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1. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Paul Gould The Problem of God and Abstract Objects: A Prolegomenon
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How does God relate to abstract objects, if there be any? Any adequate solution to this question quickly leads to deep waters philosophical and theological. In this essay, I attempt to bring clarity to the debate related to the problem of God and abstract objects by first explicating as precisely as possible the problem and then by imposing some order into the debate by classifying various contemporary answers to the problem.
...The Problem of God and Abstract Objects ... How does God relate to abstract objects, if there be any? Any adequate solution ... The Problem of God and Abstract Objects A Prolegomenon ...
2. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig Absolute Creationism and Divine Conceptualism: A Call for Conceptual Clarity
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The contemporary debate over God and abstract objects is hampered by a lack of conceptual clarity concerning two distinct metaphysical views: absolute creationism and divine conceptualism. This confusion goes back to the fount of the current debate, the article “Absolute Creation” by Thomas Morris and Christopher Menzel, who were not of one mind concerning God’s relation to abstract objects. Confusion has followed in their wake. Going forward, theistic philosophers need to distinguish more clearly between a sort of modified Platonism, according to which abstract objects depend ontologically on God, and a sort of divine psychologism, according to which objects typically thought to be abstract are, in fact, concrete mental entities of some sort.
...The contemporary debate over God and abstract objects is hampered by a lack ... not of one mind concerning God’s relation to abstract objects. Confusion has followed ... a sort of modified Platonism, according to which abstract objects depend ...
3. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig “Absolute Creation” and “Theistic Activism”: A Plea for Terminological Uniformity
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Morris and Menzel’s view that God is the Creator of abstract as well as concrete objects is variously referred to by the labels “absolute creation” and “theistic activism.” To use these labels synonymously, however, exhibits a lack of discrimination. Theistic activism is the project of grounding modality in God, particularly in the divine will. Absolute creationism is a nonmodal project which regards abstract objects as created by God. The synonymous use of these terms results in confusion in debates over divine aseity and sovereignty. Philosophical discussion will benefit if we adopt a uniform terminology discriminating between these different views.
... discussion of the ontology of abstract objects and God’s relation ... the contemporary metaphysical debate over God and abstract objects. 1 I have ... it appeals to divine creation of abstract objects to solve the challenge ...
4. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Craig J. Hazen Introduction to the Conversation
... and abstract objects. After the long evening of robust exchange, the three ...
5. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig Erik Wielenberg’s Metaphysics of Morals
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Focusing on Erik Wielenberg’s metaphysic of morals, I argue that his moral Platonism is, given the presumption against the existence of abstract objects, unmotivated. Moreover, Godless Normative Realism is implausible in light of the mysterious causal relations said to obtain between concrete objects and moral abstracta. His appeals to theism in order to motivate such causal connections is nugatory. If Wielenberg walks back his moral Platonism, then his metaphysics of morals collapses and Godless Normative Realism becomes explanatorily vacuous.
... Platonism is, given the presumption against the existence of abstract objects ... existing abstract objects. His view is akin to mathematical Platonism ... an independent realm of immaterial, causally effete, abstract objects like ...
6. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig Response to Van Inwagen and Welty
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In response to my critics, I argue that Peter van Inwagen, despite his protestations, is an advocate of an indispensability argument for Platonism. What remains to be shown by van Inwagen is that his version of the argument overcomes his own presumption against Platonism and survives defeat by besting every anti-Platonist alternative. While acknowledging Greg Welty’s helpful responses to my worries about divine conceptualism as a realist alternative to Platonism, I express ongoing reservations about some of those responses.
... book, God and Abstract Objects, published in 2017 by Springer ... ). 2. William Lane Craig, God and Abstract Objects: The Coherence of Theism (Cham ... that there are uncreated abstract objects. I make it clear that I am talking about ...
7. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Stephen E. Parrish Defending Theistic Conceptualism
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There has been much discussion of the relationship between God and abstract objects. Three positions taken by theists are Absolute Creationism, Theistic Conceptualism, and Antirealism. I argue that Theistic Conceptualism combined with Perfect Being theology can avoid common criticisms, and that it renders the created abstract objects of Absolute Creationism unnecessary. I also hold that Antirealism is quite close to Theistic Conceptualism, and that Antirealism when combined with God as an omniscient being ends up being almost indistinguishable from it.
...), that abstract objects are ideal objects in God’s mind. TC holds a middle position ... between Absolute Creationism (AC), the position that some abstract objects ... that there are no abstract objects. I will argue (among other things) against AC that for God ...
8. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig A Nominalist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects
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A metaphysically robust, as opposed to lightweight, Platonism with respect to uncreatable abstract objects is theologically unacceptable because it fatally compromises creatio ex nihilo and divine aseity. The principal argument for Platonism is the so-called Indispensability Argument based on the ontological commitments required by singular terms and existential quantifiers in true sentences. Different varieties of Nominalism challenge each of the argument’s premises. Fictionalism accepts the assumed criterion of ontological commitment but rejects the truth of the relevant sentences. Neutralism accepts the truth of the relevant sentences but denies the assumed criterion of ontological commitment. Both of these perspectives, but especially the last, are plausible routes available for the Christian theist.
...A Nominalist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects ... to uncreatable abstract objects is theologically unacceptable because it fatally compromises ... A Nominalist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects ...
9. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig God and Abstract Objects
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Central to classical theism is the conception of God as the sole ultimate reality, the creator of all things apart from Himself. Such a doctrine is rooted in Hebrew-Christian scripture and unfolded by the ante-Nicene church fathers. Platonism, which postulates the existence of uncreated abstract objects, is therefore theologically objectionable. In order to overcome the presumption which anti-Platonism enjoys theologically, the Platonist would have to show that all other positions, both realist and nonrealist, are rationally untenable. No one has even attempted so audacious a project, nor is there any reasonable expectation that it could be carried out.
...God and Abstract Objects ... , which postulates the existence of uncreated abstract objects, is therefore ... God and Abstract Objects William Lane Craig ...
10. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Walter Schultz The Actual World from Platonism to Plans: An Emendation of Alvin Plantinga’s Modal Realism
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“The actual world” is a familiar term in possible-worlds discourse. A desirable account of the nature and structure of the actual world that coheres with the doctrine of creation ex nihilo will (1) include a theory of truth-making, (2) account for the dynamics of the universe in relation to the doctrine of creation, (3) say how so-called abstract objects are related to God, and (4) preclude the Russell Paradox. By emending Alvin Plantinga’s theistic modal realism, this paper recovers a view of the actual world as God’s plan and briefly states how the metaphysical theory that results meets these desiderata.
...-called abstract objects are related to God, and (4) preclude the Russell Paradox. By emending ... in relation to the doctrine of creation, (3) say how so-called abstract objects ... say how (so-called) abstract objects such as propositions, properties, relations ...
11. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
R. Scott Smith William Lane Craig’s Nominalism, Essences, and Implications for Our Knowledge of Reality
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William Lane Craig has claimed that Platonism is incompatible theologically with Christian theism in that it undermines God’s aseity. He develops three main objections to Platonism, as well as his own nominalist theory of reference, for which he draws from philosophy of language. However, I rebut his arguments. I argue that, unlike on Platonism, his view will not preserve a real essence of intentionality. Without that, his view undermines our abilities to know reality. As an implication, I also will highlight the importance methodologically of approaching this issue from the primacy of the ontology of knowledge, not philosophy of language.
... be abstract objects. (Likewise, there are literally true existential ... only be abstract objects.) (III) Therefore, abstract objects ... Perspective on God and Abstract Objects,” Philosophia Christi 13 (2011 ...
12. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig Response to Bridges and Van Inwagen
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Bridges’s “moderate realism” is really a misnomer, since Aquinas’s view was that mathematical objects and universals are mere entia rationis, making Bridges’s view antirealist. The metaphysical idleness of properties on van Inwagen’s view ought to motivate reexamination of his presumed criterion of ontological commitment. Regarding paraphrastic strategies, one can meet van Inwagen’s challenge to provide a nominalistically acceptable paraphrase of Euclid’s proof of exactly five Platonic solids. Concerning fictionalism, van Inwagen should allow the anti-Platonist to treat abstracta as he treats supposed composite, inanimate objects. Finally, van Inwagen too quickly dismisses the absolute creationist view that abstracta can be effects, if not causes.
..., “A Moderate-Realist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects ... rate that we have to mean—that he is the creator of abstract objects.” 3 For ... ” did not mean, even if it implied, that God is the creator of abstract objects ...
13. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Peter van Inwagen Response to William Lane Craig’s God over All
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In contrast to William Lane Craig’s view this article presents a sort of precis of my position on ontological commitment—whether you call it neo-Quineanism or not—and its implications for the nominalism-realism debate, a precis that proceeds from first principles.
... to it the following gloss: (1) There are no abstract objects (entities, things ... that there are abstract objects. Having given you only this meager dollop ... types are (if they exist) certainly abstract objects. Well, did ...
14. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Greg Welty Do Divine Conceptualist Accounts Fail?: A Response to Chapter 5 of God over All
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William Lane Craig’s God over All argues against the kind of “divine conceptualism” about abstract objects which I defend. In this conference presentation I note several points of agreement with and appreciation for Craig’s important work. I then turn to five points of critique and response pertaining to: the sovereignty-aseity intuition, the reality of false propositions, God’s having “inappropriate” thoughts, propositions being purely private and incommunicable, and a consistent view of God’s own ontological commitments. I conclude by summarizing our two key differences, indicating that we may have much more in common than first appears (both theologically and metaphysically).
... conceptualism” about abstract objects which I defend. In this conference presentation I note ... against the kind of “divine conceptualism” about abstract objects ... in chapter 2) and the existence of Platonistic abstract objects ...
15. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
... philosophical question about the nature of abstract objects. If this is new ...
16. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
J. Thomas Bridges A Moderate-Realist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects
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On the horizon between metaphysics and philosophy of religion stands the question of God’s relation to various abstracta. Like other contemporary philosophical debates, this one has resulted in a broadly dichotomous stalemate between Platonic realists on the one hand and varieties of nominalism/antirealism on the other. In this paper, I offer Aquinas’s moderaterealism as a true middle ground between realist or nominalist solutions. What Platonists take to be abstracta are actually the result of intellect’s abstractive work on sensible objects. Further, the Christian philosopher should be concerned as much, if not more so, by nominalism than by Platonism. Given the problems associated with either Platonist or nominalist solutions, one should be open to a Thomistic moderate-realist solution to the problem of God and abstracta.
...A Moderate-Realist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects ... A Moderate-Realist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects ... of God and abstract objects will refer to Thomas Aquinas or to one ...
17. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig Propositional Truth—Who Needs It?
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On a deflationary view of truth the truth predicate does not ascribe a property of any explanatory significance to statements. The truth predicate is merely a device of semantic ascent, by means of which we talk about a statement rather than assert that statement. Such a device is useful for blind truth ascriptions to statements that we cannot explicitly state. Such a view is compatible with truth as correspondence and so does not imply postmodern antirealism, since statements directly asserted are descriptive of the world as it actually is. Getting rid of propositional truth has the advantage of ridding us of abstract truth-bearers that are uncreated by God.
..., abstract objects, such as mathematical objects, properties ... will want to rid his ontology of such abstract objects. 1 One ... for a realm of abstract objects. For a defense of divine conceptualism ...
18. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Justin J. Daeley Creatio Ex Nihilo: A Solution to the Problem of the Necessity of Creation and Divine Aseity
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A number of theologians have propounded what we will call proposition (P): If God creates from an internal necessity, then God cannot have aseity (i.e., be from himself ). According to (P), there is inconsistency between divine aseity and the idea that God creates from an internal necessity. In this article, however, I develop an argument for the consistency of divine aseity and the idea that God creates from an internal necessity, thus claiming that proposition (P) is false. The argument is founded upon the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo along with two operative principles implied by this doctrine.
... nihilo God must also have created, if they exist at all, abstract objects ... . For Platonism posits infinite realms of being [that is, abstract objects ... the existence of abstract objects by the following argument: if creatio ex nihilo ...
19. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
R. Scott Smith Craig, Anti-Platonism, and Objective Morality
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Though William Lane Craig believes his anti-Platonism is compatible with objective, Christian morality, I argue that it is not. First, I survey the main contours of his nominalism. Second, I discuss how he sees those points in relation to objective, Christian morality. Then, I argue that his view cannot sustain the qualitative aspects of moral virtues or principles, or even human beings. Moreover, Craig’s view loses any connection between those morals and humans, thereby doing great violence to objective, Christian morals. Finally, I sketch two advantages of a Platonic realism in regards to Christian morals.
... as the doctrine that uncreated, metaphysically abstract objects (AOs) exist, fatally ... on the Problem of God and Abstract Objects (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014). They include ... , metaphysically abstract objects (AOs) exist. However, they would rival God ...
20. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Alvin Plantinga Response to William Lane Craig’s Review of Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism
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I try to clear up a couple of misunderstandings in William Craig’s review (misunderstandings due, perhaps, to expository inadequacy on my part). The first has to do with the difference between what I call “Historical Biblical Criticism” and historical scholarship. I claim there is conflict between the first and Christian belief; I don’t for a moment think there is conflict between historical scholarship and Christian belief. The second has to do with Platonism, theism and causality. I point out that theism has the resources to see abstract objects as like divine thoughts, in which case they are not causally isolated; this offers a reply to Paul Benacerraf’s suggestion that if, as on Platonism, abstract objects are causally isolated from everything, then there is no way in which we could come to know them or anything about them.
... the resources to see abstract objects as like divine thoughts, in which case ... , as on Platonism, abstract objects are causally isolated from everything, then there is no way ... that theism has the resources to see abstract objects as like divine ...