Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency / Edition 1

Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency / Edition 1

by Timothy O'Connor
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Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency / Edition 1

An expansive, yet succinct, analysis of the Philosophy of Religion – from metaphysics through theology. Organized into two sections, the text first examines truths concerning what is possible and what is necessary. These chapters lay the foundation for the book’s second part – the search for a metaphysical framework that permits the possibility of an ultimate explanation that is correct and complete.

  • A cutting-edge scholarly work which engages with the traditional metaphysician’s quest for a true ultimate explanation of the most general features of the world we inhabit
  • Develops an original view concerning the epistemology and metaphysics of modality, or truths concerning what is possible or necessary
  • Applies this framework to a re-examination of the cosmological argument for theism
  • Defends a novel version of the Leibnizian cosmological argument

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781405169691
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/15/2008
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I The Explanatory Role of Necessity 1

1. Modality and Explanation 3

Relative and Absolute Necessity 3

Scientifi cally Established Necessities 5

An Epistemological Worry about Modality: Causal Contact with Modal Facts 7

Modal Nihilism 10

Modal Reductionism and Defl ationism 15

Modal Anti-Realism and Quasi-Realism 27

Conclusion 30

2. Modal Knowledge 32

Conceivability As Our Guide? 32

Modality a Matter of Principle? 36

The Theoretical Roles of Modal Claims: Towards a Modal Epistemology 41

The Spheres of Possibility 60

Part II The Necessary Shape of Contingency 63

3. Ultimate Explanation and Necessary Being: The Existence Stage of the Cosmological Argument 65

Necessary Being 68

Two Objections to the Traditional Answer 73

Necessary Being As the Explanatory Ground of Contingency? 79

4. The Identifi cation Stage 86

From Necessary Being to God, I: Transcendent, Not Immanent 86

Two Models of Transcendent Necessary Being: Logos and Chaos 93

Varieties of Chaos 93

Interlude: The Fine-Tuning Argument 97

From Necessary Being to God, II: Logos, Not Random Chaos 109

5. The Scope of Contingency 111

How Many Universes Would Perfection Realize? 111

Perfection and Freedom 121

Some Applications of the Many-Universe-Creation Hypothesis 122

Necessary Being and the Scope of Possibility 125

Necessary Being and the Many Necessary Truths 128

6. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Anselm? 130

The Unity of the Divine Nature and Its Consequences 132

Natural Theology in the Understanding of Revealed Theology 140

Coda 143

Notes 145

Bibliography 162

Index 172

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