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November 18, 2019

Moderate Divine Simplicity

According to the weak doctrine of divine simplicity—endorsed by nearly all theists—God has no proper parts. That is, there is no literal composition in God. According to the strong doctrine of divine simplicity—rooted in Neoplatonism and given classical expression by philosophers such as ibn Sina, Maimonides, and Aquinas—there is in God no metaphysically real complexity of any kind. For instance, in a human judge mercy and justice are two different traits of character that could come into conflict, but God's mercy just is God's justice which just is God. Further, according to the strong doctrine, God's essence just is God's...
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June 13, 2019

Introduction to Pruss and Rasmussen, Necessary Existence

One of my projects this summer is a review of Alexander Pruss and Joshua Rasmussen's Necessary Existence for American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. I read the book for the first time a few months ago, but I'm now working through it more carefully in preparation for writing the review. I've often found it helpful in the past to write a blog post about each chapter of a book and then condense them into a review, and I'll be doing that here over the next couple of weeks. The project of the book is to investigate arguments for the claim that there...
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September 15, 2016

"Counterpossible Dependence" in Faith and Philosophy

My paper, "Counterpossible Dependence and the Efficacy of the Divine Will" has been accepted by Faith and Philosophy. This paper is a sort of companion to my Sanders prize essay: it applies the ideas about God and grounding in that essay to solve some problems about divine omnipotence. The preprint is available here.
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November 21, 2015

"Counteressential Conditionals" in Thought

My paper "Counteressential Conditionals" has just been accepted (conditional on further revisions) by Thought. This is a revised and expanded version of a paper that I will be presenting at the Central APA in Chicago on March 3. The journal's self-archiving policy does not permit me to post the final version, so you'll have to wait on that, but the short version that will be presented at the APA is available here. This is a more or less straight metaphysics paper (my first!), but it fits in with my work in philosophy of religion/philosophical theology. These kind of conditionals play...
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October 20, 2015

December 9, 2013

Oppy on Theism, Naturalism, and Explanation

In his contribution to Goldschmidt's The Puzzle of Existence, Graham Oppy argues that, "as [a] hypothes[i]s about the contents of global causal reality" (p. 51), naturalism is ceteris paribus preferable to theism. Oppy's strategy for defending this claim is to consider three hypotheses about the structure of global causal reality, and argue that naturalism is superior to theism on each hypothesis. Here are his three hypotheses: Regress: Causal reality does not have an initial maximal part. That is, it is not the case that there is a part of causal reality which has no parts that stand in causal relations...
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