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Joseph C. Schmid [8]Joseph Conrad Schmid [1]
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  1. The fruitful death of modal collapse arguments.Joseph C. Schmid - 2022 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 91 (1):3-22.
    Modal collapse arguments are all the rage in certain philosophical circles as of late. The arguments purport to show that classical theism entails the absurdly fatalistic conclusion that everything exists necessarily. My first aim in this paper is bold: to put an end to action-based modal collapse arguments against classical theism. To accomplish this, I first articulate the ‘Simple Modal Collapse Argument’ and then characterize and defend Tomaszewski’s criticism thereof. Second, I critically examine Mullins’ new modal collapse argument formulated in (...)
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  2. Stage One of the Aristotelian Proof: A Critical Appraisal.Joseph C. Schmid - 2021 - Sophia 60 (4):781-796.
    What explains change? Edward Feser argues in his ‘Aristotelian proof’ that the only adequate answer to these questions is ultimately in terms of an unchangeable, purely actual being. In this paper, I target the cogency of Feser’s reasoning to such an answer. In particular, I present novel paths of criticism—both undercutting and rebutting—against one of Feser’s central premises. I then argue that Feser’s inference that the unactualized actualizer lacks any potentialities contains a number of non-sequiturs.
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  3. The Aloneness Argument Against Classical Theism.Joseph C. Schmid & R. T. Mullins - 2022 - Religious Studies 58 (2):1-19.
    We argue that there is a conflict among classical theism's commitments to divine simplicity, divine creative freedom, and omniscience. We start by defining key terms for the debate related to classical theism. Then we articulate a new argument, the Aloneness Argument, aiming to establish a conflict among these attributes. In broad outline, the argument proceeds as follows. Under classical theism, it's possible that God exists without anything apart from Him. Any knowledge God has in such a world would be wholly (...)
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  4. Simply Unsuccessful: The Neo-Platonic Proof of God’s Existence.Joseph Conrad Schmid - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (4):129-156.
    Edward Feser defends the ‘Neo-Platonic proof ’ for the existence of the God of classical theism. After articulating the argument and a number of preliminaries, I first argue that premise three of Feser’s argument—the causal principle that every composite object requires a sustaining efficient cause to combine its parts—is both unjustified and dialectically ill-situated. I then argue that the Neo-Platonic proof fails to deliver the mindedness of the absolutely simple being and instead militates against its mindedness. Finally, I uncover two (...)
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  5. Existential Inertia and the Aristotelian Proof.Joseph C. Schmid - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (3):201-220.
    Edward Feser defends the ‘Aristotelian proof’ for the existence of God, which reasons that the only adequate explanation of the existence of change is in terms of an unchangeable, purely actual being. His argument, however, relies on the falsity of the Existential Inertia Thesis, according to which concrete objects tend to persist in existence without requiring an existential sustaining cause. In this article, I first characterize the dialectical context of Feser’s Aristotelian proof, paying special attention to EIT and its rival (...)
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  6. A Step-by-Step Argument for Causal Finitism.Joseph C. Schmid - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    I defend a new argument for causal finitism, the view that nothing can have an infinite causal history. I begin by defending a number of plausible metaphysical principles, after which I explore a host of novel variants of the Littlewood-Ross and Thomson’s Lamp paradoxes that violate such principles. I argue that causal finitism is the best solution to the paradoxes.
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  7. Naturalism, Classical Theism, and First Causes.Joseph C. Schmid - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-15.
    Enric F. Gel has recently argued that classical theism enjoys a significant advantage over Graham Oppy's naturalism. According to Gel, classical theism – unlike Oppy's naturalism – satisfactorily answers two questions: first, how many first causes are there, and second, why is it that number rather than another? In this article, I reply to Gel's argument for classical theism's advantage over Oppy's naturalism. I also draw out wider implications of my investigation for the gap problem and Christian doctrine along the (...)
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  8. Classical Theism, Arbitrary Creation, and Reason-Based Action.Joseph C. Schmid - forthcoming - Sophia:1-15.
    Surely God, as a perfectly rational being, created the universe for some reason. But is God’s creating the universe for a reason compatible with divine impassibility? That is the question I investigate in this article. The prima facie tension between impassibility and God’s creating for a reason arises from impassibility’s commitment to God being uninfluenced by anything ad extra. If God is uninfluenced in this way, asks the detractor, how could he be moved to create anything at all? This prima (...)
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  9. From Modal Collapse to Providential Collapse.Joseph C. Schmid - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (3):1413-1435.
    The modal collapse objection to classical theism has received significant attention among philosophers as of late. My aim in this paper is to advance this blossoming debate. First, I briefly survey the modal collapse literature and argue that classical theists avoid modal collapse if and only if they embrace an indeterministic link between God and his effects. Second, I argue that this indeterminism poses two challenges to classical theism. The first challenge is that it collapses God’s status as an intentional (...)
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