Adiaphora (ἀδιάφορα), things indifferent. In ethics the term has been applied to actions neither expressly commanded nor prohibited by the moral law, which may or may not be done. The question whether such actions are possible, is affirmed by the Stoics, and, among the Scholastics, by Dun Scotus, but denied by Thomas Aquinas. At the time of the Reformation it gave rise to the Adiaphoristic Controversy (q.v.). The Pietists of the 17th and 18th centuries and the philosophers Wolf and Fichte rejected it. Modern writers on ethics generally agree with Schleiermacher, who (Philippians Schriften, 2, 418) shows that this distinction can and ought to exist in state law, but cannot in the court of conscience. See, generally, Schmid, Adiaphora, wissenschaftlich und historisch untersucht (Leipz, 1809).

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