Modal Collapse and Modal Fallacies: No Easy Defense of Simplicity

American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2):161-179 (2022)
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I critically examine the claim that modal collapse arguments against the traditional doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS) are in general fallacious. In a recent paper, Christopher Tomaszewski alleges that modal collapse arguments against DDS are invalid, owing to illicit substitutions of nonrigid singular terms into intensional contexts. I show that this is not, in general, the case. I show, further, that where existing modal collapse arguments are vulnerable to this charge the arguments can be repaired without any apparent dialectical impropriety. I conclude that the genuine debate over modal collapse and divine simplicity and modal collapse is substantially a controversy over the metaphysics of divine action, and that this constitutes a fruitful direction in which to take future discussions of the subject.

Author's Profile

John William Waldrop
University of Notre Dame


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