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Alexander R. Pruss [110]Alexander Robert Pruss [1]
  1. The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment.Alexander R. Pruss - 2006 - New York: 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. Necessary Existence.Alexander R. Pruss & Joshua L. Rasmussen - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Edited by Joshua L. Rasmussen.
    Necessary Existence breaks ground on one of the deepest questions anyone ever asks: why is there anything? Pruss and Rasmussen present an original defence of the hypothesis that there is a necessarily existing being capable of providing an ultimate foundation for the existence of all things.
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  3.  60
    Infinity, Causation, and Paradox.Alexander R. Pruss - 2018 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Alexander R. Pruss examines a large family of paradoxes to do with infinity - ranging from deterministic supertasks to infinite lotteries and decision theory. Having identified their common structure, Pruss considers at length how these paradoxes can be resolved by embracing causal finitism.
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  4. The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument.Alexander R. Pruss - 2009 - In William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Oxford, UK: Wiley‐Blackwell. pp. 24–100.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction The PSR Nonlocal CPs Toward a First Cause The Gap Problem Conclusions and Further Research References.
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  5. 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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  6. Probability, Regularity, and Cardinality.Alexander R. Pruss - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2):231-240.
    Regularity is the thesis that all contingent propositions should be assigned probabilities strictly between zero and one. I will prove on cardinality grounds that if the domain is large enough, a regular probability assignment is impossible, even if we expand the range of values that probabilities can take, including, for instance, hyperreal values, and significantly weaken the axioms of probability.
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  7. 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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  8. Skepticism and the principle of sufficient reason.Robert C. Koons & Alexander R. Pruss - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1079-1099.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason must be justified dialectically: by showing the disastrous consequences of denying it. We formulate a version of the Principle that is restricted to basic natural facts, which entails the obtaining of at least one supernatural fact. Denying this principle results in extreme empirical skepticism. We consider six current theories of empirical knowledge, showing that on each account we cannot know that we have empirical knowledge unless we all have a priori knowledge of the PSR. We (...)
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  9. 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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  10.  31
    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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  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. 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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  13.  21
    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):169-188.
    Really statistical explanation is a hitherto neglected form of noncausal scientific explanation. Explanations in population biology that appeal to drift are RS explanations. An RS explanation supplies a kind of understanding that a causal explanation of the same result cannot supply. Roughly speaking, an RS explanation shows the result to be mere statistical fallout.
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  14. I Was Once a Fetus: That is Why Abortion is Wrong.Alexander R. Pruss - unknown
     
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  15. Might All Infinities Be the Same Size?Alexander R. Pruss - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):604-617.
    Cantor proved that no set has a bijection between itself and its power set. This is widely taken to have shown that there infinitely many sizes of infinite sets. The argument depends on the princip...
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  16.  50
    Non-classical probabilities invariant under symmetries.Alexander R. Pruss - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8507-8532.
    Classical real-valued probabilities come at a philosophical cost: in many infinite situations, they assign the same probability value—namely, zero—to cases that are impossible as well as to cases that are possible. There are three non-classical approaches to probability that can avoid this drawback: full conditional probabilities, qualitative probabilities and hyperreal probabilities. These approaches have been criticized for failing to preserve intuitive symmetries that can be preserved by the classical probability framework, but there has not been a systematic study of the (...)
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  17. 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.
    An infinite lottery machine is used as a foil for testing the reach of inductive inference, since inferences concerning it require novel extensions of probability. Its use is defensible if there is some sense in which the lottery is physically possible, even if exotic physics is needed. I argue that exotic physics is needed and describe several proposals that fail and at least one that succeeds well enough.
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  18. 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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  19. Human beings among the beasts.Andrew M. Bailey & Alexander R. Pruss - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (3):455-467.
    In this article, we develop and defend a new argument for animalism -- the thesis that we human persons are human animals. The argument takes this rough form: since our pets are animals, we are too. We’ll begin with remarks on animalism and its rivals, develop our main argument, and then defend it against a few replies.
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  20. The actual and the possible.Alexander R. Pruss - 2002 - In Richard M. Gale (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 317--33.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction Two Interrelated Problems Lewis's Solution Inductive Paradox Identity versus Counterpart Theory Platonism: The Main Realist Alternative to Lewis An Aristotelian Alternative Leibniz's Account A Combined Account.
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  21. 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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  22.  42
    Avoiding Dutch Books despite inconsistent credences.Alexander R. Pruss - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11265-11289.
    It is often loosely said that Ramsey The foundations of mathematics and other logical essays, Routledge and Kegan Paul, Abingdon, pp 156–198, 1931) and de Finetti Studies in subjective probability, Kreiger Publishing, Huntington, 1937) proved that if your credences are inconsistent, then you will be willing to accept a Dutch Book, a wager portfolio that is sure to result in a loss. Of course, their theorems are true, but the claim about acceptance of Dutch Books assumes a particular method of (...)
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  23.  95
    Underdetermination of infinitesimal probabilities.Alexander R. Pruss - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):777-799.
    A number of philosophers have attempted to solve the problem of null-probability possible events in Bayesian epistemology by proposing that there are infinitesimal probabilities. Hájek and Easwaran have argued that because there is no way to specify a particular hyperreal extension of the real numbers, solutions to the regularity problem involving infinitesimals, or at least hyperreal infinitesimals, involve an unsatisfactory ineffability or arbitrariness. The arguments depend on the alleged impossibility of picking out a particular hyperreal extension of the real numbers (...)
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  24. 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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  25. The Hume-Edwards principle and the cosmological argument.Alexander R. Pruss - 1998 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 43 (3):149-165.
  26. 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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  27. The Eucharist : real presence and real absence.Alexander R. Pruss - 2008 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael Rea (eds.), The Oxford handbook of philosophical theology. New York: 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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  28.  28
    The dialectics of accuracy arguments for probabilism.Alexander R. Pruss - 2023 - Synthese 201 (5):1-26.
    Scoring rules measure the deviation between a credence assignment and reality. Probabilism holds that only those credence assignments that satisfy the axioms of probability are rationally admissible. Accuracy-based arguments for probabilism observe that given certain conditions on a scoring rule, the score of any non-probability is dominated by the score of a probability. The conditions in the arguments we will consider include propriety: the claim that the expected accuracy of _p_ is not beaten by the expected accuracy of any other (...)
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  29. 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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  30. Evil and the problem of anomaly.Trent Dougherty & Alexander R. Pruss - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 5:49-87.
  31.  26
    Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Domination Results for Proper Scoring Rules.Alexander R. Pruss - 2024 - Review of Symbolic Logic 17 (1):132-143.
    Scoring rules measure the deviation between a forecast, which assigns degrees of confidence to various events, and reality. Strictly proper scoring rules have the property that for any forecast, the mathematical expectation of the score of a forecast p by the lights of p is strictly better than the mathematical expectation of any other forecast q by the lights of p. Forecasts need not satisfy the axioms of the probability calculus, but Predd et al. [9] have shown that given a (...)
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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34.  66
    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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  35.  36
    Accuracy, probabilism and Bayesian update in infinite domains.Alexander R. Pruss - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-29.
    Scoring rules measure the accuracy or epistemic utility of a credence assignment. A significant literature uses plausible conditions on scoring rules on finite sample spaces to argue for both probabilism—the doctrine that credences ought to satisfy the axioms of probabilism—and for the optimality of Bayesian update as a response to evidence. I prove a number of formal results regarding scoring rules on infinite sample spaces that impact the extension of these arguments to infinite sample spaces. A common condition in the (...)
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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38.  64
    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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  39.  58
    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. 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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  41. Agodelian ontological argument improved even more.Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag. pp. 50--203.
  42.  58
    Problems with plurals.Joshua Rasmussen & Alexander R. Pruss - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9.
    Plural quantification, often used to evade Russell paradoxes, will lead back to them, given certain assumptions about propositions. This chapter provides a more generalized version of the path to paradox by showing that any theory that makes possible the construction of an appropriate packaging relation falls prey to a Russell paradox. It gives examples of widely-held metaphysical theories that require such a relation. It shows that the paradoxes that can result from plural quantification are more widely damaging, and harder to (...)
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  43. A new free-will defence.Alexander R. Pruss - 2003 - Religious Studies 39 (2):211-223.
    This paper argues that if creatures are to have significant free will, then God's essential omni-benevolence and essential omnipotence cannot logically preclude Him from creating a world containing a moral evil. The paper maintains that this traditional conclusion does not need to rest on reliance on subjunctive conditionals of free will. It can be grounded in several independent ways based on premises that many will accept.
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  44.  84
    Sceptical Theism, the Butterfly Effect and Bracketing the Unknown.Alexander R. Pruss - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 81:71-86.
    Sceptical theism claims that we have vast ignorance about the realm of value and the connections, causal and modal, between goods and bads. This ignorance makes it reasonable for a theist to say that God has reasons beyond our ken for allowing the horrendous evils we observe. But if so, then does this not lead to moral paralysis when we need to prevent evils ourselves? For, for aught that we know, there are reasons beyond our ken for us to allow (...)
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  45. Prophecy without middle knowledge.Alexander R. 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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  46. Śamkara's principle and two ontomystical arguments.Alexander R. Pruss - 2001 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49 (2):111-120.
  47. 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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  48. 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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  49. An Open Infinite Future is Impossible.Alexander R. Pruss - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (4):461-464.
  50.  40
    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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