Although 'most contemporary analytic philosophers [endorse] a physicalist picture of the world' (A. Newen; V. Hoffmann; M. Esfeld, 'Preface to Mental Causation, Externalism and Self-Knowledge', Erkenntnis , 67 (2007), p. 147), it is unclear what exactly the physicalist thesis states. The response that physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical does not solve the problem but is a precise statement of the problem because 'the claim is hopelessly vague' (G. Hellman; F. Thompson, 'Physicalism: Ontology, Determination, and Reduction', Journal of (...) Philosophy , 72 (1975), p. 552). I argue that physicalism in fact should be the thesis that every existing particular essentially exemplifies properties the exemplification of which does not conceptually entail the existence of conscious beings. Physicalism thus is a purely philosophical thesis with no intrinsic relation to physics. 1. (shrink)
The existence of God is once again the focus of vivid philosophical discussion. From the point of view of analytic theology, however, people often talk past each other when they debate about the putative existence or nonexistence of God. In the worst case, for instance, atheists deny the existence of a God, which no theists ever claimed to exist. In order to avoid confusions like this we need to be clear about the function of the term 'God' in its different (...) contexts of use. In what follows, I distinguish between the functions of 'God' in philosophical contexts on the one hand and in theological contexts on the other in order to provide a schema, which helps to avoid confusion in the debate on the existence or non-existence of God. (shrink)
Panentheism seems to be an attractive alternative to classical theism. It is not clear, though, what exactly panentheism asserts and how it relates to classical theism. By way of clarifying the thesis of panentheism, I argue that panentheism and classical theism differ only as regards the modal status of the world. According to panentheism, the world is an intrinsic property of God – necessarily there is a world – and according to classical theism the world is an extrinsic property of (...) God – it is only contingently true that there is a world. Therefore, as long as we do not have an argument showing that necessarily there is a world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism. (shrink)
There is a variety of concepts of the divine in the eastern and western theological and philosophical traditions. There is, however, not enough reflection on the logic behind concepts of God and their justification. I clarify some necessary and sufficient conditions any attempt to explicate a concept of God has to take into account. I argue that each concept of God is a cypher for a particular worldview and distinguishes three types of justification frequently used to bestow content on particular (...) concepts of God: philosophical, theological, and scientific. I turn to four fundamental models of the God–world relation and argue that the most promising concept of God is panentheistic, on which the universe is essentially divine but is not exhaustive of the divine being. (shrink)
Should or shouldn’t Christians endorse the transhumanist agenda of changing human nature in ways fitting to one’s needs? To answer this question, we first have to be clear on what precisely the thesis of transhumanism entails that we are going to evaluate. Once this point is clarified, I argue that Christians can in principle fully endorse the transhumanist agenda because there is nothing in Christian faith that is in contradiction to it. In fact, given certain plausible moral assumptions, Christians should (...) endorse a moderate enhancement of human nature. I end with a brief case study that analyses the theological implications of the idea of immortal Christian cyborgs. I argue that the existence of Christian cyborgs who know no natural death has no impact on the Christian hope of immortality in the presence of God. (shrink)
There is a close systematic relationship between panentheism, as a metaphysical theory about the relation between God and the world, and transhumanism, the ethical demand to use the means of the applied sciences to enhance both human nature and the environment. This relationship between panentheism and transhumanism provides a ‘cosmic’ solution to the problem of evil: on panentheistic premises, the history of the world is the one infinite life of God, and we are part of the one infinite divine being. (...) We ourselves are therefore responsible for the future development of the life of the divine being. We should therefore use the means provided by the natural sciences to develop the history of the world in such a way that the existence of evil shall be overcome and shall no longer be part of the divine being in whom we move and live and have our being. The metaphysics of panentheism leads to the ethics of transhumanism. (shrink)
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause war ein bemerkenswerter Denker des Deutschen Idealismus. Seine Schriften können ohne Zweifel mit denen Hegels, Schellings und Fichtes konkurrieren. Gerade im Bereich der theoretischen Philosophie bietet das Krausesche Œuvre eine Fundgrube an Einsichten und Argumenten, die der heutigen, oftmals betont postmodernen oder atheistischen Philosophie eine dringend benötigte Kontrastfolie sein können. Sinn und Zweck der Arbeit ist es, den Panentheismus Krauses zeitgemäß darzustellen und Brückenschläge zur heutigen religionsphilosophischen Debatte aufzuzeigen.
I start by way of clarifying briefly the problem of special divine intervention. Once this is done, I argue that laws of nature are generalizations that derive from the dispositional behaviour of natural kinds. Based on this conception of laws of nature I provide a metaphysical model according to which God can realize acts of special divine providence by way of temporarily changing the dispositions of natural entities. I show that this model does not contradict scientific practice and is consistent (...) with the assumption that the physical realm is causally closed. I then argue that prima facie any putative candidate for an act of God could also be seen as a random event or as indicating that there is something wrong with our formulation of the corresponding law of nature. While there is no sufficient philosophical or scientific reason to prefer one of these models, I argue that there are sufficient and legitimate theological reasons to endorse a framework in which at least the obtaining of some anomic states of affairs is seen as the effect of special divine intervention. Doing so, theology has the hermeneutic resources to uncover a dimension of meaningful reality, which without faith could not be seen. (shrink)
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) as the person who coined the term.1 However, apart from this tribute, Krause's own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I first present a brief overview of Krause's life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause's own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates a (...) scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as “panentheism” since everything is what it is “in and through” the Absolute, while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause's panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (shrink)
An important task of philosophy is to provide substantial arguments concerning the basic structure of reality and its relation to the ultimate source of everything. Sometimes, philosophers are convinced that there is an absolutely certain starting point within philosophy. More often, however, they suppose that we start with certain intuitions about empirical reality and its source. Based on these intuitions, philosophers try to develop sound arguments with an intelligible logical structure. By this very fact, they place themselves in the realm (...) of public discussion and criticism. There are, though, different kinds of criticism. Good criticism shows that at least one premise in an argument is not true—which is to say that the argument is not sound—or it shows that the premises could be true while the conclusion is false—which is to say that the argument is not valid. Then, there is criticism that is beside the point. It seems to me that the reply to my paper by Latester belongs to the ki .. (shrink)
Although physicalism has been the dominant position in recent work in the philosophy of mind, this dominance has not prevented a small but growing number of philosophers from arguing that physicalism is untenable for several reasons: both ontologically and epistemologically it cannot reduce mentality to the realm of the physical, and its attempts to reduce subjectivity to objectivity have thoroughly failed. The contributors to After Physicalism provide powerful alternatives to the physicalist account of the human mind from a dualistic point (...) of view and argue that the reductive and naturalistic paradigm in philosophy has lost its force. The essays in this collection all firmly engage in a priori metaphysics. Those by Uwe Meixner, E. J. Lowe, John Foster, Alvin Plantinga, and Richard Swinburne are concerned with ways to establish the truth of dualism. Essays by William Hasker, A. D. Smith, and Howard Robinson deal with the relation between physicalism and dualism. BenediktPaul Göcke argues that the “I” is not a particular and Stephen Priest that “I have to understand myself not as a thing but as no-thing-ness.” In the final essay, Thomas Schärtl argues that there are limits to dualism as indicated by the concept of resurrection. By including two classical essays by Plantinga and Swinburne, the volume conveniently brings together some of the best and the newest thinking in making the philosophical case for dualism. "Seven of these essays are by eminent philosophers: Lowe, Foster, Plantinga, Swinburne, Hasker, Smith, and Robinson, each recapitulating his well-known position in the debate. To have these seven essayists together under one cover constitutes a remarkable book, which can be used as a textbook in philosophy of mind as well as in philosophy of religion courses, and which also opens up the debate in an original way among colleagues at an advanced level." —Fergus Kerr, University of Edinburgh. (shrink)
Lataster has published another reply to my article on panentheism and classical theism. I should like to respond, first, by way of pointing out some problems in Lataster’s understanding of my argument before; second, I show that Lataster’s panentheistic counterexamples to my distinction to distinguish between classical theism and panentheism presuppose the very distinction he seeks to refute.
Panpsychism has become a highly attractive position in the philosophy of mind. On panpsychism, both the physical and the mental are inseparable and fundamental features of reality. Panentheism has also become immensely popular in the philosophy of religion. Panentheism strives for a higher reconciliation of an atheistic pantheism, on which the universe itself is causa sui, and the ontological dualism of necessarily existing, eternal creator and contingent, finite creation. Historically and systematically, panpsychism and panentheism often went together as essential parts (...) of an all-embracing metaphysical theory of Being. The present collection of essays analyses the relation between panpsychism and panentheism and provides critical reflections on the significance of panpsychistic and panentheistic thinking for recent debates in philosophy and theology. (shrink)
Special divine action is an integral part of the Christian worldview. In fact, the plausibility of the Christian worldview depends on and is grounded in the putative reality, and therefore possibility, of special divine action. Without special divine action, Scripture does not make sense, and without Scripture, Christianity neither. However, the possibility of special divine action is highly contested in almost every field of human enquiry. In what follows, I briefly suggest a minimal definition of special divine action and show (...) its indispensability for the internal plausibility of Christian faith. I then argue against the very possibility of special divine action. I end by way of identifying ways in which Christian theologians can respond to the arguments in order to justify the possibility of special divine action. It turns out that special divine action neither contradicts science nor metaphysics. (shrink)
In a first step I show that given a philosophically<br>warranted concept of God, arguments for<br>the existence of God are either questionbegging<br>or merely stipulative. In a second step<br>I argue that non-stipulative knowledge of God<br>and His existence is intelligible if and only if<br>there is an intellectual intuition of God. I<br>further argue that to obtain this intuition,<br>spiritual training may be necessary. Consistently<br>in this latter case, spirituality becomes a<br>conditio sine qua non in order to assess the truth<br>of theism.
In his recent article in Sophia, BenediktPaul Göcke concluded that ‘as long as we do not have a sound argument entailing the necessity of the world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism’ : 75). As the article progresses, Göcke clarifies his view of what panentheism is, essentially identical to Göcke’s view of classical theism in every way, except in the world’s modal relation to God. This concept is vastly different to many of the panentheistic (...) notions that are more commonly held. While it is not initially made transparent—especially with the label Göcke chooses to use—it becomes increasingly clear that Göcke critiques a God concept of his own making. More common variations of panentheism are contrasted with Göcke’s version, in order to provide a broader and more accurate view of the ancient concept, and to demonstrate that Göcke’s view of panentheism is idiosyncratic. It is finally explained that even if Göcke’s view of panentheism were definitive, he has not successfully argued for the relative unattractiveness of the concept, relative to his view of classical theism. (shrink)
Theologian BenediktPaul Göcke claimed that ‘as long as we do not have a sound argument entailing the necessity of the world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism’ :75). As much of my research considers the alternatives to classical theism, I published a damning reply essay : 389–395). I comprehensively noted the many problems with his notion of ‘panentheism’, finding that it differed greatly from mainstream and earlier Eastern and Western interpretations, had little to do (...) with the etymology of the term and differed only from his concept of theism in that the world is necessary instead of contingent. It is the latter point that led to Göcke’s ‘unattractive’ conclusion, though he had not demonstrated whether the world is contingent or necessary. Göcke responded to my essay : 397–400), and this is my further response, which explains that—and why—my criticisms still stand. (shrink)
I summarize and critically respond to Raphael Lataster and Purushottama Bilimoria’s paper on panentheism. I show that their suggested concept of panentheism is useless for academic discourse because it refers to contradictory positions.
A common type of argument against the existence of God is to argue that certain essential features associated with the existence of God are inconsistent with certain other features to be found in the actual world. for an analysis of the different ways to deploy the term “God” in philosophical and theological discourse and for an analysis of the logical form of arguments for and against the existence of God.) A recent example of this type of argument against the existence (...) of God is based on the assumption that there are random processes or chancy states of affairs in the actual world that contradict God being absolute sovereign over his creation: Chancy states of affairs are said to entail a denial of divine providence or omniscience. argues that “classical Big Bang cosmology is inconsistent with theism due to the unpredictable nature of the Big Bang singularity.”) More often than not, however, this apparent conflict is formulated only intuitively and lacks sufficient conceptual clarification of the crucial terms involved. As a consequence, it is seldom clear where the conflict really lies. In what follows, I first provide a brief analysis of chance and randomness before I turn to cosmological and evolutionary arguments against the existence of God that in some way or other are based on chance and randomness. I end by way of comparing three popular conceptions of God as regards their ability to deal with God’s relation to a world of chance and randomness. Neither classical theism, nor open theism, nor indeed process panentheism has difficulties in accounting for God’s relation to a world of chance and randomness. (shrink)
In the first part elements and entailments of an adequate thesis of physicalism are presented. In the second part an argument against these is elaborated. Based on this argument a thesis of theological idealism is sketched.
Contra Swinburne I argue that God cannot exist within time. There is a sufficient condition for its being now now. Because the conception of God existing within time cannot account for this condition, it has to be rejected. Based on Priest I argue that God's creative act is this: to cause the actuality of the universe within the soul.
In this paper we discuss Brandom's definition of necessity, which is part of the incompatibility sematnics he develops in his fifth John Locke Lecture. By comparing incompatibility semantics to standard Kripkean possible worlds semantics for modality, we motivate an alternative definition of necessity in Brandom's own terms. Our investigation of this alternative necessity will show that - contra to Brandom's own results - incompatibility semantics does not necessarily lead to the notion of necessity of the modal logic S5.
SummaryWe briefly clarify Tetens’s concept of God and argue that there are some problems regarding both the precise formulation of his panentheism as well as its implications for sin and special divine action.
Insofern die Frage nach Gott die Mitte der Religion ist, ist die philosophische Reflexion der Rede von Gott wesentlich für das Selbstverständnis von Religion. Die natürliche Theologie als philosophisches Nachdenken über Gott nimmt somit da, wo es um Religion geht, eine zentrale Stellung ein. Dieser Sammelband fragt nach der Tragfähigkeit und Relevanz des Deutschen Idealismus für die gegenwärtige natürliche Theologie. Die Beiträge zeigen, inwieweit sich aus den Systemen Kants und der Idealisten Kriterien für eine Rede von Gott gewinnen lassen, die (...) auch heute Gültigkeit beanspruchen kann. (shrink)
After a brief introduction to Krause’s life and work this article investigates the impression, based of the available sources, that Krause had an important influence on Schopenhauer’s philosophy. It then provides a concise systematic analysis of central elements of Krause’s and Schopenhauer’s thinking and thereby substantiates the claim that Krause did indeed have a significant influence on the development of the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer.
Der Begriff des Panentheismus wurde 1828 vom deutschen Philosophen Karl Christian Friedrich Krause in seinen Vorlesungen über das System der Philosophie eingeführt und bezeichnet dort die Synthese der Positionen des Theismus und des Pantheismus: Krause zufolge ist Gott als der eine unendliche und unbedingte Grund der Welt weder mit der Welt identisch noch nicht identisch mit der Welt. Stattdessen sei die Welt ein konstitutiver Teil der Existenz und des Wesens Gottes, der durch diesen Teil nicht vollständig in seiner Existenz und (...) seinem Wesen erschöpft sei. Da Krauses Panentheismus in der Diskussion der analytischen Religionsphilosophie bisher kaum rezipiert worden ist, wurde der Begriff des Panentheismus allerdings erst durch die Arbeiten des amerikanischen Philosophen Charles Hartshorne in der Mitte des 20. (shrink)
This volume deals with the relation between faith and reason, and brings the latest developments of modern logic into the scene. Faith and rationality are two perennial key concepts in the history of ideas. Philosophers and theologians have struggled to bring into harmony these otherwise conflicting concepts. Despite the diversity of approaches about what rationality effectively means, logic remains the cannon of objective and rational thought. The chapters in this volume analyze several issues pertaining to the philosophy of religion and (...) philosophical theology from the perspective of their relation to logic and the benefit they can derive from the use of modern logic tools. The book is divided into five parts: (I) Introduction, (II) Analytic Philosophy of Religion, (III) Logical Philosophy of Religion, (IV) Computational Philosophy and Religion and (V) Logic, Language and Religion. This text appeals to students and researchers in the field. (shrink)