Theism and Ultimate Explanation : The Necessary Shape of Contingency

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-02-11
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


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

Author Biography

Timothy O’Connor is Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has published widely in the areas of metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. He is the author of Persons and Causes (2000), and the editor of Agents, Causes and Events (1995) and Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings (2003).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
The Explanatory Role of Necessityp. 1
Modality and Explanationp. 3
Relative and Absolute Necessityp. 3
Scientifically Established Necessitiesp. 5
An Epistemological Worry about Modality: Causal Contact With Modal Factsp. 7
Modal Nihilismp. 10
Modal Reductionism and Deflationistp. 15
Modal Anti-Realism and Quasi-Realismp. 27
Conclusionp. 30
Model Knowledgep. 32
Conceivability As Our Guide?p. 32
Modality a Matter of Principal?p. 36
The Theoretical Roles of Modal Claims: Towards a Modal Epistemologyp. 41
The Spheres of Possibilityp. 60
The Necessary Shape of Contingencyp. 63
Ultimate Explanation and Necessary Being: The Existence State of the Cosmological Argumentp. 65
Necessary Beingp. 68
Two Objections to the Traditional Answerp. 73
Necessary Being As the Explanatory Ground of Contingency?p. 79
The Identification Statep. 86
From Necessary Being to God, I: Transcendent, Not Immanentp. 86
Two Models of Transcendent Necessary Being: Logos and Chaosp. 93
Varieties of Chaosp. 93
Interlude: The Fine-Tuning Argumentp. 97
From Necessary Being to God, II: Logos, Not Random Chaosp. 109
The Scope of Contingencyp. 111
How Many Universes Would Perfection Realize?p. 111
Perfection and Freedomp. 121
Some Applications of the Many-Universe-Creation Hypothesisp. 122
Necessary Being and the Scope of Possibilityp. 125
Necessary Being and the Many Necessary Truthsp. 128
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Anselm?p. 130
The Unity of the Divine Nature and Its Consequencesp. 132
Natural Theology in the Understanding of Revealed Theologyp. 140
Codap. 143
Notesp. 145
Bibliographyp. 162
Indexp. 172
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