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Infinity and the past

Philosophy of Science 54 (1):63-75 (1987)

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  1. From the Tristram Shandy Paradox to the Christmas Shandy Paradox: Reply to Oderberg.Graham Oppy - 2003 - Ars Disputandi 3:172-195.
    This paper is a response to David Oderberg's criticisms of a previous paper of mine. (Bibliographical details are provided in the article.).
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  • Circular Explanations, Cosmological Arguments, and Sufficient Reasons.William Rowe - 1997 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 21 (1):188-201.
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  • Methuselah’s Diary and the Finitude of the Past.Ben Waters - 2013 - Philosophia Christi 15 (2):463-69.
    William Lane Craig modified Bertrand Russell’s Tristram Shandy example in order to derive an absurdity that would demonstrate the finitude of the past. Although his initial attempt at such an argument faltered, further developments in the literature suggested that such an absurdity was indeed in the offing provided that a couple extra statements were also shown to be true. This article traces the development of a particular line of argument that arose from Craig’s Tristram Shandy example before advancing an argument (...)
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  • Quentin Smith on Infinity and the Past.Ellery Eells - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (3):453-455.
    In a recent commendable article, Quentin Smith (1987) exposes fatal flaws in several recent attempts to demonstrate that it is logically impossible for the past to be infinite. However, his analysis of one of these flawed arguments--involving an interesting version of Russell's "Tristram Shandy paradox"--is off the mark, as I show in this paper.
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  • The Uncaused Beginning of the Universe.Quentin Smith - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (1):39-57.
    There is sufficient evidence at present to justify the belief that the universe began to exist without being caused to do so. This evidence includes the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems that are based on Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and the recently introduced Quantum Cosmological Models of the early universe. The singularity theorems lead to an explication of the beginning of the universe that involves the notion of a Big Bang singularity, and the Quantum Cosmological Models represent the beginning largely in (...)
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  • The End of Eternity.Jamie Watson - 2017 - Sophia 56 (2):147-162.
    A popular critique of the kalām cosmological argument is that one argument for its second premise illicitly assumes a finite starting point for the series of past temporal events, thereby begging the question against opponents. Rejecting this assumption, opponents say, eliminates any objections to the possibility that the past is infinitely old and undermines the IFA’s ability to support premise 2. I contend that the plausibility of this objection depends on ambiguities in extant formulations of the IFA and that we (...)
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  • The Kalām Cosmological Argument, the Big Bang, and Atheism.John Park - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (3):323-335.
    While there has been much work on cosmological arguments, novel objections will be presented against the modern day rendition of the Kalām cosmological argument as standardly articulated by William Lane Craig. The conclusion is reached that this cosmological argument and several of its variants do not lead us to believe that there is inevitably a supernatural cause to the universe. Moreover, a conditional argument for atheism will be presented in light of the Big Bang Theory.
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  • Craig’s Kalam Cosmology.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Philo 12 (2):200-216.
    Hypotheses about the shape of causal reality admit of both theistic and non-theistic interpretations. I argue that, on the simplest hypotheses about the causal shape of reality—infinite regress, contingent initial boundary, necessary initial boundary—there is good reason to suppose that non-theism is always either preferable to, or at least the equal of, theism, at least insofar as we restrict our attention merely to the domain of explanation of existence. Moreover, I suggest that it is perfectly proper for naturalists to be (...)
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  • Finitism and the Beginning of the Universe.Stephen Puryear - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):619-629.
    Many philosophers have argued that the past must be finite in duration because otherwise reaching the present moment would have involved something impossible, namely, the sequential occurrence of an actual infinity of events. In reply, some philosophers have objected that there can be nothing amiss in such an occurrence, since actually infinite sequences are ‘traversed’ all the time in nature, for example, whenever an object moves from one location in space to another. This essay focuses on one of the two (...)
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