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  1.  72
    Travis Dumsday (2012). Divine Hiddenness as Divine Mercy. Religious Studies 48 (2):183 - 198.
    If God exists, why isn't His existence more apparent? In recent analytic philosophy this longstanding question has been developed into an argument for atheism typically referred to as the 'problem of divine hiddenness'. My goal here is to put forward a new reply. The basic idea is that there is some reason to think that for many of us, our moral conduct would not improve even if God's existence were not subject to doubt. However, immoral conduct in such a state (...)
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  2.  52
    Travis Dumsday (2013). A Thomistic Response to the Problem of Divine Hiddenness. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):365-377.
    The problem of divine hiddenness has in the recent literature joined the problem of evil as one of the principal positive arguments for atheism. My chief goal here is to mine Aquinas’s metaphysics and natural theology for a distinctively Thomistic response, making particular use of a neglected text in which he considers a similar issue. Towards the end of the paper I also consider some resources provided by Aquinas’s interpretation of revealed theology.
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  3.  53
    Travis Dumsday (2010). Divine Hiddenness, Free-Will, and the Victims of Wrongdoing. Faith and Philosophy 27 (4):423-438.
    Schellenberg’s hiddenness argument against the existence of God has generated a great deal of discussion. One prominent line of reply has been the idea that God refrains from making His existence more apparent in order to safeguard our moral freedom. Schellenberg has provided extensive counter-replies to this idea. My goal here is to pursue an alternate line of response, though one that still makes some reference to the importance of free-will. It will be argued that God may remain temporarily ‘hidden’ (...)
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  4.  91
    Travis Dumsday (2012). Divine Hiddenness and Creaturely Resentment. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (1):41-51.
    Abstract On Schellenberg’s formulation of the problem of divine hiddenness, a loving God would ensure that anyone capable of having a relationship with Him, and not resisting it, would be granted sufficient evidence to make belief in God rationally indubitable. And He would do this by granting a powerful religious experience to every person at the moment he or she reaches the age of reason. Here I lay out a new reason why God might delay revelation of himself, justifiably allowing (...)
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  5.  73
    Travis Dumsday (2013). Using Natural-Kind Essentialism to Defend Dispositionalism. Erkenntnis 78 (4):869-880.
    Marc Lange and Ann Whittle have independently developed an important challenge to dispositionalism, arguing that dispositions are reducible to primitive subjunctive facts. I argue in reply that by pairing dispositionalism with a certain version of natural-kind essentialism, their objection can be overcome. Moreover, such a marriage carries further advantages for the dispositionalist. My aim is therefore two-fold: to defend dispositionalism, and to give the dispositionalist some new motivation to adopt natural-kind essentialism.
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  6. Travis Dumsday (2013). Laws of Nature Don't Have Ceteris Paribus Clauses, They Are Ceteris Paribus Clauses. Ratio 26 (2):134-147.
    Laws of nature are properly (if controversially) conceived as abstract entities playing a governing role in the physical universe. Dispositionalists typically hold that laws of nature are not real, or at least are not fundamental, and that regularities in the physical universe are grounded in the causal powers of objects. By contrast, I argue that dispositionalism implies nomic realism: since at least some dispositions have ceteris paribus clauses incorporating uninstantiated universals, and these ceteris paribus clauses help to determine their dispositions' (...)
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  7. Travis Dumsday (2010). Divine Hiddenness and the Responsibility Argument. Philosophia Christi 12 (2):357-371.
     
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  8.  36
    Travis Dumsday (2015). Divine Hiddenness and Special Revelation. Religious Studies 51 (2):241-259.
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  9.  15
    Travis Dumsday (2015). Finitism and Divisibility: A Reply to Puryear. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):596-601.
    Puryear develops an objection against a prominent attempt to show that the universe must have a temporal beginning. Here I formulate a reply.
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  10.  25
    Travis Dumsday (2015). Atoms Vs. Extended Simples: Towards a Dispositionalist Reconciliation. Philosophia 43 (4):1023-1033.
    There are four main theories concerning the ultimate constitution of matter: atomism version 1, atomism version 2, the theory of gunk, and the theory of extended simples. These four theories are usually seen as diametrically opposed. Here I take a stab at ecumenism, and argue that atomism version 1 and the theory of extended simples can be reconciled and rendered compatible by reference to the reality of dispositions.
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  11. Travis Dumsday (2012). A New Argument For Intrinsic Biological Essentialism. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (248):486-504.
    Intrinsic biological essentialism (INBE) is the view that biological taxa have fixed identity conditions, conditions which consist at least in part of intrinsic properties. After a long period of near universal rejection within both philosophy of biology and theoretical biology, INBE is making a comeback. Here I attempt to support this revival by clarifying the nature of INBE, developing a new argument on its behalf, and addressing an important anti-essentialist critique.
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  12.  67
    Travis Dumsday (2014). Divine Hiddenness and the Opiate of the People. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (2):193-207.
    The problem of divine hiddenness has become one of the most prominent arguments for atheism in the current philosophy of religion literature. Schellenberg (Divine hiddenness and human reason 1993), one of the problem’s prominent advocates, holds that the only way to prevent completely the occurrence of nonresistant nonbelief would be for God to have granted all of us a constant awareness of Him (or at least a constant availability of such awareness) from the moment we achieved the age of reason. (...)
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  13.  5
    Travis Dumsday (forthcoming). Regularities, Laws, and an Exceedingly Modest Premise for a Cosmological Argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-13.
    In reply to certain cosmological arguments for theism, critics regularly argue that the causal principle ex nihilo nihil fit may be false. Various theistic counter-replies to this challenge have emerged. One type of strategy is to double down on ex nihilo nihil fit. Another, very different strategy of counter-reply is to grant for the sake of argument that the principle is false, while maintaining that sound cosmological arguments can be formulated even with this concession in place. Notably, one can employ (...)
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  14.  58
    Travis Dumsday (2012). Dispositions, Primitive Activities, and Essentially Active Objects. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (1):43-64.
    The question of whether there could be a physical object that is necessarily constantly active has a long history, and it has recently arisen again in the literature on dispositions. I examine and critique two proposals for affirming the possibility of such an object. I then advocate a third option, one which is workable if paired with natural-kind essentialism. Finally I briefly outline three possible implications of this view for wider debates concerning the ontology of dispositions and natural kinds.
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  15.  24
    Travis Dumsday (2016). Non-Mereological Pluralistic Supersubstantivalism: An Alternative Perspective on the Matter/Spacetime Relationship. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):183-203.
    In both the historical and contemporary literature on the metaphysics of space, a core dispute is that between relationism and substantivalism. One version of the latter is supersubstantivalism, according to which space is the only kind of substance, such that what we think of as individual material objects are actually just parts of spacetime which instantiate certain properties. If those parts are ontologically dependent on spacetime as a whole, then we arrive at an ontology with only a single genuinely independent (...)
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  16.  33
    Travis Dumsday (2016). Anti-Theism and the Problem of Divine Hiddenness. Sophia 55 (2):179-195.
    While most discussions in natural theology focus on the existence and nature of God, recently the axiological implications of theism have been taken up by such authors as Kahane, Kraay and Dragos, Davis, McLean, Penner and Lougheed, and Penner. Rather than asking whether God exists, they ask whether God’s existence would be a good thing or a bad thing. That general question breaks down into more precise sub-questions, with a wide variety of possible positions resulting. Here, I argue that one (...)
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  17.  4
    Travis Dumsday (forthcoming). Erratum To: Regularities, Laws, and an Exceedingly Modest Premise for a Cosmological Argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-1.
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  18.  56
    Travis Dumsday (2014). Divine Hiddenness and Divine Humility. Sophia 53 (1):51-65.
    If God exists, and if our ultimate well-being depends on having a positive relationship with Him (which requires as a first step that we believe He exists), why doesn't He make sure that we all believe in Him? Why doesn't He make His existence obvious? This traditional theological question is today much-used as an argument for atheism. In this paper I argue that the answer may have something to do with God's character, specifically God's humility.
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  19. Travis Dumsday (2010). Natural Kinds and the Problem of Complex Essences. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):619-634.
    Natural-kind essentialism faces an important but neglected difficulty: the problem of complex essences (PCE). This is the question of how to account for the unity of an instantiated kind-essence when that essence consists of multiple distinct properties, some of which lack an inherent necessary connection between them. My central goal here is to propose an essentialism-friendly solution to this problem. Along the way I also employ some points from that solution to argue for the necessary truth of essentialism (necessary, that (...)
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  20.  12
    Travis Dumsday (forthcoming). The Problem of Divine Hiddenness in Advance. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.
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  21.  39
    Travis Dumsday (2016). Divine Hiddenness and the One Sheep. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (1):69-86.
    Next to the problem of evil, the problem of divine hiddenness has become the most prominent argument for atheism in the current literature. The basic idea is that if God really existed, He would make sure that anyone able and willing to engage in relationship with Him would have a rationally indubitable belief in Him at all times. But as a matter of fact we see that the world includes nonresistant nonbelievers. Therefore God doesn’t exist. Here I propose a reply (...)
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  22.  8
    Travis Dumsday (2016). Why the Problem of Evil Undermines the Problem of Divine Hiddenness. Religious Studies 52 (4):525-544.
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  23.  31
    Travis Dumsday (2015). How Divine Hiddenness Sheds Light on the Problem of Evil. International Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):315-323.
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  24.  16
    Travis Dumsday (forthcoming). MaxCon Extended Simples and the Dispositionalist Ontology of Laws. Synthese:1-15.
    Extended simples are physical objects that, while spatially extended, possess no actual proper parts. The theory that physical reality bottoms out at extended simples is one of the principal competing views concerning the fundamental composition of matter, the others being atomism and the theory of gunk. Among advocates of extended simples, Markosian’s ‘MaxCon’ version of the theory has justly achieved particular prominence. On the assumption of causal realism, I argue here that the reality of MaxCon simples would entail the reality (...)
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  25.  94
    Travis Dumsday (2009). On Cheering Charles Bronson: The Ethics of Vigilantism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):49-67.
    Vigilantes are a staple of popular culture, from Charles Bronson’s 1974 classic Death Wish, and its parade of sequels, to the latest batch ofBatman films. Outside of the fictional sphere, society continues to wrestle with vigilantism, notably in the current debates over the prudence and ethics of the Minuteman civilian border patrol group. And though vigilantism has been the subject of speculation and debate among criminologists, historians, and legal scholars, it has unfortunately been given scant attention by philosophers. Surely a (...)
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  26.  6
    Travis Dumsday (2014). Can Causal Chains Extend Back Infinitely? Entailment, Determinism, and a Cosmological Argument. Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 19 (2):193-208.
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  27.  20
    Travis Dumsday (2016). Lowe's Unorthodox Dispositionalism. Res Philosophica 93 (1):79-101.
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  28.  16
    Travis Dumsday (2015). Divine Hiddenness and Alienation. Heythrop Journal 57 (6).
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  29.  31
    Travis Dumsday (2008). Group Privacy and Govemment Surveillance of Religious Services. The Monist 91 (1):170-186.
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  30.  45
    Travis Dumsday (2014). A Cosmological Argument From Moderate Realism. Heythrop Journal 57 (6).
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  31.  34
    Travis Dumsday (2015). Why Pan-Dispositionalism is Incompatible with Metaphysical Naturalism. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1):107-122.
    Pan-dispositionalism is one of the major theories in current analytic metaphysics concerning dispositional properties and how they relate to categorical properties. According to pan-dispositionalists, all fundamental properties are dispositional in nature, such that any supposed categorical properties are either unreal or reducible in some way to the dispositional. I argue that if pan-dispositionalism is true then metaphysical naturalism is false. To the extent that one finds pan-dispositionalism a plausible theory, one ought to question the truth of metaphysical naturalism. On the (...)
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  32.  34
    Travis Dumsday (2014). Divine Hiddenness as Deserved. Faith and Philosophy 31 (3):286-302.
    The problem of divine hiddenness has become one of the most prominent arguments for atheism in contemporary philosophy of religion. The basic idea: we have good reason to think that God, if He existed, would make Himself known to us such that His existence could not be rationally doubted . And since He hasn’t done so, we can be confident that He does not actually exist. One line of response that has received relatively little attention is the argument that God (...)
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  33.  8
    Travis Dumsday (2015). Systematicity: The Nature of Science. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 69 (2):389-391.
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  34.  19
    Travis Dumsday (2008). Abortion and Non-Fallacious Potentiality. Dialogue 47 (2):387-394.
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  35.  25
    Travis Dumsday (2008). Abortion and Non-Fallacious Potentiality: A Reply to Berkich. Dialogue 47 (2):387.
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  36.  71
    Travis Dumsday (2012). Why (Most) Atheists Have a Duty to Pray. Sophia 51 (1):59-70.
    Drawing on principles relating to the duty of easy rescue, I argue that any atheist who is less than wholly certain of the non-existence of a God or gods will in some circumstances be morally obliged to pray.
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  37.  24
    Travis Dumsday (2014). Purgatory. Philosophy Compass 9 (10):732-740.
    Eschatological issues have received a great deal of attention in recent analytic philosophy of religion. Most of that attention has revolved around the metaphysics and ethics of heaven, hell, and bodily resurrection; this is unsurprising, as these doctrines are universally affirmed among theologically orthodox Christians. By contrast, the doctrine of purgatory is not the subject of universal affirmation. Nevertheless it boasts a growing literature. After an introduction to the doctrine and its place in historical theology, I proceed to survey this (...)
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  38.  13
    Travis Dumsday (forthcoming). Dispositionalism and Moral Nonnaturalism. Journal of Value Inquiry:1-14.
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  39.  26
    Travis Dumsday (2015). Some Ontological Consequences of Atomism. Ratio 28 (2):119-134.
    Is there a fundamental layer of objects in nature? And if so what sorts of things populate it? Among those who answer ‘yes’ to the first question, a common answer to the second is ‘atoms,’ where an atom is understood in the original sense of an object that is spatially unextended, indivisible, and wholly lacking in proper parts. Here I explore some of the ontological consequences of atomism. First, if atoms are real, then whatever motion they appear to undergo must (...)
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  40.  16
    Travis Dumsday (2015). E.J. Lowe on the Unity Problem. Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):195.
    Some properties are connected in a perspicuous and unproblematic way. For instance, the possession of shape clearly entails the possession of size. In other cases the connection is not so perspicuous. For instance, assuming that the precise rest mass and negative charge of an electron are both among its fundamental intrinsic properties, what links them, given that those properties are inherently separable? Given the inherent separability of those properties, what explains their conjunction in this case? Oderberg calls this the "unity (...)
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  41.  30
    Travis Dumsday (2014). Erratum To: Using Natural-Kind Essentialism to Defend Dispositionalism. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 79 (3):667-667.
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  42.  5
    Travis Dumsday (2014). Dispositionalism, Categoricalism, and Metaphysical Naturalism. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 88:101-112.
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  43.  15
    Travis Dumsday (2011). Counter-Cultural Religious Experiences. Religious Studies 47 (3):317 - 330.
    Discussions of the evidential import of religious experiences have tended to focus on the intra-cultural variety: that is, experiences the content of which accord with the religious/cultural background of the experiencer (eg. someone raised in a Buddhist culture might experience the oneness of all, whereas someone from a Christian background might have a vision of Jesus). But what of counter-cultural experiences? That is, experiences which fall outside of the individual's religious/cultural background? Little attention has been paid to these, though such (...)
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  44.  30
    Travis Dumsday (2008). Religious Experience. International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (3):371-379.
    Hume’s destructive account of miracles has been thought by many to exclude the possibility of rationally accepting testimony to supernatural events. Here I argue that even if one grants that his argument works with respect to testimony about miracles, it does not succeed in showing that all testimony to the supernatural is inadmissible, since room is left open for religious experiences, especially those of an intersubjective kind, to function as evidence. If this is so, there is new reason to think (...)
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  45.  8
    Travis Dumsday (2012). An Argument for Hylomorphism or Theism. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 86:245-254.
    Substratum theory remains a key competitor in the substance ontology literature. Here I argue that an internal worry for the theory gives rise to an interesting dilemma: Either the substratum theorist should abandon the theory in favor of hylomorphism, or she can keep substratum theory but must add to her ontology a powerful causal agent or agents able to operate outside the laws of nature.
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  46.  24
    Travis Dumsday (2008). Locke on Competing Miracles. Faith and Philosophy 25 (4):416-424.
    It is typically thought that miracles, if they occur, can provide evidence for the truth of religious doctrine. But what if different miracles occur attesting to the truth of different and incompatible religions? How is one to decide between the truth of the supposed revelations? Much of Locke’s short work, A Discourse of Miracles, is concerned with this question. Here I summarize and evaluate Locke’s answer.
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  47.  12
    Travis Dumsday (2012). Wandering in Darkness. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (2):390-393.
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  48.  16
    Travis Dumsday (2011). Health, Rights, and Human Dignity. Review of Metaphysics 65 (1):157-159.
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  49.  11
    Travis Dumsday (2011). Why Thomistic Philosophy of Nature Implies (Something Like) Big-Bang Cosmology. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 85:69-78.
    I argue that two components of Thomistic philosophy of nature (specifically, hylomorphism combined with a relational ontology of space) entail a core claim of big-bang cosmology. I then consider some implications of this fact for natural theology.
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  50.  2
    Travis Dumsday (2016). Why Governments That Fund Elective Abortion Are Obligated to Attempt a Reduction in the Elective Abortion Rate. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 13 (1):87-94.
    If elective abortion is publicly funded, then the government is obligated to take active measures designed to reduce its prevalence. I present two arguments for that conclusion. The first argument is directed at those pro-choice thinkers who hold that while some or all elective abortions are morally wrong, they still ought to be legally permitted and publicly subsidized. The second argument is directed at pro-choice thinkers who hold that there is nothing morally wrong with elective abortion and that it should (...)
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