Necessary Existence

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2018 - Concrete (Philosophy) - 223 pages
Necessary Existence breaks ground on one of the deepest questions anyone ever asks: why is there anything? The classic answer is in terms of a necessary foundation. Yet, why think that is the correct answer? Pruss and Rasmussen present an original defence of the hypothesis that there is aconcrete necessary being capable of providing a foundation for the existence of things. They offer six main arguments divided into six chapters. The first argument is an up-to-date presentation and assessment of a traditional causal-based argument from contingency. The next five arguments are new"possibility-based" arguments that make use of twentieth century advances in modal logic. The arguments present possible pathways to an intriguing and far-reaching conclusion. The final chapter answers the most challenging objection to the existence of necessary things.Other books on the subject focus almost exclusively on critiquing or revitalizing one or more traditional cosmological or ontological arguments. Or they engage in examining the latest arguments for a distinctively theistic explanation of contingent reality. Pruss and Rasmussen develop entirely newlines of inquiry. And they appeal to a broader audience by relating the question to contemporary issues in cosmology and ontology, without proposing or critiquing a particular theological perspective. Their book will be of value to anyone whose interests intersect with the classic issue of necessaryexistence.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Metaphysical Possibility and Necessity
11
An Argument from Contingency
33
An Argument from Possible Causes
69
From Possible Causes II
93
From Modal Uniformity
110
From Necessary Abstracta to Necessary Concreta
126
The Argument from Perfections
150
Arguments against a Necessary Being
173
A Slew of Arguments
195
Bibliography
209
Index
217
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About the author (2018)


Alexander R. Pruss is Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, working in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, formal epistemology, philosophy of mathematics, and applied ethics. His previous books include One Body (Notre Dame 2012), Actuality, Possibility and Worlds (Continuum 2011), and The Principle of Sufficient Reason (Cambridge 2006). He holds Ph.D.s in both philosophy and mathematics.

Joshua L. Rasmussen is a research professor of philosophy at Azusa Pacific University. He specializes in analytic metaphysics, with interests in mind and philosophy of religion. He is the author of Defending the Correspondence Theory of Truth (Cambridge 2014) and the founder of Worldview Design, which helps people use reason to address the big question of life.

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