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Theism & the Metaphysics of Modality

Adams, Sarah Nicola (2015) Theism & the Metaphysics of Modality. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Much cutting-edge research has been produced in the quest to find out which metaphysical account of modality is best. Comparatively little rigorous investigation has been devoted to questioning whether such accounts are compatible with classical theism. This thesis remedies some of this neglect and charts some of this previously under-explored territory existing at the intersection of metaphysics and philosophy of religion. Such an investigation is important since salient among the tenets of classical theism are ones that are characteristically modal. Not only is the classical monotheistic deity supposed to exist and possess the various divine-making properties necessarily; many of these properties themselves seem to include a modal component. An omniscient being is one who could not fail to know some proposition (once it’s true); and an omnipotent being is such that, for an appropriate set of tasks, it could perform them. Classical theism also comprises modal commitments about non-divine individuals: everything distinct from God is supposed to be necessarily dependent upon God; and human beings are supposed to have been granted the freedom to do otherwise. In short, the unique metaphysical properties of a classical monotheistic deity burden the theist with substantial metaphysical and ethical commitments any theory of modality must uphold; this thesis questions which one may do so best. However, the discussion must be limited to a small number of theories. Those examined here explain modality in terms of something ultimately non-modal; either by reducing modality to something else (e.g., a particular ontology of possible worlds), or by denying that modal discourse has the function of describing, in a truth-apt way, some part of mind-independent reality. So this project is a partial investigation into a more specific question: which of these theories which deny that modality is fundamentally real best fits with theism?

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Genuine Modal Realism, God, Metaphysics, Modality, Possible Worlds, Quasi-Realism, Theism
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.675013
Depositing User: Miss Sarah N. Adams
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 15:17
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 15:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11178

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