The Neo-Classical Challenge Vindicated: A Response to Feser

The logistics

This post is a response to Feser’s recent article “The Neo-Classical Challenge to Classical Theism” (Philosophy Compass). The post is broken into two parts. The first part is written by Dr. Ryan Mullins and only reflects Mullins’s views. The second part is written by Joe Schmid and only reflects Schmid’s views. References can be found at the end of the post. Notes can be found at the end of each part.

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One of the Trinity Did Suffer: A Reply Against Classical Theism and Its Inherent Nestorianism

Science of Story Building: Use Emotion With Intention | by Ann Searight  Christiano | Science of Story Building | Medium
“The divine feels are real.” — Thomas Aquinas, maybe

This is a guest post by Dr. R.T. Mullins. Mullins is a philosophical theologian at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (University of Helsinki). The views expressed herein are those of Mullins.

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My article on the Neo-Platonic Proof is now online!

(1) My article “Simply Unsuccessful: The Neo-Platonic Proof of God’s Existence” (European Journal for Philosophy of Religion) criticizing Feser’s Neo-Platonic Proof is finally online! You can download it for free here:

(2) If you want to watch a video version of the above paper — one that includes some bonus content on the relationship between the Neo-Platonic Proof and the incarnation — check out my video lecture here:

(2) My blog is moving to the blog section of my new website:

I’ll be uploading posts on both this blog you’re reading right now and the blog section of my new website for the first few months of 2022. After that, however, I’ll be exclusively using my new website. 🙂

(3) Happy New Year!

Author: Joe

Pawl and Grant on the Aloneness Argument: A Response

Tim Pawl and W. Matthews Grant—two philosophers whom I greatly admire and from whose work I have immensely benefitted and learned—have recently responded in the journal Religious Studies to my co-authored article with Ryan Mullins. I extend my utmost gratitude to Pawl and Grant for their engagement, and I aim to offer a cordial and thoughtful response in this post.

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Pawl and Grant on the Aloneness Argument

Tim Pawl and W. Matthews Grant — two philosophers whom I greatly admire and from whose work I have immensely benefitted and learned — have recently responded in the journal Religious Studies to my co-authored article with Ryan Mullins. I extend my utmost gratitude to Pawl and Grant for their engagement, and I cannot wait to offer them a cordial and thoughtful response in my next blog post. [I might develop my response into a further article, however the chance of that is quite low — journals tend to dislike extended back-and-forths, as they threaten to falsify causal finitism by instantiating a supertask.] Hopefully the blog post will be up within the next 14 days, but I make no promises. 🙂 ❤


Author: Joe

A Failed Demonstration of God’s Existence

Interested in arguments from contingency and change, the Kalam, causal finitism, the gap problem, existential inertia, and more? I’ve got just the rebuttal for you. In this video, I respond to Trent Horn’s defense of his case for God.


0:00 Intro, Prelims, & Outline
1:47 Argument from Contingency
42:57 Argument from Change
1:44:56 Existential Inertia
1:58:04 Models of God
2:04:39 Kalam, Causal Finitism, and UPD
3:02:52 Gap Problem
3:37:36 Moral Argument
3:43:18 Conclusion

Author: Joe

A Step-by-step Argument for Causal Finitism [Pre-Print!]

My article, “A Step-by-step Argument for Causal Finitism”, has recently been accepted for publication in the journal Erkenntnis. For those interested, you can find the pre-print version here.

Some notes about the article:

(1) I’m still not 100% convinced by the argument I develop in the article. I think it’s fascinating and nicely adds to the cumulative case in Pruss (2018), but as an individual argument, I’m still thinking on it. I honestly wrote this paper to explore the argument, not so much to stake my own position in the debate. I have lots of reservations, e.g., about one of my appeals to a patchwork principle. But reservations notwithstanding, I think it contributes nicely to the causal finitism debate. (In my EXTREMELY unbiased opinion as the article’s author, that is…)

(2) For those interested in checking out the work I’ve done on the Kalam, check out this playlist here.

(3) Happy philosophizing!

Author: Joe

Comments on Feser on Oppy on Thomistic Cosmological Arguments

In this post, I’ll comment on Feser’s recent Religious Studies article responding to Graham Oppy. Whether Oppy’s criticisms succeed does not matter to me; what matters to me is whether Feser says anything that might salvage the Aristotelian proof (and, potentially, other Thomistic cosmological arguments) from the various criticisms I’ve leveled towards them.

I will not, of course, fault Feser for not taking into account my various criticisms, as Feser is only responding to Oppy. Instead, I will simply evaluate whether the Aristotelian proof survives the criticisms I’ve leveled towards it in light of what Feser says in his article. (On occasion, though, I’ll also be commenting on Feser’s responses to Oppy. So my purposes in this post are multifaceted.)

For those curious, here’s the chapter on the Aristotelian proof from my unpublished-but-in-talks-with-academic-presses book. Here’s my systematic and comprehensive investigation into existential inertia and the various objections to it (including all of Feser’s) in the literature. And here are my two responses (one, two) to Feser’s engagement with my published articles criticizing the Aristotelian proof.

So let’s dig in!

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