Volume 12, Issue 1, 2010
William Lane Craig
Timothy O’Connor on Contingency
A Review Essay on Theism and Ultimate Explanation
In the first part of Theism and Ultimate Explanation Timothy O’Connor provides a compact survey of the metaphysics and epistemology of modality, defending modal realism and a priorism. In the book’s second half he defends a Leibnizian-style cosmological argument for an absolutely necessary being. He seeks to answer four questions: (1) Is the idea of a necessary being coherent? (2) In what way is the postulation of such a being explanatory? (3) Does the assumption of necessary being commit us to denying the very contingency of mundane things which it is meant to explain? (4) What are the implications of necessary being for theology? In this review I highlight a few of the obscurities and apparent weaknesses of this otherwise commendable book.