Why Not? God

In Mirosław Szatkowski (ed.), Ontology of Divinity. De Gruyter. pp. 249-266 (2024)
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Abstract

It is widely agreed among broadly Anselmian theists that God is in some sense the 'delimiter of possibilities.' In other words, the scope of possibility is explained by the manner in which the universe emanates from God. However, existing accounts of God's role here—in terms of freedom, choice, or power—face serious difficulties. The present paper provides a new account of God's role as the delimiter of possibilities in terms of the different manner in which the non-actuality of non-actual states of affairs is explained. Intuitively and metaphorically, we can think of the menu of states of affairs being 'whittled down' in successive stages of a process of divine decision-making, with the different species of impossibility corresponding to when and how the states of affairs are ruled out. I argue that this approach provides genuine contingency while also preserving the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

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Kenneth L. Pearce
James Madison University

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References found in this work

Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.

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