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  1. How to Speak About a Supreme Being.Jude Arnout Durieux - manuscript
    If the transcendence tree to which our world belongs has a root, and that root is a mind, then what can be known about that mind? It seems there are two sources of knowledge, theology (that mind may have revealed itself to us) and philosophy (we may be able to reason about it from first principles). Here we shall look into that latter aspect.
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  2. Aquinas, Analogy and the Trinity.Reginald Mary Chua - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy.
    In this paper I argue that Aquinas’ account of analogy provides resources for resolving the prima facie conflict between his claims that (1) the divine relations constituting the persons are “one and the same” with the divine essence; (2) the divine persons are really distinct, (3) the divine essence is absolutely simple. Specifically, I argue that Aquinas adopts an analogical understanding of the concepts of being and unity, and that these concepts are implicit in his formulation of claims about substance (...)
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  3. The Simplicity of Divine Ideas: Theistic Conceptual Realism and The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity.Michelle Lynn Panchuk - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    There has been little discussion of the compatibility of Theistic Conceptual Realism (TCR) with the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS). On one hand, if a plurality of universals is necessary to explain the character of particular things, there is reason to think this commits the proponent of TCR to the existence of a plurality of divine concepts. So the proponent of the DDS has a prima facie reason to reject TCR (and vice versa). On the other hand, many mediaeval philosophers (...)
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  4. The fruitful death of modal collapse arguments.Joseph C. Schmid - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-20.
    Modal collapse arguments are all the rage in certain philosophical circles as of late. The arguments purport to show that classical theism entails the absurdly fatalistic conclusion that everything exists necessarily. My first aim in this paper is bold: to put an end to action-based modal collapse arguments against classical theism. To accomplish this, I first articulate the ‘Simple Modal Collapse Argument’ and then characterize and defend Tomaszewski’s criticism thereof. Second, I critically examine Mullins’ new modal collapse argument formulated in (...)
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  5. The Aloneness Argument Against Classical Theism.Joseph C. Schmid & R. T. Mullins - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-19.
    We argue that there is a conflict among classical theism's commitments to divine simplicity, divine creative freedom, and omniscience. We start by defining key terms for the debate related to classical theism. Then we articulate a new argument, the Aloneness Argument, aiming to establish a conflict among these attributes. In broad outline, the argument proceeds as follows. Under classical theism, it's possible that God exists without anything apart from Him. Any knowledge God has in such a world would be wholly (...)
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  6. Divine Simplicity: The Aspectival Account.Joshua Reginald Sijuwade - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-37.
    This article aims to provide a consistent explication of the doctrine of Divine Simplicity. To achieve this end, a re-construal of the doctrine is made within an "aspectival trope-theoretic" metaphysical framework, which will ultimately enable the doctrine to be elucidated in a consistent manner, and the Plantingian objections raised against it will be shown to be unproblematic.
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  7. Another Look at the Modal Collapse Argument.Omar Fakhri - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (1):1-23.
    On one classical conception of God, God has no parts, not even metaphysical parts. God is not composed of form and matter, act and potency, and he is not composed of existence and essence. God is absolutely simple. This is the doctrine of Absolute Divine Simplicity. It is claimed that ADS implies a modal collapse, i.e. that God’s creation is absolutely necessary. I argue that a proper way of understanding the modal collapse argument naturally leads the proponent of ADS to (...)
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  8. Simply Unsuccessful: The Neo-Platonic Proof of God’s Existence.Joseph Conrad Schmid - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (4):129-156.
    Edward Feser defends the ‘Neo-Platonic proof ’ for the existence of the God of classical theism. After articulating the argument and a number of preliminaries, I first argue that premise three of Feser’s argument—the causal principle that every composite object requires a sustaining efficient cause to combine its parts—is both unjustified and dialectically ill-situated. I then argue that the Neo-Platonic proof fails to deliver the mindedness of the absolutely simple being and instead militates against its mindedness. Finally, I uncover two (...)
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  9. The Aloneness Argument: An Aspectival Response.Joshua R. Sijuwade - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-27.
    This article seeks to provide a response to the Aloneness Argument Against Classical Theism proposed by Joseph C. Schmid and Ryan T. Mullins. This response focuses on showing the unsoundness of the argument once the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity is reformulated within the essentialist aspectival framework provided by the Aspectival Account. Formulating a response to this argument will thus also serve the further purpose of providing an extension of the Aspectival Account and a needed revision of the Doctrine of Divine (...)
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  10. Accounting for the Whole: Why Pantheism is on a Metaphysical Par with Complex Theism.Caleb Cohoe - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (2):202-219.
    Pantheists are often accused of lacking a sufficient account of the unity of the cosmos and its supposed priority over its many parts. I argue that complex theists, those who think that God has ontologically distinct parts or attributes, face the same problems. Current proposals for the metaphysics of complex theism do not offer any greater unity or ontological independence than pantheism, since they are modeled on priority monism. I then discuss whether the formal distinction of John Duns Scotus offers (...)
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  11. Engaging the Doctrine of Creation: Cosmos, Creatures, and the Wise and Good Creator. [REVIEW]Matthew Baddorf - 2019 - Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies 4:170-171.
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  12. Love, Justice, and Divine Simplicity.Everett Fulmer - 2019 - In Ingolf Dalferth (ed.), Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion: Love and Justice. Mohr Siebeck.
    This paper raises an underappreciated paradox for classical theism. Love seems to be an inherently biased and partial relation. Justice seems to require the opposite, detached impartiality (think of the attributes of the just judge). But if these are conceptual facts, then classical theism is guilty of ascribing inconsistent attributes to God: perfect love and perfect justice. I resolve this paradox in a manner that weighs in favor of the principle of divine simplicity.
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  13. Aquinas on the Nature and Implications of Divine Simplicity.Christopher Hughes - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):1-22.
    I discuss what Aquinas’ doctrine of divine simplicity is, and what he takes to be its implications. I also discuss the extent to which Aquinas succeeds in motivating and defending those implications.
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  14. The Coherence of Aquinas's Account of Divine Simplicity.David Kovacs - 2018 - Dissertation,
    Divine simplicity is central to Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy of God. Most important for Aquinas is his view that God’s existence (esse) is identical to God’s essence; for everything other than God, there is a distinction between existence and essence. However, recent developments in analytic philosophy about the nature of existence threaten to undermine what Aquinas thought regarding divine simplicity. In the first chapter of this dissertation, I trace Aquinas’s thinking on divine simplicity through the various texts he wrote regarding the (...)
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  15. Why Can’T the Impassible God Suffer? Analytic Reflections on Divine Blessedness.R. T. Mullins - 2018 - TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 2 (1):3-22.
    According to classical theism, impassibility is said to be systematically connected to divine attributes like timelessness, immutability, simplicity, aseity, and self-sufficiency. In some interesting way, these attributes are meant to explain why the impassible God cannot suffer. I shall argue that these attributes do not explain why the impassible God cannot suffer. In order to understand why the impassible God cannot suffer, one must examine the emotional life of the impassible God. I shall argue that the necessarily happy emotional life (...)
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  16. Divine Simplicity and the Grammar of God-Talk: Comments on Hughes, Tapp, and Schärtl.S. J. Otto Muck - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):89-104.
    Different opinions about the simplicity of God may be connected with different understandings of how abstract terms are used to name the properties which are affirmed of a being. If these terms are taken to signify parts of that being, this being is not a simple one. Thomas Aquinas, who attributes essence, existence and perfections to God, nevertheless thinks that these are not different parts of God. When essence, existence and perfections are attributed to God, they all denominate the same, (...)
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  17. Divine Simplicity.Thomas Schärtl - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):51-88.
    This paper examines a variety of approaches in order to make sense of the doctrine of divine simplicity. Discussing the implications of traditional and contemporary philosophical concepts of divine simplicity, the author argues for taking the divine nature as a stupendous substance to serve as the one and only truthmaker of statements regarding God, while we can resolve the predication problem which is caused by the idea that, as implied by divine simplicity, God is identical to his attributes if we (...)
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  18. Utrum Verum Et Simplex Convertantur. The Simplicity of God in Aquinas and Swinburne.Christian Tapp - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):23-50.
    This paper explores Thomas Aquinas’ and Richard Swinburne’s doctrines of simplicity in the context of their philosophical theologies. Both say that God is simple. However, Swinburne takes simplicity as a property of the theistic hypothesis, while for Aquinas simplicity is a property of God himself. For Swinburne, simpler theories are ceteris paribus more likely to be true; for Aquinas, simplicity and truth are properties of God which, in a certain way, coincide – because God is metaphysically simple. Notwithstanding their different (...)
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  19. An Argument From Divine Beauty Against Divine Simplicity.Matthew Baddorf - 2017 - Topoi 36 (4):657-664.
    Some versions of the doctrine of divine simplicity imply that God lacks really differentiated parts. I present a new argument against these views based on divine beauty. The argument proceeds as follows: God is beautiful. If God is beautiful, then this beauty arises from some structure. If God’s beauty arises from a structure, then God possesses really differentiated parts. If these premises are true, then divine simplicity is false. I argue for each of the argument’s premises and defend it against (...)
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  20. Divine Simplicity, Aseity, and Sovereignty.Matthew Baddorf - 2017 - Sophia 56 (3):403-418.
    The doctrine of divine simplicity has recently been ably defended, but very little work has been done considering reasons to believe God is simple. This paper begins to address this lack. I consider whether divine aseity or the related notion of divine sovereignty provide us with good reason to affirm divine simplicity. Divine complexity has sometimes been thought to imply that God would possess an efficient cause; or, alternatively, that God would be grounded by God’s constituents. I argue that divine (...)
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  21. Why the One Cannot Have Parts: Plotinus on Divine Simplicity, Ontological Independence, and Perfect Being Theology.Caleb M. Cohoe - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (269):751-771.
    I use Plotinus to present absolute divine simplicity as the consequence of principles about metaphysical and explanatory priority to which most theists are already committed. I employ Phil Corkum’s account of ontological independence as independent status to present a new interpretation of Plotinus on the dependence of everything on the One. On this reading, if something else (whether an internal part or something external) makes you what you are, then you are ontologically dependent on it. I show that this account (...)
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  22. Prostota (Boga - Simplicity of God).Marek Pepliński - 2016 - In Janusz Salamon (ed.), Przewodnik po filozofii religii. Nurt analityczny, Kraków 2016. Wydawnictwo WAM. pp. 87-107.
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  23. Against Divine Truthmaker Simplicity.Noël B. Saenz - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (4):460-474.
    Divine Simplicity has it that God is absolutely simple. God exhibits no metaphysical complexity; he has neither proper parts nor distinct intrinsic properties. Recently, Jeffrey Brower has put forward an account of divine simplicity that has it that God is the truthmaker for all intrinsic essential predications about him. This allows Brower to preserve the intuitive thought that God is not a property but a concrete being. In this paper, I provide two objections to Brower’s account that are meant to (...)
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  24. An Improbable God Between Simplicity and Complexity: Thinking About Dawkins’s Challenge.Philippe Gagnon - 2013 - International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):409-433.
    Richard Dawkins has popularized an argument that he thinks sound for showing that there is almost certainly no God. It rests on the assumptions (1) that complex and statistically improbable things are more difficult to explain than those that are not and (2) that an explanatory mechanism must show how this complexity can be built up from simpler means. But what justifies claims about the designer’s own complexity? One comes to a different understanding of order and of simplicity when one (...)
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  25. Simply Impossible: A Case Against Divine Simplicity.R. T. Mullins - 2013 - Journal of Reformed Theology 7 (2):181-203.
    Within contemporary philosophical theology the doctrine of divine simplicity has regained attention. There are several new defenses of simplicity in the literature. One of the more surprising, and troubling, aspects of the contemporary defenses amongst Christian philosophers and theologians is a seeming lack of understanding about how radical the doctrine of divine simplicity truly is. As such, I wish to do a few things in this paper. First, systematically articulate the doctrine of divine simplicity. Second, argue that divine simplicity is (...)
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  26. The Deadlock of Absolute Divine Simplicity.Yann Schmitt - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):117-130.
    In this article, I explain how and why different attempts to defend absolute divine simplicity fail. A proponent of absolute divine simplicity has to explain why different attributions do not suppose a metaphysical complexity in God but just one superproperty, why there is no difference between God and His super-property and finally how a absolute simple entity can be the truthmaker of different intrinsic predications. It does not necessarily lead to a rejection of divine simplicity but it shows that we (...)
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  27. Divine Emanation as Cosmic Origin: Ibn Sīnā and His Critics.Syamsuddin Arif - 2012 - TSAQAFAH - Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization 8 (2):331-346.
    The question of cosmic beginning has always attracted considerable attention from serious thinkers past and present. Among many contesting theories that have emerged, that of emanation was appropriated by Muslim philosophers like Ibn Sînâ in order to reconcile the Aristotelian doctrine of the eternity of matter with the teaching of al-Qur’ân on the One Creator-God. According to this theory, the universe, which comprises a multitude of entities, is generated from a transcendent Being, the One, that is unitary, through the medium (...)
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  28. Simplicity and Aseity.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2009 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 105-28.
    There is a traditional theistic doctrine, known as the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is an absolutely simple being, completely devoid of any metaphysical complexity. On the standard understanding of this doctrine—as epitomized in the work of philosophers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas—there are no distinctions to be drawn between God and his nature, goodness, power, or wisdom. On the contrary, God is identical with each of these things, along with anything else that can be predicated (...)
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  29. Dawkins’s Gambit, Hume’s Aroma, and God’s Simplicity.Erik Wielenberg - 2009 - Philosophia Christi 11 (1):113-127.
    I examine the central atheistic argument of Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion (“Dawkins’s Gambit”) and illustrate its failure. I further show that Dawkins’s Gambit is a fragment of a more comprehensive critique of theism found in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Among the failings of Dawkins’s Gambit is that it is directed against a version of the God Hypothesis that few traditional monotheists hold. Hume’s critique is more challenging in that it targets versions of the God Hypothesis that (...)
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  30. Making Sense of Divine Simplicity.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2008 - Faith and Philosophy 25 (1):3-30.
    According to the doctrine of divine simplicity, God is an absolutely simple being lacking any distinct metaphysical parts, properties, or constituents. Although this doctrine was once an essential part of traditional philosophical theology, it is now widely rejected as incoherent. In this paper, I develop an interpretation of the doctrine designed to resolve contemporary concerns about its coherence, as well as to show precisely what is required to make sense of divine simplicity.
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  31. A Theistic Argument Against Platonism (and in Support of Truthmakers and Divine Simplicity).Michael Bergmann & Jeffrey E. Brower - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 2:357-386.
    Predication is an indisputable part of our linguistic behavior. By contrast, the metaphysics of predication has been a matter of dispute ever since antiquity. According to Plato—or at least Platonism, the view that goes by Plato’s name in contemporary philosophy—the truths expressed by predications such as “Socrates is wise” are true because there is a subject of predication (e.g., Socrates), there is an abstract property or universal (e.g., wisdom), and the subject exemplifies the property.1 This view is supposed to be (...)
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  32. Trinity.Jeffrey Brower - 2004 - In Jeffrey E. Brower & Kevin Guilfoy (eds.), _The Cambridge Companion to Abelard_. Cambridge University Press. pp. 223-257.
    Theology is the preeminent academic discipline during the Middle Ages and, as a result, most of great thinkers of this period are highly trained theologians. Although this is common knowledge, it is sometimes overlooked that the systematic nature of medieval theology led its practitioners to develop full treatments of virtually every area within philosophy. Indeed, theological reflection not only provides the main context in which the medievals theorize about what we would now recognize as distinctively philosophical issues, but it is (...)
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  33. Boethius, "Whether Father" (Utrum Pater), Translation.Erik Kenyon - 2004 - Mediaeval Logic and Philosophy.
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  34. The Devilish Complexities of Divine Simplicity.Graham Oppy - 2003 - Philo 6 (1):10-22.
    In On the Nature and Existence of God, Richard Gale follows majority opinion in giving very short shrift to the doctrine of divine simplicity: in his view, there is no coherent expressible doctrine of divine simplicity. Rising to the implicit challenge, I argue that---contrary to what is widely believed---there is a coherently expressible doctrine of divine simplicity, though it is rather different from the views that are typically expressed by defenders of this doctrine. At the very least, I think that (...)
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  35. Augustine on Predestination and Divine Simplicity: The Problem of Compatibility.Narve Strand - 2001 - Studia Patristica 38:290-305.
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  36. Identity to Essence.Paul Studtmann - manuscript
    The idea that a being can be identical to its own essence has a long and venerable history in theological speculation. As with many ideas in theology, however, such an idea has never been given an adequate mathematical formulation. The key to such a formulation, I argue, is introducing an essence axiom into non-well-founded set theory. According to such an axiom, for every set, x, there is a set that contains all and only those sets that contain x. With such (...)
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