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Displaying: 1-20 of 39 documents

1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Richard Cross Duns Scotus on Divine Immensity
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In a recent article, Hud Hudson analyses divine omnipresence in terms of a spatial property, ubiquitous entension, neither reducible to nor derivative from any other divine attribute. Hudson’s view is an alternative to the predominant view in recent philosophical theology, in which omnipresence is reduced to omnipotence. I show that Duns Scotus adopts a view that conforms very closely to Hudson’s account, and show how he argues against the derivative view, which he finds in Aquinas. Hudson claims that ubiquitous entension helps dissolve the mystery of causal interactions between God and creatures. Scotus argues against this claim. He also argues against the view taken by Hudson that entension entails materiality. While fundamentally agreeing with Hudson’s basic position, then, Scotus nevertheless provides challenges both for Hudson and his opponents.
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Martin Pickup The Trinity and Extended Simples
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In this paper, I will offer an analogy between the Trinity and extended simples that supports a Latin approach to the Trinity. The theoretical tools developed to discuss and debate extended simples in the literature of contemporary analytic metaphysics, I argue, can help us make useful conceptual distinctions in attempts to understand what it could be for God to be Triune. Furthermore, the analogy between extended simples and the Trinity might surprise some who find one of these at least plausibly possible and the other incoherent.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Joshua Mugg The Quietest Challenge to the Axiology of God: A Cognitive Approach to Counterpossibles
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Guy Kahane asks an axiological question: what value would (or does) God’s existence bestow on the world? Supposing God’s existence is a matter of necessity, this axiological question faces a problem because answering it will require assessing the truth-value of counterpossibles. I argue that Kahane, Paul Moser, and Richard Davis and Paul Franks fail in their attempts to render the axiological question substantive. I then offer my own solution by bringing work in cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind to bear on the possibility of assessing counterpossibles. I argue that humans can engage in counterpossible reasoning by “accepting” or “supposing” that the antecedent is true and “screening out” those beliefs that would result in contradictions when combined in inferences with the acceptance or supposition. These screened out propositions are not treated as false, but are ignored. I offer a three-valued logic for counterpossible reasoning. I conclude by outlining some implications for the axiological question.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Alexander R. Pruss An Open Infinite Future is Impossible
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According to the Open Futurist there are no true undetermined contingent propositions about the future. I shall argue on probabilistic grounds that there are some statements about infinite futures that Open Futurism cannot handle. The Open Futurist’s best bet is to reject an infinite future, but a Christian philosopher cannot take that bet, and hence should reject Open Futurism.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Jeff Speaks Perfect Being Theology and Modal Truth
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In “The Method of Perfect Being Theology,” I argued that the attempt to derive the divine attributes from the principle that God is the greatest possible being faces substantial challenges. Here I clarify and defend the argument of that paper in response to the objections of Brian Leftow in “Perfection and Possibility,” and consider the question of whether we might use perfect being reasoning to establish the possibility of certain hypotheses about God.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
James Cain On the Geachian Theory of the Trinity And Incarnation: A Reply to Jedwab
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Contemporary accounts of the Trinity and Incarnation sometimes employ aspects of Peter Geach’s theory of relative identity. Geach’s theory provides an account not merely of identity predicates, but also proper names and restricted quantification. In a previous work I developed an account of the doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation incorporating these three aspects of Geach’s theory and tried to show how each might contribute to our understanding of the doctrines. Joseph Jedwab has recently argued that my account—or any that employs Geach’s treatment of restricted quantifiers—leads to serious doctrinal errors. I reply to his criticisms.
book reviews
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Ryan W. Davis Reasons, Rights, and Values, by Robert Audi
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8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
James M. Arcadi An Invitation to Analytic Christian Theology, by Thomas H. McCall
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Katherin Rogers The End of the Timeless God, by R. T. Mullins
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10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Chris Tucker The Hiddenness Argument: Philosophy’s New Challenge to Belief in God, by J. L. Schellenberg
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11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Shieva Kleinschmidt Simple Trinitarianism and Feature-Placing Sentences
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Some Trinitarians, such as Thomas Aquinas, wish to claim that God is mereologically simple; that is, God has no parts distinct from Himself. In this paper, I present Simple Trinitarianism, a view that takes God to be simple but, diverging from Aquinas, does not identify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with anything in our ontology. Nonetheless, Simple Trinitarians would like Trinitarian sentences to be true; thus, they must give a non-standard semantics for those sentences. I will focus on one possible semantics a Simple Trinitarian may give: taking Trinitarian claims to be translatable into feature-placing sentences, which posit property instantiation without requiring commitment to any objects that instantiate those properties.
12. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Michael Gorman Classical Theism, Classical Anthropology, and the Christological Coherence Problem
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The traditional claim that Christ is one person who is both divine and human might seem inconsistent with classical conceptions of understanding divinity and humanity. For example, the classical understanding of divinity would seem to require us to hold that divine beings are immaterial, while the classical understanding of humanity would seem to require us to hold that human beings are material, leaving us unable to speak consistently of one person who is divine and human both. This paper argues that revised versions of classical theism and classical anthropology can be developed, versions that avoid these problems.
13. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Andrew Pinsent Limbo and the Children of Faerie
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The fate of the ungraced innocents highlights much of what has been most difficult about the doctrine of original sin. As an alternative to the extremes of an easy-going universalism or consignment to the fires of hell, this paper re-examines Aquinas’s claims about a possible state of ungraced natural flourishing, arguing that this state is richer and more interesting than the name “limbo” implies. The paper also applies recent work in philosophy and psychology, especially on the second-person perspective, to understand better the state of those in limbo, who might more appropriately be called the “children of faerie.” It concludes by examining the possible relationship of the children of faerie and the children of God in a post-resurrection state.
14. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Pieter H. Vos “A Human Being’s Highest Perfection”: The Grammar and Vocabulary of Virtue in Kierkegaard’s Upbuilding Discourses
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Focusing on the grammar and vocabulary of virtue in Kierkegaard’s upbuilding works, it is argued that the Danish philosopher represents a Christian conception of the moral life that is distinct from but—contrary to Alasdair MacIntyre’s claim—not completely opposed to Aristotelian and Thomistic virtue ethics. Although the realities of sin and salvation transcend virtue ethics based purely on human nature, it is demonstrated that this does not prevent Kierkegaard from speaking constructively about human nature, its teleology (a teleological conception of the self) and about the virtues. Yet, from a Christian “upbuilding” perspective, general features of human nature must be transformed profoundly, which implies more than a harmonious perfection or completion of nature (Aquinas), but less than the complete replacement of nature by grace. Since this can be seen as a particular contribution to virtue ethics, in this specific sense, Kierkegaard may be called a virtue ethicist.
15. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Matthew Davidson The Logical Space of Social Trinitarianism
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I try to lay bare some of the conceptual space in which one may be a Social Trinitarian. I organize the paper around answers to five questions. These are: (1) How do the three Persons of the Trinity relate to the Godhead? (2) How many divine beings or gods are there? (3) How many distinct centers of consciousness are there in the Godhead? (4) How many omnicompetent beings are there? (5) How are the Persons of the Trinity individuated? I try to make clear costs and benefits of various answers to these questions.
review essay
16. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Thaddeus Metz Reasons of Meaning to Abhor the End of the Human Race
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In this review essay on Samuel Scheffler’s Death and the Afterlife, I focus on his intriguing suggestion that we reasonably care more about the fate of an unidentifiable, future humanity than of ourselves and our loved ones. Scheffler’s main rationale for this claim is that meaning in our lives crucially depends on contributing to the well-being of the human race down the road, with many commentators instead arguing that advancing the good of ourselves or existing loved ones would be sufficient. In contrast, I argue for a different kind of rationale for Scheffler’s conclusion, contending that it is our attachment to, not contribution towards, humanity’s flourishing that plausibly constitutes a large part of the meaning in our lives.
17. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Joshua C. Thurow A Natural History of Natural Theology, by Helen De Cruz and Johan De Smedt
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18. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
William F. Vallicella God, Modality, and Morality, by William E. Mann
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19. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 3
Adam Pelser Virtues and Their Vices, edited by Kevin Timpe and Craig A. Boyd
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20. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Laura Frances Callahan On the Problem of Paradise
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Benton, Hawthorne, and Isaacs (BHI) claim that evil must be evidence against God’s existence, because the absence of evil would be (presumably excellent) evidence for it. Their argument is obviously valid on standard Bayesian epistemology. But in addition to raising a few reasons one might doubt its premise, I here highlight the rather misleading meaning, in BHI’s argument, of evil’s being evidence against God. BHI seek to establish that if one learned simply “that there was evil,” perhaps via an oracle, one would gain evidence of some strength or other against God. But when we commonly observe that there is evil in the world, we learn a stronger proposition. And determining the evidential impact of that stronger proposition is not so easy. The interesting questions about the evidential impact of even a general awareness of evil in the world remain open.