Zygon 50 (1):113-137 (2015)

Ben Page
Oxford University
How does God govern the world? For many theists “laws of nature” play a vital role. But what are these laws, metaphysically speaking? I shall argue that laws of nature are not external to the objects they govern, but instead should be thought of as reducible to internal features of properties. Recent work in metaphysics and philosophy of science has revived a dispositionalist conception of nature, according to which nature is not passive, but active and dynamic. Disposition theorists see particulars as being internally powerful rather than being governed by external laws of nature, making external laws in effect ontologically otiose. I will argue that theists should prefer a dispositionalist ontology, since it leads them toward the theory of concurrentism in divine conservation, rather than occasionalism, and revives the distinction between internal and external teleology. God on this view does not govern the world through external laws of nature, but rather through internal aspects of powerful properties
Keywords ontology  powers  metaphysics  God  laws of nature  concurrentism  dispositions  teleology  occasionalism  philosophy of science
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DOI 10.1111/zygo.12150
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References found in this work BETA

Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.

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Dis-Positioning Euthyphro.Ben Page - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (1):31-55.
Ultima Ratio Deorum.Alexis V. Halapsis - 2016 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 10:100-106.

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