Divine Simplicity, Aseity, and Sovereignty

Sophia 56 (3):403-418 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
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 complexity implies neither of these, and so that a complex God could also exist a se. Similarly, a complex God might be thought less sovereign than a simple God, due to lacking control over the divine constituents. I argue in reply that a complex God either has just as much control as a simple God, or that a complex God’s relative lack of control should cause no theological problems. The upshot is that neither the doctrines of divine aseity or of divine sovereignty give theists good reason to endorse divine simplicity.
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-08-08
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Summa Contra Gentiles.Aquinas, Thomas

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
101 ( #25,200 of 41,628 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #17,004 of 41,628 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.