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Showing posts from August, 2011

Things, Stuff, and the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

A key move in standard Leibnizian cosmological arguments is the claim that:

(UCB) The universe -- or (if the universe doesn't exhaust physical reality) all physical reality -- is a contingent being.

Now the primary means of support for UCB is a conceivability-possibility inference. Richard Taylor's use of such an inference is representative in this regard. Thus, he argues that for any object in the universe, we can imagine that it fails to exist (e.g., a six-foot-in-diameter translucent sphere). But if imaginability is evidence of possibility, then this is evidence that for any arbitrary object in the universe (whether a stamp or a solar system), it's possible for it not to exist. But we can just as easily imagine the whole universe failing to exist. Therefore, we can say with equal justification that the universe can fail to exist, in which case it's a contingent being.

Is the line of reasoning above for the contingency of the universe a good one? One might think …

New Issue of Faith & Philosophy


The F&P Table of Contents RSS feed on the right (scroll down a bit) shows a number of the articles, but some are left out. Here's the complete ToC:

Volume 28, Number 3 - 2011

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Then, Now, and Al
Alvin Plantinga, Response to Nick Wolterstorff
Jeff Speaks, Foreknowledge, Evil, and Compatibility Arguments
Robert Audi, Faith, Faithfulness, and Virtue
Brian Leftow, Composition and Christology
Jonathan D. Matheson, Epistemological Considerations Concerning Skeptical Theism
Trent Dougherty, Further Epistemological Considerations Concerning Skeptical Theism

Daniel Speak, Freedom, Teleology, and Evil
Paul Copan, Knowledge of God
William J. Wainwright, Obstacles to Divine Revelation
Jerome Gellman, The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy, from Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century
Paul J. Griffiths, Introducing Apologetics
Christopher D. Jones, The Works of Bishop Butler