The Argument from Collections

In J. Walls & T. Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God: The Plantinga Project. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 29-58 (2018)
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Abstract
Very broadly, an argument from collections is an argument that purports to show that our beliefs about sets imply — in some sense — the existence of God. Plantinga (2007) first sketched such an argument in “Two Dozen” and filled it out somewhat in his 2011 monograph Where the Conflict Really Lies: Religion, Science, and Naturalism. In this paper I reconstruct what strikes me as the most plausible version of Plantinga’s argument. While it is a good argument in at least a fairly weak sense, it doesn’t initially appear to have any explanatory advantages over a non-theistic understanding of sets — what I call set theoretic realism. However, I go on to argue that the theist can avoid an important dilemma faced by the realist and, hence, that Plantinga’s argument from collections has explanatory advantages that realism does not have.
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First archival date: 2016-10-06
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