Accounting for the Whole: Why Pantheism is on a Metaphysical Par with Complex Theism

Faith and Philosophy 37 (2):202-219 (2020)
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Pantheists are often accused of lacking a sufficient account of the unity of the cosmos and its supposed priority over its many parts. I argue that complex theists, those who think that God has ontologically distinct parts or attributes, face the same problems. Current proposals for the metaphysics of complex theism do not offer any greater unity or ontological independence than pantheism, since they are modeled on priority monism. I then discuss whether the formal distinction of John Duns Scotus offers a way forward for complex theists. I show that only those classical theists who affirm divine simplicity are better off with respect to aseity and unity than pantheists. Only proponents of divine simplicity can fairly claim to have found a fully independent ultimate being.

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Caleb Cohoe
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Citations of this work

Pantheism.Michael Levine - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Pantheism.William Mander - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Božanska jednostavnost i mit o modalnom kolapsu.Khalil Andani - 2022 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 18 (2):7-33.

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References found in this work

Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
Summa Theologiae (1265-1273).Thomas Aquinas - 1911 - Edited by John Mortensen & Enrique Alarcón.
Parts of Classes.David K. Lewis - 1991 - Mind 100 (3):394-397.

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