Supervenience and property-identical divine-command theory

Religious Studies 40 (3):323-333 (2004)
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Property-identical divine-command theory (PDCT) is the view that being obligatory is identical to being commanded by God in just the way that being water is identical to being H2O. If these identity statements are true, then they express necessary a posteriori truths. PDCT has been defended in Robert M. Adams (1987) and William Alston (1990). More recently Mark C. Murphy (2002) has argued that property-identical divine-command theory is inconsistent with two well-known and well-received theses: the free-command thesis and the supervenience thesis. I show that Murphy's argument is vitiated by mistaken assumptions about the substitutivity of metaphysical identicals in contexts of supervenience. The free-command thesis and the supervenience thesis therefore pose no serious threat to PDCT. (Published Online August 11 2004).


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Mike Almeida
University of Texas at San Antonio

Citations of this work

Divine Desire Theory and Obligation.Christian B. Miller - 2008 - In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New waves in philosophy of religion. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 105--24.
Divine Will Theory: Desires or Intentions?Christian Miller - 2013 - In L. Kvanvig Jonathan (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press.
Richard Joyce's new objections to the divine command theory.Scott Hill - 2010 - Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (1):189-196.
God and the grounding of morality.David James Redmond - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Iowa

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