180 found
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  1. Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2019 - The Philosophers' Magazine 86:66-73.
    This article is a brief overview of major ontological arguments. The most noteworthy feature of this article is the statement of a new parody of the Anselmian and Cartesian arguments that is obviously immune to objections adverting to intrinsic minima and maxima.
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  2. Ontological arguments.Graham Oppy - 2020 - Think 19 (55):11-21.
    This is a short introduction to ontological arguments. It begins with a brief characterization of ontological arguments that proceeds mainly by way of example. The rest of the discussion is given over to consideration of what looks like a very simple ontological argument. This consideration turns up many of the issues that arise when more complex ontological arguments are examined.
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  3. Minimalism and truth aptness.Michael Smith, Frank Jackson & Graham Oppy - 1994 - Mind 103 (411):287 - 302.
    This paper, while neutral on questions about the minimality of truth, argues for the non-minimality of truth-aptness.
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  4. Sceptical theism and evidential arguments from evil.Michael J. Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):496 – 516.
    Sceptical theists--e.g., William Alston and Michael Bergmann--have claimed that considerations concerning human cognitive limitations are alone sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil. We argue that, if the considerations deployed by sceptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil, then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. If cogent, our argument suffices to discredit sceptical theist responses to evidential arguments from evil.
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  5. On Stage One of Feser's 'Aristotelian Proof'.Graham Oppy - 2021 - Religious Studies 57:491-502.
    Feser (2017) presents and defends five proofs of the existence of God. Each proof is in two stages: the first stage proves the existence of something which, in the second stage, is shown to possess an appropriate range of divine attributes. Each proof is given two presentations, one informal and one formal. In this paper, I critically examine two premises from one of Feser's five first stage proofs. I provide reasons for thinking that naturalists reject both of these premises. In (...)
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  6. Disagreement.Graham Oppy - 2010 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68 (1-3):183-199.
    There has been a recent explosion of interest in the epistemology of disagreement. Much of the recent literature is concerned with a particular range of puzzle cases (discussed in the Cases section of my paper). Almost all of the papers that contribute to that recent literature make mention of questions about religious disagreement in ways that suggest that there are interesting connections between those puzzle cases and real life cases of religious disagreement. One important aim of my paper is to (...)
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  7. Naturalism.Graham Oppy - 2020 - Think 19 (56):7-20.
    I offer a minimal characterization of naturalism, with ontological, epistemological, psychological and evaluative dimensions. I explain why naturalism is attractive. I note that naturalists disagree among themselves about, among other things, the nature of values, beliefs, and abstractions. I close by responding to some standard objections to naturalism.
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  8. Where’s the biff?Toby Handfield, Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb & Graham Oppy - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):149-68.
    This paper presents an attempt to integrate theories of causal processes—of the kind developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe—into a theory of causal models using Bayesian networks. We suggest that arcs in causal models must correspond to possible causal processes. Moreover, we suggest that when processes are rendered physically impossible by what occurs on distinct paths, the original model must be restricted by removing the relevant arc. These two techniques suffice to explain cases of late preëmption and other cases (...)
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  9. Pantheism, Quantification and Mereology.Graham Oppy - 1997 - The Monist 80 (2):320-336.
    I provide a classification of varieties of pantheism. I argue that there are two different kinds of commitments that pantheists have. On the one hand, there is an ontological commitment to the existence of a sum of all things. On the other hand, there is an ideological commitment: either collectively or distributively, the sum of all things is divine.
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  10. On Rescher on Pascal's Wager.Graham Oppy - 1991 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 30 (3):159 - 168.
    In Pascal's Wager: A Study Of Practical Reasoning In Philosophical Theology ,[1] Nicholas Rescher aims to show that, contrary to received philosophical opinion, Pascal's Wager argument is "the vehicle of a fruitful and valuable insight--one which not only represents a milestone in the development of an historically important tradition of thought but can still be seen as making an instructive contribution to philosophical theology".[2] In particular, Rescher argues that one only needs to adopt a correct perspective in order to see (...)
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  11. Minimalism and truth.John O'Leary-Hawthorne & Graham Oppy - 1997 - Noûs 31 (2):170-196.
    This paper canvasses the various dimensions along which theories of truth may disagree about the extent to which truth is minimal.
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  12. Anti-Naturalistic Arguments From Reason.Graham Oppy - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):15-35.
    This paper discusses a wide range of anti-naturalistic argument from reason due to Balfour, Haldane, Joad, Lewis, Taylor, Moreland, Plantinga, Reppert, and Hasker. I argue that none of these arguments poses a serious challenge to naturalists who are identity theorists. Further, I argue that some of these arguments do not even pose prima facie plausible challenges to naturalism. In the concluding part of my discussion, I draw attention to some distinctive differences between Hasker’s anti-naturalistic arguments and the other anti-naturalistic arguments (...)
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  13. Perfection, near-perfection, maximality, and Anselmian Theism.Graham Oppy - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (2):119-138.
    Anselmian theists claim (a) that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived; and (b) that it is knowable on purely—solely, entirely—a priori grounds that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived. In this paper, I argue that Anselmian Theism gains traction by conflating different interpretations of the key description ‘being than which no greater can be conceived’. In particular, I insist that it is very important to distinguish between ideal excellence and maximal (...)
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  14. Cosmological arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):31-48.
    This paper provides a taxonomy of cosmological arguments and givesgeneral reasons for thinking that arguments that belong to a given category do not succeed.
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  15. Divine Language.Graham Oppy - forthcoming - Sophia.
    This is an initial survey of some philosophical questions about divine language. Could God be a language producer and language user? Could there be a divine private language? Could there be a divine language of thought? The answer to these questions that I shall tentatively defend are, respectively: Yes, No and No. (Because I use some technical terms from recent philosophy of language, there is an appendix to this chapter in which I explain my use of those terms.).
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  16. On ‘a new cosmological argument’.Graham Oppy - 2000 - Religious Studies 36 (3):345-353.
    Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss contend that their ‘new cosmological argument’ is an improvement over familiar cosmological arguments because it relies upon a weaker version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason than that used in those more familiar arguments. However, I note that their ‘weaker’ version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason entails the ‘stronger’ version of that principle which is used in more familiar arguments, so that the alleged advantage of their proof turns out to be illusory. Moreover, I (...)
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  17. Ultimate naturalistic casual explanations.Graham Oppy - 2013 - In Ty Goldschmidt (ed.), Why is the something rather than nothing? Routledge. pp. 46-63.
    This paper discusses attempts to explain why there are more than zero instances of the causal relation. In particular, it argues for the conclusion that theism is no better placed than naturalism to provide an "ultimate causal explanation".
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  18. Conceptions of Supreme Deity.Graham Oppy - forthcoming - Sophia:1-11.
    This paper attempts to provide a high-level comparison of Eastern and Western conceptions of deity. It finds some significant similarities—involving worshipworthiness and the ideal shape of human lives—and some important differences—concerning the ultimate nature of reality, the relation of supreme deity to the rest of reality, and the relative frequency of divine incarnation.
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  19. Philosophy, Religion and Worldview.Graham Oppy - 2019 - In Aaron Simmons (ed.), Christian Philosophy: Conceptions, Continuations, and Challenges. pp. 244-59.
    This chapter consists of a series of reflections on widely endorsed claims about Christian philosophy and, in particular, Christian philosophy of religion. It begins with consideration of some claims about how (Christian) philosophy of religion currently is, and then moves on to consideration of some claims about how (Christian) philosophy of religion ought to be. In particular, the chapter offers critical scrutiny of the oft-repeated claim that we are currently in a golden age for Christian philosophy of religion.
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  20. The Devilish Complexities of Divine Simplicity.Graham Oppy - 2003 - Philo 6 (1):10-22.
    In On the Nature and Existence of God, Richard Gale follows majority opinion in giving very short shrift to the doctrine of divine simplicity: in his view, there is no coherent expressible doctrine of divine simplicity. Rising to the implicit challenge, I argue that---contrary to what is widely believed---there is a coherently expressible doctrine of divine simplicity, though it is rather different from the views that are typically expressed by defenders of this doctrine. At the very least, I think that (...)
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  21. Craig, Mackie, and the Kalam Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 1991 - Religious Studies 27 (2):189 - 197.
    In ‘Professor Mackie and the Kalam Cosmological Argument’ , 367–75), Professor William Lane Craig undertakes to demonstrate that J. L. Mackie's analysis of the kalam cosmological argument in The Miracle of Theism is ‘superficial’, and that Mackie ‘has failed to provide any compelling or even intuitively appealing objection against the argument’ . I disagree with Craig's judgement; for it seems to me that the considerations which Mackie advances do serve to refute the kalam cosmological argument. Consequently, the purpose of this (...)
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  22. Agnosticism.Graham Oppy - forthcoming - KİLİKYA JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY.
    I endorse the following claims in this paper. (1) Agnosticism is suspension of judgment on existence claims concerning gods and God. (2) Historical agnostics accepted (1) but unwisely insisted on further conditions best set aside. (3) Particular case agnosticism is less problematic than general principle-based agnosticism. (4) Agnostics should suspend judgment on—or, on occasion, reject—atomic claims of the form ‘God is F’.
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  23. Infinity in Pascal's Wager.Graham Oppy - 2018 - In Paul F. A. Bartha & Lawrence Pasternack (eds.), Pascal’s Wager. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 260-77.
    Bartha (2012) conjectures that, if we meet all of the other objections to Pascal’s wager, then the many-Gods objection is already met. Moreover, he shows that, if all other objections to Pascal’s wager are already met, then, in a choice between a Jealous God, an Indifferent God, a Very Nice God, a Very Perverse God, the full range of Nice Gods, the full range of Perverse Gods, and no God, you should wager on the Jealous God. I argue that his (...)
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  24. Arguing About The Kalam Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 2002 - Philo 5 (1):34-61.
    This paper begins with a fairly careful and detailed discussion of the conditions under which someone who presents an argument ought to be prepared to concede that the argument is unsuccessful. The conclusions reached in this discussion are then applied to William Lane Craig’s defense of what he calls “the kalam cosmological argument.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the chief contention of the paper is that Craig ought to be prepared to concede that “the kalam cosmological argument” is not a successful argument. The (...)
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  25.  59
    Ateizm için Bir Argüman.Graham Oppy & Musa Yanık - 2024 - Öncül Analitik Felsefe Dergisi. Translated by Musa Yanık.
    Bu [makalede], nihai olarak kesin bir sonucu olduğunu iddia etmemekle birlikte, ateizm için geliştirebileceğim en iyi argümanı öne sürmeye çalışacağım ve ortaya koyacağım şeyin, Tanrı’nın varlığına dair yürütülen tartışmaların herhangi bir kısmındaki, en iyi argüman olduğunu iddia edeceğim.
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  26. Rationality and Worldview.Graham Oppy - 2017 - In Paul Draper & J. L. Schellenberg (eds.), Renewing Philosophy of Religion: Exploratory Essays. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 174-86.
    In this paper, I aim to bring out the implausibility of the claim that there is a class of philosophers of religion—holders of a particular constellation of beliefs about religion—whose religious beliefs are either uniquely rational or uniquely supported by a stock of cogent arguments. My initial focus will be on models of parties to religious disagreements. These models may be simple, but I believe that there is much to be learned from them.
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  27. Against Idealism.Graham Oppy - 2017 - In K. Pearce & T. Goldschmidt (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 50-65.
    It is a very curious thing that proponents of Idealism have considered it to be a satisfactory counter to ‘scepticism’, ‘nihilism’, and the like. On the contrary, it seems to me that Idealism is a very close cousin to ‘brain-in-a-vat’ scepticism and other anti-naturalistic fantasies. Moreover, it seems to me that Idealism is inferior to Naturalism for much the same kinds of reasons that ‘brain-in-a-vat’ scepticism and other anti-naturalistic fantasies are inferior to Naturalism: a proper weighing of theoretical virtues discloses (...)
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  28.  92
    The Two Envelope 'Paradox'.Frank Jackson, Peter Menzies & Graham Oppy - 1994 - Analysis 54 (1):43 - 45.
    This paper discusses the finite version of the two envelope paradox. (That is, we treat the paradox against the background assumption that there is only a finite amount of money in the world.).
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  29. Hume and the argument for biological design.Graham Oppy - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (4):519-534.
    There seems to be a widespread conviction — evidenced, for example, in the work of Mackie, Dawkins and Sober — that it is Darwinian rather than Humean considerations which deal the fatal logical blow to arguments for intelligent design. I argue that this conviction cannot be well-founded. If there are current logically decisive objections to design arguments, they must be Humean — for Darwinian considerations count not at all against design arguments based upon apparent cosmological fine-tuning. I argue, further, that (...)
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  30. Final Reckoning: Atheism.Graham Oppy - 2019 - In Graham Oppy & Joseph W. Koterski (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy. Farmington Hills: MacMillan Reference. pp. 679-94.
    This is the concluding chapter of a debate book about the existence of God: *Theism and Atheism: Opposing Arguments in Philosophy* (Gale, 2019). The book has a large number of contributors on both sides. My chapter suggests one way of unifying the contributions that are made on the atheistic side.
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  31.  97
    Semantics for propositional attitude ascriptions.Graham Oppy - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 67 (1):1 - 18.
    This paper provides a semantics for propositional attitude ascriptions. (In this respect, the title of the paper is quite well chosen.).
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  32. Uncaused Beginnings.Graham Oppy - 2010 - Faith and Philosophy 27 (1):61-71.
    I defend the view that it is possible for reality to have a contingent initial state under the causal relation even though it is impossible for any other (non-overlapping) parts of reality to have no cause. I claim that, while there are good theoretical and commonsense grounds for maintaining that it is simply not possible for non-initial parts of reality to have no cause, these good grounds do not require one to claim that it is impossible that reality has an (...)
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  33.  78
    Omnipotence.Graham Oppy - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):58–84.
    Recently, many philosophers have supposed that the divine attribute of omnipotence is properly understood as some kind of maximal power. I argue that all of the best known attempts to analyse omnipotence in terms of maximal power are multiply flawed. Moreover, I argue that there are compelling reasons for supposing that, on orthodox theistic conceptions, maximal power is not one of the divine attributes.
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  34. Gratitude and Resentment: A Tale of Two Weddings.Graham Oppy - 2023 - In Joshua Lee Harris, Kirk Lougheed & Neal DeRoo (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Existential Gratitude. Bloomsbury Publishing.
    There is an important distinction between two different kinds of expressions of gratitude: propositional expressions of gratitude and prepositional expressions of gratitude. I argue that there is a corresponding distinction between two different kinds of expression of resentment: propositional expressions of resentment and prepositional expressions of resentment. I then argue that theists should suppose neither that propositional expressions of gratitude are prepositional expressions of gratitude to God, nor that propositional expressions of resentment are prepositional expressions of resentment of God.
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  35. Koons' Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):378-389.
    Robert Koons has recently defended what he claims is a successful argument for the existence of a necessary first cause, and which he develops by taking “a new look” at traditional arguments from contingency. I argue that Koons’ argument is less than successful; in particular, I claim that his attempt to “shift the burden of proof” to non-theists amounts to nothing more than an ill-disguised begging of one of the central questions upon which theists and non-theists disagree. I also argue (...)
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  36. On defining art historically.Graham Oppy - 1991 - British Journal of Aesthetics 32 (2):153-161.
    This paper is an extended critical discussion of Jerrold Levinson's historical definition of art. I try out various different avenues of attack; it is not clear whether any of them is ultimately successful.
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  37. The Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2017 - In Donald M. Borchert (ed.), Philosophy: Religion. Boston, USA: Macmillan Reference. pp. 51-64.
    This paper discusses: (1) Anselm’s ontological argument and its criticism by Gaunilo; (2) Plantinga’s ontological argument and its criticism by Mackie and Sobel; and (3) a simplified version of Gödel’s ontological argument. It also looks carefully at (4) Kant’s attempt to show that it is impossible for there to be a successful ontological argument.
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  38. Molinism and divine prophecy of free actions.Graham Oppy & Mark Saward - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (2):1-10.
    Among challenges to Molinism, the challenge posed by divine prophecy of human free action has received insufficient attention. We argue that this challenge is a significant addition to the array of challenges that confront Molinism.
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  39.  80
    Reply to Trakakis and Nagasawa.Michael Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2005 - Ars Disputandi 5:5-11.
    Nick Trakakis and Yujin Nagasawa criticise the argument in Almeida and Oppy . According to Trakakis and Nagasawa, we are mistaken in our claim that the sceptical theist response to evidential arguments from evil is unacceptable because it would undermine ordinary moral reasoning. In their view, there is no good reason to think that sceptical theism leads to an objectionable form of moral scepticism. We disagree. In this paper, we explain why we think that the argument of Nagasawa and Trakakis (...)
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  40. Validity and Soundness in the First Way.Graham Oppy - 2023 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 79 (1-2):137-158.
    This article critically examines the structure and implications of the argument in ST 1, Q2, A3, associated with Aquinas’ First Way. Our central endeavor is to discern whether a certain disambiguation of point 6 (“There is something that is not moving/changing that moves/changes other things”) can be logically inferred from points 1-5. Through a three-part proof, the article establishes that under specific conditions, it can indeed be inferred. However, this interpretation notably diverges from Aquinas’ intended conclusion and subsequent stronger interpretations (...)
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  41. Rowe's evidential arguments from evil.Graham Oppy - 2013 - In Justin P. Mcbrayer (ed.), A Companion to the Problem of Evil. Wiley. pp. 49-66.
    This chapter discusses the two most prominent recent evidential arguments from evil, due, respectively, to William Rowe and Paul Draper. I argue that neither of these evidential arguments from evil is successful, i.e. such that it ought to persuade anyone who believes in God to give up that belief. In my view, theists can rationally maintain that each of these evidential arguments from evil contains at least one false premise.
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  42. Naturalism and Naturalness: A Naturalist's Perspective.Graham Oppy - 2019 - In Paul Copan & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), The Naturalness of Belief: New Essays on Theism's Reasonability. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 3-16.
    This chapter is an invited contribution to a book on the naturalness of theistic belief. I start by considering ordinary usage of the term 'natural'. I then clarify how I shall use the terms 'naturalism', 'theism', 'worldview' and 'big picture'. I consider the demographic spread of commitment to theistic big pictures and naturalistic big pictures. I consider the distribution of happiness over those committed to theistic big pictures and naturalistic big pictures. I consider the distribution of reasons over those committed (...)
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  43. God.Graham Oppy - 2012 - In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. Continuum Publishing. pp. 246-68.
    This paper argues that considerations about causal origins of the universe do not favour theism over naturalism. Indeed, if the only data that is relevant to the choice between theism and naturalism is data about causal origins, then it turns out that considerations about causal origins favour naturalism over theism.
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  44. Arguments from Moral Evil.Graham Oppy - 2004 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 56 (2/3):59 - 87.
    In this paper, I argue that -- contrary to widely received opinion -- logical arguments from evil are well and truly alive and kicking.
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  45. Modal theistic arguments.Graham Oppy - 1993 - Sophia 32 (2):17-24.
    This paper discusses a range of modal ontological arguments. It is claimed that these modal ontological arguments fail because they depend upon controversial assumptions about the nature of modal space.
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  46. An Argument for Atheism from Naturalism.Graham Oppy - 2017 - In Lenny Clapp (ed.), Philosophy for Us. Cognella. pp. 3-14.
    This paper outlines an argument for atheism from naturalism that I have developed in more detail elsewhere (in particular, in *The Best Argument against God*). The overall shape of the argument is as follows: first, naturalism is simpler than theism; second, there is no data that naturalism does not explain at least as well as theism; and, third, naturalism entails atheism; so we have good reason to prefer atheism to theism. Note that this statement of the shape of the argument (...)
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  47. Salmon on the contingent a priori and the necessary a posteriori.Graham Oppy - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 73 (1):5 - 33.
    This paper is an examination of the contingent a priori and the necessary a posteriori. In particular, it considers -- and assesses -- the criticisms that Nathan Salmon makes of the views of Saul Kripke.
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  48. The Tristram Shandy Paradox.Graham Oppy - 2002 - Philosophia Christi 4 (2):335-349.
    This paper is a response to David Oderberg's discussion of the Tristram Shandy paradox. I defend the claim that the Tristram Shandy paradox does not support the claim that it is impossible that the past is infinite.
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  49. Faulty Reasoning About Default Principles in Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2004 - Faith and Philosophy 21 (2):242-249.
    Robert Koons claims that my previous critique of his “new” cosmological argument is vitiated by confusion about the nature of defeasible argumentation.In response, I claim that Koons misrepresents—and perhaps misunderstands—the nature of my objections to his “new” cosmological argument. The main claims which I defend are: (1) that the move from a non-defeasible to a defeasible causal principle makes absolutely no difference to the success of the cosmological argument in which it is contained; and (2) that, since it is perfectly (...)
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  50.  95
    Why semantic innocence?Graham Oppy - 1992 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (4):445 – 454.
    This paper rejects the imposition of "semantic innocence" as a constraint on semantic theories. In particular, it argues that recent attempts to justify the imposition of "semantic innocence" as a constraint on semantic theories fail.
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