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Graham Oppy [182]Graham Robert Oppy [7]
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Profile: Graham Oppy (Monash University)
  1. Reply to Trakakis and Nagasawa.Michael Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2005 - Ars Disputandi 5:5-11.
    Nick Trakakis and Yujin Nagasawa criticise the argument in Almeida and Oppy . According to Trakakis and Nagasawa, we are mistaken in our claim that the sceptical theist response to evidential arguments from evil is unacceptable because it would undermine ordinary moral reasoning. In their view, there is no good reason to think that sceptical theism leads to an objectionable form of moral scepticism. We disagree. In this paper, we explain why we think that the argument of Nagasawa and Trakakis (...)
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  2. More Than a Flesh Wound.Graham Oppy - 2002 - Ars Disputandi 2 (1):214-224.
    In ‘The Kalam Cosmological Argument Neither Bloodied nor Bowed’ , David Oderberg provides four main criticisms of the line of argument which I developed in ‘Time, Successive Addition, and Kalam Cosmological Arguments’ . I argue here that none of these lines of criticism succeeds. Further I re-emphasise the point that those who maintain that the temporal series of past events is formed by ‘successive addition’ are indeed thereby committed to a highly contentious strict finitist metaphysics.
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  3. Sceptical Theism and Evidential Arguments From Evil.Michael J. Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):496 – 516.
    Sceptical theists--e.g., William Alston and Michael Bergmann--have claimed that considerations concerning human cognitive limitations are alone sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil. We argue that, if the considerations deployed by sceptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil, then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. If cogent, our argument suffices to discredit sceptical theist responses to evidential arguments from evil.
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  4. Inverse Operations with Transfinite Numbers and the Kalam Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 1995 - International Philosophical Quarterly 35 (2):219-221.
    William Lane Craig has argued that there cannot be actual infinities because inverse operations are not well-defined for infinities. I point out that, in fact, there are mathematical systems in which inverse operations for infinities are well-defined. In particular, the theory introduced in John Conway's *On Numbers and Games* yields a well-defined field that includes all of Cantor's transfinite numbers.
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  5. The Metaphysics of Causal Models: Where's the Biff?Toby Handfield, Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb & Graham Oppy - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):149-68.
    This paper presents an attempt to integrate theories of causal processes—of the kind developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe—into a theory of causal models using Bayesian networks. We suggest that arcs in causal models must correspond to possible causal processes. Moreover, we suggest that when processes are rendered physically impossible by what occurs on distinct paths, the original model must be restricted by removing the relevant arc. These two techniques suffice to explain cases of late preëmption and other cases (...)
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  6.  64
    Ontological Arguments and Belief in God.Graham Robert Oppy - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a unique contribution to the philosophy of religion. It offers a comprehensive discussion of one of the most famous arguments for the existence of God: the ontological argument. The author provides and analyses a critical taxonomy of those versions of the argument that have been advanced in recent philosophical literature, as well as of those historically important versions found in the work of St Anselm, Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel and others. A central thesis of the book is that (...)
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  7. Religious Language Games.Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis - 2007 - In Michael Scott & Adrian Moore (eds.), Realism and Religion. Ashgate. pp. 103-29.
    This paper is a critique of Witgensteinian approaches to philosophy of religion. In particular, it provides a close critique of the views of D. Z. Phillips.
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  8. Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):31-48.
    This paper provides a taxonomy of cosmological arguments and givesgeneral reasons for thinking that arguments that belong to a given category do not succeed.
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  9.  33
    Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Latest version of my SEP entry on ontological arguments, which first appeared in 1996. General discussion of ontological arguments. Includes a brief historical overview, a taxonomy of different kinds of ontological arguments, a brief survey of objections to the different kinds of ontological arguments identified in the taxonomy, and more extended discussions of Anselm's ontological argument (Proslogion 2), Godel's ontological argument, and Plantinga's ontological argument.
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  10. Disagreement.Graham Oppy - 2010 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68 (1):183-199.
    There has been a recent explosion of interest in the epistemology of disagreement. Much of the recent literature is concerned with a particular range of puzzle cases (discussed in the Cases section of my paper). Almost all of the papers that contribute to that recent literature make mention of questions about religious disagreement in ways that suggest that there are interesting connections between those puzzle cases and real life cases of religious disagreement. One important aim of my paper is to (...)
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  11. Arguing About The Kalam Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 2002 - Philo 5 (1):34-61.
    This paper begins with a fairly careful and detailed discussion of the conditions under which someone who presents an argument ought to be prepared to concede that the argument is unsuccessful. The conclusions reached in this discussion are then applied to William Lane Craig’s defense of what he calls “the kalam cosmological argument.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the chief contention of the paper is that Craig ought to be prepared to concede that “the kalam cosmological argument” is not a successful argument. The (...)
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  12. Perfection, Near-Perfection, Maximality, and Anselmian Theism.Graham Oppy - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (2):119-138.
    Anselmian theists claim (a) that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived; and (b) that it is knowable on purely—solely, entirely—a priori grounds that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived. In this paper, I argue that Anselmian Theism gains traction by conflating different interpretations of the key description ‘being than which no greater can be conceived’. In particular, I insist that it is very important to distinguish between ideal excellence and maximal (...)
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  13. From the Tristram Shandy Paradox to the Christmas Shandy Paradox: Reply to Oderberg.Graham Oppy - 2003 - Ars Disputandi 3.
    This paper is a response to David Oderberg's criticisms of a previous paper of mine. (Bibliographical details are provided in the article.).
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  14. Epistemological Foundations for Koons' Cosmological Argument?Graham Oppy - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):107 - 125.
    Some people -- including the present author -- have proposed and defended alternative restricted causal principles that block Robert Koons’s ’new’ cosmological argument without undermining the intuition that causation is very close to ubiquitous. In "Epistemological Foundations for the Cosmological Argument", Koons argues that any restricted causal principles that are insufficient for the purposes of his cosmological argument cause epistemological collapse into general scepticism. In this paper I argue, against Koons, that there is no reason to suppose that my favourite (...)
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  15. Minimalism and Truth Aptness.Michael Smith, Frank Jackson & Graham Oppy - 1994 - Mind 103 (411):287 - 302.
    This paper, while neutral on questions about the minimality of truth, argues for the non-minimality of truth-aptness.
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  16.  83
    Molinism and Divine Prophecy of Free Actions.Graham Oppy & Mark Saward - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (2):1-10.
    Among challenges to Molinism, the challenge posed by divine prophecy of human free action has received insufficient attention. We argue that this challenge is a significant addition to the array of challenges that confront Molinism.
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  17. Omnipotence.Graham Oppy - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):58–84.
    Recently, many philosophers have supposed that the divine attribute of omnipotence is properly understood as some kind of maximal power. I argue that all of the best known attempts to analyse omnipotence in terms of maximal power are multiply flawed. Moreover, I argue that there are compelling reasons for supposing that, on orthodox theistic conceptions, maximal power is not one of the divine attributes.
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  18.  33
    Describing Gods: An Investigation of Divine Attributes.Graham Oppy - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book begins with a careful taxonomy of divine attributes. It continues with detailed examinations of: divine infinity; divine simplicity; divine perfection; divine necessity; omnipotence; omniscience; divine goodness; divine beauty; divine fundamentality; divine will; divine freedom; etc.
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  19. Minimalism and Truth.John O'Leary-Hawthorne & Graham Oppy - 1997 - Noûs 31 (2):170-196.
    This paper canvasses the various dimensions along which theories of truth may disagree about the extent to which truth is minimal.
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  20. On Some Alleged Consequences of 'the Hartle-Hawking Cosmology'.Graham Oppy - 1997 - Sophia 36 (1):84-95.
    In [3], Quentin Smith claims that `the Hartle-Hawking cosmology' is inconsistent with classical theism in a way which redounds to the discredit of classical theism; and, moreover, that the truth of `the Hartle- Hawking cosmology' would undermine reasonsed belief in any other varieties of theism which hold that the universe is created.
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  21. Professor William Craig's Criticisms of Critiques of Kalam Cosmological Arguments By Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking, and Adolf Grunbaum.Graham Oppy - 1995 - Faith and Philosophy 12 (2):237-250.
    Kalam cosmological arguments have recently been the subject of criticisms, at least inter alia, by physicists---Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking---and philosophers of science---Adolf Grunbaum. In a series of recent articles, William Craig has attempted to show that these criticisms are “superficial, iII-conceived, and based on misunderstanding.” I argue that, while some of the discussion of Davies and Hawking is not philosophically sophisticated, the points raised by Davies, Hawking and Grunbaum do suffice to undermine the dialectical efficacy of kalam cosmological arguments.
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  22. Craig, Mackie, and the Kalam Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 1991 - Religious Studies 27 (2):189 - 197.
    In ‘Professor Mackie and the Kalam Cosmological Argument’ , 367–75), Professor William Lane Craig undertakes to demonstrate that J. L. Mackie's analysis of the kalam cosmological argument in The Miracle of Theism is ‘superficial’, and that Mackie ‘has failed to provide any compelling or even intuitively appealing objection against the argument’ . I disagree with Craig's judgement; for it seems to me that the considerations which Mackie advances do serve to refute the kalam cosmological argument. Consequently, the purpose of this (...)
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  23. Rowe's Evidential Arguments From Evil.Graham Oppy - 2013 - In Justin McBrayer & Daniel Howard-Snyder (eds.), A Companion to the Problem of Evil. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 49-66.
    This chapter discusses the two most prominent recent evidential arguments from evil, due, respectively, to William Rowe and Paul Draper. I argue that neither of these evidential arguments from evil is successful, i.e. such that it ought to persuade anyone who believes in God to give up that belief. In my view, theists can rationally maintain that each of these evidential arguments from evil contains at least one false premise.
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  24. Pantheism, Quantification and Mereology.Graham Oppy - 1997 - The Monist 80 (2):320-336.
    I provide a classification of varieties of pantheism. I argue that there are two different kinds of commitments that pantheists have. On the one hand, there is an ontological commitment to the existence of a sum of all things. On the other hand, there is an ideological commitment: either collectively or distributively, the sum of all things is divine.
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  25.  85
    The Two Envelope 'Paradox'.Frank Jackson, Peter Menzies & Graham Oppy - 1994 - Analysis 54 (1):43 - 45.
    This paper discusses the finite version of the two envelope paradox. (That is, we treat the paradox against the background assumption that there is only a finite amount of money in the world.).
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  26. On ‘a New Cosmological Argument’.Graham Oppy - 2000 - Religious Studies 36 (3):345-353.
    Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss contend that their ‘new cosmological argument’ is an improvement over familiar cosmological arguments because it relies upon a weaker version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason than that used in those more familiar arguments. However, I note that their ‘weaker’ version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason entails the ‘stronger’ version of that principle which is used in more familiar arguments, so that the alleged advantage of their proof turns out to be illusory. Moreover, I (...)
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  27.  30
    The Best Argument Against God.Graham Robert Oppy - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Preface -- Introduction -- Preliminary matters -- Some big ideas -- Minimal theism and naturalism -- Standard theism and naturalism -- Conclusion.
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  28.  84
    Leftow on God and Necessity.Graham Oppy - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (3):5-16.
    This paper is a critical examination of some of the major themes of Brian Leftow's book *God and Necessity*.
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  29. Maydole’s Modal Perfection Argument (Again).Graham Oppy - 2007 - Philo 10 (1):72-84.
    In “On Oppy’s Objections to the Modal Perfection Argument,” Philo 8, 2, 2005, 123–30, Robert Maydole argues that his modal perfection argument—set out in his “The Modal Perfection Argument for a Supreme Being,” Philo 6, 2, 2003, 299–313—“remains arguably sound” in the face of the criticisms that I made of this argument in my “Maydole’s 2QS5 Argument,” Philo 7, 2, 2004, 203–11. I reply that Maydole is wrong: his argument is fatally flawed, and his attempts to avoid the criticisms that (...)
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  30.  82
    Maydole's 2QS5 Argument.Graham Oppy - 2004 - Philo 7 (2):203-211.
    This paper is a reply to Robert Maydole’s “The Modal Perfection Argument for the Existence of a Supreme Being,” published in Philo 6, 2, 2003. I argue that Maydole’s Modal Perfection Argument fails, and that there is no evident way in which it can be repaired.
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  31. The Devilish Complexities of Divine Simplicity.Graham Oppy - 2003 - Philo 6 (1):10-22.
    In On the Nature and Existence of God, Richard Gale follows majority opinion in giving very short shrift to the doctrine of divine simplicity: in his view, there is no coherent expressible doctrine of divine simplicity. Rising to the implicit challenge, I argue that---contrary to what is widely believed---there is a coherently expressible doctrine of divine simplicity, though it is rather different from the views that are typically expressed by defenders of this doctrine. At the very least, I think that (...)
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  32. Arguments From Moral Evil.Graham Oppy - 2004 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 56 (2/3):59 - 87.
    In this paper, I argue that -- contrary to widely received opinion -- logical arguments from evil are well and truly alive and kicking.
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  33. Hume and the Argument for Biological Design.Graham Oppy - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (4):519-534.
    There seems to be a widespread conviction — evidenced, for example, in the work of Mackie, Dawkins and Sober — that it is Darwinian rather than Humean considerations which deal the fatal logical blow to arguments for intelligent design. I argue that this conviction cannot be well-founded. If there are current logically decisive objections to design arguments, they must be Humean — for Darwinian considerations count not at all against design arguments based upon apparent cosmological fine-tuning. I argue, further, that (...)
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  34.  31
    Divine Causation.Graham Oppy - forthcoming - Topoi:1-10.
    This paper compares the doxastic credentials of the claim that nothing comes from nothing with the doxastic credentials of the claim that there is no causing without changing. I argue that comparison of these two claims supports my contention that considerations about causation do nothing to make theism more attractive than naturalism.
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  35. Reply to Professor Craig.Graham Oppy - 1995 - Sophia 34 (2):15-29.
    I hold that the considerations adduced in kalam cosmological arguments do not embody reasons for reflective atheists and agnostics to embrace the conclusion of those arguments, viz. that the universe had a cause of its existence. I do not claim to be able to show that reflective theists could not reasonably believe that those arguments are sound; indeed, I am prepared to concede that it is epistemically possible that the arguments procede validly from true premises. However, I am prepared to (...)
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  36. Arguments for Atheism.Graham Oppy - 2013 - In Stephen Bullivant & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford University Press. pp. 53.
    This paper consider three families of arguments for atheism. First, there are direct arguments for atheism: arguments that theism is meaningless, or incoherent, or logically inconsistent, or impossible, or inconsistent with known fact, of improbable given known fact, or morally repugnant, or the like. Second, there are indirect arguments for atheism: direct arguments for something that entails atheism. Third, there are comparative arguments for atheism: e.g., arguments for the view that (atheistic) naturalism is more theoretically virtuous than theism.
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  37.  96
    Critical Notice of J.P. Moreland's Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument.Graham Oppy - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (1):193-212.
    This paper is a detailed examination of some parts of J. P. Moreland's book on "the argument from consciousness". (There is a companion article that discusses the parts of the book not taken up in this critical notice.).
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  38.  68
    “Uncaused Beginnings” Revisited.Graham Oppy - 2015 - Faith and Philosophy 32 (2):205-210.
    This paper is a response to William Lane Craig's criticisms of my previous paper "Uncaused Beginnings". I argue that Craig's criticisms do not inflict any damage on the arguments of that earlier paper.
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  39.  71
    Faulty Reasoning About Default Principles in Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2004 - Faith and Philosophy 21 (2):242-249.
    Robert Koons claims that my previous critique of his “new” cosmological argument is vitiated by confusion about the nature of defeasible argumentation.In response, I claim that Koons misrepresents—and perhaps misunderstands—the nature of my objections to his “new” cosmological argument. The main claims which I defend are: (1) that the move from a non-defeasible to a defeasible causal principle makes absolutely no difference to the success of the cosmological argument in which it is contained; and (2) that, since it is perfectly (...)
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  40.  91
    O'Connor's Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion: Vol. 3 3:166.
    This chapter is a critical discussion of the third chapter of Tim O ' Connor ' s * Theism and Ultimate Explanation *. In this chapter, O ' Connor advances the & quot ; existence stage & quot ; of his cosmological argument from contingency. I argue that naturalists have good reason to think that on each of the live hypotheses -- infinite regress, brute contingency, brute necessity -- naturalism is preferable to theism.
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  41.  69
    The Tristram Shandy Paradox: A Response to David S. Oderberg.Graham Oppy - 2002 - Philosophia Christi 4 (2):335-350.
    This paper is a response to David Oderberg's discussion of the Tristram Shandy paradox. I defend the claim that the Tristram Shandy paradox does not support the claim that it is impossible that the past is infinite.
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  42. Time, Successive Addition, and Kalam Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2001 - Philosophia Christi 3 (1):181-192.
    Craig (1981) presents and defends several different kalam cosmological arguments. The core of each of these arguments is the following ur argument.
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  43. Paley's Argument for Design.Graham Oppy - 2002 - Philo 5 (2):161-173.
    The main aim of this paper is to examine an almost universal assumption concerning the structure of Paley’s argument for design. Almost all commentators suppose that Paley’s argument is an inductive argument---either an argument by analogy or an argument by inference to the best explanation. I contend, on the contrary, that Paley’s argument is actually a straightforwardly deductive argument. Moreover, I argue that, when Paley’s argument is properly understood, it can readily be seen that it is no good. Finally---although I (...)
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  44. On Defining Art Historically.Graham Oppy - 1991 - British Journal of Aesthetics 32 (2):153-161.
    This paper is an extended critical discussion of Jerrold Levinson's historical definition of art. I try out various different avenues of attack; it is not clear whether any of them is ultimately successful.
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  45.  57
    More Than One Flaw: Reply to Millican.Graham Oppy - 2007 - Sophia 46 (3):295-304.
    Millican (Mind 113(451):437–476, 2004) claims to have detected ‘the one fatal flaw in Anselm’s ontological argument.’ I argue that there is more than one important flaw in the position defended in Millican (Mind 113(451):437–476, 2004). First, Millican’s reconstruction of Anselm’s argument does serious violence to the original text. Second, Millican’s generalised objection fails to diagnose any flaw in a vast range of ontological arguments. Third, there are independent reasons for thinking that Millican’s generalised objection is unpersuasive.
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  46.  78
    The Shape of Causal Reality: A Naturalistic Adaptation of O’Connor’s Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 2010 - Philosophia Christi 12 (2):281-288.
    This paper is a companion to an article that I published in *Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion*. The OSPR discusses the third chapter of Tim O'Connor's *Theism and Ultimate Explanation. This paper discusses a range of other issues that are not picked up in the OSPR discussion.
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  47.  45
    What Derivations Cannot Do.Graham Oppy - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (3):323-333.
    I argue that the only proper role for traditional arguments for and against the existence of God in philosophy of religion is in demonstrating that given worldviews -- theism, naturalism -- are inconsistent.
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  48.  11
    Why Creationists Should Learn About Evolution. [REVIEW]Graham Oppy - 2017 - Metascience 26 (1):149-151.
    Book review of Laats and Siegel (2016) *Teaching Evolution in a Creation Nation* (University of Chicago Press).
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  49. The Ontological Argument From Descartes to Hegel (Review). [REVIEW]Graham Oppy - 2010 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (2):pp. 243-245.
    Kevin Harrelson's book commences with the following words: This book provides a philosophical analysis of the several debates concerning the "ontological argument" from the middle of the seventeenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century. My aim in writing it was twofold. First, I wished to provide a detailed and comprehensive account of the history of these debates, which I perceived to be lacking in the scholarly literature. Second, I wanted also to pursue a more philosophically interesting question concerning the (...)
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  50. Salmon on the Contingent a Priori and the Necessary a Posteriori.Graham Oppy - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 73 (1):5 - 33.
    This paper is an examination of the contingent a priori and the necessary a posteriori. In particular, it considers -- and assesses -- the criticisms that Nathan Salmon makes of the views of Saul Kripke.
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