Incommensurability, incomparability, and God’s choice of a world
- Klaas J. Kraay
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Anselmian theism holds that there necessarily exists a being, God, who is essentially unsurpassable in power, knowledge, goodness, and wisdom. This being is also understood to be the creator and sustainer of all that is. In contemporary analytic philosophy of religion, this role is generally understood as follows: God surveys the array of possible worlds, and in his wisdom selects exactly one for actualization, based on its axiological properties. In this paper, I discuss an under-appreciated challenge for this account of the Anselmian God’s selection of a world. In particular, I urge that there are failures of comparability between various possible worlds, and I argue that, given certain assumptions, these failures threaten the rationality of God’s choice of a world. To the extent that rationality is deemed necessary for unsurpassability, this result also challenges the core Anselmian notion that God is an unsurpassable being.
- Adam, C., & Tannery, P. (1970). Oeuvres de Descartes (Vol. 7). Paris: J. Vrin.
- Adams, R. (1972) Must God create the best?. Philosophical Review 81: pp. 317-332 CrossRef
- Almeida, M. (forthcoming). Theistic modal realism. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, 3.
- Blumenfeld, D. (1975) Is the best world possible?. Journal of Philosophy 84: pp. 163-177
- Blumenfeld, D. Perfection and happiness in the best possible world. In: Jolley, N. eds. (1994) The Cambridge companion to Leibniz. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 382-410
- Chang, R. (1997) Incommensurability, incomparability, and rational choice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge
- Flint, T. (1983) The problem of divine freedom. American Philosophical Quarterly 20: pp. 255-264
- Grover, S. (1998) Incommensurability and the best of all possible worlds. The Monist 81: pp. 648-668
- Guleserian, T. (1983) God and possible worlds, the modal problem of evil. Nous 17: pp. 221-238 CrossRef
- Hsieh, N. (2007). Incommensurable values. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/value-incommensurable/.
- Kraay, K. (2005) William L. Rowe’s a priori argument for atheism. Faith and Philosophy 22: pp. 211-234
- Kraay, K. (2008) Creation, world-actualization, and God’s choice among possible worlds. Philosophy Compass 3: pp. 854-872 CrossRef
- Kraay, K. Can God choose a world at random?. In: Wielenberg, E., Nagasawa, Y. eds. (2008) New waves in philosophy of religion. Palgrave MacMillan, Houndsmills, pp. 22-35
- Langtry, B. (2008) God, the best, and evil. Oxford University Press, Oxford CrossRef
- Leibniz, G. W. (1989). Discourse on metaphysics correspondence with Arnauld and mondology [G. Montgomery, Trans.]. La Salle: Open Court.
- Mann, W. The best of all possible worlds. In: MacDonald, S. eds. (1991) Being and goodness. Cornell University Press, Cornell, pp. 250-277
- Morris, T. (1987) Anselmian explorations: Essays in philosophical theology. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame
- Raz, J. (1986) The morality of freedom. Clarendon Press, Oxford
- Rowe, W. (2004) Can God be free?. Oxford University Press, Oxford
- Strickland, L. (2006) God’s problem of multiple choice. Religious Studies 42: pp. 141-157 CrossRef
- Incommensurability, incomparability, and God’s choice of a world
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Volume 69, Issue 2 , pp 91-102
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Possible world
- Trichotomy thesis
- Klaas J. Kraay (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B2K3, Canada