The aloneness argument against classical theism

Religious Studies 58 (2):1-19 (2022)
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We argue that there is a conflict among classical theism's commitments to divine simplicity, divine creative freedom, and omniscience. We start by defining key terms for the debate related to classical theism. Then we articulate a new argument, the Aloneness Argument, aiming to establish a conflict among these attributes. In broad outline, the argument proceeds as follows. Under classical theism, it's possible that God exists without anything apart from Him. Any knowledge God has in such a world would be wholly intrinsic. But there are contingent truths in every world, including the world in which God exists alone. So, it's possible that God contingently has wholly intrinsic knowledge. But whatever is contingent and wholly intrinsic is an accident. So, God possibly has an accident. This is incompatible with classical theism. Finally, we consider and rebut several objections.

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Author Profiles

Joseph Schmid
Princeton University
R. T. Mullins
University of St. Andrews

Citations of this work

The fruitful death of modal collapse arguments.Joseph C. Schmid - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 91 (1):3-22.
Simply Unsuccessful: The Neo-Platonic Proof of God’s Existence.Joseph Conrad Schmid - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (4):129-156.
Divine Simplicity.William F. Vallicella - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The aloneness argument: an aspectival response.Joshua R. Sijuwade - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (3):1-27.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Extrinsic properties.David Lewis - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 44 (2):197-200.
Another Look at the Modal Collapse Argument.Omar Fakhri - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (1):1-23.
Intrinsic/extrinsic.I. L. Humberstone - 1996 - Synthese 108 (2):205-267.
Simplicity and aseity.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2008 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 105-28.

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