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Wm Lane Craig's New Paper On Abstract Objects


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Not sure how many people will care about the new paper by our chum, Wm. Lane Craig. It's in a collection of essays about the problem, how to square the existence of Abstract Objects (thoughts, propositions, mathematical terms, etc.) with God's "aseity" - i.e. with the doctrine that NOTHING except God exists independently, i.e. NOTHING exists independently of God the creator.

Wm. Hasker's review begins:

"For theistically-minded philosophers, the problem of God and abstract objects has been heating up. The problem is motivated by an inconsistent triad of propositions, nicely formulated by Greg Welty:

1. Abstract objects (AOs) exist.

2. If AOs exist, they are dependent on God.

3. If AOs exist, they are independent of God
."


Here is Hasker's summary and evaluation of Brother Bill's paper:

" ... there is the objection that the view [that propositions need not depend on God] compromises the doctrine of creation and, ultimately, theism itself.

That objection is urged most emphatically by Craig, drawing upon Scripture (I Cor. 8:6, Rom. 11:36, Jn. 1:1), the Nicene Creed ("maker of . . . all things visible and invisible"), and patristic tradition. His project here is to defend "anti-platonism," the view that the platonic horde simply does not exist. Craig is not firmly committed to anti-platonism, but he thinks it deserves more consideration than it usually receives. His defense has two main prongs: first, the use of referring expressions and existential statements do not in general necessitate serious metaphysical commitment to the kinds of objects mentioned. And second, when we do find ourselves referring to abstract entities (as in mathematics), that reference can be given a fictionalist interpretation. Both these claims, however, fall short of making a full case for the anti-platonist position. While no particular linguistic expression may as such require full ontological commitment, we must sooner or later say something that commits us ontologically, and the question is whether we won't in the end need to be committed to abstract entities. With fictionalism there is the problem, noted by Yandell, of where the fictions will end. If we are not satisfied with "fictions all the way down," we must eventually come to saying something that is seriously intended as true -- and what will that something be? Now, Craig can't be expected to say everything in a brief piece, so this is hardly a severe criticism. I think it could be an important contribution to the discussion if Craig were to mount a full-scale (perhaps book-length) defense of his preferred version of anti-platonism
."

 

Here's the link to the review:

 

http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/49198-beyond-the-control-of-god-six-views-on-the-problem-of-god-and-abstract-objects/

 

Buy the book today!!  Its title is Beyond the Control of God?: Six Views on the Problem of God and Abstract Objects

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