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Divine Ideas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 August 2020

Thomas M. Ward
Baylor University, Texas


This Element defends a version of the classical theory of divine ideas, the containment exemplarist theory of divine ideas. The classical theory holds that God has ideas of all possible creatures, that these ideas partially explain why God's creation of the world is a rational and free personal action, and that God does not depend on anything external to himself for having the ideas he has. The containment exemplarist version of the classical theory holds that God's own nature is the exemplar of all possible creatures, and therefore that God's ideas of possible creatures are in some sense ideas of himself. Containment exemplarism offers a monotheism fit for metaphysics, insofar as it is coherent, simple, and explanatorily powerful; and offers a metaphysics fit for monotheism, insofar as it leaves God truly worthy of the unconditional worship which Christians, along with Jews and Muslims, aspire to offer to God.
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Online ISBN: 9781108876445
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 03 September 2020

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