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  1. Backing Into Spinozism.Samuel Newlands - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):511-537.
    One vexing strand of Spinozism asserts that God's nature is more expansive than traditionally conceived and includes properties like being extended. In this paper, I argue that prominent early moderns embrace metaphysical principles about causation, mental representation, and modality that pressure their advocates towards such an expansive account of God's nature in similar ways. I further argue that the main early modern escape route, captured in notions like “eminent containment,” fails to adequately relieve the metaphysical pressures towards Spinozism. The upshot (...)
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  • Does a Truly Ultimate God Need to Exist?Johann Platzer - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):359-380.
    We explore a ‘Neo-Cartesian’ account of divine ultimacy that raises the concept of God to its ultimate level of abstraction so that we can do away with even the question of his existence. Our starting point is God’s relation to the logical and metaphysical order of reality and the views of Descartes and Leibniz on this topic. While Descartes held the seemingly bizarre view that the eternal truths are freely created by God, Leibniz stands for the mainstream view that the (...)
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  • God’s Impossible Options.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2021 - Faith and Philosophy 38 (2):185-204.
    According to Michael Almeida, reflections on free will and possibility can be used to show that the existence of an Anselmian God is compatible with the existence of evil. These arguments depend on the assumption that an agent can be free with respect to an action only if it is possible that that agent performs that action. Although this principle enjoys some intuitive support, I argue that Anselmianism undermines these intuitions by introducing impossible options. If Anselmianism is true, I argue, (...)
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  • Moses Mendelssohn’s Original Modal Proof for the Existence of God.Noam Hoffer - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    In his 1785 book Morning hours, Moses Mendelssohn presents a proof for the existence of God from the grounding of possibility. Although Mendelssohn claims that this proof is original, it has not received much attention in the secondary literature. In this paper, I will analyze this proof and present its historical context. I will show that although it resembles Leibniz’s proof from eternal truths and Kant’s pre-critical possibility proof, it has unique characteristics which can be regarded as responses to deficiencies (...)
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  • Die Phantasie Gottes: An Analysis of the Divine Ideas in Deity Theories and Brian Leftow, with A Proposed Synthesis.Nathaniel Dowell - unknown
    This thesis was on how God is related to the truth-values of propositions on possible worlds - specifically, those propositions that do not seem to be about Him and constitute His ideas for what to create. It opened with a survey of some historical positions with special emphasis on Aquinas, Leibniz, Spinoza and Kant. Next, some criticisms were given for these so-called deity theories with the most space given to Brian Leftow’s critiques. The second chapter detailed Brian Leftow’s theological modality. (...)
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  • Why God Thinks What He is Thinking? An Argument Against Samuel Newlands’ Brute–Fact–Theory of Divine Ideas in Leibniz’s Metaphysics.Jan Levin Propach - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (3).
    According to the most prominent principle of early modern rationalists, the Principle of Sufficient Reason [PSR], there are no brute facts, hence, there are no facts without any explanation. Contrary to the PSR, some philosophers have argued that divine ideas are brute facts within Leibniz’s metaphysics. In this paper, I argue against brute-fact-theories of divine ideas, especially represented by Samuel Newlands in Leibniz and the Ground of Possibility, and elaborate an alternative Leibnizian theory of divine ideas.
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  • Essence and Necessity.Andreas Ditter - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    What is the relation between metaphysical necessity and essence? This paper defends the view that the relation is one of identity: metaphysical necessity is a special case of essence. My argument consists in showing that the best joint theory of essence and metaphysical necessity is one in which metaphysical necessity is just a special case of essence. The argument is made against the backdrop of a novel, higher-order logic of essence (HLE), whose core features are introduced in the first part (...)
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  • Against the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Nathan Wildman - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-17.
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a claim of metaphysical modality, in possession of good alethic standing, must be in want of an essentialist foundation. Or at least so say the advocates of the reductive-essence-first view, according to which all modality is to be reductively defined in terms of essence. Here, I contest this bit of current wisdom. In particular, I offer two puzzles—one concerning the essences of non-compossible, complementary entities, and a second involving entities whose essences are modally (...)
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  • God, Powers, and Possibility in Kant’s Beweisgrund.Michael Oberst - manuscript
    This paper proposes a novel reading of Kant’s account of the dependence of possibility on God in the pre-Critical Beweisgrund. I argue that Kant has a theistic-potentialist conception of the way God grounds possibility, according to which God grounds possibility by his understanding and will. The reason is that Kant accepts what I call the Principle of Possible Existence: If something is possible, then it is possible that it exists. Furthermore, I explore the connection between causal powers and possibility, the (...)
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  • The Real Problem of Pure Reason.T. A. Pendlebury - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    The problem of Kant's first Critique is the problem of pure reason: how are synthetic judgments possible a priori? Many of his readers have believed that the problem depends upon a delimitation within the class of a priori truths of a class of irreducibly synthetic truths—a delimitation whose possibility is doubtful—because absent this it is not excluded that all a priori truths are analytic. I argue, on the contrary, that the problem depends on nothing more than the human knower's everyday (...)
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  • Kant, Real Possibility, and the Threat of Spinoza.Andrew Chignell - 2012 - Mind 121 (483):635-675.
    In the first part of the paper I reconstruct Kant’s proof of the existence of a ‘most real being’ while also highlighting the theory of modality that motivates Kant’s departure from Leibniz’s version of the proof. I go on to argue that it is precisely this departure that makes the being that falls out of the pre-critical proof look more like Spinoza’s extended natura naturans than an independent, personal creator-God. In the critical period, Kant seems to think that transcendental idealism (...)
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  • From Theism to Idealism to Monism: A Leibnizian Road Not Taken.Samuel Newlands - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1143-1162.
    This paper explores a PSR-connected trail leading from theistic idealism to a form of substance monism. In particular, I argue that the same style of argument available for a Leibnizian form of metaphysical idealism actually leads beyond idealism to something closer to Spinozistic monism. This path begins with a set of theological commitments about the nature and perfection of God that were widely shared among leading early modern philosophers. From these commitments, there arises an interesting case for metaphysical idealism, roughly (...)
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  • Kant and the ‘Monstrous’ Ground of Possibility: A Reply to Abaci and Yong.Andrew Chignell - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (1):53-69.
    I reply to recent criticisms by Uygar Abaci and Peter Yong, among others, of my reading of Kant's pre-Critical of God's existence, and of its fate in the Critical period. Along the way I discuss some implications of this debate for our understanding of Kant's modal metaphysics and modal epistemology generally.
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  • Leibniz on Privations, Limitations, and the Metaphysics of Evil.Samuel Newlands - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (2):281-308.
    There was a consensus in late Scholasticism that evils are privations, the lacks of appropriate perfections. For something to be evil is for it to lack an excellence that, by its nature, it ought to have. This widely accepted ontology of evil was used, in part, to help explain the source of evil in a world created and sustained by a perfect being. during the second half of the seventeenth century, progressive early moderns began to criticize the traditional privative account (...)
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  • The Relation Between God and the World in the Pre-Critical Kant: Was Kant a Spinozist?Noam Hoffer - 2016 - Kantian Review 21 (2):185-210.
    Andrew Chignell and Omri Boehm have recently argued that Kant’s pre-Critical proof for the existence of God entails a Spinozistic conception of God and hence substance monism. The basis for this reading is the assumption common in the literature that God grounds possibilities by exemplifying them. In this article I take issue with this assumption and argue for an alternative Leibnizian reading, according to which possibilities are grounded in essences united in God’s mind (later also described as Platonic ideas intuited (...)
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