I outline a version of idealism that borrows from Humean Supervenience. The resulting theory is immune to what is often considered to be the most powerful anti-idealist argument, the gist of which is that the idealist can’t supply truthmakers (or an adequate supervenience base) for commonly accepted truths about the physical world. That charge has no purchase on Humean idealism.
The evidential problem of evil involves a rarely discussed challenge, namely the challenge of defending theism against the hypothesis of a morally indifferent creator. Our argument uses a Bayesian framework and it starts by showing that if the only alternative to classical theism is naturalistic atheism, then fine-tuning can render theism virtually certain, even in the face of evil. But if the alternatives include the hypothesis of a morally indifferent creator, theism is defeated even if the fine-tuning premise is accepted. (...) The resulting version of the evidential problem is unsolvable using the tools that are currently deployed by theists against evil. (shrink)
Open future is incompatible with realism about possible worlds. Since realistically conceived (concrete or abstract) possible worlds are maximal in the sense that they contain/represent the full history of a possible spacetime, past and future included, if such a world is actual now, the future is fully settled now, which rules out openness. The kind of metaphysical indeterminacy required for open future is incompatible with the kind of maximality which is built into the concept of possible worlds. The paper discusses (...) various modal realist responses and argues that they provide ersatz openness only, or they lead to incoherence, or they render the resulting theory inadequate as a theory of modality. The paper also considers various accounts of the open future, including rejection of bivalence, supervaluationism, and the ‘thin red line’ view (TRL), and claims that a version of (TRL) can avoid the incompatibility problem, but only at the cost of deflating the notion of openness. (shrink)
According to recent work in experimental philosophy, folk intuitions concerning various metaphysical issues are heavily teleological. The experiments in question, which belong to a broader research program in psychology about ‘promiscuous teleology’, have featured prominently in debates about the methodology of metaphysics, with some authors claiming that the folk’s teleological bias debunks everyday intuitions concerning composition, persistence, and organisms. The present paper argues for a possibility that is very rarely discussed in that debate, namely the idea that the folk’s intuitions (...) could be veridical. Our argument is based on an emerging naturalistic theory of biological functions called “the organismic view”. The gist of the organismic view is that biological systems are characterized by a special circular causal regime where each part of the system contributes to the boundary conditions of some other parts, as well as of the whole. We argue that teleological folk intuitions are veridical in the biological domain under such a view, and they are veridical in the social and artefactual domains under coherent extensions of the organismic view. (shrink)
Religious evil is evil apparently caused or justified by religious beliefs or institutions. Religious evil is a significant issue both in applied ethics and in the philosophy of religion; in the latter area, it grounds a distinctive atheistic argument from evil. The two aspects of religious evil are interrelated in the sense that one's solution to the atheistic argument from religious evil predisposes one to specific approaches to the ethical problem of religious evil. The paper surveys the relevant literature and (...) potential theistic defenses. (shrink)
The paper investigates whether causation is extrinsic in Humean Supervenience in the sense that "being caused by" is an intrinsic relation between token causes and effects. The underlying goal is to test whether causality is extrinsic for Humeans and intrinsic for anti-Humeans in this sense. I argue that causation is typically extrinsic in HS, but it is intrinsic to event pairs that collectively most of the universe's history.
Pandispositionalists have not refuted the charge that their ideology precludes knowledge of the external world. Their replies boil down to the claim that some dispositions can be detected without the mediation of their effects. But this reply is ineffective if the regress is restated in terms of mind-independent domains of science.