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  1. 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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  2. Stephen J. Montgomery-Smith & Alexander R. Pruss, A Comparison Inequality for Sums of Independent Random Variables.
    We give a comparison inequality that allows one to estimate the tail probabilities of sums of independent Banach space valued random variables in terms of those of independent identically distributed random variables. More precisely, let X1, . . . , Xn be independent Banach-valued random variables. Let I be a random variable independent of X1, . . . , Xn and uniformly distributed over {1, . . . , n}. Put ˜.
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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Alexander R. Pruss, Cooperation with Past Evil and Use of Cell-Lines Derived From Aborted Fetuses.
              The production of a number of vaccines involves the use of cell-lines originally derived from fetuses directly aborted in the 1960s and 1970s. Such cell-lines, indeed sometimes the very same ones, are important to on-going research, including at Catholic institutions. The cells currently used are removed by a number of decades and by a significant number of cellular generations from the original cells. Moreover, the original cells extracted from the bodies (...)
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  6. Alexander R. Pruss, Eight Tempting Big-Picture Errors in Ethics.
              Despite the fact that the strength of argument is clearly on the pro-life side—nobody except a handful of academics would question the grave wrongness of abortion were pregnancy never inconvenient—somehow ordinary intelligent people, like our students, often remain unconvinced. There are many reasons for this, of course. For instance, a number of students have had their children aborted while many know others who have had abortions, and one does not want (...)
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  7. Alexander R. Pruss, From the P ´ Olya-Szeg ¨ O Symmetrization.
    Let Mm k be the simply connected constant curvature space form of dimension m. • Mm 0 is Rm with euclidean metric • Mm k for k > 0 is an m-sphere of radius k−1/2 • Mm k for k < 0 is m dimensional hyperbolic space modelled on the m-ball of radius (−k)−1/2.
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  8. 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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  9. Alexander R. Pruss, I Was Once a Fetus: That is Why Abortion is Wrong.
              I am going to give an argument showing that abortion is wrong in exactly the same circumstances in which it is wrong to kill an adult. To argue further that abortion is always wrong would require showing that it is always wrong to kill an adult or that the circumstances in which it is not wrong--say, capital punishment--never befall a fetus. Such an argument will be beyond the scope of this (...)
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  10. Alexander R. Pruss, Kantian Maxims and Lying.
              Kant has claimed that lying is always wrong, even in response to a question from a murderer about the whereabouts of his intended victim. Christine Korsgaard has argued that although Kant’s second and third formulations in terms of respect for the humanity in persons and in terms of the Kingdom of Ends of the Categorical Imperative (CI) commit him to this claim, the first formulation in terms of universalizability does..
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  11. Alexander R. Pruss, Some Recent Progress on the Cosmological Argument.
    In the first chapter of Romans, Paul tells us that the power and deity of God are evident from what he has created. One reading of this is that there is an argument from the content of what has been created. Thus, the Book of Wisdom, which may well have been the source of Paul’s ideas here, says that “from the greatness and beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen” (13:5, NAB). This is a kind of (...)
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  12. Alexander R. Pruss, The Cosmos as a Work of Art.
              The cosmos is filled with evil that seemingly has no redeeming value. Granted, some evils do lead to greater goods, sometimes goods that could not exist without the evils. Thus, the exercise of courage is a good that requires either an actual evil to stand firm in the face of or the illusion of an evil—and an illusion is a kind of evil, too. But many evils appear to serve no (...)
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  13. Alexander R. Pruss, Functionalism and Counting Minds.
    I argue that standard functionalism leads to absurd conclusions as to the number of minds that would exist in the universe if persons were duplicated.
     
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  14. Trent Dougherty & Alexander R. Pruss (forthcoming). Evil and the Problem of Anomaly. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
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  15. Alexander R. Pruss (forthcoming). Leibniz's Approach to Individuation and Strawson's Criticisms. Studia Leibnitiana.
     
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  16. 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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  17. Marc Lange, Peter Vickers, John Michael, Miles MacLeod, Alexander R. Pruss, David John Baker, Clark Glymour & Simon Fitzpatrick (2013). 1. Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift (Pp. 169-188). Philosophy of Science 80 (2).
     
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  18. 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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  19. Alexander R. Pruss (2013). Null Probability, Dominance and Rotation. Analysis 73 (4):682-685.
    New arguments against Bayesian regularity and an otherwise plausible domination principle are offered on the basis of rotational symmetry. The arguments against Bayesian regularity work in very general settings.
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  20. Alexander R. Pruss (2013). Omnirationality. Res Philosophica 90 (1):1-21.
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  21. Alexander R. Pruss (2013). Probability, Regularity, and Cardinality. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):231-240.
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  22. 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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  23. Alexander R. Pruss & Joshua L. Rasmussen (2013). Explaining Counterfactuals of Freedom. Religious Studies:1-6.
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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. Alexander R. Pruss (2012). Infinite Lotteries, Perfectly Thin Darts and Infinitesimals. Thought 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. Alexander R. Pruss (2010). Philosophy and Language. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 84:213-222.
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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. Alexander R. Pruss (2009). Programs, Bugs, DNA and a Design Argument. In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  41. Alexander R. Pruss (2009). The Evidential Argument From Evil: A Second Look Extracts From Religion in the Public Square [Liberal Democracy and the Place of Religion in Politics] Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom Are Compatible Extract From Religion in the Public Square [Audi on Religion9 Politics, and Liberal Democracy] Why We Should Reject What Liberalism Tells Us About Speaking and Acting in Public for Religious Reasons Extract From" The Molinist Account of providence'A New Cosmological Argument The Being That Knew Too ... In William J. Wainwright (ed.), Philosophy of Religion. Routledge. 1.
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  42. Alexander R. Pruss (2008). The Eucharist : Real Presence and Real Absence. In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press.
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  43. 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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  44. Alexander R. Pruss (2008). Toner on Judgment and Eternalism. Faith and Philosophy 25 (3):317-321.
    Patrick Toner has argued that eternalism, the doctrine that all times are ontologically on par, conflicts with the Catholic view of judgment as based on the state of the soul at death. For, he holds, it is arbitrary that judgment should be based on what happened at some particular time, unless, as presentism holds, that time is the only that really exists. I shall argue that his argument fails because the eternalist can say that judgment is simultaneous with the state (...)
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  45. Alexander R. Pruss (2007). Conjunctions, Disjunctions and Lewisian Semantics for Counterfactuals. Synthese 156 (1):33 - 52.
    Consider the reasonable axioms of subjunctive conditionals (1) if p q 1 and p q 2 at some world, then p (q 1 & q 2) at that world, and (2) if p 1 q and p 2 q at some world, then (p 1 ∨ p 2) 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 (...)
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  46. Alexander R. Pruss (2007). Review of Graham Oppy, Arguing About Gods. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (5).
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  47. Alexander R. Pruss (2006). Complicity, Fetal Tissue, and Vaccines. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 6 (3):461-470.
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  48. 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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  49. 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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  50. Alexander R. Pruss (2005). Timothy L. Smith, Thomas Aquinas' Trinitarian Theology: A Study in Theological Method. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2003. Pp. Xiii, 258; 1 Black-and-White Figure and 1 Diagram. $59.95. [REVIEW] Speculum 80 (1):324-326.
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