Otte and Plantinga's Recent Exchange on the Free Will Defense

Richard Otte is a philosopher of religion at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work is characterized by applying the probability calculus to issues surrounding the rationality of belief in God. One can find links to many of his papers here.

Otte had an exchange with Plantinga on the latter's famous Free Will Defense (FWD) in a recent issue of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. In Otte's paper, he shows that Plantinga's definition of transworld depravity (TWD) is necessarily false(!). However, Otte goes on to offer an alternative notion that plays a similar role in Plantinga's FWD. Interestingly, Plantinga agrees with Otte's points.

Below are links to the papers:

Otte, Richard. "Transworld Depravity and Unobtainable Worlds", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78:1, pp. 165-177.

Plantinga, Alvin. "Transworld Depravity, Transworld Sanctity, and Uncooperative Essences", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78:1, pp. 178-191.


Surrealium said...


These both sound like fascinating papers. Unfortunately, the link to Plantinga's paper doesn't seem to be cooperating. It may, however, just be my computer. Does it work for you? Thanks.


-- Surrealium

exapologist said...

Hi Surrealium,

If you can't access it online, then you might have to take a trip to the library of your local university to check out the relevant issue of the journal. However, it might not hurt to email Plantinga and ask him to email you a copy of the penultimate draft.


rups900 said...

Hi Surrealium,

It is on Wiley but Wiley always seems to do that when you try to link to it. If you click on it through this google scholar search:,+Alvin.+%22Transworld+Depravity,&hl=en&scoring=r&as_ylo=2004

you should get to it. Of course you'll need access, which if you don't have I could email you the paper.


Josh said...

Ah yes, I remember Plantinga discussing this with us (some students). I then proposed a simpler account of TWD, which Plantinga and I discussed through email... I'll have to look that up again and see if there was anything interesting...