Miracles and action explanations

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 36 (3):415-422 (1976)
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Abstract

TO DEFEND THE CONCEPT OF MIRACLES FROM ATTACKS SUCH AS THOSE RAISED BY NOWELL-SMITH, CERTAIN PHILOSOPHERS HAVE APPEALED TO ACTION THEORY AND ARGUED THAT THE THEIST’S EXPLANATION OF MIRACLES IS LIKE THE EXPLANATION OF AN ACTION AND NOT LIKE THE EXPLANATION OF A CAUSED EVENT. THIS ARTICLE SHOWS THAT NOWELL-SMITH’S OBJECTIONS CANNOT BE AVOIDED IN THIS WAY AND THAT BELIEF IN MIRACLES ONLY ACCENTS THE THEIST’S PROBLEM OF EXPLAINING GOD’S RELATION TO THE WORLD

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