses:
the
arguments
themselves
and
their
 import
belong
firmly
to
the
Thomistic
tradition
and,
as
the
debated
points
 identified
in
the
writings
of
Theophilus
Gale,
Strang,
and
Baxter
indicate,
 the
Thomistic
and
the
Scotistic
approaches
were
clearly
differentiated
by
 the
Reformed
writers
of
the
era.
What
is
more,
insofar
as
this
understanding
 of
the
divine
concursus
provides
the
ontological
framework
into
which
the
 Reformed
have
interjected
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency,
their
 approach
must
be
understood,
at
the
very
least,
as
eclectic
and,
more
 probably
on
these
particular
issues,
as
a
kind
of
modified
Thomism,
albeit
 modified
by
the
language
of
simultaneity
of
potency
or
potencies
that
had
 become
a
standard
late
medieval
currency
in
the
wake
of
formulations
by
 Scotus,
Bradwardine,
and
others.

8.3
Concurrence,
Synchronicity,
and
Free
Choice:
Non-Temporal
and
 Temporal
Considerations As
already
noted,
there
is
evidence
in
the
Reformed
definitions
of
 contingency
and
freedom
that
elements
of
the
medieval
debates
over
the
 nature
of
contingency
had
an
ongoing
impact.
Thus,
some
of
the
Reformed
 philosophers
and
theologians
of
the
era
define
the
contingent
as
that
which
 is
capable
of
not
existing,
while
others
define
it
as
“that
which
could
be
 otherwise”
(quod
aliter
se
habere);
and
there
is
consistent
reference
to
the
 standard
scholastic
distinctions,
based
on
Aristotle
(particularly
on
the
De
 Interpretatione)
between
the
sensus
compositus
and
sensus
divisus,
the
 necessitas
consequentis
and
necessitas
consequentiae,
and
the
simultas
 potentiae
and
potentia
simultatis. Among
the
Reformed
writers
of
the
era,
as
recognized
by
the
authors
of
 Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
the
understanding
of
human
freedom
as
a
 species
of
contingency
draws
on
these
distinctions
to
argue
a
highly
 specified
form
of
primary
indifference
to
objects—a
root,
or
in
Gale’s
 language
“habitual
power”
of
negation
or
“radical
indifference.”24
Even
so,
 Voetius
and
Turretin
make
the
point
against
Jesuit
notions
of
indifference
 that
indifference,
or
simultas
potentiae,
exists
only
in
a
root
sense,
in
the
 primary
actuality
of
the
will
itself,
prior
to
any
operation.25
This
sense
of
 root
indifference
is,
moreover,
a
common
property
of
early
modern
 Reformed
thought—rather
well
and
succinctly
stated
by
the
New
England
 divine
Samuel
Willard
in
the
decline
of
intellectual
reach
of
Reformed
 orthodoxy
into
the
eighteenth
century: only
we
may
observe,
that
though
there
may
such
a
thing
be
allowed
to
the
Will,
in
 actu
primo,
which
the
Schools
call
Simultas
potentiae,
by
vertue
where
of
the
Will,
 according
to
his
its
own
nature,
is
capable
of
acting
or
not
acting,
or
acting
either
thus
 or
contrarily;
and
is
capable
of
acting
thus
now,
and
is
afterwards
capable
of
revoking
 that
act:
nay
indeed,
this
is
the
root
of
the
liberty
of
the
Will.
Nevertheless,
in
actu
 secundo,
or
which
the
Schools
call
Potentia
Simultatis,
which
is
in
the
Wills
applying
 it
self
to
its
act,
it
doth
not
then
act
Indifferently,
but
upon
choice,
by
which
it
is
 Determined.26

Willard
continues
that
“in
a
free
agent,
Indifferency
may
be
taken
away,
but
 as
long
as
he
still
acts
Spontaneously,
he
acts
freely,”
so
that
“it
may
well
be
 questioned,
whether
there
be
to
be
found
in
any
agent,
Created
or
Increated,
 such
an
Indifference,
in
actu
Secundo,
or
in
the
instant
when
the
Will
doth


exert
its
liberty,
for,
out
of
doubt,
it
is
determined
in
that
very
act.”27
Thus,
 as
Willard
implies,
in
actu
secundo,
the
potentia
simultatis
is
excluded
 along
with
indifference. Even
so,
the
root
of
freedom
must
be
sought
in
the
condition
of
the
will
 considered
in
an
essential
manner
(in
genere
entis),
namely,
simply
or
as
 such,
rather
than
considered
in
a
moral
manner
(in
genere
moris),
relatively,
 or
in
relation
to
its
various
states
of
sin
and
righteousness.
Turretin
then
 poses
the
question
of
the
formal
basis
or
cause
(ratio
formalis)
of
this
 freedom
in
indifference,
specifically,
whether
freedom
should
be
understood
 as
indifference
of
the
will,
in
actu
primo,
namely,
prior
to
any
operation.28
 In
this
primary
actuality
of
the
will
all
legitimate
choices,
including
 contraries,
can
be
understood
as
possible
in
the
divided
sense,
given
that
the
 will
possesses
a
simultaneity
of
potencies,
specifically,
potency
to
more
 than
one
effect. Both
Voetius
and
Turretin
hold
to
the
fundamental
indifference
of
will,
 but
it
is
not
here
that
they
will
ultimately
lodge
freedom
of
choice—rather
 they
insist
on
pressing
the
question
of
freedom
into
the
secondary
actuality
 of
the
will
and
the
composite
sense
(in
actu
secundo
&
in
sensu
composito),
 in
relation
to
the
issues
of
freedom
of
exercise
and
contradiction
(libertas
 . . .
exercitii
&
contradictionis)
and
of
freedom
of
contrariety
and
 specification
(libertas
. . .
contrarietatis
&
specificationis),
lodging
the
 formal
basis
of
freedom
in
the
“rational
willingness”
(lubentia
rationalis)
of
 human
beings,
and
raising
the
question
of
a
whether
there
can
be
potency
of
 simultaneity
in
willing.
The
implication
here,
as
with
Willard,
is
that
 freedom
of
choice
is
defined
by
the
unfettered
process
of
moving
beyond
 indifference
to
the
determination
of
an
object.
The
adversaries,
namely,
 Jesuits
and
Remonstrants,
argue
this
indifference
or
equilibrium
between
 acting
and
not
acting
in
actu
secundo
and
posit
it
as
the
basis
of
freedom:
 the
Reformed
deny
the
claim.29
As
Dekker
and
Henri
Veldhuis
indicate,
this
 “formal
freedom”
refers
to
the
“property
of
the
human
subject,
namely
the
 freedom
to
will
or
not
to
will
or
to
will
the
opposite
of
a
state
of
affairs”
as
 distinct
from
a
“material
freedom
. . .
with
regard
to
objects
of
choice
which
 can
be
effectuated
by
free
choice.”30
In
their
view,
the
former
is
invariable:
 if
obliterated,
freedom
is
removed—the
latter
is
variable,
differing
from
 person
to
person
and
from
one
state
or
condition
of
a
person
to
another. This
assumption
is
clearly
present
in
Turretin
and
the
other
Reformed
 writers
of
his
era.
The
varied
capabilities
of
human
beings
in
their
four


states
(innocence,
sin,
grace,
and
glory),
identified
as
their
material
 freedom,
do
not
identify
the
fundamental
nature
of
freedom
itself.
The
 formal
ground
of
freedom,
namely,
the
“rational
willingness”
that
belongs
 to
human
beings
by
nature,
identifies
freedom
as
such.
Accordingly,
 Turretin
concludes
that
the
foundation
(principium)
of
choice
is
that
it
is
by
 nature
“indifferent
and
indeterminate
in
the
divided
sense,
and
as
to
primary
 actuality,
and
the
simultaneity
of
potency;
but
not
in
the
composite
sense
as
 to
secondary
actuality
or
potency
for
simultaneity.”31
Choice
is
therefore
 free
from
coercion
and
physical
necessity
but
remains
under
the
extrinsic
 necessity
of
a
dependence
on
God
and
under
the
intrinsic
determination
by
 the
intellect.
This
dependence
on
God
and
determination
by
the
intellect
do
 not,
however,
undermine
liberty
of
contradiction
and
liberty
of
contrariety,
 namely,
the
formal
ground
of
freedom.
The
spontaneity
and
willingness
 requisite
to
choice
rest,
therefore,
not
on
an
indifference
in
the
will
but
on
 the
rational
judgment
that
is
in
all
human
beings.32
Turretin’s
solution
to
the
 problem,
then,
looks
remarkably
like
that
of
Aquinas:
the
will
follows
the
 judgment
of
the
intellect—it
is
intrinsically
determined—but
the
intellect
is
 capable
of
judgment,
and
the
will,
as
a
rational
faculty,
is
capable
of
 willing,
not
willing,
and
willing
otherwise
on
the
basis
of
the
judgment
of
 the
intellect. Helm
has
noted,
with
reference
to
this
argument
in
Turretin,
that
the
 translators
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
render
or
paraphrase
several
 of
the
key
terms
used
by
various
Reformed
writers
(notably
Turretin
and
 Voetius)
in
a
rather
unique
manner:
lubentia
rationalis
is
frequently
 explained
as
“rational
spontaneity”
rather
than
“rational
willingness”;
 indifferentia
is
not
taken
simply
as
“indifference”
but
is
qualified
as
 “structural
indifference,”
paralleling
the
qualification
of
contingentia
as
 “synchronic
contingency”;
ratio
formalis
is
rendered
“essential
structure,”
 rather
than
“formal
basis.”33
The
translation
of
formalis
as
“essential”
is
 particularly
misleading.
They
also
identify
actus
primus
and
actus
secundus
 as
“structural
moments,”
employing
terminology
taken
from
their
analysis
 of
Scotus,
notably
from
their
rendering
Scotus’
understanding
of
a
nontemporal
sequence
of
instantes
or
momenta
in
the
divine
mind
to
indicate
a
 logical
rather
than
a
temporal
distinction
in
human
knowing
and
willing
as
 well.34
In
addition,
this
consistent
use,
indeed,
addition,
of
“structure”
and
 “structural”
in
the
translation
of
these
terms
reflects
a
particular
construal
of
 Scotus’
thought
and,
with
reference
to
the
language
of
the
early
modern


Reformed,
a
potential
imposition
of
this
particular
construal
of
Scotus
on
 the
Reformed
materials. Against
this
approach,
Helm
has
made
a
significant
point
with
regard
to
 the
early
modern
Reformed
understanding
of
a
moment
of
indifference
in
 the
process
of
human
willing:
whereas
the
freedom
of
God’s
eternal
willing
 can
be
understood
in
terms
of
logical
or,
as
the
authors
of
Reformed
 Thought
on
Freedom
identify
them,
“structural”
moments,
Helm
argues
that
 such
a
construct
cannot
be
readily
invoked
as
a
way
of
overcoming
issues
 of
determination
in
human
willing,
given
that
according
to
the
Reformed
 orthodox,
human
will
is
understood
specifically
as
a
movement
from
an
 initial
indifference
to
the
determination
of
an
object.
In
Helm’s
view,
“once
 all
the
requisites
for
the
action
are
in
place,”
indifference
has
been
 overcome
and
the
compound
sense
is
the
only
proper
description
of
the
 choice
or
event:
A
has
willed
p,
and
it
is
no
longer
possible
that
A
will
notp.35 Still,
over
against
Helm’s
reading
of
the
instantes
or
momenta
as
 referenced
in
Twisse,
Turretin,
Voetius,
and
others,
these
are
not
to
be
 regarded
as
merely
“distinctions
of
human
reasoning”
intended
to
clarify
 the
doctrine
of
God—they
are
distinctions
that
these
Reformed
writers,
like
 Scotus
and
others
before
them,
held
to
be
in
God,
just
as
they
assumed
an
 order
of
divine
decrees
or
a
sequence
of
logical
gradus
in
the
decree
in
their
 doctrines
of
predestination.36
Similarly,
while
asserting
that
God
has
 ultimately
only
one
will,
virtually
all
scholastics,
whether
medieval
or
 modern,
made
distinctions
between
the
prior
divine
knowledge
of
all
 possibility
and
the
logically
subsequent
eternal
divine
knowledge
of
all
 actuality,
the
latter
standing
posterior
to
the
divine
will—also
a
nontemporal
sequence,
specifically,
a
logical
sequence
in
the
divine
willing.37
 Thus,
in
arguing
the
freedom
of
the
divine
decrees,
“we
all
know
that
 distinction
of
Instants
in
Order
and
Nature,
do
not
infer
a
necessary
 distinction
in
duration:
but
that
both
Nature
and
Decrees
might
be
coequal
 in
eternity.”38
The
point
that
must
be
maintained,
in
some
disagreement
with
 Vos,
is
that
the
concept
of
instantes
naturae,
however
one
translates
it,
 applies
differently
to
eternal,
simple
being
than
to
temporal
composite
 beings
in
the
specific
case
of
“movement”
from
primary
to
secondary
 actuality,
which
will
imply
diachronicity
in
temporal
beings.
This
difference
 in
application,
moreover,
will
come
distinctly
into
play
when
issues
of
a


concurrent
divine
and
human
willing
of
the
same
effect
are
being
 considered. Whereas
a
certain
kind
of
indifference
can
be
attributed
to
the
human
will
 purely
as
a
faculty,
prior
to
its
operation,
in
its
primary
actuality
(in
actu
 primo),
this
indifference
is
not
capable
of
being
juxtaposed
merely
logically
 or
“structurally”
(as
it
could
be
in
God)
with
the
operation
of
the
will
in
 choosing
an
object,
namely,
the
secondary
actuality
(actus
secundus)
of
the
 will.39
The
priority
of
actus
primus
over
actus
secundus
is
not
merely
 logical
or
“structural”—it
implies,
certainly
a
non-temporal
or
structural
 priority
of
the
primary
over
the
secondary
actuality,
but
the
movement
of
 the
will
into
its
secondary
actuality
is
also
a
temporal
event.40
The
will
does
 not
remain
in
actu
primo
with
regard
to
a
particular
object
in
the
moment
 that
it
engages
that
object
in
actu
secundo.
The
will
also,
however,
 continues
to
possess
its
essential
character
and,
therefore,
it
retains
its
actus
 primus
indifference
both
with
regard
to
other
objects
and,
indeed,
with
 regard
to
this
particular
object
in
another
temporal
moment—just
as
the
 unactualized
potency
to
do
otherwise
also
remains,
but
only
as
potency. In
other
words,
when
a
will
that
is
capable
of
exercising
liberty
of
 contrariety
and
choosing
between
p
and
not-p
chooses
one
or
the
other
 option,
its
primal
indifference
has
given
way,
in
and
through
the
interaction
 of
intellect
and
will,
to
actual
preference.
And
the
contrary
possibility,
 although
logically
identifiable,
is
now
temporally
incapable
of
being
 actualized.
There
may,
arguably,
be
a
very
restricted
non-temporal,
logical
 sense
in
which
the
will
in
its
primary
actuality
can
still
reference
the
 contrary
option,
thereby
finding
assurance
that
the
choice
could
have
been
 otherwise
and
is
therefore
clearly
contingent
and
free—but
only
in
the
 divided
sense,
given
that
there
is
no
potency
of
simultaneity
(potentia
 simultatis).41
At
t1,
with
his
will
not
yet
engaged,
in
Turretin’s
and
Voetius’
 language,
in
actu
primo
and
arguably
in
a
state
of
indifference,
Socrates
has
 the
potency
to
run
or
not
to
run.
When,
at
t2,
in
actu
secundo,
Socrates
is
 actively
willing
to
sit
or
be
seated,
there
is
a
sense
in
which
he
could
be
 considered
as
in
actu
primo
retaining
the
potency
to
run
or
be
running.
 Thus,
the
possibility
of
contraries
resides
in
the
will
in
actu
primo;
the
 impossibility
of
contraries
in
the
composite
sense
characterizes
the
will
in
 actu
secundo.
That
impossibility
is
both
logical
and
real
specifically
 because
in
the
temporal
passage
from
the
first
moment
to
the
second
what
 could
once
have
been
otherwise
afterward
cannot.
But
still,
in
actu
secundo,


recognizing
that
there
can
be
no
potentia
simultatis,
there
remains
the
 unactualized
potency
to
do
otherwise—so
that,
in
the
divided
sense,
while
 Socrates
sits,
it
is
possible
per
potentiam
that
he
runs.42 At
least
one
philosophy
text
of
the
era,
used
in
Reformed
circles,
began
 its
discussion
of
act
and
potency
with
the
rule
a
potentia
ad
actum,
sive
a
 posse
ad
esse
non
valet
consequentia—namely,
that
actuality
or
being
does
 not
follow
as
a
consequence
from
potency
or
possibility—posed
specifically
 against
the
Megarian
view
referenced
(and
refuted)
by
Aristotle
in
 Metaphysics
IX,
that
potencies
or
possibilities
must
result
in
actualities
at
 some
time.
As
Daniel
Stahl,
the
author
of
the
text
argues,
if
it
were
true
that
 actualities
followed
as
a
consequence
from
potencies,
there
would
 ultimately
be
no
unactualized
potencies
and,
by
implication,
potency
and
 act
would
be
identical—at
least
in
the
sense
that
if
peace
is
possible,
there
 must
be
peace
or
if
Peter
is
able
to
walk,
he
must
be
walking—which
is
 absurd.43
Potencies
need
not
be
actualized.
This
understanding
represents
a
 reception
of
the
majority
reading
of
Aristotle,
and
Scotus’
approach
to
 contingency
was
not
needed
to
arrive
at
it. There
is
one
further
ingredient
in
this
understanding
of
the
various
 characteristic
of
knowing,
willing,
and
choosing,
belonging
to
its
 understanding
of
alternativity
that
sets
it
distinct
from
modern
compatibilist
 argumentation.
The
compatibilist
can
allow
for
choice,
indeed,
for
a
version
 of
alternativity
on
the
assumption
that
the
will
can
and
in
fact
will
choose
a
 different
end
or
object
if
something,
whether
in
the
background
or
in
the
 circumstances
surrounding
the
choice,
is
different.
All
things
being
equal,
 however,
both
the
past
and
the
present
situation
being
identical,
the
choice
 will
be
the
same.
The
older
Reformed
view
and
the
modern
compatibilist
 view
are,
admittedly,
very
close
at
this
point.
There
is,
however,
a
 difference
that
can
be
identified
in
the
retention
of
the
fourfold
causality
in
 the
older
Reformed
view
and
its
loss,
specifically,
the
loss
of
an
inwardly
 determined
final
causality
in
the
classical
compatibilist
view.
This
loss
is
 clearly
identifiable
in
the
thought
of
Thomas
Hobbes
and
later
in
the
 theology
of
Jonathan
Edwards.
In
Hobbes
and
Edwards,
finality
is
either
 redefined
or
utterly
missing,
yielding
the
result
that
future
contingencies
are
 identified
as
such
not
because
they
could
be
otherwise,
but
because
they
are
 epistemologically
indeterminate.
In
neither
case,
Hobbes
or
Edwards,
is
 there
a
prior
moment
of
genuine
indifference,
unclogged
by
any
“predetermining
Bias
or
Preponderation,”44
whereas
in
the
early
modern


Reformed
understanding,
there
appears
to
be
precisely
such
a
moment,
a
 moment
in
which
the
final
cause
or
goal
of
the
act
is
freely
determined
by
 the
conjoint
working
of
intellect
and
in
relation
to
a
particular
object.
The
 older
faculty
psychology
recognized
habits
and
dispositions
that
define
 capabilities
but
not
predispositions
that
rule
intellect
and
will.
Accordingly,
 contrary
to
the
assumption
of
Edwards,
they
assume
a
“Power
of
chusing
 different
in
given
Causes.”45
All
things
being
equal,
the
past
and
present
 situation
being
identical,
the
choice
can
be
different
inasmuch
as
the
 intellect
can
freely
judge
differently
in
its
determination
of
an
object
and
the
 will
can
freely
act
differently
as
it
moves
from
its
root
indifference
to
the
 election
or
rejection
of
the
object.
The
traditional
scholastic
view,
whether
 Thomistic,
or
Scotistic,
or
of
other
background,
assumed
that
“since
human
 acts
are
contingent,
they
cannot
be
necessitated
by
their
causes.”46 With
this
understanding
of
liberties
of
contradiction
and
of
contrariety
 and
with
recognition
of
the
impossibilities
of
contraries
in
the
composite
 sense
in
view,
Charnock
could
declare, God
did
not
foreknow
the
actions
of
man,
as
necessary,
but
as
free. . . .
Man
hath
a
 power
to
do
otherwise
than
that
which
God
foreknows
he
will
do:
Adam
was
not
 determin’d
by
any
inward
necessity
to
Fall,
nor
any
man
by
inward
necessity
to
 commit
this
or
that
particular
sin;
but
God
foresaw
that
he
would
fall,
and
Fall
freely
 . . .
and
how
that
Free-Will
of
man
will
comply
with
this,
or
refuse
that;
he
changes
 not
the
manner
of
the
Creatures
operation,
whatsoever
it
be.47

“Man
hath
a
power
to
do
otherwise
than
that
which
God
foreknows
he
will
 do”—Charnock’s
point
is
not
that
a
human
act
might
falsify
divine
 foreknowledge.
Rather,
he
assumes
that
foreknowledge
per
se
does
not
 necessitate
an
event.
Nor
is
his
point
that
a
human
being
can
actually
 accomplish
something
contrary
to
what
he
is
accomplishing,
namely,
 violating
the
law
of
non-contradiction.
Rather
he
is
asserting
that
in
the
 moment
of
actually
doing
x,
a
human
being
has
also
the
power
or
potency
 of
not
doing
x.
Thus,
inasmuch
as
the
certainty
of
divine
knowledge
does
 not
necessitate
an
act
and
inasmuch
as
God
foreknows
free
acts
as
free,
 there
is
to
be
acknowledged
a
power
or
potency
in
human
beings
to
do
 otherwise,
that
this
potency
(albeit
no
longer
realizable)
exists
in
the
very
 moment
that
God
foreknows
an
act
to
occur,
and
that
because
of
this
 potency
the
act
could
have
been
otherwise,
indeed,
in
a
divided
sense
could
 be
otherwise.
And,
of
course,
by
implication,
if
a
person
exercises
his
 power
to
do
otherwise,
God
would
have
foreknown
it.
Charnock’s
point
is


simply
that
humans
have
resident
potencies
to
do
things
that
they
are
not
 doing,
as
we
have
seen
the
Philosopher
note
in
Metaphysics,
IX.3,
against
 the
Megarians,48
and
that
this
resident
potency
to
do
otherwise
is
requisite
 to
and
an
index
of
human
freedom. This
point
allows
us
to
return
to
the
placement
of
freedom,
by
Turretin
 and
others,
not
in
the
actus
primus
indifference
of
the
will,
but
in
the
actus
 secundus
“rational
willingness.”
Turretin,
arguably,
assumed
that
the
 underlying
requirement
for
freedom
of
choice
was
a
fundamental
 spontaneity
of
the
will
resting
on
this
essential
or
root
indifference
in
 primary
actuality—with
the
indifference
defined
in
terms
of
a
simultaneity
 of
potencies,49
but
rather
than
rest
his
understanding
of
freedom
radically
in
 this
indifference,
as
did
the
Molinists,
he
rested
it
in
the
uncoerced
or
 spontaneous
passage,
on
the
basis
of
an
uncoerced
judgment,
from
the
 indifferent
actus
primus
to
the
determinate
actus
secundus. Here
we
need
to
differ
with
the
rendering
of
ratio
formalis
as
“essential
 structure”
and
the
reading
of
“rational
spontaneity
[lubentia
rationalis]”
 found
in
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom,
although
not
with
its
 interpretation
of
the
document.
Turretin’s
full
statement
reads,
“Cum
ergo
 ratio
formalis
libertatis
non
posita
sit
in
indifferentia;
non
potest
alibi
 quaeri,
quam
in
lubentia
rationali,
per
quam
homo
facit
quod
lubet
praevio
 rationis
judicio:
Ut
hic
necessario
duo
conjugenda
veniant
ad
eam
 constituendam”—“Since
therefore
the
rational
basis
of
freedom
may
not
be
 placed
in
indifference;
it
cannot
be
sought
except
in
the
rational
willingness,
 by
which
a
person
does
as
he
pleases
by
[means
of]
a
preceding
judgment
 of
reason.”50 What
has
intervened
between
the
multiple
potencies
resident
indifferently
 in
the
will
in
actu
primo
and
actualization
by
the
will
of
one
potency
rather
 than
another
in
actu
secundo
is
the
rational
judgment.
As
Turretin
had
also
 indicated,
the
will
follows
the
last
determinate
judgment
of
the
practical
 intellect.
The
“spontaneity”
or,
better,
the
“rational
willingness”
of
the
will
 is
its
capacity,
as
itself
a
rational
faculty,
to
act
without
hindrance
on
the
 basis
of
the
judgment
of
the
intellect.
The
freedom
of
choice
is
not
 constituted
by
the
root
indifference
of
the
will,
although
clearly
it
could
not
 exist
without
this
indifference:
one
might
say
that,
for
Turretin,
this
root
 indifference,
which
he
views
as
a
result
of
human
mutability,
is
a
necessary
 but
not
sufficient
condition
for
human
freedom.51
Freedom
is
constituted
 formally—its
ratio
formalis—by
the
willing
response
to
a
rational
judgment


made
by
the
intellect.
Arguably,
Turretin
grounds
alternativity
in
the
 intellective
act,
given
that
he
does
not
assume
that
freedom
resides
in
the
 ability
of
the
will
as
it
engages
an
object
in
actu
secundo
to
refuse
the
 judgment
of
the
practical
intellect. The
issue
is
quite
clear
in
a
passage
from
Turretin’s
Institutio—although,
 if
the
traditional
sense
of
Turretin’s
terms
were
ignored,
the
passage
could
 be
pressed
into
a
deterministic
reading: Although
men’s
actions
may
be
free,
inasmuch
as
they
are
spontaneous
and
[rest
on]
a
 previous
judgment
of
reason,
they
do
not
cease
to
be
necessary
with
respect
to
the
 divine
decree
and
foreknowledge
of
God.
Now
the
foreknowledge
of
God
implies
 indeed
the
infallibility
of
futurition
and
of
the
event
and
the
necessity
of
the
 consequence,
and
yet
does
not
imply
coaction
or
violence,
nor
take
away
from
the
will
 its
intrinsic
liberty.52

If
the
distinction
between
necessity
and
infallibility,
more
precisely,
 between
the
necessity
of
the
decree
and
a
necessity
of
infallibility,
or
the
 distinction
between
a
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing
and
a
necessity
of
 the
consequence,
or
indeed,
the
distinction
between
the
decree
and
divine
 foreknowledge,
were
not
properly
parsed,
the
passage
might
be
taken
to
 imply
that,
given
the
divine
decree,
whatever
occurs
in
the
world
order
 must
occur
immutably,
that
contingency
is
merely
epistemic,
and
that
 freedom
is
to
be
defined
solely
in
terms
of
uncoerced
spontaneity.
That
 reading
of
the
text,
however,
ignores
the
distinctions
being
employed
by
 Turretin.
Turretin
first
identifies
the
source
of
freedom
in
the
temporal
order
 and
in
the
individual
subject
as
having
two
sources,
namely,
the
spontaneity
 of
the
will
and
the
judgment
of
reason.
He
then
argues
a
necessity
of
 “infallibility”
concerning
the
futurition
of
the
event
but
also
insists
that
the
 event
or
effect,
given
its
intrinsic
liberty,
is
necessary
as
a
necessity
of
the
 consequence.
The
necessity
of
futurity
references
the
order
of
primary
 causality,
whereas
the
necessity
of
the
consequence,
a
contingency,
belongs
 also
to
the
mode
of
production
of
the
effect,
the
interrelated
acts
of
intellect
 and
will. The
underlying
problem
noted
by
Helm
in
the
argumentation
of
Vos
and
 his
associates
concerning
human
freedom
is
not
its
emphasis
on
the
 synchronicity
or
simultaneity
of
potencies
for
contingent
acts
but
that,
 however
one
defines
contingency
in
relation
to
the
eternal
willing
of
God,
 contingency
as
found
in
the
actual
order
of
things
cannot
escape
the
issue
of
 diachronicity,
which
is
to
say
of
the
motion
from
potency
to
actuality.
When


a
potency
is
actualized
it
cannot
be
not
actualized
in
the
same
moment
that
 it
is
actual.
The
necessity
of
the
present
or
the
necessitas
per
accidens
is
 such
that
what
is
actual
or
existent
must
be
actual
or
existent
when
it
is
 actual
or
existence—not
that
it
exists
by
necessity,
not
that
the
possibility
 for
its
non-existence
disappears,
but
that
in
the
real
order
of
finite
things,
 the
movement
of
things
and
actions
from
potency
to
actuality
is
diachronic.
 What
Helm’s
counter-argument
fails
to
appreciate,
however,
is
that
even
as
 there
is
a
diachronic
movement
of
one
of
the
will’s
potencies
into
actuality,
 there
is
also
the
simultaneous
presence
of
the
unactualized
potency
to
the
 opposite
(which
of
course
cannot
be
actualized
simultaneously).
What
 Turretin
and
Voetius
indicate—and
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
identify—is
that
at
t1
the
will
has
two
unactualized
potencies,
one
 to
p
and
the
other
to
not-p,
and
that
at
t2,
having
exercised
its
freedom
of
 choice
and
determined
its
object,
the
will
still
has
two
potencies,
one
 actualized
to
p
and
the
other
unactualized
to
not-p,
just
as
in
the
realm
of
 pure
possibility,
there
remain
two
possibilities,
p
and
not-p,
one
to
be
 actualized
at
t2
as
a
contingent,
and
the
other
not
to
be
actualized,
remaining
 a
pure
possible. It
would
be
less
than
a
solution
to
the
problem
of
contingency
to
argue
 that
the
contingency
of
one
world
order
is
established
by
the
existence
of
 their
contraries
in
another
possible
world
order.53
What
is
quite
useful,
 however,
as
an
explanation
of
freedom
is
to
define
the
contingent
character
 of
human
acts
in
relation
to
the
multiple
potencies
of
the
will
that
subsist
 synchronously
or
simultaneously
with
one
another
and
that
can
bring
about
 contradictory
or
contrary
results—and,
indeed,
that
continue
to
subsist
as
 unactualized
potencies
capable
of
being
realized
in
another
moment
when
 in
the
present
moment
an
opposite
potency
has
become
reality.
And,
as
the
 authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
correctly
argue,
the
older
 Reformed
writers
indicate
the
simultaneous
presence
of
potencies
to
 opposites,
each
of
which
is
capable
of
actualization
in
sensu
diviso—but
not
 in
sensu
composito.
The
divided
sense
indicates
the
fundamental
 alternativity
that
is
characteristic
of
genuine
free
choice,
while
the
 composite
sense
indicates
the
diachronic
reality
of
the
contingent
order,
 with
the
contingent
order
being
understood
as
containing
necessities
of
the
 consequence
or
necessities
of
the
present
moment.
The
yield,
then,
of
 applying
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
to
the
free
acts
of
rational
 creatures
is
not
to
remove
the
necessarily
diachronic
nature
of
their


contingent
choices
but
rather
to
add
a
further
layer
of
explanation
to
what
 is,
given
the
temporality
of
the
world
order,
necessarily
a
diachronic
pattern
 of
cause
and
effect. 8.4
Synchronic
Contingency
and
Providence:
The
Ontological
Issues The
preceding
paragraphs
concerning
synchronic
contingency,
with
the
 exception
of
the
paragraphs
relating
to
Helm’s
critique,
have
retained
the
 structure
of
argument
found
in
the
writings
of
Vos,
Beck,
and
Bac,
without
 elaborating
the
discussion
in
terms
of
specific
understandings
of
the
way
in
 which
God
relates
to
the
temporal
order—in
other
words,
without
 elaborating
issues
of
concurrence
and
cocausality.
To
leave
the
argument
in
 this
form
would
preclude
a
full
analysis
of
early
modern
Reformed
 understandings
of
contingency
and
freedom,
thereby
leaving
Helm’s
 critique
without
response
and,
in
addition,
obscure
what
I
take
to
be
the
 genuine
relationship
between
so-called
synchronic
and
diachronic
 understandings
of
contingency
and
freedom
in
the
early
modern
era. First,
left
in
its
purely
logical
form,
the
state
of
affairs
indicated
in
the
 synchronic
contingency
paradigm
differs
from
that
indicated
in
the
 diachronic
contingency
paradigm
in
only
one
way:
the
synchronic
 contingency
paradigm
requires
consideration
of
possible
orders
of
creatures
 not
only
paralleling
the
actual
world
but
also
resident
in
potency
in
the
 actual
world,
namely,
as
synchronically
present
logical
possibilities
that
 define
the
contingency
of
the
present
order.
The
diachronic
model
does
not.
 Such
argumentation,
however
interesting
and
subtle,
as
Helm
has
quite
 effectively
indicated,
makes
no
difference
in
the
actual
order
in
which
 contradictory
events
cannot
exist
simultaneously.
Indeed,
left
in
this
way,
 the
contrast
between
synchronic
and
diachronic
contingency
presented
by
 Vos
and
others
is,
arguably,
overdrawn,
as
is
their
transfer
of
argument
from
 the
logical
to
the
real
order. In
the
course
of
his
debate
with
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom,
Helm
has
engaged
in
a
fairly
extended
comment
on
the
use
of
a
 set
of
distinctions
in
the
argumentation
for
synchronic
contingency
among
 the
early
modern
Reformed.
Helm
is
quite
right
that
these
distinctions
in
 themselves
read
out
as
logical
or
syntactical
and
do
not,
in
and
of
 themselves,
produce
a
theory
of
synchronic
contingency.
It
belongs
to
the
 very
nature
of
scholastic
distinctions
in
general
that
they
serve
to
clarify
the


issues
belonging
to
a
topic
without
necessarily
influencing
the
outcome
of
 argumentation
concerning
the
topic.
The
nature
of
distinctions,
however,
as
 framing
issues
rather
than
pressing
particular
conclusions,
serves
to
counter
 Helm’s
other
argument
that
use
of
the
distinctions
associated
with
 synchronic
contingency
by
early
modern
Jesuit
thinkers
renders
the
notion
 of
synchronic
contingency
unlikely
to
have
been
used
by
the
Reformed.54
 Further,
while
granting
Helm’s
point
that
two
of
the
three
sets
of
 distinctions
in
question
can
be
applied
to
both
non-rational
and
rational
 beings,
it
needs
also
to
be
recognized
that
the
use
of
the
distinctions
with
 regard
to
non-rational,
indeed,
inanimate
beings
will
differ
considerably
 from
their
use
with
regard
to
rational
beings.
As
Aquinas
pointed
out
in
his
 comment
on
Metaphysica,
IX.2,
“all
those
potencies
which
are
rational
are
 open
to
contrary
determinations,
and
those
which
are
non-rational
are
each
 determined
to
one
thing.”55 Helm
disputes
the
claim
of
the
editors
and
commentators
in
Reformed
 Thought
on
Freedom
that
these
distinctions
“presuppose
that
contingency
is
 not
a
matter
of
temporal
change,
but
of
simultaneous
logical
change.”56
 From
Helm’s
perspective,
an
argument
for
a
purely
logical
simultaneity
 does
not
resolve
the
problem
of
necessity
and
contingency
but
only
adds
a
 somewhat
confusing
verbal
dimension
to
what
is
necessarily
a
temporal
 problem—and
insofar
as
it
is
purely
logical,
it
does
not
even
identify
 change
in
any
functional
sense
of
the
term.
From
the
other
side
of
the
 debate,
it
could
be
objected
that
Helm’s
complaint
falls
short
inasmuch
as
 synchronic
contingency
does
not
argue
change
per
se,
whether
temporal
or
 logical,
but
rather
indicates
a
fundamental
principle
of
alternativity.
But
if
 we
rephrase
the
objection
as
indicating
that
the
distinctions
in
question
do
 not
all
presuppose
that
contingency
is
a
matter
of
temporal
change,
but
in
 some
instances
presuppose
that
it
is
a
moatter
of
simultaneous
logical
 possibility—and
add
that
this
simultaneous
logical
possibility
serves
to
 explain
the
root
of
temporal
changes
that
are
identified
as
diachronically
 contingent,
then
Helm’s
objection
is
quite
on
target.
The
use
of
such
 distinctions
as
a
necessity
of
the
consequence/consequent
thing
or
divided
 versus
compound
sense
does
not
in
and
of
itself
point
away
from
diachronic
 contingency
and
the
understanding
of
contingency
as
temporal
change.
 Indeed,
arguably,
all
of
the
issues
raised
by
the
Reformed
writers
of
the
 seventeenth
century,
inasmuch
as
they
are
dealing
with
events
and
free
or
 contingent
acts
in
the
real
order,
require
temporal
referentiality.
Given
this


referentiality,
moreover,
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
ought
not
to
 be
viewed
so
much
as
an
alternative
to
diachronic
contingency
as
a
further
 qualification
of
the
nature
of
contingency
related
in
a
very
specific
way
to
 the
explanation
of
free
acts.
In
other
words,
the
free
act
that
Vos,
Beck,
Bac,
 and
various
Protestant
scholastics
explain
as
synchronically
or
 simultaneously
related
to
the
contrary
or
contradictory
act
is
also
 susceptible
to
a
diachronic
explanation.
And
the
scholastic
distinctions
can
 be
used
(and
were
in
fact
used)
in
both
ways—diachronically
and
 synchronically.57 Second,
there
is
an
incomplete
or
partial
understanding
offered,
in
the
 above
noted
statements
of
Vos
and
others,
of
the
transition
between
the
 logical
and
the
real
order.
The
distinctions,
as
employed
by
the
early
 modern
Reformed,
are
not
merely
logical
in
implication.
A
necessity
of
the
 consequence
is
a
purely
logical
necessity,
but
in
scholastic
argumentation
it
 is
commonly
used
to
explain
contingency
in
the
real
order.
The
necessity
of
 the
consequent
thing
is
not
a
logical
but
an
absolute
necessity
in
the
real
 order.
In
other
words,
the
former
is
a
necessity
de
dicto,
the
latter
a
 necessity
de
re.
Neither
are
the
distinctions
between
the
first
and
second
act
 simply
logical
inasmuch
as
they
refer
to
things
either
essentially
in
 themselves
(actus
primus)
or
in
operation
(actus
secundus)
and
consistently,
 therefore,
address
issues
in
the
real
order.
The
distinction
between
the
 divided
and
the
compound
or
composite
sense
references
the
issue
of
 compossibles
and
noncompossibles
in
both
the
logical
and
the
real
orders.
 The
last
pair,
between
freedom
of
contrariety
and
freedom
of
contradiction
 references
volitional
acts,
therefore
typically
refers
to
the
real
order,
but
is
 also
a
matter
of
logic
when
it
raises
issues
of
compossibility
and
noncompossibility. Whether
some
of
these
distinctions
can
be
used
to
develop
a
view
of
 synchronic
contingency
and
can
also
have
ontological
implications
is
one
 thing
(and
I
agree
that
several
of
them
can);
whether
they
support
a
 particular
ontology
is
an
entirely
different
matter.
Specifically,
the
language
 of
necessity
of
the
consequence
and
the
distinction
between
the
divided
and
 the
composite
sense
in
particular
can
offer
arguments
that
transition
 between
the
logical
and
the
real
orders—but
none
of
the
terms
carries
any
 particular
ontological
implications
other
than
the
law
of
non-contradiction
 and
the
principle
of
bivalence
(which
also
function
both
in
the
logical
and
 the
real
orders).
The
question,
then,
is
how
the
language
of
these
terms
and


distinctions,
interpreted
to
yield
a
concept
of
synchronic
contingency,
can
 be
transferred
into
the
real
order
and
how
it
can
be
conjoined
with
specific
 ontological
assumptions
and
with
terms
and
distinctions
defining
freedom
 to
describe
actual
contingency
and
actual
freedom
in
the
manner
proposed
 by
various
seventeenth-century
Reformed
thinkers. Third,
the
series
of
distinctions
associated
with
synchronic
contingency
 only
offer
a
genuine
advance
on
the
more
standard
concept
of
diachronic
 contingency
when
the
possibility
of
contrariety
or
contradiction
is
 associated
with
the
free
willing
of
rational
creatures—and
not
so
much
by
 way
of
replacing
the
language
of
diachronic
contingency
as
supplementing
 and
explaining
it
in
the
particular
case
of
free
willing.
As
Helm
has
pointed
 out,
the
language
of
a
necessity
of
the
consequence
and
the
distinction
 between
in
sensu
diviso
and
in
sensu
composito
function
as
well
in
 propositions
about
an
apple
on
a
plate
as
they
do
in
propositions
about
 Socrates
sitting
or
standing.
The
difference
in
implication,
however,
has
 everything
to
do
with
the
absence
of
any
potency
in
the
apple
to
put
itself
 either
on
or
off
the
plate
and
the
presence
of
a
potency
in
Socrates
either
to
 stand
or
not
to
stand.
The
formulae
associated
with
synchronic
contingency,
 when
applied
in
the
case
of
a
rational
being,
point
toward
a
simultaneity
of
 potencies
to
contraries
or
contradictories
in
rational
beings
and
offer
a
 means
of
describing
contingency
and
freedom
in
the
world
order
just
as,
 when
applied
to
God,
they
indicate
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
in
the
 creation
and
governance
of
the
order.
In
the
usage
of
the
seventeenthcentury
Reformed
writers,
these
formulae
could
be
used
to
explain
human
 freedom
in
an
order
that
nonetheless
exists
by
divine
determination—but
 only
when
linked
to
a
particular
understanding
of
divine
providence. Thus,
the
seventeenth-century
Reformed
approaches
to
necessity
and
 contingency,
although
capable
of
being
summarized
in
propositional
 formulae
like
those
used
by
Vos,
Beck,
and
Bac,
do
not
reside
purely
in
the
 realm
of
the
logic
of
propositions
and
do
not
reveal
their
own
full
 implication
unless
placed
in
the
context
of
the
particular
set
of
assumptions
 governing
the
Reformed
orthodox
understandings
of
providence,
divine
 concurrence,
and
human
willing.
Without
this
connection,
the
language
of
 synchronic
contingency
must
remain
cryptic
and
subject
to
objection.
Thus,
 for
example,
if
the
Reformed
held
to
a
thoroughgoing
determinism,
such
 statements,
framed
in
sensu
diviso,
as
“If
God
wills
that
Socrates
sits,
it
is
 possible
that
he
runs,”
could
simply
indicate
that
the
divine
free
will,
which


could
have
been
otherwise,
unilaterally
determined
a
particular
result,
 namely,
Socrates
sitting.
Socrates
would
be
devoid
of
free
choice,
and
the
 contrary
of
Socrates
running
in
that
same
moment
would
depend
not
on
a
 possibility
resident
in
Socrates
but
on
an
alternative
willing
in
God.
Or
if
 the
Reformed
held
to
a
doctrine
of
limited
or
resistible
divine
power,
the
 proposition
would
point
in
a
rather
different
direction—namely,
that
the
 will
of
God
to
have
Socrates
sit
can
be
overruled
by
Socrates.
Or,
further,
if
 the
Reformed
understanding
embodied
a
view
of
divine
providential
 concurrence
in
which
the
divine
willing
of
the
existence
of
the
world
order
 and
of
Socrates
and
his
willing
is
ontologically
necessary
to
Socrates
 willing
and,
accordingly,
at
the
same
time
ontologically
and
volitionally
 supportive
of
Socrates’
freedom,
the
proposition
takes
on
yet
another
 meaning.
Given
that
the
language
of
sensus
divisus
or
synchronic
 contingency
can
be
used
to
explain
all
three
of
these
understandings
of
the
 interrelationship
of
divine
and
creaturely
willing,
it
is
to
be
regarded,
in
the
 line
of
numerous
other
scholastic
distinctions,
as
an
explanatory
device
that
 can
be
employed
in
rather
different
ways—with
those
various
uses
being
 determined
by
a
series
of
other
considerations,
notably
considerations
 concerning
the
nature
of
providence
and
of
human
willing. What,
then,
is
required
for
this
language
and
such
propositions
as
“If
God
 wills
that
Socrates
sits,
it
is
possible
that
he
runs,”
to
function
in
the
 seventeenth-century
Reformed
context?
There
are
several
elements
of
the
 Reformed
understanding
of
God
and
world
that
need
to
be
brought
to
bear.
 First,
the
early
modern
language
of
possibles
or
of
possible
universal
 concatenations
of
beings
needs
to
be
contrasted
with
the
possible
world
 theory
of
the
modern
analytical
philosophers,
on
the
ground
that
the
older
 language
presumed
a
strongly
ontological
aspect
in
connection
with
 entailed
logical
issues—whereas
the
modern
analytical
approach
to
the
 language
is
purely
logical
and
consistently
avoids
the
ontological
 question.58
In
other
words,
the
Reformed
language
of
possibles
and
 potencies
presumes
not
the
rather
unsatisfactory
reduction
of
the
indicators
 of
contingency
and
freedom
to
the
contrary
in
another
(logically
 understood,
semantically
constructed)
possible
world
but
instead
the
actual
 presence
of
potencies
to
the
contrary
in
this
actual
world. Second,
given
the
fundamental
ontological
content
of
the
older
argument,
 the
seventeenth-century
discussion
of
possibility
rests
on
the
assumption
 that
God
alone
has
the
power
to
actualize
possibilities
in
the
ultimate
sense


and
God
is
utterly
free
in
his
willing.
God’s
will
and
decree
are
such
that
 they
can
be
otherwise.
In
the
view
of
William
Twisse,
who
did
root
much
of
 his
approach
in
the
thought
of
Scotus,
this
means
that
God
cannot
will
 necessarily
but
must
will
contingently.
When
God
wills
to
create
the
world,
 he
could
equally
will
not
to
create
it.59
This
utter
freedom
in
the
act
of
 creation
renders
the
world
order
radically
contingent.
The
contingency
of
 the
world
order
allows
for
events
to
occur
in
the
order
of
secondary
 causality
either
by
relative
necessity
or
as
contingencies
and,
among
the
 contingencies,
by
free
choice.
In
other
words,
the
radical
contingency
of
the
 world
order,
as
it
arises
from
the
divine
freedom,
is
also
the
ultimate
root
of
 all
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom
in
the
order
itself—but
not
the
sole
 sufficient
basis
for
understanding
what
is
necessary,
contingent,
or
free.60 This
point,
sometimes
missed
by
advocates
of
the
synchronic
 contingency
theory,
is
that
there
are
necessities
as
well
as
contingencies
and
 voluntary
acts
in
the
contingent
order
and
that
there
is
a
double
foundation
 for
this
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom,
namely,
both
the
divine
decree
 that
establishes
necessary,
contingent,
and
free
events
and
determines
them
 to
be
what
they
are,
and
the
secondary
causes
that
operate
according
to
their
 natures,
whether
necessary,
contingent,
or
free.61
In
other
words,
use
of
the
 language
of
synchronic
contingency
by
Vos
and
others,
specifically
 emphasizing
necessities
of
the
consequence
and
contrary
possibilities
 identified
by
the
sensus
divisus,
as
rooted
in
the
freedom
of
divine
willing,
 has
a
tendency
to
reduce
all
events
in
the
created
order
to
the
same
kind
and
 same
level
of
contingency,
overlooking
the
presence
of
necessities
of
the
 consequent
thing
in
the
created
order
itself.
In
the
Reformed
orthodox
view,
 the
freedom
of
the
divine
will
that
generates
a
radically
contingent
order
 also
establishes
within
that
order
that
some
of
the
events
and
things
that
 God
freely
actualizes
are,
relative
to
the
order
itself
and
to
the
causal
 interactions
in
the
order,
necessities—indeed,
necessities
decreed
as
such
by
 God,
whose
will
supplies
the
ontological
ground
of
all
necessities,
 contingencies,
and
free
acts.
This
issue
is
of
particular
importance
in
the
 Reformed
understanding
of
the
operation
of
grace
and
the
nature
of
human
 freedom. Third,
again
granting
the
underlying
ontological
issue,
the
seventeenthcentury
discussion
of
synchronic
contingency
recognizes
that
the
creation
 of
the
contingent
world
order
establishes
two
levels
of
causality
in
relation
 to
each
other,
namely,
the
divine
primary
causality
and
the
secondary


causality
of
finite
creatures.
Since,
moreover,
the
older
scholastic
 understanding
identified
free
choice
as
a
subset
of
contingency
belonging
to
 rational
creatures,
the
use
of
Socrates
as
an
example
rather
than
the
Eiffel
 Tower
also
raises
the
issue
of
human
freedom
understood
as
a
species
of
 necessitas
consequentiae:
both
God
and
Socrates
are
rational
actors
who,
as
 actors,
have
multiple
potencies
belonging
to
their
wills.
In
this
context,
 when
Socrates
is
sitting,
God
wills
that
Socrates
sits,
and
Socrates
also
wills
 that
Socrates
sits.
There
is
also
a
significant
difference
between
the
 causality
of
rational
beings
and
the
physical
causality
of
the
natural
order:
 rational
beings,
whether
God
or
creatures,
have
potency
to
more
than
one
 effect—non-rational
or
physical
causes
have
potency
to
one
effect
only.
 Thus,
when
God
wills
p,
he
could
also
will
not-p,
and
he
can
also
will
q
or
r —and
even
so,
when
Socrates
wills
p,
he
could
also
will
not-p,
and
he
can
 also
will
q
or
r.
(Of
course,
neither
God
nor
Socrates
can
simultaneously
 will
p
and
not-p!) Fourth,
the
Reformed
orthodox,
much
like
the
later
Thomists,
held
to
a
 doctrine
of
underlying
divine
concurrence,
in
the
Thomist
language,
a
 praemotio
physica,
necessary
to
the
existence
of
the
world
order
and
to
the
 operation
of
all
finite
causes.
This
issue
of
premotion
returns
us
to
the
initial
 distinction
made
by
Turretin
in
his
discussion
of
contingency: A
Contingent
can
be
understood
in
two
ways
(bifariam):
Either
with
respect
to
the
 first
cause
(causa
prima),
given
that
it
can
either
be
produced
or
not
produced
by
God;
 &
thus
all
Creatures
are
contingent
with
respect
to
God,
because
he
was
able
to
create
 none
if
he
so
willed:
Or
with
respect
to
secondary
Causes
(Causarum
secundarum),
 which
are
able
to
produce
or
not
produce
their
effect,
&
which
are
in
this
way
 distinguished
from
necessary
causes.62

Any
human
act
can
and
ought,
therefore,
to
be
understood
as
willed
by
God
 and
willed
by
the
human
subject—but
willed
rather
differently.
Indeed,
the
 propositional
form
used
to
illustrate
synchronic
contingency,
“When
God
 wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
is
possible
that
A
wills
not-p,”
embodies
a
somewhat
 equivocal
use
of
the
term
“will”
inasmuch
as
God
is
not
said
to
will
the
 human
act
“p”
in
the
same
way
that
it
is
willed
by
the
human
subject.
If
 God
immediately
and
efficiently
willed
that
“A”
will
“p,”
“A”
would
 necessarily
will
“p”
and
contingency
would
be
removed.
But
God
remotely
 and
concurrently
wills
that
“A”
wills
“p”
when
“A”
himself
immediately
 and
efficiently
wills
“p.”
The
divine
willing
is
“with
respect
to
the
first
 cause,”
and
the
human
willing
is
“with
respect
to
secondary
causes.”

Only
in
sensu
diviso,
is
it
possible
that
when
God
wills
that
a
particular
 person
“A”
wills
“p,”
and
that
“A”
wills
“not-p”—just
as
it
is
possible
in
 sensu
diviso
that
when
“A”
runs
he
might
sit.63
The
point
is
that
the
 necessity
of
“A”
willing
“p”
when
he
wills
“p”
or
standing
when
he
is
 standing
is
a
contingency
or,
in
scholastic
language,
a
necessity
of
the
 consequence.
But
even
here,
stated
in
terms
of
the
understandings
of
divine
 concurrence
held
by
the
early
modern
Reformed,
one
would
have
to
add
 that
the
synchronous
possibility
of
A
willing
not-p
stands
as
a
fully
defined
 proposition
that
also
would
presume
the
prior
divine
willing
for
its
 actualization.
This
must
be
the
case
given
what
we
have
seen
concerning
 the
root
or
foundation
of
possibility:
according
to
the
greater
part
of
the
 scholastic
tradition,
including
the
Reformed,
the
root
of
possibility
is
in
 God
and
cannot
be
extra
Deum.
Most
of
the
Reformed,
moreover,
held
to
 the
view
that
possibility
resides
in
the
divine
essence
and
is
known
by
God
 as
belonging
to
his
potentia.
Thus,
as
possibilities,
A
willing
p
and
A
willing
 not-p
are
both
possibilities
not
only
because,
logically,
neither
involves
a
 contradiction
but
also
and
even
primarily
because
both
are
known
to
God
in
 his
potentia
and
are,
therefore,
both
intrinsically
and
extrinsically
possible. Inclusion
of
the
divine
willing
in
the
first
part
of
the
proposition,
then,
 adds
another
(and,
in
the
older
Reformed
scholastic
sensibility,
necessary)
 dimension
beyond
the
purely
logical
issue
of
a
necessity
of
the
consequence
 and
the
possibility
of
contraries
occurring
in
sensu
diviso
that
would
be
 logically
and
also
ontically
impossible
in
sensu
composito.
Thus,
A
willing
 not-p
is
not
(and
cannot
be)
an
event
at
the
same
time
and
in
the
same
place
 in
the
actual
order
as
A
willing
p,
but
both
are
possible.
Indeed,
given
the
 scholastic
understanding
of
a
divine
necessary
knowledge
(scientia
 necessaria)
or
knowledge
of
absolute
intelligence
(scientia
simplicis
 intelligentiae),
namely,
the
divine
knowledge
of
all
possibles,
A
willing
p
 and
A
willing
not-p
are
both
known
to
God
as
possibles—but
also
as
 incompossibles.
When
God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
God
is,
in
effect,
willing
 into
existence
or
actualizing
an
actual
world
in
which
A
freely
wills
p.
A
 willing
not-p
remains
a
possibility
known
to
the
divine
scientia
necessaria —a
possibility,
therefore,
that
God
and
A
could
have
willed
but
not
at
the
 same
moment
as
A
willing
p.
A
willing
p
or
not-p
involves,
therefore,
two
 wills,
both
of
which
have
potencies
to
different
effects.
Both
God
and
A
 have
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
(simultas
potentiae)—but
what
neither


God
nor
A
has
is
a
potency
of
simultaneity
(potentia
simultatis)
in
and
for
 the
present
order: some
Scholemen
say,
That
in
free-wil
there
is
a
simultie
of
power
to
opposites,
but
not
 a
power
of
simultie,
i.e.
a
power
of
embracing
opposites
at
one
and
the
same
time:
 whereof
the
reason
is
this,
because
a
power
to
one
act
is
not
opposed
to
the
power
 unto
the
negation
of
the
same
act,
or
to
a
contrary
act,
but
two
contraries
or
 contradictories
cannot
be
together
in
the
same
subject.64

Thus,
once
a
particular
potency
is
actualized,
its
contrary
cannot
occur
at
 the
same
time,
in
the
same
place,
and
in
the
same
way—but
the
potency
to
 the
opposite
remains:
“The
wil
predeterminate
to
one
act
has
an
habitual
 indifference
or
radical
flexibilitie
to
the
opposite
act;
and
therefore
the
 impossibilitie
is
only
conditionate
and
limited.”65
The
synchronic
 explanation,
involving
the
simultaneity
of
potencies,
does
not
contravene
 the
diachronic
explanation,
which
indicates
that
neither
God
nor
the
finite
 individual
A
possesses
a
potency
of
simultaneity. There
is
also,
in
addition
to
the
issue
raised
by
the
equivocal
use
of
“will”
 in
the
formulae
related
to
synchronic
contingency,
another
issue
of
rather
 equivocal
usage.
A
possible
or
possibility
can
mean
simply
something
that
 is
not
impossible
and
that,
therefore,
can
be
and
therefore
refer
both
to
 potencies
and
to
actualities.
But
a
possible
or
possibility
can
also
be
 something
that
is
not
actual
or
not
yet
actual.
What
the
language
of
 synchronic
contingency
affirms,
then,
is
that
there
are
genuine
possibilities
 in
the
second,
more
limited
sense,
sense
of
non-actuals. From
a
purely
logical
perspective,
the
contingency
of
A
willing
p
is
 represented
by
the
contrary,
A
willing
not-p,
but
inasmuch
as
the
 contingency
is
represented
in
terms
of
the
juxtaposition
of
the
possible
and
 actual
orders,
as
it
is
impossible
that
A
will
p
and
not-p
at
the
same
time
in
 the
same
order,
and
as
the
actual
order
only
comes
into
being
by
the
divine
 will,
the
formula,
taken
by
itself,
does
not
offer
a
satisfactory
explanation
of
 human
freedom.
At
face
value,
the
formula
indicates
the
radical
 contingency
of
A
willing
p
only
in
the
sense
that
the
entire
order
in
which
A
 wills
is
contingent—namely,
it
could
be
otherwise
given
the
freedom
of
the
 divine
will.
In
other
words,
the
formula
establishes
the
contingency
of
A
 willing
insofar
as,
from
the
perspective
of
the
divine
willing,
the
order
in
 which
A
wills
is
contingent,
but
it
does
not
necessarily
establish
the
 contingency
(and
therefore
not
the
freedom)
of
A
from
the
perspective
of
A


having
the
power
of
contrary
choice
in
the
actual
world
order
in
which
he
is
 willing
p. In
the
language
of
the
older
scholasticism,
p,
once
willed,
becomes
a
 necessitas
per
accidens.
As
Turretin
put
it,
there
is
a
“necessity
of
the
 event”
that
does
not
impede
or
undermine
free
choice:
“For
although
 whatever
is,
when
it
is,
is
necessarily
(so
that
it
can
no
more
but
be);
still
it
 is
said
to
be
done
no
less
freely
or
contingently,
as
depending
on
free
or
 contingent
causes.”66
The
first
two
clauses
of
Turretin’s
statement
are
 identical
to
the
passage
from
Aristotle’s
De
interpretatione
consistently
 read
by
medievals
as
arguing
contingency.
The
argument,
then,
rests
not
on
 a
peculiarly
Scotist
perspective
but
on
a
common
Aristotelian
foundation
 shared
alike
by
Thomists,
Scotists,
nominalists,
and
also
early
modern
 Reformed
thinkers. Once
this
context
of
understandings
of
divine
knowledge
and
willing
is
 recognized,
given
that
the
finite
person
A
has
the
power
of
willing
only
as
 actualized
by
God,
the
statement
that
when
“God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
is
 possible
that
A
wills
not-p”
in
fact
is
seen
to
indicate
that
although
“God
 wills
that
A
wills
p
(and
A
wills
p),
it
is
possible
that
God
wills
that
A
wills
 not-p
(and
A
wills
not-p).”
This
is
clearly
what
Turretin
meant
when
he
 argued,
“the
two
free
wills
may
be
conjoined
and
agree
to
elicit
the
came
 common
action
simultaneously
and
immediately,
proximately
and
 undividedly,
. . .
infallibly
and
certainly
so
as
to
imply
a
contradiction
for
 one
to
elicit
such
an
action
without
the
other.”67 In
fact,
Turretin’s
point
specifically
contradicts
an
unnuanced
claim
that
 when
“God
wills
that
A
wills
p,
it
is
possible
that
A
wills
not-p,”
as
if
it
 were
possible
for
one
to
elicit
the
action
without
the
other.
Nor
does
it
 suffice
to
claim
that
the
unnuanced
proposition
functions
in
sensu
diviso,
 given
that
the
ontological
context
of
Turretin’s
argument
is
his
doctrine
of
 providence
and
the
doctrine
of
physical
premotion:
in
the
ontological
 context
presupposed
by
Turretin,
A
freely
willing
p
or
not-p
can
only
occur
 with
God
willing
that
A
freely
will. Thus,
in
order
to
establish
the
freedom
or
relative
independence
of
A
 willing
p
when
God
is
willing
that
A
wills
p,
and
therefore
the
genuine
 possibility
in
the
real
order
of
things
that,
with
regard
to
the
actual
powers
 of
A,
A
might
actually
will
not-p,
the
early
modern
Reformed
version
of
the
 argument
requires
the
correlation
of
the
logical
argumentation
with
a
very
 specific
theory
of
the
divine
providential
concurrence.
The
formula
then


becomes
“when
God
wills
that
A
wills
p
concurrently
with
A
willing
p,
it
is
 possible
that
God
will
that
A
wills
not-p
concurrently
with
A
willing
not-p.”
 The
point
is
that
both
God
and
A,
as
rational
beings,
have
potencies
to
more
 than
one
effect—and
that
God,
at
his
primary
level
of
causality,
volitionally
 and
ontologically
concurs
with
the
willing
of
A,
so
that
the
real
or
actual
 order
in
which
A
exists
is
constituted,
as
future
contingencies
are
actualized,
 by
both
divine
and
human
willing.
The
divine
and
the
human
willing
are
 both
free
and
both
capable
of
alternativity;
both
are
necessary
and
together
 are
sufficient
for
the
act
to
take
place.
Neither
by
itself
is
sufficient. The
divine
concurrence,
in
other
words,
does
not
erase
A’s
potency
to
 more
than
one
effect,
although,
clearly,
in
A’s
actual
world,
only
one
effect
 (p)
will
occur
and
its
contrary
(not-p)
cannot
exist
at
the
same
time
in
the
 same
world
order.
A,
God
willing,
can,
at
t1,
in
actu
primo
be
indifferent
to
 p
and
not-p
and
have
potency
to
both;
can,
at
t2,
in
actu
secundo,
will
p;
and
 can,
at
t3,
having
retained
his
potency
to
more
than
one
effect,
will
not-p.
In
 addition,
A
having
willed
p
at
t2,
the
actuality
of
not-p
could
not
occur
at
t2,
 but
the
potency
to
will
not-p
can
be
said
nonetheless
to
reside
in
A’s
will
at
 t2—all
understood
in
the
context
of
the
divine
concurrence.
And
that
is
what
 the
language
of
synchronic
contingency,
rightly
understood
as
a
 synchronicity
or
simultaneity
of
potencies,
presents:
the
retention
of
the
 alternative
or
contrary
potency
as
the
genuine
identifier
of
freely
willed
 acts.
As
Gale
concluded: The
sum
of
al
is
this,
That
the
determination
or
predetermination
of
Divine
concurse
 to
this
or
that
act
doth
not
make
the
negation
of
that
act,
or
a
contrary
act
a
simple
or
 most
strictly
natural
impossibilitie,
as
some
would
persuade
us,
but
only
infers
a
 necessitie
of
the
consequence,
the
will
having
stil,
in
sensu
diviso,
i.e.
on
supposition
 of
the
withdrawment
of
Divine
concurse,
an
habitual
indifference
to
act
or
not
to
act,
 though,
in
sensu
composito,
as
predetermined
by
the
divine
concurse,
it
cannot
but
 act.
Or
summarily
thus:
The
wil
has
at
that
very
time,
when
it
is
predetermined
by
 God
to
this
or
that
act,
an
habitual
power
or
radical
indifference
to
the
negation
of
that
 act,
or
to
the
putting
forth
of
a
contrary
act:
So
that
the
Divine
predetermination
 excludes
only
a
contrary
act,
not
the
radical
power
to
that
act.68

Gale’s
particular
understanding
of
concurrence,
specifically
of
the
necessity
 of
the
concurrence
to
any
creaturely
act,
including
free
acts,
is
grounded
in
 his
assumption
of
the
ontological
dependence
of
finite
being,
with
the
finite
 or
creaturely
being
understood
as
having
its
being
by
participation.
He
also
 notes,
citing
Suarez,
Aquinas,
and
Alvarez,
that
he
hesitates
to
use
the
term


and
does
not
intend
his
use
of
“predetermination”
to
imply
an
absolute
 necessity
imposed
on
creatures.69 The
common
ground
in
the
approaches
to
divine
concurrence
found
 among
Thomists,
Scotists,
and
the
early
modern
Reformed
is
that,
as
James
 Ross
pointed
out
(allowing
for
the
difference
of
meaning
of
possible
world
 language),
all
these
thinkers
assumed
that
“creatures
are
metaphysically
 dependent
on
God”
and
are
so
in
the
sense
“that
there
is
no
possible
world
 where
a
thing
other
than
God
exists
where
its
being
is
not
dependent
on
 God’s
will
or
where
some
characteristic
the
creature
has,
including
its
 continued
existence,
is
not
accounted
for
by
God’s
active
willing
it
to
be
 that
way.”70
Far
from
eliminating
or
in
any
way
undermining
A’s
freedom
of
 choice,
the
divine
willing
that
A
wills
either
p
or
not-p
is
necessary
to
A’s
 willing:
the
divine
primary
cause
operates
concurrently
with
the
finite
 secondary
cause,
and
in
the
case
of
the
rational
creature’s
free
willing,
the
 genuine
contingency
and
freedom
of
the
secondary
cause
can
be
expressed
 in
the
form
of
a
synchronic
contingency,
using
the
logical
formula
of
the
 sensus
divisus.
The
approach
of
Zanchi,
who
focused
on
the
issues
of
levels
 of
causality,
then,
is
not
to
be
described
as
pointing
in
a
somewhat
different
 direction
than
that
of
Voetius,
who
used
the
distinction
between
the
 composite
and
the
divided
sense.
The
two
patterns
of
argument
belong,
in
 fact,
to
the
same
understanding
of
divine
concurrence
and
dependent
 freedom
of
rational
creatures. This
approach
to
concurrence,
as
Turretin
testifies
and
as
the
authors
of
 Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
recognize
in
the
case
of
Voetius,
is
a
 modified
form
of
praemotio
physica,
a
view
developed
by
Thomist
 theologians
and
philosophers
in
the
late
sixteenth
and
early
seventeenth
 century
in
response
to
Molinist
understandings
of
the
providential
 concursus
associated
with
their
doctrine
of
a
divine
scientia
media.71
Thus,
 if
the
way
in
which
Turretin
or
Voetius
appropriated
the
distinctions
 associated
by
Vos,
Beck,
and
others
with
synchronic
contingency
points
 toward
a
Scotistic
background,
their
extended
use
of
those
distinctions
in
 discussions
of
free
choice
and
the
divine
concurrence
reflects
also
and
more
 proximately
a
Thomistic
background—clearly
indicated
in
their
citation
of
 sources,
namely,
Thomas
Aquinas’
two
summas
and
Diego
Alvarez’s
De
 auxiliis
divinae
gratiae.72
Certain
other
distinctive
elements
of
Scotism,
 moreover,
are
made
conspicuous
by
their
absence
from
early
modern
 Reformed
thought,
notably,
the
assumption
of
the
univocity
of
being
and


the
identification
of
humanity
as
created
in
puris
naturalibus
and
given
a
 further
grace
in
the
donum
superadditum.
The
result
is
an
eclectic
pattern
of
 argument
or,
indeed,
a
pattern
to
be
associated
not
so
much
with
Scotism
as
 with
early
modern
“Second
Thomism”
of
the
Dominican
Order
in
which
 Aquinas’
thought
has
been
developed
and
augmented
through
the
debates
 of
the
later
Middle
Ages
and
the
Renaissance.

9 Conclusions 9.1
Contingency,
Synchronic
and
Diachronic,
and
the
Issue
of
Human
 Freedom Our
examination
of
early
modern
Reformed
approaches
to
the
 interrelationship
of
divine
and
human
causality,
in
the
light
of
their
 philosophical
and
theological
backgrounds,
has
led
to
a
series
of
 interrelated
conclusions.
Perhaps
first
and
foremost,
the
study
has
shown
 that
the
modern
terminology
of
libertarianism
and
compatibilism
does
not
 fit
the
case.
Crisp’s
hypothesis
of
a
“libertarian
Calvinism”
is
without
any
 early
modern
foundation
as
is
his
assessment
of
Turretin
(despite
the
 argumentation
in
Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom)
as
a
compatibilist—what
 is
more,
his
comment
that
the
views
represented
in
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
were
a
minority
position
also
falls
far
short
of
the
mark.
The
 views
on
contingency
and
freedom,
including
the
assumption
of
 alternativity
in
the
definition
of
freedom,
were
in
the
main
line
of
early
 modern
Reformed
theological
and
philosophical
development.
Likewise,
 Helm’s
interpretation
of
the
seventeenth-century
Reformed
orthodox,
 notably
Turretin,
as
standing
in
continuity
with
Jonathan
Edwards
and
 modern
compatibilism
cannot
be
sustained.
This
is
not
to
say,
however,
that
 the
Reformed
orthodox
failed
to
insist
that
human
free
choice
is
to
be
 understood
in
such
as
way
as
to
be
compatible
with
the
divine
 determination
of
all
things;
rather
they
did
so
in
a
way
that
does
not
oblige
 the
strictures
of
the
typical
modern
definitions
of
compatibilism. The
early
modern
Reformed
argumentation,
building
as
it
did
on
a
long
 modified
Christian
Peripateticism
and
a
highly
refined
inherited
vocabulary
 of
scholastic
distinctions,
was
capable
of
affirming
human
free
choice
as
 defined
by
intellective
deliberation
and
multiple
volitional
potencies
and
as


embodying
genuine
alternativity
in
a
manner
that
does
not
comport
with
the
 assumptions
of
modern
compatibilist
theology
and
philosophy.
So
also,
the
 early
modern
Reformed
argumentation,
given
these
resources,
was
also
 capable
of
affirming
an
overarching
divine
causality
necessary
to
the
 actualization
of
all
things
and
events,
coupled
with
an
affirmation
of
an
 infallible
divine
foreknowledge
of
future
contingency
that
cannot
comport
 with
the
assumptions
of
modern
libertarian
theology
and
philosophy.
This
 conclusion
confirms
and
supports
the
basic
direction
taken
by
the
authors
of
 Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
and
coincides
with
their
understanding
of
 the
Reformed
position
as
arguing
a
dependent
freedom. A
second
conclusion
also
supports
the
line
of
argument
taken
in
 Reformed
Thought
on
Freedom
on
the
issue
of
synchronic
or
simultaneous
 contingency,
but
with
an
important
caveat.
As
the
scholastics
would
say,
 “affirm,
with
a
distinction.”
The
language
of
sensus
divisus/sensus
 compositus
and
of
simultas
potentiae/potentia
simultatis
associated
with
 synchronic
contingency
provides
a
logical
tool
that
can
be
deployed
in
the
 explanation
of
various
ontologies
but
is
not
an
ontology
in
itself.
This
 language
did
not,
moreover,
rather
suddenly
enable
Christian
theologians
 and
philosophers,
whether
of
the
fourteenth
or
of
the
seventeenth
century,
to
 resolve
the
debate
over
necessity
and
contingency;
rather
it
provided
a
 logical
tool,
specifically,
a
pair
of
distinctions,
that
could
be
adapted
to
the
 expression
of
already-extant
understandings
of
the
interrelationship
of
 divine
and
human
willing
in
which,
quite
specifically,
the
divine
and
human
 wills
were
understood
to
concur
in
the
accomplishment
of
a
free
choice.
To
 argue
that
the
use
of
a
scholastic
distinction
itself
indicates
an
ontology
is
 mistaken
and
ignores
the
way
in
which
scholastic
distinctions
function:
like
 scholasticism
or
scholastic
method
in
general,
the
distinctions
provide
a
 stable
basis
for
argumentation
and,
although
hardly
devoid
of
content,
do
 not
prejudice
conclusions
toward
particular
theological
or
philosophical
 answers,
such
as
monergism
or
synergism,
determinism
or
indeterminism. This
sense
of
the
nature
of
scholastic
distinctions
and
the
specific
point
 that
the
set
of
distinctions
used
to
argue
synchronic
contingency
does
not
by
 itself
constitute
an
ontology
serve
to
confirm
one
aspect
of
Helm’s
critique,
 namely,
that
the
distinctions
themselves
“are
purely
logical
or
syntactic”
 and
therefore
cover
“many
different
kinds
of
examples.”1
We
may
disagree
 somewhat
with
Helm
and
note
that
some
of
the
distinctions,
albeit
logical
or
 syntactic,
are
not
purely
so
and,
given
the
traditional
assumption
of
a


genuine
correlation
between
the
rational
and
real
orders,
consistently
point
 beyond
logic
to
ontological
issues—however,
without
(and
here
is
the
point
 of
agreement
with
Helm)
indicating
particular
ontological
conclusions.
 Thus,
the
distinction
between
divided
and
compound
sense,
and
the
 distinction
between
necessity
of
the
consequence
(or
de
dicto)
and
necessity
 of
the
consequent
thing
(or
de
re)
do
not
lead
to
any
particular
conclusion
 about
how
one
must
understand
contingency
and
necessity
in
a
larger
 theological
and
philosophical
context—they
just
distinguish
the
one
from
 the
other—nor
do
they
specify
how
contingency
and
necessity
relate
in
the
 real
order.
Thus—and
again,
here
Helm
makes
a
useful
point—the
 distinction
can
be
used
diachronically
or
synchronically.
The
presence
of
 these
distinctions
in
and
of
itself
does
not
point
to
the
presence
of
a
 particular
theory
or
to
a
particular
theological/philosophical
conclusion. Moreover,
we
have
seen
that
it
is
not
the
case
that
the
deterministic
 reading
of
Aristotle
pioneered
by
Hintikka
is
a
viable
reading
of
Aristotle— and
it
is
clearly
not
the
reading
of
Aristotle
that
prevailed
in
the
Christian
 Peripatetic
tradition,
whether
of
the
Middle
Ages
or
of
the
early
modern
 era.
Nor
is
it
the
case,
either
historically
and
textually
or
by
philosophical
 implication,
that
the
Thomistic
model
offers
an
ontology
of
simple
 necessity
and
that
the
Scotistic
language
provides
a
previously
unavailable
 ontology
of
contingencies.
Rather
this
language
concerning
contingency— given
major
impetus
by
Scotus
and
subsequently
appropriated
by
a
wide
 variety
of
thinkers—provided
a
new
clarity
for
the
expression
of
an
 assumption
concerning
contingency
and
freedom
that
was
already
present
 in
Christian
theology
and
philosophy. Arguably,
it
had
been
what
might
well
be
called
the
“master
 understanding”
in
the
main
lines
of
non-pantheistic
Western
theology
and
 philosophy
from
Augustine
onward
that
the
world
order
is
contingent
(i.e.,
 created
ex
nihilo)
and
that
there
is
an
overarching
providential
order
within
 which
rational
creatures
exercise
free
choice.
The
philosophical
difficulty
of
 arguing
contingency
and
freedom
in
medieval
and
early
modern
settings
 was
brought
about
not
so
much
by
the
ancient
philosophical
debate
as
by
 the
monotheistic
Christian
context
into
which
the
Aristotelian
language
of
 contingency
was
drawn
on
by
medieval
theology
and
philosophy.
The
 understanding
of
finite,
temporal
things
as
contingent
and
of
human
actions
 as
free
was,
in
other
words,
altered
significantly
by
the
identification
of
the
 universal
order
of
things
as
radically
contingent,
created
ex
nihilo,
and


necessarily
dependent
in
its
origin
and
continued
existence
on
the
divine
 will.
The
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
did
not
originate
this
 understanding
or
simply
replace
a
notion
of
diachronic
contingency—rather
 it
added
a
significant
layer
of
explanation
particularly
useful
in
discussions
 of
free
choice
in
which
the
multiple
potencies
of
the
agent
are
under
 consideration
and
in
discussions
of
the
interrelationship
of
divine
and
 human
causality
in
which
both
God
and
the
human
being
are
described
as
 having
potencies
to
more
than
one
effect. The
concept
of
synchronic
contingency
is
not
particularly
useful
in
 explaining
natural
causality,
where
the
finite,
created
cause
has
potency
to
 one
effect
only:
to
say
that
when
God
wills
that
there
be
an
earthquake;
it
is
 possible
that
there
not
be
an
earthquake
only
serves
to
register
the
 assumption
that
God
is
free
to
will
or
not
will
earthquakes
(or,
perhaps
 more
properly,
that
God
is
free
to
will
or
not
will
into
actuality
a
possible
 world
in
which
an
earthquake
takes
place
at
a
particular
time).
Given
that
 the
earthquake
does
not
arise
in
any
way
from
the
causal
activity
of
a
finite
 rational
being,
all
that
has
been
registered
by
the
use
of
synchronic
 language
is
the
freedom
of
God
and
the
contingency
of
the
created
order
as
 a
whole.
And
given
that
the
earthquake
is
a
product
of
lines
of
cause
and
 effect
in
the
natural
order,
the
necessity
of
its
occurrence
is
to
be
understood
 as
a
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing,
namely,
an
absolute
necessity
 relativized
only
by
the
contingent
nature
of
the
order
as
a
whole.
By
 contrast,
the
language
is
quite
useful
in
explaining
the
interrelationship
of
 divine
and
human
causality,
in
which
both
agents,
God
and
the
individual
 human
being,
have
potency
to
more
than
one
effect:
in
his
place
in
the
order
 of
finite
things,
namely,
within
the
realm
of
secondary
causality,
A
can
will
 either
p
or
not-p;
and
God,
in
his
place
beyond
and
supportive
of
the
order
 of
finite
things
can
will
either
that
A
wills
p
or
that
A
wills
not-p.
Of
course,
 given
also
the
law
of
non-contradiction
A
cannot
both
will
and
not
will
p
in
 the
same
way,
at
the
same
place,
or
at
the
same
time
as
he
wills
not-p;
and
 given
the
divine
concursus
(whether
construed
in
a
Thomist,
Scotist,
or
one
 or
another
Reformed
manner),
it
also
cannot
be
the
case
that
God
actually
 wills
that
A
wills
p
and
A
actually
wills
not-p
or
that
God
actually
wills
that
 A
actually
wills
not-p
and
A
wills
p!
In
other
words,
given
the
Reformed
 understanding
of
divine
concurrence,
A
would
not
be
capable
of
freely
 willing
either
p
or
not-p
apart
from
a
concurrent
divine
causality
because,
 apart
from
the
divine
concurrence,
A
would
not
be
capable
of
willing
at
all.


And,
conversely,
we
are
reminded
of
Burgersdijk’s
dictum
that
it
is
ex
 hypothesi
impossible
for
a
secondary
cause
not
to
operate
when
the
primary
 cause
concurs
with
it.2 What
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
underlines
is
that
given
the
 way
in
which
the
willing
of
a
finite
rational
being,
albeit
within
the
limited
 and
dependent
capacity
of
its
nature,
has
potency
to
more
than
one
effect,
 the
occurrence
of
p
or
of
not-p
is
a
necessity
of
the
consequence,
an
effect
 that
could
be
otherwise,
and
not
a
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing—and
 that
this
consequent
necessity
or
contingency
is
not
removed
but
rather
is
 enabled
by
the
concurrent
divine
willing
that
also
could
be
otherwise.
Still
 this
synchronic
contingency
does
not
(and
clearly
cannot)
indicate
the
 synchronous
actualization
of
contraries
in
a
given
existent
world
or
 universe,
nor
does
it
indicate
that
a
human
being
has
the
ability
to
exercise
a
 potency
that
is
not
in
accord
with
the
divine
willing—rather
it
indicates
the
 existence
of
genuine
contingency
on
the
basis
of
a
synchronic
presence
of
 an
actualized
potency
with
an
unactualized
potency
to
the
contrary.
In
other
 words,
it
is
not
as
if
contrary
contingencies
are
actualized
simultaneously,
 only
that
contrary
contingencies
are
both
understood
as
potencies
capable
 of
actualization
and
that
a
particular
potency
does
not
disappear
as
a
 potency
when
its
contrary
is
actualized. The
language
of
synchronic
contingency,
applied
to
an
instance
of
the
 divine
willing
and
an
event
in
the
physical
order
that
“could
be
otherwise,”
 while
indicating
the
ultimate
contingency
of
the
entire
temporal
order,
is
 philosophically
quite
uninteresting.
What
makes
the
language
interesting
is
 its
application
to
the
particular
case
of
the
concurrent
willing
of
two
rational
 beings
involved
in
the
actualization
of
one
effect—a
case
in
which
both
of
 the
beings
could
will
otherwise,
but
given
that
both
wills
taken
together
are
 the
necessary
and
sufficient
conditions
for
the
actualization
of
the
effect,
 both
must
be
understood
as
freely
concurring
to
a
single
effect.
That
is
 interesting.
Further,
it
is
also
profoundly
uninteresting
and
philosophically
 quite
useless
to
argue
the
case
for
freedom
of
will
by
lodging
the
contrary
 effect
as
in
another,
presently
unactualized
possible
world
or,
indeed,
in
an
 actualized
possible
world
in
which
the
agent
must
be
identified
as
a
 different
being.
Such
argumentation
does
not
offer
a
satisfactory
 explanation
of
free
choice
in
a
particular
world
order.
Rather,
what
is
both
 interesting
and
significant
in
the
synchronic
contingency
account
is
that
it
 does
not
merely
posit
a
contingent
reality
and
its
logical
contrary
but


actually
argues
a
simultaneity
not
of
contingencies
but
of
potencies
in
a
 particular
world
order.
Rooting
of
contingency
in
the
order
of
secondary
 causality,
moreover,
is
a
more
distinctly
Thomistic
than
Scotistic
approach. It
is
also
important
to
remember
that
there
are
at
least
two
meanings
of
 possibility
in
medieval
and
early
modern
works
and
that
“possibility”
and
 “potency”
are
not
synonyms:
a
possibility
or
a
“possible”
can
refer
to
 something
that
does
not
exist
but
may
exist;
or
it
can
refer
to
something
that
 does
exist
but
not
necessarily,
that
is,
it
can
be
used
synonymously
with
a
 contingency.
Potency
is
contrasted
with
actuality
and
indicates
in
its
 absolute
sense
the
capability
or
capacity
for
existence
or
actualization.
 Since
a
potency
is
by
nature
unactualized
it
can
be
used
synonymously
with
 the
first
meaning
of
possible,
not
with
the
second.
Potency
or
possibility
in
 this
sense
is
characteristic
of
contingent
being,
just
as
full
and
perfect
 actuality
is
characteristic
of
necessary
being. There
are
also
two
readings
of
contingency,
but
both
fit
with
the
second
 meaning
of
possible,
that
is,
they
assume
the
existence
of
the
thing
as
either
 not
necessary,
which
is
to
say
possible
not
to
be
(quod
potest
non
esse);
or
 as
possible
of
being
otherwise
(quod
potest
aliter
se
habere),
which
both
 assumes
and
includes
the
former
by
also
indicating
other
possible
 alterations
in
non-necessary
being.
The
relation
of
the
contingent
to
the
 second
definition
of
possible
is
underlined,
in
both
definitions,
by
the
use
of
 potest.
The
contingent/possible
is
contingent
precisely
because
it
(or
a
cause
 external
to
it)
has
potency
for
it
to
be
otherwise
and
it
is
therefore
possible
 of
becoming
in
various
senses
other
than
what
it
is. Thus,
potency
is
never
synonymous
with
contingency,
although
an
 unrealized
potency
is
a
clear
and
necessary
indicator
of
a
contingency
and
 is
characteristic
of
contingent
being.
This
distinction
is
not
clearly
enough
 observed
in
the
writings
of
Vos,
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom,
and
their
associates.
Yet
this
is
where
the
issue
of
synchronicity
 actually
comes
to
bear
and
can
be
identified
as
a
significant
modifier
or
 qualifier
of
the
standard
diachronic
language
of
contingency:
when
Socrates
 sits,
it
is
impossible
that
he
stand,
but
he
does
retain
the
potency
to
stand.
In
 a
specific
temporal
moment,
the
contingent
or
possible
being,
Socrates,
is
 the
sitting
Socrates.
In
that
same
moment
he
cannot
be
the
possible
 (contingent)
standing
Socrates—but
he
has
the
potency,
synchronically,
in
 the
moment
that
he
sits
and
therefore
also
to
be
standing
Socrates
in
the
 next
moment.
Or,
to
broaden
the
example,
when
Socrates
lies
down,
it
is


impossible
that
he
sit
or
stand,
but
he
has
potency
while
lying
down
to
 either
sit
or
stand.
In
other
words,
the
presence
of
potencies
to
more
than
 one
effect
doesn’t
remove
the
diachronicity
of
the
actual
contingencies
of
 lying
down,
sitting,
or
standing,
but
is
a
clear
indicator
of
genuine
 contingency. The
language
of
synchronic
contingency
does
not,
after
all,
indicate
that
 an
event
and
its
contrary
or
contradictory
are
in
any
sense
actualized
in
the
 same
moment,
unless
one
hypothesizes
that
they
are
both
actualized
in
 different
possible
worlds—a
solution
that,
as
we
have
already
noted,
is
 ontologically
unsatisfying.
More
accurate
than
“synchronic”
or
 “simultaneous
contingency”
are
the
terms
“synchronic”
or
“simultaneous
 potency.”
Such
terminology
would,
moreover,
be
more
precisely
rooted
in
 the
documents
than
“synchronic”
or
“simultaneous
contingency”:
the
 standard
scholastic
distinction
was,
after
all,
between
simultas
potentiae
and
 potentia
simultatis—allowing
for
simultaneous
potencies
but
disallowing
 that
there
is
any
potency
for
the
simultaneity
of
(contingent!)
effects.
The
 scholastics
did
not
and
could
not
speak
of
a
simultas
contingentiae,
having
 identified
the
impossibility
of
a
potency
for
it.
Issues
in
nomenclature
aside,
 however,
this
language
of
synchronous
potencies
and
of
distinctions
 between
the
divided
and
composite
senses
is
particularly
useful—not
as
a
 different
ontology
but
as
a
heuristic
device
particularly
in
cases
of
divine
 and
human
willing,
in
which
there
are
multiple
potencies
operative
in
the
 same
moment
at
two
different
levels
of
causality. As
Owen,
Voetius,
Turretin,
and
various
other
Reformed
writers
of
the
 era
indicate,
human
freedom
includes
freedom
from
physical
or
brute
 necessity,
natural
necessity
or
constraint.3
The
implication,
of
course,
is
that
 there
is
necessity
in
the
physical
order
of
things,
despite
the
contingency
of
 the
order
as
a
whole.
Non-rational,
purely
physical
being
when
it
acts
or
 changes
has
potency
to
one
effect.
Such
effects
can
vary,
but
they
 nonetheless
belong
to
an
order
of
necessity
that
can
be
described
as
a
 relative
necessity
of
the
consequent
thing.
The
case
of
human
freedom,
as
a
 species
of
contingency,
is
quite
different:
it
references
a
genuine
 alternativity
in
human
choice
that
is
ontically
grounded
in
the
divine
decree,
 maintained
in
the
providential
concursus,
and
rooted
in
the
potencies
 belonging
to
the
will
and
the
free
determinations
of
the
intellect. Helm’s
reading
of
Turretin
tends
toward
reducing
Turretin’s
definition
of
 freedom
to
spontaneity
and
absence
of
coercion,
inasmuch
as
it


deemphasizes
the
distinction
between
the
will
in
its
primary
and
its
 secondary
actuality,
undervalues
Turretin’s
sense
of
the
indifference
of
will
 in
actu
primo,
and
virtually
removes
the
liberty
of
contradiction
and
liberty
 of
contrariety
that
Turretin
indicates
is
characteristic
of
free
choice.
Helm’s
 argument
that
“there
is
a
‘necessitarianism’
in
the
relation
between
the
 working
of
the
intellect
and
the
will”
does
not
do
justice
to
the
arbitrium
 that
Turretin
places
in
the
relation
of
intellect
to
will.
The
necessity
in
 Turretin’s
discussion
of
the
relationship
of
intellect
and
will,
as
in
Voetius’
 analysis,
is
not
a
“necessitarianism.”
It
consists
in
the
“rational
necessity”
 (agreeable
to
contingency)
that
there
be
a
determination
in
order
for
the
act
 of
free
choice
to
be
completed
and
in
the
necessity
that
the
uncoerced
will
 follow
that
determination.
Turretin,
much
like
Aquinas,
does
argue
for
a
 certain
very
specific
kind
of
alternativity,
namely,
an
alternativity
arising
 from
the
ability
of
the
intellect
to
make
a
rational
determination
to
one
 thing,
given
its
potency
to
determine
otherwise—and
there
is
no
implication
 of
a
potency
to
one
effect
such
as
would
be
requisite
to
necessitarianism.4 9.2
The
Historical
Narrative—and
the
Question
of
Reformed
“Scotism” Our
study
has
shown,
from
a
philosophical
or
philosophico-theological
 perspective,
that
the
determinist
readings
of
Aristotle
and
Aquinas
endemic
 to
the
claim
of
a
Scotistic
revolution
of
thought
and
of
its
impact
on
early
 modern
Reformed
theology
are
not
supported
by
the
documents.
As
we
 have
seen,
a
different
narrative
is
required.
The
issue
for
the
Western
 tradition
was
not
to
shed
a
purported
Aristotelian
determinism
but,
 beginning
quite
clearly
with
Augustine,
to
coordinate
an
Aristotelian
 understanding
of
contingency,
potency,
and
freedom
with
a
Christian
 assumption
of
an
overarching
divine
providence,
resting
on
the
nonAristotelian
assumption
of
a
creation
ex
nihilo.
Or
to
make
the
point
another
 way,
the
problem
faced
by
the
tradition
was
to
retain
the
Aristotelian
refusal
 of
the
deterministic
implications
of
what
has
been
called
the
principle
of
 plenitude
while
at
the
same
time
identifying
God
as
the
ultimate
cause
of
all
 things. Thus,
the
analysis
presented
by
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
rightly
understands
the
basic
intention
of
seventeenth-century
 Reformed
writers
in
their
argument
for
free
choice
in
a
contingent,
 dependent
world
order—it
is
their
narrative
concerning
the
development
of


Christian
theology
and
philosophy
prior
to
the
seventeenth
century
that
 requires
major
revision.
In
the
case
of
Aristotle,
they
represent
a
disputed
 reading
of
his
thought
that
was
not
the
majority
reading
in
the
Middle
Ages.
 In
the
case
of
Aquinas,
they
represent
an
importation
of
a
particular
reading
 of
Aristotle
into
Aquinas,
quite
specifically,
of
a
reading
that
he
himself
did
 not
hold.
Once
Aquinas
is
taken
at
his
word
on
the
issue
of
contingency,
the
 significant
developments
in
understandings
of
contingency
and
freedom,
 both
divine
and
human,
that
took
place
at
the
end
of
the
thirteenth
century
 are
seen
to
be
not
so
much
as
an
overturning
of
the
earlier
models
or
as
the
 sudden
resolution
of
a
“master
problem”
inherent
in
the
older
Christian
 tradition
as
the
development
of
issues
and
themes
already
present
in
the
 older
tradition. From
the
historical
perspective,
therefore,
it
is
far
more
accurate
to
 describe
the
Reformed
as
eclectic
in
their
reception
and
appropriation
of
 traditionary
sources.
Reformed
discussions
of
contingency
and
freedom,
 particularly
when
set
into
the
context
of
the
intimately
related
 understandings
of
divine
concurrence,
fit
into
patterns
of
argument
that
 belong
to
a
broad
tradition
of
Christian
Aristotelianism
that
include,
 notably,
a
series
of
Thomistic
as
well
as
Scotistic,
approaches
to
the
 problem.
Calvin
cannot
be
easily
wedged
into
the
determinist
description
 argued
by
Vos.
Furthermore,
Calvin’s
contemporary
and
colleague,
 Vermigli,
offered
a
clear
account
of
divine
freedom
and
human
free
choice
 that
is
not
only
largely
Thomistic
but
also
far
clearer
than
Calvin’s
account.
 We
have
also
seen
that
there
is
no
reason
to
posit
a
massive
shift
in
 understanding
toward
Scotism,
after
the
time
of
Zanchi
and
Ursinus,
in
the
 thought
of
such
writers
as
Junius
and
Gomarus.
In
other
words,
the
 identification
of
early
modern
Reformed
orthodoxy
as
predominantly
 Scotist
is
historically
and
philosophically
unjustified,
despite
the
presence
 of
formulations
in
early
modern
Reformed
thought
that
frame
matters
of
 contingency
and
freedom
in
terms
of
“synchronic”
or
“simultaneous
 contingency”—and
despite
the
impetus
given
to
the
use
of
this
language
 from
the
work
of
Johannes
Duns
Scotus. Whereas
“Scotist”
or
“Scotistic”
may
serve
as
ready-made
handles
for
a
 particular
concept,
the
presence
of
the
concept
itself,
given
the
rather
varied
 trajectory
of
its
appropriation
between
the
thirteenth
and
the
seventeenth
 century,
the
denial
of
other
significant
elements
of
Scotus’
thought
by
those
 who
appropriated
the
concept,
and
the
varied
background
of
seventeenth-

century
Reformed
thought,
offers
no
firm
ground
for
an
identification
of
 Reformed
orthodox
theology
in
general
as
Scotist. Reformed
use
of
language
of
contingency,
framed
by
distinctions
 between
the
necessity
of
the
consequence
and
the
necessity
of
the
 consequent
thing
and
between
the
divided
and
the
composite
sense,
reflect
 the
general
medieval
reading
of
Aristotle’s
De
Interpretatione,
among
other
 texts,
and
therefore
identified
a
shared
Aristotelianism
rather
than
a
 specifically
Thomist
or
Scotist
tendency
in
their
thought.
Reformed
 approaches
contain
aspects
that
can
be
traced
to
Scotus,
but
also
others
that
 can
be
traced
to
Aquinas,
perhaps
sometimes
to
Ockham,
and
to
other
 medieval
thinkers.
The
result
is
eclectic,
albeit
also
quite
coherent. In
the
specific
case
of
the
distinctions
and
formulations
associated
with
 synchronic
or
simultaneous
contingency,
the
language
itself
belonged
to
 one
line
of
approach
to
issues
of
contingency
found
in
the
Middle
Ages,
a
 line
that
was
evidenced
already
in
Lombard
and
Aquinas
and
that
became
 prominent
in
the
work
of
Duns
Scotus,
but
also
in
the
work
of
several
of
his
 contemporaries.
After
the
time
of
Olivi,
Scotus,
and
Bradwardine,
the
 distinctions
associated
with
synchronic
contingency
and
the
concept
itself
 became
a
common
property
of
scholastic
theology—and
as
such
was
 transmitted
through
a
variety
of
sources,
notably
Dominican
ones,
to
the
 Reformed
orthodox
writers
of
the
early
modern
era. If
the
background
to
Reformed
understandings
of
a
series
of
(usually
 three)
momenta
or
instantes
in
the
divine
willing
of
possibles
into
actuality
 can
be
identified
as
largely
Scotist,
although
often
mediated
through
and
 modified
by
non-Scotist
thinkers
like
Alvarez,
the
background
to
Reformed
 understandings
of
possibility
as
grounded
in
the
divine
potentia
was
not
at
 all
Scotist.
Reformed
understandings
of
divine
ideas
as
belonging
to
the
 divine
essence
and
known
to
God
in
his
potentia
have
a
strongly
Thomistic
 background.
So
also
do
the
understanding
of
divine
concurrence
as
physical
 premotion,
the
nearly
uniform
rejection
of
the
univocity
of
being,
and
the
 insistence
that
the
will
follows
the
last
determiniate
judgment
of
the
 practical
intellect
found
among
many,
but
not
all,
of
the
early
modern
 Reformed
evidence
a
Thomistic
background.
In
the
cases
of
Junius
and
 Turretin,
moreover,
we
have
seen
the
more
Thomistic
inclination
to
argue
 that
the
will
necessarily
wills
its
happiness—a
point
absent
from
the
 somewhat
more
voluntaristic
readings
found
in
Gomarus
and
Voetius.

Vos,
Bac,
and
Pleizier
insist
here
that
this
identification
of
Thomist
 sources
needs
to
be
read
as
a
“reverent
exposition,”
after
the
manner
of
 medieval
commentators
who
nuanced
their
reading
of
texts
in
accordance
 with
a
context
of
presumed
theological
and
philosophical
truth—in
this
 case,
reading
nominally
Thomist
texts
through
the
true
vision
of
 “Scotistically
tinted
glasses.”5
Even
if
one
accepts
for
the
moment
the
 (highly
debatable!)
claim
that
the
medieval
practice
of
reverent
exposition
 carried
over
into
early
modern
Reformed
scholasticism,
it
must
be
asked
 which
doctrine,
if
any,
provided
the
theoretical
framework
for
the
Reformed
 view
of
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom.
If,
in
other
words,
formulae
 related
to
concepts
of
synchronic
contingency
are
found
in
arguments
that
 also
rest
clearly
on
the
concept
of
physical
premotion,
one
must
ask
which
 conceptual
structure
is
determinative,
the
nominally
Scotist
or
the
 nominally
Thomist—or
one
must
simply
defer
to
the
obvious
and
recognize
 that
the
formulation
is
eclectic
and
draws
on
several
centuries
of
 conversation
and
debate
on
a
series
of
related
issues.
The
issue
here
is
that
 if
the
Thomistic
concept
of
a
praemotio
physica,
held
by
Twisse,
 Rutherford,
Owen,
and
Turretin,
offers
a
distinct
alternative
to
the
Scotistic
 conception
of
co-causality,
we
are
left
with
the
conclusion
that
the
doctrine
 of
concurrence
held
by
these
thinkers
cannot
be
accommodated
to
a
purely
 Scotistic
understanding.
Nor,
if
we
look
to
alternative
arguments
for
cocausality
in
writers
like
Baxter,
Baron,
and
Strang,
is
the
conclusion
of
 eclectic
reception
altered—rather
for
the
broader
Reformed
tradition,
it
is
 enhanced.
The
yield,
then,
is
a
sense
of
the
eclectic
reception
among
the
 Reformed
of
the
materials
of
the
older
tradition,
almost
to
the
point,
turning
 Vos’
argument
on
its
head,
that
a
somewhat
Scotistic
formulation
was
read
 through
the
lenses
of
a
more
or
less
Thomistic
approach
to
divine
causality
 and
providential
concurrence. Similarly,
given
Voetius’
and
Turretin’s
insistence—argued
in
general
 accord
with
various
other
Reformed
writers
of
the
era—that
the
will
follows
 the
last
determinate
judgment
of
the
practical
intellect,6
albeit
consistently
 referencing
the
distinction
between
the
composite
and
divided
sense
and
the
 issue
of
a
simultaneity
of
potencies
in
the
will,
their
argumentation
 concerning
free
choice
cannot
be
viewed
as
uniformly
Scotistic.
There
is
no
 evidence
in
their
accounts
of
an
ultimate
capacity
of
the
will
either
to
 determine
or
to
set
aside
the
judgment
of
the
practical
intellect.
Here,
 Turretin’s
antecedents
include
both
Thomistic
and
Scotistic
accounts
and


appear
to
draw
on
medieval
and
second
scholastic
developments,
with
his
 insistence
that
the
will
follows
the
intellect
having
clearly
Thomistic
 antecendents.
Beyond
this,
the
several
Reformed
writers
who
indicate
that
 the
will
need
not
follow
the
last
determinate
judgment
of
the
practical
 intellect
do
not
provide
the
further
nuancing
of
this
view
that
we
have
seen
 in
Scotus—rather
they
reflect
more
clearly
the
pre-Scotist
lines
of
argument
 found
among
thirteenth-century
Franciscans.
A
similar
point
can
be
made
 concerning
the
Reformed
appropriation
of
the
distinction
between
potentia
 absoluta
and
potentia
ordinata:
here
again,
the
tendency
is
to
reflect
 thirteenth-century
understandings
and
not
to
follow
out
the
development
 that
began
with
Scotus
toward
viewing
the
potentia
absoluta
as
capable
of
 overruling
the
extant
order.
The
narrative
of
a
Scotist
dominance,
moreover,
 is
specifically
countered
not
only
by
the
predominance
of
citations
of
 Aquinas
and
various
other
Dominicans
and
by
the
adoption
by
a
majority
of
 the
Reformed
of
a
series
of
Thomistic
concepts—it
is
also
countered
by
the
 explicit
identification
of
the
Scotist
view
as
a
minority
opinion.7 Resolution
of
the
question
of
medieval
antecedents
and
scholastic
 backgrounds,
therefore,
points
toward
a
broad
reading
and
highly
eclectic
 reception
of
medieval
materials,
and
by
the
third
or
fourth
decade
of
the
 seventeenth
century
a
significant
reception
of
Roman
Catholic
second
 scholasticism
as
well.
Given
the
accents
and
emphasis
of
the
Reformed
 appropriation
(as
noted
just
above),
the
Thomistic
lines
of
argument
are
the
 most
prominent,
whether
drawn
more
or
less
directly
from
Aquinas,
or
 received
indirectly
from
earlier
Reformed
writers
like
Vermigli
and
Zanchi,
 or
appropriated
via
later
Dominican
thinkers
like
Bañez
and
Alvarez.
It
is,
 moreover,
Aquinas
who
is
both
frequently
and
consistently
numbered
 among
the
saniores
scholastici
by
the
Reformed
writers,
beginning
with
 Bucer
in
the
1530s
and
continuing
into
the
era
of
orthodoxy,
while
other
 theologians
of
his
time
and
those
of
the
next
era,
including
Scotus,
are
 typically
identified
as
more
clearly
belonging
and,
indeed,
contributing
to
 the
decline
of
theology.8
This
conclusion
is
also
borne
out
by
the
 preponderance
of
positive
references
to
Aquinas
in
Reformed
orthodox
 works,
as
compared
to
the
fewer
and
often
negative
references
to
Durandus,
 Scotus,
and
others.9 The
other
question,
namely,
of
the
impact
of
the
language
of
synchronic
 contingency
or
more
precisely,
simultaneity
of
potencies,
on
seventeenthcentury
Reformed
thought
requires
a
more
complex
answer.
As
indicated
by


Helm,
language
of
synchronic
contingency,
as
long
as
it
respects
the
basic
 distinctions
between
possibility
in
sensu
diviso
and
possibility
in
sensu
 composito
and
between
the
simultaneity
of
potency
(which
can
occur)
and
 the
potency
of
simultaneity
(which
cannot),
does
not
dispute
the
basic
 temporal
datum
that
contingent
events
are
arranged
diachronically.
From
a
 purely
formal
perspective,
to
the
extent
that
it
can
be
associated
with
the
 specific
definition
of
the
contingent
as
something
that
could
be
other
than
 what
it
is
and
that
it
registers
and
ongoing
presence
of
contrary
potencies,
 the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
marks
a
refinement
in
discussions
 of
freedom
and
contingency. Beyond
this,
the
language
of
synchronic
contingency
offers
an
advance— specifically
an
advance
by
way
of
augmentation
rather
than
of
replacement —over
purely
diachronic
language
of
contingency
in
the
specific
case
in
 which
two
independent
rational
beings
and
therefore
two
wills
are
 operative.
But
it
does
not
offer
this
advance
in
isolation
from
other
elements
 of
the
argument
for
the
synchronic
or
simultaneous
operations
of
divine
and
 human
willing;
it
only
offers
it
in
connection
with
understandings
of
divine
 concursus
and
of
the
relations
of
intellect
and
will
in
human
choice,
In
the
 cases
of
many
of
the
Reformed,
an
understanding
of
the
divine
concursus
as
 physical
premotion
coupled
with
a
definition
of
the
will
as
necessarily
 following
the
judgment
of
the
practical
intellect,
provides
a
fundamentally
 Thomistic
context
for
the
adoption
of
language
of
synchronic
contingency. From
a
purely
historical
perspective,
therefore,
apart
from
the
question
of
 the
import
of
synchronic
contingency,
neither
the
history
of
the
concept
 itself
nor
the
patterns
of
reception
of
the
concept
among
the
seventeenthcentury
Reformed
yield
the
conclusion
that
the
Reformed
ought
to
be
 identified
as
Scotist—particularly
when
they
regularly
deny
other
concepts
 as
important
to
Scotus’
thought
as
synchronic
contingency.
By
the
time
that
 the
Reformed
writers
drew
on
the
concept
of
synchronic
contingency,
it
was
 no
longer
received
as
a
specifically
Scotistic
concept,
if
it
ever
had
been
 one.
The
background
to
the
rather
diverse
Reformed
theology
and
 philosophy
of
the
era
was
quite
complex
and
varied:
the
appropriation
of
 concepts
and
arguments
related
to
or
drawn
from
Scotus’
thought
was
 paralleled
by
appropriation
of
concepts
and
arguments
related
to
and
drawn
 from
other
medievals,
not
only
Thomas
Aquinas
but
also
Thomas
 Bradwardine,
Gregory
of
Rimini,
Thomas
of
Strasbourg,
and
others.
These


appropriations,
moreover,
varied
in
quantity
and
kind
among
the
Reformed
 writers
of
the
era. What
this
study
has
not
done—indeed,
has
consciously
avoided—is
to
 take
the
revised
narrative
of
Reformed
thought
concerning
free
choice
past
 the
high
orthodox
era
of
Reformed
theology
into
the
era
of
the
 Latitudinarianism
and
the
Enlightenment,
when
the
philosophical
 underpinnings
and
the
scholastic
distinctions
characteristic
of
this
older
 orthodoxy
were
set
aside
in
favor
of
the
“mechanical”
Cartesian,
Lockian,
 and
Newtonian
philosophies
and
the
balance
of
divine
willing
and
human
 freedom
characteristic
of
the
original
Reformed
theology
were
lost.
We
 have
some
indication
of
the
effects
of
this
theological
and
philosophical
 shift
in
the
strictly
determinist
turn
given
to
Protestant
thought
in
the
 writings
of
Jonathan
Edwards,
but
the
complexities
of
that
transition
remain
 to
be
examined.10 9.3
Reformed
Orthodoxy,
Determinism,
Compatibilism,
and
 Libertarianism Throughout
the
preceding
study,
I
have
worked
at
avoiding
the
standard
 modern
language
of
compatibilism
and
libertarianism
and
have
fairly
 consistently
denied
that
the
main
lines
of
development
of
Reformed
 orthodoxy
were
deterministic,
specifically
that
they
do
not
represent
what
 can
generally
be
identified
as
philosophical
or
metaphysical
determinism.
 This
approach
rests
on
my
conviction
that
the
modern
terms
 “compatibilism”
and
“libertarianism,”
“determinism”
and
“indeterminism”
 are
less
than
useful
in
describing
the
Reformed
orthodox
or,
indeed,
various
 medieval
solutions
to
the
problem
of
the
divine
will
and
human
freedom.
 The
conviction
can
be
illustrated
by
a
series
of
statements
concerning
the
 terms,
possible
usages,
and
the
conclusions
that
we
have
drawn
concerning
 early
modern
Reformed
thought
on
necessity,
contingency,
and
freedom. If
libertarianism
is
taken
to
mean
either
that
human
free
choice
is
utterly
 independent,
that
an
individual
agent’s
free
choice
can
be
defined
as
free
 only
when
it
is
brought
about
solely
by
the
agent
and
not
by
causes
beyond
 his
control,11
or,
in
soteriological
matters,
that
human
beings
have
the
power
 of
choosing
or
refusing
the
gift
of
saving
grace,
then
Reformed
orthodox
 theology
is
clearly
not
libertarian.

If
indeterminism
is
taken
to
mean
that
the
ultimate
result
of
an
action
or,
 more
importantly,
of
the
series
of
actions
and
events
that
make
up
the
world
 order,
is
random
and
unpredictable
or
unknowable,
then,
certainly,
the
 Reformed
orthodox
writers
were
not
at
all
indeterminist. If
determinism
is
taken
to
mean
that
there
is
no
contingency
in
the
world
 order
such
that
human
acts
and
effects,
as
willed
by
individual
human
 beings,
could
not
have
been
otherwise
(or
in
view
of
resident
potencies,
 could
not
be
otherwise),
then
Reformed
thought
is
not
determinist. If
compatibilism
is
taken
to
mean
not
only
that
the
determination
of
all
 human
acts
and
human
freedom
are
epistemically
compatible
but
also
that
 this
compatibility
rules
out
genuine
liberty
of
contradiction
and
liberty
of
 contrariety
in
human
choosing
such
that
a
choice
at
any
given
moment
 (given
both
divine
and
human
freedom)
could
be
otherwise,
then
Reformed
 orthodoxy
is
clearly
not
compatibilist. If,
further,
compatibilism
is
taken
to
mean
the
ontic
(as
well
as
epistemic)
 compatibility
of
the
divine
determination
of
all
things
with
the
freedom
of
 will,
but
not
with
freedom
of
choice
understood
as
freedom
of
contradiction
 and
contrariety,
then
the
Reformed
orthodox
were
not
compatibilist. If,
however,
compatibilism
were
taken
to
mean
that
the
divine
 determination
of
all
things
is
ontically
as
well
as
epistemically
compatible
 with
freedom
of
contradiction
and
contrariety,
with
the
intellect
understood
 as
self-determining
in
its
identification
of
objects,
then
the
Reformed
 orthodox
can
be
identified
as
compatibilist—but
this
definition
would
set
an
 older
Reformed
compatibilism
quite
apart
from
classical
and
modern
 philosophical
understandings
of
the
compatibilist
position
where
 something,
whether
in
the
past
or
the
present
context,
in
addition
to
the
 intellect’s
judgment
must
be
different
and
serve
as
a
prior
cause
of
that
 judgment. The
modern
terms
do
not
quite
fit
the
early
modern
case—just
as,
 arguably,
they
also
do
not
entirely
fit
the
main
line
of
Peripatetic
 argumentation,
whether
in
ancient
times
or
during
the
Middle
Ages.
On
the
 grounds
of
their
assumptions
concerning
divine
knowing,
willing,
and
 predestining
or
predetermining,
the
Reformed
orthodox,
like
Aquinas
or
 Scotus,
can
easily
be
identified
as
determinists
and,
because
they
also
argue
 for
human
freedom,
as
compatibilists.
However,
on
grounds
of
their
 language
of
contingency,
freedom
of
operation
of
finite
causes,
and
 contrariety,
the
Reformed
orthodox,
again
like
Aquinas
or
Scotus,
could
all


be
viewed
as
libertarian
despite
differences
in
formulation.
The
conclusion
 to
be
drawn,
however,
is
not
Stump’s
“libertarian
incompatibilist”
or
 Bobzien’s
“partial
causal
indeterminism”
option,
but
something
not
 altogether
congruent
with
contemporary
usage.
The
suggestion
of
 “dependent
freedom”
made
by
the
authors
of
Reformed
Thought
on
 Freedom
fits
the
case
rather
well. The
significant
difference
between
the
older
language
of
freedom,
in
its
 compatibility
with
a
divine