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Reply to Cameron

  • PAUL SHEEHY (a1)
  • In response to commentaries on:


Ross Cameron has argued that the modal realism of David Lewis furnishes the theist with the resources to explain divine necessity. Cameron is successful in identifying two theistic strategies, but neither is attractive in light of a commitment to modal realism. The first theistic strategy is to treat God as an abstract entity in the same way that the modal realist treats pure sets. This is undermotivated in light of the nominalistic spirit of modal realism. The second strategy is to regard God as enjoying trans-world identity because the divine nature can possess no accidental intrinsic properties. This approach raises a problem of how one is to understand the notion of actuality.



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1. Sheehy, PaulTheism and modal realism’, Religious Studies, 42 (2006), 315328; Cameron, Ross P.God exists at every (modal realist) world: response to Sheehy’, Religious Studies, 45 (2009), 95100.

2. David Lewis distinguishes these three relations an individual can stand in to a world in Philosophical Papers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 39–40, and in his On the Plurality of Worlds (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), 96. (All following in-text references are to the latter work.)

3. Sheehy ‘Theism and modal realism’, 319.

4. C.f. the discussion in On the Plurality of Worlds, 3–5, in which Lewis draws a comparison between the mathematical paradise afforded by set theory and possible-worlds theory.


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