Branching actualism and cosmological arguments

Philosophical Studies 180 (7):1951-1973 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


We draw out significant consequences of a relatively popular theory of metaphysical modality—branching actualism—for cosmological arguments for God’s existence. According to branching actualism, every possible world shares an initial history with the actual world and diverges only because causal powers (or dispositions, or some such) are differentially exercised. We argue that branching actualism undergirds successful responses to two recent cosmological arguments: the Grim Reaper Kalam argument and a modal argument from contingency. We also argue that branching actualism affords a response to one popular defense of the classic contingency argument. What results are new difficulties for several cosmological arguments arising from the metaphysics of modality.

Similar books and articles

Serious Actualism and Nonexistence.Christopher James Masterman - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
Causation and Sufficient Reason (Atheism).Felipe Leon - 2019 - In Graham Oppy & Joseph W. Koterski (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy. Farmington Hills: MacMillan Reference.
Cosmological arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):31-48.
Can Hardcore Actualism Validate S5?Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):342-358.
Cosmological Arguments.Michael Almeida - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
Yet another new cosmological argument.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (1):11-31.
Bivalence and future contingency.Carlo Proietti, Gabriel Sandu & Francois Rivenc - forthcoming - In Vincent Hendricks & Sven Ove Hansson (eds.), Handbook of Formal Philosophy. Springer.


Added to PP

1,751 (#6,137)

6 months
652 (#2,096)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Joseph Schmid
Princeton University
Alex Malpass
University of Bristol

References found in this work

Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Dispositions and conditionals.C. B. Martin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):1-8.
Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance.George Bealer - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 71-125.

View all 36 references / Add more references