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Ontology and Providence in Creation: Taking ex nihilo Seriously

Ontology and Providence in Creation: Taking ex nihilo Seriously

by Mark Ian Thomas Robson

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Overview

Ontology and Providence in Creation critically examines a particular Leibnizean inspired understanding of God's creation of the world and proposes that a different understanding should be adopted. The Leibnizean argument proposes that God's understanding encompassed a host of possible worlds, only one of which he actualized. This proposition is the current orthodoxy when philosopher and theologians talk about the philosophical understanding of creation.

Mark Robson argues that this commits the Leibnizean to the notion that possibility is determinate. He proposes that this understanding of creation does not do justice to the doctrine that God created the world out of nothing. Instead of possible worlds, Robson argues that we should understand possibility as indeterminate. There are no things in possibility, hence God created out of nothing. He examines how this conception of possibility is held by C.S. Peirce and how it was developed by Charles Hartshorne. Robson contends that not only does the indeterminate understanding of possibility take seriously the nothing of ex nihilo, but that it also offers a new solution to the problem of evil.
Ontology and Providence in Creation critically examines a particular Leibnizean inspired understanding of God's creation of the world and proposes that a different understanding should be adopted. The Leibnizean argument proposes that God's understanding encompassed a host of possible worlds, only one of which he actualized. This proposition is the current orthodoxy when philosopher and theologians talk about the philosophical understanding of creation.

Mark Robson argues that this commits the Leibnizean to the notion that possibility is determinate. He proposes that this understanding of creation does not do justice to the doctrine that God created the world out of nothing. Instead of possible worlds, Robson argues that we should understand possibility as indeterminate. There are no things in possibility, hence God created out of nothing. He examines how this conception of possibility is held by C.S. Peirce and how it was developed by Charles Hartshorne. Robson contends that not only does the indeterminate understanding of possibility take seriously the nothing of ex nihilo, but that it also offers a new solution to the problem of evil.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441183231
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 01/05/2012
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Mark Ian Thomas Robson is a graduate of the universities of Newcastle and Durham. He has degrees in Philosophy and Theology (Ph.D. Durham, 2006) and in 2003 was Schoolteacher Fellow-Commoner at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, UK. He is Head of Philosophy at St Robert of Newminster RC School and Sixth Form College, UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter One: Leibniz's Ontology of Possibility

Chapter Two: The Ontology of Modern Modal Theories

Chapter Three: Alternative Account Concerning Possibilia (An examination of C S Peirce's account of possibility and its development by Charles Hartshorne)



Chapter Four: Vagueness and the Indeterminateness of Possibility (An examination of the idea of vagueness in philosophical logic and an account of how it relates to the notion of indeterminate possibility)

Chapter Five: Knowledge, Possibility and Ockham's Theory of Divine Ideas



Chapter Six: Divine Capacity (An argument that indeterminate possibility is best understood on the model of capacities to do things)

Chapter Seven: Theories of Providence



Chapter Eight: Moral and Providential Consequences of the Notion of Indeterminate Possibility

Chapter Nine: God and Chance (An account of how the notion of chance is introduced by the notion of indeterminate possibility and how it might connect with some accounts of Genesis)



Chapter Ten: The Notion of Creativity (An investigation into the concept of creativity and how various models for the creative act are employed by various thinkers)

Chapter Eleven: Externalism and the Creation of Meaning (An argument that God in creating the world creates new meanings that did not previously exist)



Conclusion

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