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Alexander R. Pruss [82]Alexander Robert Pruss [1]
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  1. Alexander R. Pruss (2012). Agodelian Ontological Argument Improved Even More. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag 50--203.
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  2. Alexander R. Pruss (2013). Probability, Regularity, and Cardinality. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):231-240.
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  3.  35
    Alexander R. Pruss (2015). Possibility is Not Consistency. Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2341-2348.
    We shall use Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem to show that consistency is not possibility, and then argue that the argument does serious damage to some theories of modality where consistency plays a major but not exclusive role.
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  4. Alexander R. Pruss (2006). The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment. Cambridge University Press.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) says that all contingent facts must have explanation. In this volume, the first on the topic in the English language in nearly half a century, Alexander Pruss examines the substantive philosophical issues raised by the Principle Reason. Discussing various forms of the PSR and selected historical episodes, from Parmenides, Leibnez, and Hume, Pruss defends the claim that every true contingent proposition must have an explanation against major objections, including Hume's imaginability argument and Peter van (...)
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  5.  64
    Alexander R. Pruss (2013). The Accomplishment of Plans: A New Version of the Principle of Double Effect. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 165 (1):49-69.
    The classical principle of double effect offers permissibility conditions for actions foreseen to lead to evil outcomes. I shall argue that certain kinds of closeness cases, as well as general heuristic considerations about the order of explanation, lead us to replace the intensional concept of intention with the extensional concept of accomplishment in double effect.
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  6.  53
    Alexander R. Pruss (2012). Sincerely Asserting What You Do Not Believe. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):541 - 546.
    I offer examples showing that, pace G. E. Moore, it is possible to assert ?Q and I don't believe that Q? sincerely, truly, and without any absurdity. The examples also refute the following principles: (a) justification to assert p entails justification to assert that one believes p (Gareth Evans); (b) the sincerity condition on assertion is that one believes what one says (John Searle); and (c) to assert (to someone) something that one believes to be false is to lie (Don (...)
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  7. Richard M. Gale & Alexander R. Pruss (1999). A New Cosmological Argument. Religious Studies 35 (4):461-476.
    We will give a new cosmological argument for the existence of a being who, although not proved to be the absolutely perfect God of the great Medieval theists, also is capable of playing the role in the lives of working theists of a being that is a suitable object of worship, adoration, love, respect, and obedience. Unlike the absolutely perfect God, the God whose necessary existence is established by our argument will not be shown to essentially have the divine perfections (...)
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  8. Trent Dougherty & Alexander R. Pruss (forthcoming). Evil and the Problem of Anomaly. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
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  9. Richard M. Gale & Alexander R. Pruss (2002). A Response to Oppy, and to Davey and Clifton. Religious Studies 38 (1):89-99.
    Our paper ‘A new cosmological argument’ gave an argument for the existence of God making use of the weak Principle of Sufficient Reason (W-PSR) which states that for every proposition p, if p is true, then it is possible that there is an explanation for p. Recently, Graham Oppy, as well as Kevin Davey and Rob Clifton, have criticized the argument. We reply to these criticisms. The most interesting kind of criticism in both papers alleges that the W-PSR can be (...)
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  10. Joshua Rasmussen & Alexander R. Pruss (forthcoming). Problems with Plurals. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
     
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  11.  95
    Alexander R. Pruss (2013). Incompatibilism Proved. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):430-437.
    (2013). Incompatibilism proved. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. ???aop.label???
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  12. Alexander R. Pruss (2012). One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics. University of Notre Dame Press.
    This important philosophical reflection on love and sexuality from a broadly Christian perspective is aimed at philosophers, theologians, and educated Christian readers. Alexander R. Pruss focuses on foundational questions on the nature of romantic love and on controversial questions in sexual ethics on the basis of the fundamental idea that romantic love pursues union of two persons as one body. _One Body_ begins with an account, inspired by St. Thomas Aquinas, of the general nature of love as constituted by components (...)
     
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  13.  91
    Alexander R. Pruss (2012). A Deflationary Theory Of Diachronic Identity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):19 - 37.
    Substantive theories of diachronic identity have been offered for different kinds of entities. The kind of entity whose diachronic identity has received the most attention in the literature is person, where such theories as the psychological theory, the body theory, the soul theory, and animalism have been defended. At the same time, Wittgenstein's remark that ?to say of two things that they are identical is nonsense, and to say of one thing that it is identical with itself is to say (...)
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  14.  45
    Alexander R. Pruss (2012). A Counterexample to Plantinga's Free Will Defense. Faith and Philosophy 29 (4):400-415.
    Plantinga’s Free Will Defense is an argument that, possibly, God cannot actualize a world containing significant creaturely free will and no wrongdoings. I will argue that if standard Molinism is true, there is a pair of worlds w1 and w2 each of which contains a significantly free creature who never chooses wrongly, and that are such that, necessarily, at least one of these worlds is a world that God can actualize.
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  15.  72
    Alexander R. Pruss (2009). Another Step in Divine Command Dialectics. Faith and Philosophy 26 (4):432-439.
    Consider the following three-step dialectics. (1) Even if God (consistently) commanded torture of the innocent, it would still be wrong. Therefore Divine Command Metaethics (DCM) is false. (2) No: for it is impossible for God to command torture of the innocent. (3) Even if it is impossible, there is a non-trivially true per impossibile counterfactual that even if God (consistently) com­manded torture of the innocent, it would still be wrong, and this counterfac­tual is incompatible with DCM. I shall argue that (...)
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  16.  41
    Alexander R. Pruss (2012). Infinite Lotteries, Perfectly Thin Darts and Infinitesimals. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):81-89.
    One of the problems that Bayesian regularity, the thesis that all contingent propositions should be given probabilities strictly between zero and one, faces is the possibility of random processes that randomly and uniformly choose a number between zero and one. According to classical probability theory, the probability that such a process picks a particular number in the range is zero, but of course any number in the range can indeed be picked. There is a solution to this particular problem on (...)
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  17. Alexander R. Pruss (2009). A Gödelian Ontological Argument Improved. Religious Studies 45 (3):347-353.
    Gödel's ontological argument is a formal argument for a being defined in terms of the concept of a positive property. I shall defend several versions of Gödel's argument, using weaker premises than Anderson's (1990) version, and avoiding Oppy's (1996 and 2000) parody refutations.
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  18.  43
    Alexander R. Pruss (2002). The Actual and the Possible. In Richard M. Gale (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics. Blackwell Publishers 317--33.
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  19.  97
    Kenneth L. Pearce & Alexander R. Pruss (2012). Understanding Omnipotence. Religious Studies 48 (3):403-414.
    An omnipotent being would be a being whose power was unlimited. The power of human beings is limited in two distinct ways: we are limited with respect to our freedom of will, and we are limited in our ability to execute what we have willed. These two distinct sources of limitation suggest a simple definition of omnipotence: an omnipotent being is one that has both perfect freedom of will and perfect efficacy of will. In this paper we further explicate this (...)
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  20.  11
    Alexander R. Pruss (2014). Regular Probability Comparisons Imply the Banach–Tarski Paradox. Synthese 191 (15):3525-3540.
    Consider the regularity thesis that each possible event has non-zero probability. Hájek challenges this in two ways: there can be nonmeasurable events that have no probability at all and on a large enough sample space, some probabilities will have to be zero. But arguments for the existence of nonmeasurable events depend on the axiom of choice. We shall show that the existence of anything like regular probabilities is by itself enough to imply a weak version of AC sufficient to prove (...)
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  21.  40
    Alexander R. Pruss (2014). Infinitesimals Are Too Small for Countably Infinite Fair Lotteries. Synthese 191 (6):1051-1057.
    We show that infinitesimal probabilities are much too small for modeling the individual outcome of a countably infinite fair lottery.
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  22. Alexander R. Pruss (2004). A Restricted Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Cosmological Argument. Religious Studies 40 (2):165-179.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) says that, necessarily, every contingently true proposition has an explanation. The PSR is the most controversial premise in the cosmological argument for the existence of God. It is likely that one reason why a number of philosophers reject the PSR is that they think there are conceptual counter-examples to it. For instance, they may think, with Peter van Inwagen, that the conjunction of all contingent propositions cannot have an explanation, or they may believe that (...)
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  23. Alexander R. Pruss (1998). The Hume-Edwards Principle and the Cosmological Argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 43 (3):149-165.
  24.  3
    Alexander R. Pruss (2011). From Restricted to Full Omniscience. Religious Studies 47 (2):257-264.
    Some, notably Peter van Inwagen, in order to avoid problems with free will and omniscience, replace the condition that an omniscient being knows all true propositions with a version of the apparently weaker condition that an omniscient being knows all knowable true propositions. I shall show that the apparently weaker condition, when conjoined with uncontroversial claims and the logical closure of an omniscient being's knowledge, still yields the claim that an omniscient being knows all true propositions.
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  25. Alexander R. Pruss, I Was Once a Fetus: That is Why Abortion is Wrong.
              I am going to give an argument showing that <span class='Hi'>abortion</span> is <span class='Hi'>wrong</span> in exactly the same circumstances in which it is <span class='Hi'>wrong</span> to kill an adult. To argue further that <span class='Hi'>abortion</span> is always <span class='Hi'>wrong</span> would require showing that it is always <span class='Hi'>wrong</span> to kill an adult or that the circumstances in which it is not <span class='Hi'>wrong</span>--say, capital punishment--never befall a fetus. Such an argument (...)
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  26.  37
    Alexander R. Pruss (2007). Conjunctions, Disjunctions and Lewisian Semantics for Counterfactuals. Synthese 156 (1):33 - 52.
    Consider the reasonable axioms of subjunctive conditionals if p → q1 and p → q2 at some world, then p → at that world, and if p1 → q and p2 → q at some world, then → q at that world, where p → q is the subjunctive conditional. I show that a Lewis-style semantics for subjunctive conditionals satisfies these axioms if and only if one makes a certain technical assumption about the closeness relation, an assumption that is probably (...)
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  27.  83
    Alexander R. Pruss (2001). The Cardinality Objection to David Lewis's Modal Realism. Philosophical Studies 104 (2):169-178.
    According to David Lewis's extreme modal realism, every waythat a world could be is a way that some concretely existingphysical world really is. But if the worlds are physicalentities, then there should be a set of all worlds, whereasI show that in fact the collection of all possible worlds is nota set. The latter conclusion remains true even outside of theLewisian framework.
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  28. Alexander R. Pruss (2005). Fine- and Coarse-Tuning, Normalizability, and Probabilistic Reasoning. Philosophia Christi 7 (2):405 - 423.
    McGrew, McGrew and Vestrup (MMV) have argued that the fine-tuning anthropic principle argument for the existence of God fails because no probabilities can be assigned to the likelihood that physical constants fall in some finite interval. In particular, the fine-tuning argument that, say, some constant must lie in the range (1.000,1.001) in order for intelligent life to be possible is no better than a seemingly absurd coarse-tuning argument based on the need for that constant to lie in the range (0.001, (...)
     
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  29.  52
    Alexander R. Pruss (2010). The Ontological Argument and the Motivational Centres of Lives. Religious Studies 46 (2):233-249.
    Assuming S₅, the main controversial premise in modal ontological arguments is the possibility premise, such as that possibly a maximally great being exists. I shall offer a new way of arguing that the possibility premise is probably true.
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  30. Alexander R. Pruss, Lying, Deception and Kant.
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  31.  46
    Alexander R. Pruss (2011). A New Way to Reconcile Creation with Current Biological Science. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 85:213-222.
    I shall argue that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, current biological science does not rule out the possibility of miraculous intervention in the evolutionary history of human beings. This shows that it is possible to reconcile evolutionary science with the claim that we are designed by God.
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  32.  27
    Alexander R. Pruss (2001). Śamkara's Principle and Two Ontomystical Arguments. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49 (2):111-120.
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  33. Alexander R. Pruss, Recombinations, Alien Properties and Laws of Nature.
    A recombinationist like the earlier Armstrong (1989) claims that logically possible worlds are recombinations of items found in the actual world, with some items reduplicated if need be and others deleted. An immediate consequence of this is that if an alien property is a property that could only be defined in terms of fundamental properties that are actually uninstantiated, then it is logically impossible that an alien property be instantiated as no recombination of the items in the actual world can (...)
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  34.  90
    Alexander R. Pruss (2003). David Lewis's Counterfactual Arrow of Time. Noûs 37 (4):606–637.
    David Lewis (1979) has argued that according to his possible worlds analysis of counterfactuals, “backtracking” counterfactuals of the form “If event A were to happen at tA, then event B would happen at tB” where tB precedes tA, are usually false if B does not actually happen at tB. On the other..
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  35.  77
    Alexander R. Pruss (2011). The A-Theory of Time and Induction. Philosophical Studies 152 (3):335 - 345.
    The A-theory of time says that it is an objective, non-perspectival fact about the world that some events are present, while others were present or will be present. I shall argue that the A-theory has some implausible consequences for inductive reasoning. In particular, the presentist version of the A-theory, which holds that the difference between the present and the non-present consists in the present events being the only ones that exist, is very much in trouble.
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  36.  29
    Alexander R. Pruss & Joshua L. Rasmussen (2013). Explaining Counterfactuals of Freedom. Religious Studies 50 (2):1-6.
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  37.  1
    Alexander R. Pruss (2009). A Gödelian Ontological Argument Improved: ALEXANDER R. PRUSS. Religious Studies 45 (3):347-353.
    Gödel's ontological argument is a formal argument for a being defined in terms of the concept of a positive property. I shall defend several versions of Gödel's argument, using weaker premises than Anderson's version, and avoiding Oppy's parody refutations.
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  38.  48
    Alexander R. Pruss (2010). Probability and the Open Future View. Faith and Philosophy 27 (2):190-196.
    I defend a simple argument for why considerations of epistemic probability should lead us away from Open Future views according to which claims about the future are never true.
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  39.  19
    Alexander R. Pruss (2014). Independent Tests and the Log‐Likelihood‐Ratio Measure of Confirmation. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):124-135.
    I shall offer some very plausible assumptions for the measure of confirmation and show that they imply that E confirms H relative to background K to degree f/PK), where f is a strictly increasing function. An additional assumption about how measures of confirmation combine then makes f be proportional to a logarithm.
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  40. Richard M. Gale & Alexander R. Pruss (eds.) (2003). The Existence of God.
     
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  41.  22
    Alexander R. Pruss (2013). Omnirationality. Res Philosophica 90 (1):1-21.
    God is omnirational: whenever he does anything, he does it for all and only the unexcluded reasons that favor the action, and he always acts for reasons. Thisdoctrine has two unexpected consequences: it gives an account of why it is that unification is a genuine form of scientific explanation, and it answers the question of when the occurrence of E after a petitionary prayer for E is an answer to the prayer.
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  42. Alexander R. Pruss (2007). Conjunctions, Disjunctions and Lewisian Semantics for Counterfactuals. Synthese 156 (1):33-52.
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  43. Alexander R. Pruss, I Was Once a Fetus: An Identity-Based Argument Against Abortion.
              First an outline of the argument Assume that I once was a fetus. Who will deny this —surely a fetus was what I once was? Yet, though it is hard to deny, much of this paper will be work to bolster up this portion of the argument. For now assume this. But now if the right-to-life (understood as the right not to be deprived of life by human decision unless one (...)
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  44. Alexander R. Pruss, Can Two Equal Infinity? The Attributes of God in Spinoza.
    SpinozaÂ’s God is a being with infinite attributes, each of which expresses infinite essence. Does this mean that God has infinitely many attributes, each of which expresses infinite essence, or does God simply have attributes, each of which is infinite and expresses infinite essence? SpinozaÂ’s argumentation in Letter 9 and the Scholium to Prop. I.10 clearly indicates that it is not just each individual attribute that is infinite, but there are in some sense infinitely many of them. This would seem (...)
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  45.  53
    Alexander R. Pruss (2008). The Essential Divine-Perfection Objection to the Free-Will Defence. Religious Studies 44 (4):433-444.
    The free-will defence (FWD) holds that the value of significant free will is so great that God is justified in creating significantly free creatures even if there is a risk or certainty that these creatures will sin. A difficulty for the FWD, developed carefully by Quentin Smith, is that God is unable to do evil, and yet surely lacks no genuinely valuable kind of freedom. Smith argues that the kind of freedom that God has can be had by creatures, without (...)
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  46. Alexander R. Pruss, Causation and the Arrow of Time.
    “We are always already thrown into concrete factual circumstances, facing possibilities that we need to come to grips with. By choosing some we exclude others, thus making them no longer possible. What we are thrown into is the past and present, and the possibilities loom ahead of us, though we may try to turn our back on them. The future is the home of the possibilities while the present and past define the circumstances in which we make our choices, circumstances (...)
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  47.  26
    Alexander R. Pruss (2010). Lies and Dishonest Endorsements. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 84:213-222.
    I shall discuss the problem of the definition of lying and the formulation of the duty of truthtelling. I shall argue that the morality of assertion is a special case of the morality of endorsement, and that a criterion of adequacy for an account of lying is that it handles certain cases of dishonest endorsement as well. Standardviews of lying fail to do so. I shall offer an account of the duty of honest endorsement in terms of the intention to (...)
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  48. Alexander R. Pruss, Freedom, Determinism and Gale's Principle.
    In simplified form, the argument that I am defending holds that the incompatibility of our freedom with determinism follows from the conjunction of (1) a plausible supervenience claim which says that whether a human agent is free depends only on what happens during the agent’s life and (2) a freedom-cancellation principle of Richard Gale which says that an agent is not free if all of her actions are intentionally brought about by another agent. Improved versions of (1) and (2) are (...)
     
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  49.  25
    Alexander R. Pruss (2009). Artificial Intelligence and Personal Identity. Faith and Philosophy 26 (5):487-500.
    Persons have objective, not socially defined, identity conditions. I shall argue that robots do not, unless they have souls. Hence, robots without souls are not persons. And by parallel reasoning, neither are we persons if we do not have souls.
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  50.  9
    Alexander R. Pruss (2015). Popper Functions, Uniform Distributions and Infinite Sequences of Heads. Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (3):259-271.
    Popper functions allow one to take conditional probabilities as primitive instead of deriving them from unconditional probabilities via the ratio formula P=P/P. A major advantage of this approach is it allows one to condition on events of zero probability. I will show that under plausible symmetry conditions, Popper functions often fail to do what they were supposed to do. For instance, suppose we want to define the Popper function for an isometrically invariant case in two dimensions and hence require the (...)
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