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Theism and Ultimate Explanation

Timothy O'Connor (Wiley-Blackwell: Feb 15, 2008), 192 pages.

An expansive, yet succinct, analysis of the Philosophy of Religion – from metaphysics through theology. Organized into two sections, the text first examines truths concerning what is possible and what is necessary. These chapters lay the foundation for the book’s second part – the search for a metaphysical framework that permits the possibility of an ultimate explanation that is correct and complete. A cutting-edge scholarly work which engages with the traditional metaphysician’s quest for a true ultimate; explanation of the most general features of the world we inhabit; Develops an original view concerning the epistemology and metaphysics of modality, or truths concerning; what is possible or necessary; Applies this framework to a re-examination of the cosmological argument for theism; Defends a novel version of the Leibnizian cosmological argument. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Preface.
  • Part I: The Explanatory Role of Necessity:
    • 1. Modality and Explanation.
    • Relative and Absolute Necessity.
    • Scientifically Established Necessities.
    • An Epistemological Worry About Modality: Causal Contact With Modal Facts.
    • Modal Nihilism.
    • Modal Reductionism and Deflationism.
    • Modal Anti-Realism and Quasi-Realism.
    • Conclusion.
  • 2. Modal Knowledge.
    • Conceivability As Our Guide?
    • Modality a Matter of Principle?
    • The Theoretical Roles of Modal Claims: Towards a Modal Epistemology.
    • The Spheres of Possibility.
    • Part II: The Necessary Shape of Contingency:
  • 3. Ultimate Explanation and Necessary Being: The Existence Stage of the Cosmological Argument.
    • Necessary Being.
    • Two Objections to the Traditional Answer.
    • Necessary Being as the Explanatory Ground of Contingency?
  • 4. The Identification Stage.
    • From Necessary Being to God, I: Transcendent, Not Immanent.
    • Two Models of Transcendent Necessary Being: Logos and Chaos.
    • Varieties of Chaos.
    • Interlude: the Fine-Tuning Argument.
    • From Necessary Being to God, II: Logos, not Random Chaos.
  • 5. The Scope of Contingency.
    • How Many Universes Would Perfection Realize?
    • Perfection and Freedom.
    • Some Applications of the Many-Universe-Creation Hypothesis.
    • Necessary Being and the Scope of Possibility.
    • Necessary Being and the Many Necessary Truths.
  • 6. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Anselm?
    • The Unity of the Divine Nature and Its Consequences.
    • Natural Theology in the Understanding of Revealed Theology.
    • Coda.
    • Notes.
    • Bibliography.
    • Index