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Alexander R. Pruss
Baylor University
  1. The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment.Alexander R. Pruss - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason says that all contingent facts must have explanation. In this 2006 volume, which was the first on the topic in the English language in nearly half a century, Alexander Pruss examines the substantive philosophical issues raised by the Principle Reason. Discussing various forms of the PSR and selected historical episodes, from Parmenides, Leibnez, and Hume, Pruss defends the claim that every true contingent proposition must have an explanation against major objections, including Hume's imaginability argument and (...)
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  2. Probability, Regularity, and Cardinality.Alexander R. Pruss - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2):231-240.
  3. The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument.Alexander Pruss - 2009 - In William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Blackwell. pp. 24--100.
  4. Agodelian Ontological Argument Improved Even More.Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag. pp. 50--203.
  5.  71
    Possibility is Not Consistency.Alexander R. Pruss - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2341-2348.
    We shall use Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem to show that consistency is not possibility, and then argue that the argument does serious damage to some theories of modality where consistency plays a major but not exclusive role.
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  6.  76
    Infinitesimals Are Too Small for Countably Infinite Fair Lotteries.Alexander R. Pruss - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1051-1057.
    We show that infinitesimal probabilities are much too small for modeling the individual outcome of a countably infinite fair lottery.
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  7.  74
    Infinite Lotteries, Perfectly Thin Darts and Infinitesimals.Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):81-89.
    One of the problems that Bayesian regularity, the thesis that all contingent propositions should be given probabilities strictly between zero and one, faces is the possibility of random processes that randomly and uniformly choose a number between zero and one. According to classical probability theory, the probability that such a process picks a particular number in the range is zero, but of course any number in the range can indeed be picked. There is a solution to this particular problem on (...)
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  8.  75
    Sincerely Asserting What You Do Not Believe.Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):541 - 546.
    I offer examples showing that, pace G. E. Moore, it is possible to assert ?Q and I don't believe that Q? sincerely, truly, and without any absurdity. The examples also refute the following principles: (a) justification to assert p entails justification to assert that one believes p (Gareth Evans); (b) the sincerity condition on assertion is that one believes what one says (John Searle); and (c) to assert (to someone) something that one believes to be false is to lie (Don (...)
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  9. A New Cosmological Argument.Richard M. Gale & Alexander R. Pruss - 1999 - Religious Studies 35 (4):461-476.
    We will give a new cosmological argument for the existence of a being who, although not proved to be the absolutely perfect God of the great Medieval theists, also is capable of playing the role in the lives of working theists of a being that is a suitable object of worship, adoration, love, respect, and obedience. Unlike the absolutely perfect God, the God whose necessary existence is established by our argument will not be shown to essentially have the divine perfections (...)
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  10.  98
    The Accomplishment of Plans: A New Version of the Principle of Double Effect.Alexander R. Pruss - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):49-69.
    The classical principle of double effect offers permissibility conditions for actions foreseen to lead to evil outcomes. I shall argue that certain kinds of closeness cases, as well as general heuristic considerations about the order of explanation, lead us to replace the intensional concept of intention with the extensional concept of accomplishment in double effect.
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  11. Incompatibilism Proved.Alexander R. Pruss - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):430-437.
    (2013). Incompatibilism proved. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. ???aop.label???
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  12.  9
    Correction to John D. Norton “How to Build an Infinite Lottery Machine”.John D. Norton & Alexander R. Pruss - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):143-144.
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  13. Understanding Omnipotence.Kenneth L. Pearce & Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (3):403-414.
    An omnipotent being would be a being whose power was unlimited. The power of human beings is limited in two distinct ways: we are limited with respect to our freedom of will, and we are limited in our ability to execute what we have willed. These two distinct sources of limitation suggest a simple definition of omnipotence: an omnipotent being is one that has both perfect freedom of will and perfect efficacy of will. In this paper we further explicate this (...)
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  14. A Response to Oppy, and to Davey and Clifton.Richard M. Gale & Alexander R. Pruss - 2002 - Religious Studies 38 (1):89-99.
    Our paper ‘A new cosmological argument’ gave an argument for the existence of God making use of the weak Principle of Sufficient Reason (W-PSR) which states that for every proposition p, if p is true, then it is possible that there is an explanation for p. Recently, Graham Oppy, as well as Kevin Davey and Rob Clifton, have criticized the argument. We reply to these criticisms. The most interesting kind of criticism in both papers alleges that the W-PSR can be (...)
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  15. A Restricted Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Cosmological Argument.Alexander R. Pruss - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (2):165-179.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) says that, necessarily, every contingently true proposition has an explanation. The PSR is the most controversial premise in the cosmological argument for the existence of God. It is likely that one reason why a number of philosophers reject the PSR is that they think there are conceptual counter-examples to it. For instance, they may think, with Peter van Inwagen, that the conjunction of all contingent propositions cannot have an explanation, or they may believe that (...)
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  16.  84
    A Counterexample to Plantinga's Free Will Defense.Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - Faith and Philosophy 29 (4):400-415.
    Plantinga’s Free Will Defense is an argument that, possibly, God cannot actualize a world containing significant creaturely free will and no wrongdoings. I will argue that if standard Molinism is true, there is a pair of worlds w1 and w2 each of which contains a significantly free creature who never chooses wrongly, and that are such that, necessarily, at least one of these worlds is a world that God can actualize.
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  17.  67
    Conjunctions, Disjunctions and Lewisian Semantics for Counterfactuals.Alexander R. Pruss - 2007 - Synthese 156 (1):33-52.
    Consider the reasonable axioms of subjunctive conditionals if p → q1 and p → q2 at some world, then p → at that world, and if p1 → q and p2 → q at some world, then → q at that world, where p → q is the subjunctive conditional. I show that a Lewis-style semantics for subjunctive conditionals satisfies these axioms if and only if one makes a certain technical assumption about the closeness relation, an assumption that is probably (...)
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  18. Evil and the Problem of Anomaly.Trent Dougherty & Alexander R. Pruss - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 5:49-87.
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  19. The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment.Alexander Pruss - 2007 - Religious Studies 43 (4):500-503.
     
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  20.  73
    Being Sure and Being Confident That You Won’T Lose Confidence.Alexander R. Pruss - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (1):45-54.
    There is an important sense in which one can be sure without being certain, i.e., without assigning unit probability. I will offer an explication of this sense of sureness, connecting it with the level of credence that a rational agent would need to have to be confident that she won’t ever lose her confidence. A simple formal result then gives us an explicit formula connecting the threshold α for credence needed for confidence with the threshold needed for being sure: one (...)
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  21. One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics.Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - University of Notre Dame Press.
    This important philosophical reflection on love and sexuality from a broadly Christian perspective is aimed at philosophers, theologians, and educated Christian readers. Alexander R. Pruss focuses on foundational questions on the nature of romantic love and on controversial questions in sexual ethics on the basis of the fundamental idea that romantic love pursues union of two persons as one body. _One Body_ begins with an account, inspired by St. Thomas Aquinas, of the general nature of love as constituted by components (...)
     
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  22. Another Step in Divine Command Dialectics.Alexander R. Pruss - 2009 - Faith and Philosophy 26 (4):432-439.
    Consider the following three-step dialectics. (1) Even if God (consistently) commanded torture of the innocent, it would still be wrong. Therefore Divine Command Metaethics (DCM) is false. (2) No: for it is impossible for God to command torture of the innocent. (3) Even if it is impossible, there is a non-trivially true per impossibile counterfactual that even if God (consistently) com­manded torture of the innocent, it would still be wrong, and this counterfac­tual is incompatible with DCM. I shall argue that (...)
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  23.  47
    Omnirationality.Alexander R. Pruss - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (1):1-21.
    God is omnirational: whenever he does anything, he does it for all and only the unexcluded reasons that favor the action, and he always acts for reasons. Thisdoctrine has two unexpected consequences: it gives an account of why it is that unification is a genuine form of scientific explanation, and it answers the question of when the occurrence of E after a petitionary prayer for E is an answer to the prayer.
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  24. A Gödelian Ontological Argument Improved.Alexander R. Pruss - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (3):347-353.
    Gödel's ontological argument is a formal argument for a being defined in terms of the concept of a positive property. I shall defend several versions of Gödel's argument, using weaker premises than Anderson's (1990) version, and avoiding Oppy's (1996 and 2000) parody refutations.
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  25.  57
    The Actual and the Possible.Alexander R. Pruss - 2002 - In Richard M. Gale (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 317--33.
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  26. The Hume-Edwards Principle and the Cosmological Argument.Alexander R. Pruss - 1998 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 43 (3):149-165.
  27.  46
    Explaining Counterfactuals of Freedom.Alexander R. Pruss & Joshua L. Rasmussen - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (2):193-198.
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  28. A Deflationary Theory Of Diachronic Identity.Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):19 - 37.
    Substantive theories of diachronic identity have been offered for different kinds of entities. The kind of entity whose diachronic identity has received the most attention in the literature is person, where such theories as the psychological theory, the body theory, the soul theory, and animalism have been defended. At the same time, Wittgenstein's remark that ?to say of two things that they are identical is nonsense, and to say of one thing that it is identical with itself is to say (...)
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  29. On Two Problems of Divine Simplicity.Alexander Pruss - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 1:150-167.
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  30. I Was Once a Fetus: That is Why Abortion is Wrong.Alexander R. Pruss - unknown
     
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  31.  19
    Popper Functions, Uniform Distributions and Infinite Sequences of Heads.Alexander R. Pruss - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (3):259-271.
    Popper functions allow one to take conditional probabilities as primitive instead of deriving them from unconditional probabilities via the ratio formula P=P/P. A major advantage of this approach is it allows one to condition on events of zero probability. I will show that under plausible symmetry conditions, Popper functions often fail to do what they were supposed to do. For instance, suppose we want to define the Popper function for an isometrically invariant case in two dimensions and hence require the (...)
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  32. Problems with Plurals.Joshua Rasmussen & Alexander R. Pruss - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
     
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  33.  16
    Sceptical Theism, the Butterfly Effect and Bracketing the Unknown.Alexander R. Pruss - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 81:71-86.
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  34.  33
    The Eucharist : Real Presence and Real Absence.Alexander R. Pruss - 2008 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press.
    This article focuses on the question of whether the doctrine of the real presence of Christ's body and blood, and likewise the doctrine of the real absence of bread and wine, can be defended philosophically. It argues for an affirmative answer, and does so by considering a variety of metaphysical models, including that of Aquinas. It will appear, thus, that transubstantiation is a philosophical possibility. If it is possible for two substances to be in the same place at the same (...)
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  35.  61
    Prophecy Without Middle Knowledge.Alexander Pruss - 2007 - Faith and Philosophy 24 (4):433-457.
    While it might seem prima facie plausible that divine foreknowledge is all that is needed for prophecy, this seems incorrect. To issue a prophecy, God hasto know not just how someone will act, but how someone would act were the prophecy issued. This makes some think that Middle Knowledge is required.I argue that Thomas Flint’s two Middle Knowledge based accounts of prophecy are unsatisfactory, but one of them can be repaired. However the resources needed for repair also yield a sketch (...)
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  36.  66
    The Ontological Argument and the Motivational Centres of Lives.Alexander R. Pruss - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (2):233-249.
    Assuming S₅, the main controversial premise in modal ontological arguments is the possibility premise, such as that possibly a maximally great being exists. I shall offer a new way of arguing that the possibility premise is probably true.
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  37.  14
    From Restricted to Full Omniscience.Alexander R. Pruss - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (2):257-264.
    Some, notably Peter van Inwagen, in order to avoid problems with free will and omniscience, replace the condition that an omniscient being knows all true propositions with a version of the apparently weaker condition that an omniscient being knows all knowable true propositions. I shall show that the apparently weaker condition, when conjoined with uncontroversial claims and the logical closure of an omniscient being's knowledge, still yields the claim that an omniscient being knows all true propositions.
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  38. The Cardinality Objection to David Lewis's Modal Realism.Alexander R. Pruss - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 104 (2):169-178.
    According to David Lewis's extreme modal realism, every waythat a world could be is a way that some concretely existingphysical world really is. But if the worlds are physicalentities, then there should be a set of all worlds, whereasI show that in fact the collection of all possible worlds is nota set. The latter conclusion remains true even outside of theLewisian framework.
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  39.  22
    Regular Probability Comparisons Imply the Banach–Tarski Paradox.Alexander R. Pruss - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3525-3540.
    Consider the regularity thesis that each possible event has non-zero probability. Hájek challenges this in two ways: there can be nonmeasurable events that have no probability at all and on a large enough sample space, some probabilities will have to be zero. But arguments for the existence of nonmeasurable events depend on the axiom of choice. We shall show that the existence of anything like regular probabilities is by itself enough to imply a weak version of AC sufficient to prove (...)
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  40.  65
    The Essential Divine-Perfection Objection to the Free-Will Defence.Alexander R. Pruss - 2008 - Religious Studies 44 (4):433-444.
    The free-will defence (FWD) holds that the value of significant free will is so great that God is justified in creating significantly free creatures even if there is a risk or certainty that these creatures will sin. A difficulty for the FWD, developed carefully by Quentin Smith, is that God is unable to do evil, and yet surely lacks no genuinely valuable kind of freedom. Smith argues that the kind of freedom that God has can be had by creatures, without (...)
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  41.  5
    The Ontological Argument and the Motivational Centres of Lives: ALEXANDER R. PRUSS.Alexander R. Pruss - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (2):233-249.
    Assuming S5, the main controversial premise in modal ontological arguments is the possibility premise, such as that possibly a maximally great being exists. I shall offer a new way of arguing that the possibility premise is probably true.
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  42.  76
    Probability and the Open Future View.Alexander R. Pruss - 2010 - Faith and Philosophy 27 (2):190-196.
    I defend a simple argument for why considerations of epistemic probability should lead us away from Open Future views according to which claims about the future are never true.
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  43. Fine- and Coarse-Tuning, Normalizability, and Probabilistic Reasoning.Alexander R. Pruss - 2005 - Philosophia Christi 7 (2):405 - 423.
    McGrew, McGrew and Vestrup (MMV) have argued that the fine-tuning anthropic principle argument for the existence of God fails because no probabilities can be assigned to the likelihood that physical constants fall in some finite interval. In particular, the fine-tuning argument that, say, some constant must lie in the range (1.000,1.001) in order for intelligent life to be possible is no better than a seemingly absurd coarse-tuning argument based on the need for that constant to lie in the range (0.001, (...)
     
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  44.  16
    Human Organisms Begin to Exist at Fertilization.Calum Miller & Alexander Pruss - 2017 - Bioethics 31 (7):534-542.
    Eugene Mills has recently argued that human organisms cannot begin to exist at fertilization because the evidence suggests that egg cells persist through fertilization and simply turn into zygotes. He offers two main arguments for this conclusion: that ‘fertilized egg’ commits no conceptual fallacy, and that on the face of it, it looks as though egg cells survive fertilization when the process is watched through a microscope. We refute these arguments and offer several reasons of our own to think that (...)
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  45.  36
    An Open Infinite Future is Impossible.Alexander R. Pruss - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (4):461-464.
  46.  4
    Aristotelian Forms and Laws of Nature.Alexander Pruss - 2013 - Analiza I Egzystencja 24:115-132.
  47.  5
    The Essential Divine-Perfection Objection to the Free-Will Defence: Alexander R. Pruss.Alexander R. Pruss - 2008 - Religious Studies 44 (4):433-444.
    The free-will defence holds that the value of significant free will is so great that God is justified in creating significantly free creatures even if there is a risk or certainty that these creatures will sin. A difficulty for the FWD, developed carefully by Quentin Smith, is that God is unable to do evil, and yet surely lacks no genuinely valuable kind of freedom. Smith argues that the kind of freedom that God has can be had by creatures, without a (...)
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  48. 1. Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift (Pp. 169-188).Marc Lange, Peter Vickers, John Michael, Miles MacLeod, Alexander R. Pruss, David John Baker, Clark Glymour & Simon Fitzpatrick - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2).
     
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  49.  65
    Time Without Creation?Alexander Pruss & Joshua Rasmussen - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (4):401-411.
    We introduce three arguments for the thesis that time cannot exist prior to an original creation event. In the first argument, we seek to show that if time doesn’t depend upon creation, then time is infinite in the backwards direction, which is incompatible with arguments for a finite past. In the second and third arguments, we allow for the possibility of backwards-infinite time but argue that God could not have a sufficiently good reason to refrain from creating for infinitely many (...)
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  50. Lying, Deception and Kant.Alexander R. Pruss - unknown
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