Volume 17, Issue 2, 2015
Creation, Causality, and Abstracta
J. Thomas Bridges
A Moderate-Realist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects
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.