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More Forthcoming Books to Look For from OUP

Leftow, Brian. God and Necessity.

  • An original account of necessity and possibility
  • A new argument for God's existence
  • A detailed theory of the mind of God
  • Engages with medieval and modern philosophy and theology
  • A landmark work at the intersection of metaphysics and philosophy of religion
Brian Leftow offers a theory of the possible and the necessary in which God plays the chief role, and a new sort of argument for God's existence. It has become usual to say that a proposition is possible just in case it is true in some 'possible world' (roughly, some complete history a universe might have) and necessary just if it is true in all. Thus much discussion of possibility and necessity since the 1960s has focussed on the nature and existence (or not) of possible worlds. God and Necessity holds that there are no such things, nor any sort of abstract entity. It assigns the metaphysical 'work' such items usually do to God and events in God's mind, and reduces 'broadly logical' modalities to causal modalities, replacing possible worlds in the semantics of modal logic with God and His mental events. Leftow argues that theists are committed to theist modal theories, and that the merits of a theist modal theory provide an argument for God's existence. Historically, almost all theist modal theories base all necessary truth on God's nature. Leftow disagrees: he argues that necessary truths about possible creatures and kinds of creatures are due ultimately to God's unconstrained imagination and choice. On his theory, it is in no sense part of the nature of God that normal zebras have stripes (if that is a necessary truth). Stripy zebras are simply things God thought up, and they have the nature they do simply because that is how God thought of them. Thus Leftow's essay in metaphysics takes a half-step toward Descartes' view of modal truth, and presents a compelling theist theory of necessity and possibility.

Table of contents:
1: Modal Basics
2: Some Solutions
3: Theist Solutions
4: The Ontology of Possibility
5: Modal Truthmakers
6: Modality and the Divine Nature
7: Deity as Essential
8: Against Deity Theories
9: The Role of Deity
10: The Biggest Bang
11: Divine Concepts
12: Concepts, Syntax, and Actualism
13: Modality: Basic Notions
14: The Genesis of Secular Modality
15: Modal Reality
16: Essences
17: Non-Secular Modalities
18: Theism and Modal Semantics
19: Freedom, Preference, and Cost
20: Explaining Modal Status
21: Explaining the Necessary
22: Against Theistic Platonism
23: Worlds and the Existence of God

Almeida, Michael. Freedom, God, and Worlds.

BlurbMichael J. Almeida presents a powerful argument which holds that several widely believed and largely undisputed objections to the idea of the existence of God are in fact just philosophical dogmas. He challenges some of the most well-entrenched principles in philosophical theology, which have served as basic assumptions in influential apriori, atheological arguments. But most theists also maintain that the principles express apriori necessary truths, including those principles that are presumed to follow from the nature of an essentially omnipotent, essentially omniscient, essentially perfectly good and necessarily existing being. Among the atheological arguments that deploy these philosophical dogmas are the Logical Problem of Evil, the Logical Problem of the Best Possible World, the Logical Problem of Good Enough Worlds, the Problem of Divine Freedom, the Problem of No Best World, and the Evidential Problem of Evil. In Freedom, God, and Worlds Almeida claims that these arguments present no important challenge to the existence of an Anselmian God. Not only are these philosophical principles false, they are necessarily false.

Table of contents:

1: A Moderate Anselmian Plea
2: Metaphysical Atheological Arguments and the Free Will Defense
3: Three Important Objections
4: Unrestricted Actualization, Freedom and Morally Perfect Worlds
5: The Logical Problem of Evil Redux
6: Four Important Objections
7: Four More Objections
8: Redeeming Worlds
9: Conclusions


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Notes on Mackie's "Evil and Omnipotence"

0. Introduction
0.1 Mackie argues that the problem of evil proves that either no god exists, or at least that the god of Orthodox Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, does not exist. His argument is roughly the same version of the problem of evil that we’ve been considering.
0.2 Mackie thinks that one can avoid the conclusion that God does not exist only if one admits that either God is not omnipotent (i.e., not all-powerful), or that God is not perfectly good. 0.3 However, he thinks that hardly anyone will be willing to take this route. For doing so leaves one with a conception of a god that isn’t worthy of worship, and therefore not religiously significant.
0.4 After his brief discussion of his version of the problem of evil, he considers most of the main responses to the problem of evil, and concludes that none of them work.

1. First Response and Mackie's Reply
1.1 Response: Good can’t exist without evil; evil is a necessary counterpart to good.
1.2 Mackie’s reply:
1.2.1 this see…