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.Continue reading
(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: https://philpapers.org/rec/SCHSUT-9
(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: https://youtu.be/BYhV5JAy48g
(2) My blog is moving to the blog section of my new website: https://www.josephschmid.com
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!
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.Continue reading
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. 🙂 ❤
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
As Feser (2014, pp. 34-35) reads it, Parmenides’s argument against change runs:
- Change would require being to arise out of non-being or nothingness.
- But from non-being or nothingness, nothing can arise.
- So, change is impossible.
Where does the argument go wrong? Here’s Feser’s answer:Continue reading
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!
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!Continue reading
What is existential inertia? Is it a thesis? A phenomenon? Why would anyone believe it? Why would anyone disbelieve it? Does it explain persistence, or merely describe it? Does it render persistence inexplicable or brute?
This post will answer all these questions and more. It’s a comprehensive guide to existential inertia. I’ll discuss (i) common mistakes people make when discussing existential inertia, (ii) what existential inertia is, (iii) motivations for existential inertia, (iv) arguments against existential inertia, and (v) resources on existential inertia. Buckle up.
1 Common mistakes
2 The basics of existential inertia
3 Clarifying the Existential Inertia Thesis (EIT)
—–3.2 Persistence and Relativity Theory*
—–3.3 Modal Register
—–3.4 Dependence and Destruction
—–3.5 Metaphysical Accounts
4 A rigorous articulation of EIT*
—–4.1 Temporal Ontology*
—–4.2 Taxonomic questions: Summary
5 The metaphysics of EIT
—–5.1 Tendency-disposition Accounts
—–5.2 Transtemporal Accounts
—–5.3 Law-based Accounts*
—–5.4 Necessity Accounts
—–5.5 No-change Accounts
6 Motivating EIT
—–6.1 Theoretical Virtues
—–6.2 Aristotelian proof argument
—–6.3 Divine Temporality
—–6.4 Bayesian argument
—–6.5 Moorean argument
7 Arguments against EIT
—–7.1 Alleged Counterexamples
—–7.2 Red Chairs
—–7.3 Hsiao and Sanders
———-7.3.1 Counterexamples to EIT
———-7.3.2 First Metaphysical Argument
———-7.3.4 Third Metaphysical Argument
—–7.4 Proportionate Causality
—–7.5 Form-matter Interdependence
—–7.6 Contingent Natures
—–7.7 Vicious Circularity
—–7.8 Aristotelian proof causal principle
—–7.9 Neo-Platonic proof causal principle
—–7.10 Thomistic proof causal principle
—–7.11 Rationalist proof causal principle
—–7.12 Nemes’ argument
—–7.13 De Ente argument
—–7.14 Nemes and Kerr on the De Ente argument
—–8.2 YouTube videos
—–8.3 Blog posts