On the Representation of the Concept of God

Philosophia 49:1-25 (2021)
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Abstract
While the failure of the so-called classical theory of concepts - according to which definitions are the proper way to characterize concepts - is a consensus, metaphysical philosophy of religion still deals with the concept of God in a predominantly definitional way. It thus seems fair to ask: Does this failure imply that a definitional characterization of the concept of God is equally untenable? The first purpose of this paper is to answer this question. I focus on the representational side of the matter. My goal is to analyze the extent to which the most important problems raised against the classical view of concepts affect a definitional-representational approach to the concept of God. The second purpose of the paper is to deepen into these issues, arguing for a pluralistic view of concepts and outlining a hybrid special theory of concepts, called the theory of ideal concepts. The theory is special because it deals with a special sort of concepts that I call ideal concepts; it is hybrid because, in addition to definitions, it uses another structure in the characterization of concepts: ideals. My goal is to argue that when applied to the concept of God and added to a pluralistic view of concepts, this theory can function as a tenable representational theory of the concept of God.
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First archival date: 2021-08-04
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