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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 36, Issue 3, July 2019

Hugh Burling
Pages 343-371

The Reference of “God” Revisited

I argue that the reference for “God” is determined by the definite description “the being that is worthy of our worship.” I describe two desiderata for rival theories of the reference of “God” to meet: accessibility and scope. I explain the deficiencies of a view where God is dubbed “God” and the name passed down by causal chains and a view where “God” picks out the unique satisfier of a traditional definite description. After articulating the “Worship-Worthiness” view, I show how it best satisfies the desiderata. I then respond to some putative counterexamples to the view.

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