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Profile: Nick Trakakis (Australian Catholic University)
  1. Nick Trakakis (2007). Meta-Philosophy of Religion. Ars Disputandi 7:1-47.
    How is the philosophical study of religion best pursued? Responses to this meta-philosophical question tend to recapitulate the analytic-Continental divide in philosophy in general. My aim is to examine the nature of this divide, particularly as it has manifested itself in the philosophy of religion. I begin with a comparison of the stylistic differences in the language of the two traditions, taking the work of Alvin Plantinga and John Caputo as exemplars of the analytic and Continental schools respectively. In order (...)
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  2. Robert Halliday, Rod Nicholls, Mark Wynn, Nick Trakakis, Yujin Nagasawa, Maarten Wisse, Peter Kügler & Igor Douven (2004). Returning the Gift of Life. Ars Disputandi 4.
    The gift of life argument, the claim that suicide is immoral because our lives are not ours to dispose of as we are their guardians or stewards, is a persistent theme in debates about the morality of suicide, assisted-suicide, and euthanasia. I argue that this argument suffers from a fatal internal incoherence. The gift can either be interpreted literally or analogically. If it is interpreted literally there are serious problems in understanding who receives the gift. If it is understood analogically (...)
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  3. Nick Trakakis & Yujin Nagasawa (2004). Skeptical Theism and Moral Skepticism : A Reply to Almeida and Oppy. Ars Disputandi 4 (4):1-1.
    Skeptical theists purport to undermine evidential arguments from evil by appealing to the fact that our knowledge of goods, evils, and their interconnections is significantly limited. Michael J. Almeida and Graham Oppy have recently argued that skeptical theism is unacceptable because it results in a form of moral skepticism which rejects inferences that play an important role in our ordinary moral reasoning. In this reply to Almeida and Oppy's argument we offer some reasons for thinking that skeptical theism need not (...)
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  4.  1
    Nick Trakakis, The End of Philosophy of Religion.
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  5. Nick Trakakis (2008). Theodicy: The Solution to the Problem of Evil, or Part of the Problem? Sophia 47 (2):161-191.
    Theodicy, the enterprise of searching for greater goods that might plausibly justify God’s permission of evil, is often criticized on the grounds that the project has systematically failed to unearth any such goods. But theodicists also face a deeper challenge, one that places under question the very attempt to look for any morally sufficient reasons God might have for creating a world littered with evil. This ‘anti-theodical’ view argues that theists (and non-theists) ought to reject, primarily for moral reasons, the (...)
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  6.  13
    Nick Trakakis (2012). What No Eye has Seen: The Skeptical Theist Response to Rowe's Evidential Argument From Evil. Philo: The Journal of the Society of Humanist Philosophers 6 (2):250-266.
    This paper examines the evidential argument from evil put forward by William Rowe during his early and middle periods . Having delineated some of the important features of Rowe’s argument, it is then assessed in the light of “the skeptical theist critique.” According to skeptical theists, Rowe’s crucial inference from inscrutable evil to pointless evil can be exposed as unwarranted, particularly by appealing to the disparity between our cognitive abilities and the infinite wisdom of God. However, by relating the problem (...)
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  7.  21
    Yujin Nagasawa & Nick Trakakis (2012). Skeptical Theism and Moral Skepticism: A Reply to Almeida and Oppy. Ars Disputandi: The Online Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4):1-1.
    Skeptical theists purport to undermine evidential arguments from evil by appealing to the fact that our knowledge of goods, evils, and their interconnections is significantly limited. Michael J. Almeida and Graham Oppy have recently argued that skeptical theism is unacceptable because it results in a form of moral skepticism which rejects inferences that play an important role in our ordinary moral reasoning. In this reply to Almeida and Oppy’s argument we offer some reasons for thinking that skeptical theism need not (...)
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  8.  54
    Nick Trakakis (2007). An Epistemically Distant God? A Critique of John Hick's Response to the Problem of Divine Hiddenness. Heythrop Journal 48 (2):214–226.
    God is thought of as hidden in at least two ways. Firstly, God's reasons for permitting evil, particularly instances of horrendous evil, are often thought to be inscrutable or beyond our ken. Secondly, and perhaps more problematically, God's very existence and love or concern for us is often thought to be hidden from us (or, at least, from many of us on many occasions). But if we assume, as seems most plausible, that God's reasons for permitting evil will (in many, (...)
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  9.  10
    Nick Trakakis, The God Beyond Belief: In Defence of William Rowe's Evidential Arguments From Evil.
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  10. Nick Trakakis & Daniel Cohen (eds.) (2008). Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars.
  11.  96
    Nick Trakakis (2005). Is Theism Capable of Accounting for Any Natural Evil at All? International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 57 (1):35 - 66.
    Received wisdom has it that a plausible explanation or theodicy for Gods permission of at least some instances of natural evil is not beyond the reach of the theist. In this paper I challenge this assumption, arguing instead that theism fails to account for any instance, kind, quantity, or distribution of natural evil found in the world. My case will be structured around a specific but not idiosyncratic conception of natural evil as well as an examination of three prominent theodicies (...)
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  12.  63
    Monima Chadha & Nick Trakakis (2007). Karma and the Problem of Evil: A Response to Kaufman. Philosophy East and West 57 (4):533-556.
    The doctrine of karma, as elaborated in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious traditions, offers a powerful explanatory account of the human predicament, and in particular of seemingly undeserved human suffering. Whitley R. P. Kaufman is right to point out that on some points, such as the suffering of children, the occurrence of natural disasters, and the possibility of universal salvation, the karma theory appears, initially at least, much more satisfactory than the attempts made to solve the perennial problem of (...)
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  13.  67
    Nick Trakakis, The Evidential Problem of Evil. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Evidential Problem of Evil The evidential problem of evil is the problem of determining whether and, if so, to what extent the existence of evil (or certain instances, kinds, quantities, or distributions of evil) constitutes evidence against the existence of God, that is to say, a being perfect in power, knowledge and goodness. Evidential […].
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  14.  26
    Nick Trakakis (2003). Evil and the Complexity of History: A Response to Durston. Religious Studies 39 (4):451-458.
    Kirk Durston recently presented an argument aimed against evidential arguments from evil predicated on instances of suffering that appear to be gratuitous; ‘The consequential complexity of history and gratuitous evil’, Religious Studies, 36 (2000), 65–80. He begins with the notion that history consists of an intricate web of causal chains, so that a single event in one such chain may have countless unforeseen consequences. According to Durston, this consequential complexity exhibited by history negatively impacts on our grasp of the data (...)
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  15.  10
    Nick Trakakis (2006). Does Hard Determinism Render the Problem of Evil Even Harder? Ars Disputandi: The Online Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (6):1-1.
    Hard determinism, in theological dress, holds that there is no human free will since God is the sufficient active cause of everything that happens in creation. It is surprising that, in the ever-growing literature on the problem of evil, very little attention has been paid to theodicies that adopt a hard determinist outlook. It is commonly assumed that without free will the theodical project is a non-starter. I challenge this long-held assumption by, firstly, developing a cumulative-style theodicy from within a (...)
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  16.  86
    Peter Coghlan & Nick Trakakis (2006). Confronting the Horror of Natural Evil: An Exchange Between Peter Coghlan and Nick Trakakis. Sophia 45 (2):5-26.
    In this exchange, Peter Coghlan and Nick Trakakis discuss the problem of natural evil in the light of the recent Asian tsunami disaster. The exchange begins with an extract from a newspaper article written by Coghlan on the tsunami, followed by three rounds of replies and counter-replies, and ending with some final comments from Trakakis. While critical of any attempt to show that human life is good overall despite its natural evils, Coghlan argues that instances of natural evil, even (...)
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  17.  52
    Nick Trakakis (2006). Nietzsche's Perspectivism and Problems of Self-Refutation. International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (1):91-110.
    Nietzsche’s perspectivism has aroused the perplexity of many a recent commentator, not least because of the doctrine’s apparent self-refuting character. If, as Nietzsche holds, there are no facts but only interpretations, then how are we to understand this claim itself? Nietzsche’s perspectivism must be construed either as a fact or as one further interpretation—but in the former case the doctrine is clearly self-refuting, while in the latter case any reasons or arguments one may have in support of one’s perspective are (...)
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  18.  66
    N. N. Trakakis (2010). Against Theodicy: A Response to Peter Forrest. Sophia 49 (1):129-140.
    In responding to Peter Forrest’s defence of ‘tough-minded theodicy’, I point to some problematic features of theodicies of this sort, in particular their commitment to an anthropomorphic conception of God which tends to assimilate the Creator to the creaturely and so diminishes the otherness and mystery of God. This remains the case, I argue, even granted Forrest’s view that God may have a very different kind of morality from the one we mortals are subject to.
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  19.  48
    Nick Trakakis (1997). The Absolutist Theory of Omnipotence. Sophia 36 (2):55-78.
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  20.  72
    Nick Trakakis (2006). Rowe's New Evidential Argument From Evil: Problems and Prospects. [REVIEW] Sophia 45 (1):57-77.
    This paper examines an evidential argument from evil recently defended by William Rowe, one that differs significantly from the kind of evidential argument Rowe has become renowned for defending. After providing a brief outline of Rowe’s new argument, I contest its seemingly uncontestable premise that our world is not the best world God could have created. I then engage in a lengthier discussion of the other key premise in Rowe’s argument, viz., the Leibnizian premise that any world created by God (...)
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  21.  9
    Nick Trakakis (2003). God, Gratuitous Evil, and van Inwagen's Attempt to Reconcile the Two. Ars Disputandi: The Online Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (3):1-10.
    Both critics and advocates of evidential arguments from evil often assume that theistic belief is not compatible with gratuitous evil. It is often assumed, in other words, that an omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good being would not permit an evil unless he had a morally sufficient reason to permit it. However, this cornerstone of evidential arguments from evil has come under increasing fire of late, in particular by Peter van Inwagen. The aim of this paper is to outline and then assess (...)
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  22.  24
    Nick Trakakis (forthcoming). Evidential Problem of Evil, The. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Evidential Problem of Evil The evidential problem of evil is the problem of determining whether and, if so, to what extent the existence of evil (or certain instances, kinds, quantities, or distributions of evil) constitutes evidence against the existence of God, that is to say, a being perfect in power, knowledge and goodness. Evidential […].
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  23. Nick Trakakis & D. Cohen, Introduction.
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  24.  20
    Nick Trakakis (2003). On the Alleged Failure of Free Will Theodicies: A Reply to Tierno. Sophia 42 (2):99-106.
    In a recent issue ofSophia Joel Tierno contends that free will theodicies are fundamentally flawed insofar as they claim to provide an adequate explanation for God’s permission of moral evil. Free will, according to Tierno, only accounts for our ability to make certain choices that issue in evil, but fails to account for the fact that we often do make such choices. However, the argument developed by Tierno, despite its initial appeal, embodies an important misunderstanding of the nature of free (...)
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  25.  17
    Nick Trakakis (2004). Second Thoughts on the Alleged Failure of Free Will Theodicies. Sophia 43 (2):87-93.
    In this paper I further the discussion on the adequacy of free will theodicies initiated by Joel Tierno. Tierno’s principal claim is that free will theodicies fail to account for the wide distribution of moral evil. I attempt to show that, even if Tierno need not rely on a compatibilist conception of free will in order to substantiate the aforementioned claim, there remains good reason to think that free will theodicies are not explanatorily inadequate in the way suggested by Tierno.
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  26.  5
    Nick Trakakis (2006). Why There is Reason to Remain Sceptical of Durston's Scepticism. Religious Studies 42 (1):101-109.
    In this reply I argue that Durston's defence of his argument from the complexity of history ought to be unacceptable to the theist as it undermines not only common theistic attitudes towards God, such as gratitude and praise, but also the rationality of our ordinary moral practices.
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  27.  24
    N. N. Trakakis (2012). Doing Philosophy in Style: A New Look at the Analytic/Continental Divide. Philosophy Compass 7 (12):919-942.
    Questions of style are often deemed of marginal importance in philosophy, as well as in metaphilosophical debates concerning the analytic/Continental divide. I take issue with this common tendency by showing how style – suitably conceived not merely as a way of writing, but as a form of expression intimately linked to a form of life – occupies a central role in philosophy. After providing an analysis of the concept of style, I take a fresh look at the analytic/Continental division by (...)
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  28.  7
    Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (2007). Religious Language Games. In Michael Scott & Adrian Moore (eds.), Realism and Religion. Ashgate 103-29.
    This paper is a critique of Witgensteinian approaches to philosophy of religion. In particular, it provides a close critique of the views of D. Z. Phillips.
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  29.  47
    Nick Trakakis, Morgan Luck & Sarah Bachelard (2009). Introduction to Special Apra Issue. Sophia 48 (2):103-104.
  30.  35
    N. Trakakis (2010). Does Univocity Entail Idolatry? Sophia 49 (4):535-555.
    Idolatry is vehemently rejected by the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), and closely connected with idolatry are certain varieties of anthropomorphism, which involve the attribution of a human form or personality to God. The question investigated in this paper is whether a highly anthropomorphic conception of God, one that commits the sin of idolatry, is entailed by a particular theory of religious language. This theory is the 'univocity thesis', the view that, for some substitutions for 'F', the sense (...)
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  31.  11
    Nick Trakakis (2004). On Leibniz. The Leibniz Review 14:89-98.
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  32.  43
    Nick Trakakis (2007). Whither Morality in a Hard Determinist World? Sorites 19:14-40.
    What would the world be like if hard determinism were true, that is, if all events were determined in such a way as to render all our decisions and actions unfree? In particular, what would morality be like? Indeed, could there be anything distinctively moral in such a world, or would we be left with a moral nihilism in which nothing of moral significance remains? In this paper I explore the ethical implications of hard determinism, focusing on the consequences that (...)
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  33.  40
    Nick Trakakis (2003). Daniel Howard-Snyder and Paul K. Moser (Eds.), Divine Hiddenness: New Essays. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 54 (1):53-55.
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  34.  15
    N. N. Trakakis (2013). Deus Loci: The Place of God and the God of Place in Philosophy and Theology. [REVIEW] Sophia 52 (2):315-333.
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  35.  12
    N. N. Trakakis (2014). Timothy D. Knepper: The Ends of Philosophy of Religion: Terminus and Telos. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 75 (3):255-258.
    Timothy Knepper’s book is divided into two parts, the first and more critical of which seeks to uncover the limits and weaknesses of analytic and continental philosophy of religion, while the second and more constructive section seeks to develop an alternative and more fruitful way of practising philosophy of religion, “one that is historically grounded and religiously diverse” (p. xiii). Much of the impetus behind the book derives from feelings of dismay and dissatisfaction, familiar especially to religious studies scholars, over (...)
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  36.  19
    Nick Trakakis (2003). What No Eye Has Seen. Philo 6 (2):263-279.
    This paper examines the evidential argument from evil put forward by William Rowe during his early and middle periods (1978-1995). Having delineated some of the important features of Rowe’s argument, it is then assessed in the light of “the skeptical theist critique.” According to skeptical theists, Rowe’s crucial (“noseeum”) inference from inscrutable evil to pointless evil can be exposed as unwarranted, particularly by appealing to the disparity between our cognitive abilities and the infinite wisdom of God. However, by relating the (...)
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  37.  23
    Nick Trakakis, Gregory Palamas on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Theology.
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  38.  12
    N. N. Trakakis (2013). Book Review: Tamsin Jones, A Genealogy of Marion's Philosophy of Religion: Apparent Darkness. [REVIEW] Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 21 (1):196-198.
    A review of Tamsin Jones, A Genealogy of Marion's Philosophy of Religion.
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  39.  15
    Nick Trakakis (2004). Interview with William Rowe. Philosophy Now 47:16-18.
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  40.  6
    N. N. Trakakis (2013). Review Essay: Emmanuel Falque, The Metamorphosis of Finitude: An Essay on Birth and Resurrection. Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 21 (2):163-166.
    A review of Emmanuel Falque, The Metamorphosis of Finitude: An Essay on Birth and Resurrection, trans. George Hughes ( New York: Fordham University Press, 2012).
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  41.  18
    Nick Trakakis (2006). Confronting the Horror of Natural Evil: An Exchange Between Peter Coghlan and Nick Trakakis. [REVIEW] Sophia 45 (2):5-26.
    In this exchange, Peter Coghlan and Nick Trakakis discuss the problem of natural evil in the light of the recent Asian tsunami disaster. The exchange begins with an extract from a newspaper article written by Coghlan on the tsunami, followed by three rounds of replies and counter-replies, and ending with some final comments from Trakakis. While critical of any attempt to show that human life is good overall despite its natural evils, Coghlan argues that instances of natural evil, even horrific (...)
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  42.  3
    Nick Trakakis, Becoming Children : The Hidden Meaning of the Incarnation.
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  43.  18
    Nick Trakakis (2006). A Third (Meta-)Critique. Sophia 45 (2):139-142.
    I begin my third reply by answering some of the criticisms raised by Tierno against theodical attempts to account for the pervasiveness of moral evil. I then take the discussion to a meta-philosophical level, where I question the very way of thinking about God and evil implicit in Tierno’s critique and in much contemporary philosophy of religion.
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  44.  17
    Nick Trakakis (2009). Sophia Editorial. Sophia 48 (4):347-348.
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  45.  11
    N. N. Trakakis (2011). Transforming Philosophy and Religion. Faith and Philosophy 28 (1):115-121.
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  46.  3
    Nick Trakakis, The Infallibility of the Church: An Unorthodox Perspective.
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  47.  10
    Nick Trakakis, Piety and Pietism.
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  48.  2
    Nick Trakakis, Review of Nicholas Rescher, on Leibniz. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003. [REVIEW]
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  49.  3
    N. N. Trakakis (2014). A Genealogy of Marion's Philosophy of Religion: Apparent Darkness. By Tamsin Jones. Pp. Viii, 235, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2011, $70.00. [REVIEW] Heythrop Journal 55 (4):752-753.
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  50.  3
    N. N. Trakakis (2013). Antitheodicy. In Justin McBrayer & Daniel Howard-Snyder (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil. Wiley-Blackwell 363--376.
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