The modal problem of creatio ex nihilo

  • Pao-Shen HoEmail author


I first provide an interpretation of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo based on the Fourth Lateran Council, according to which God creates from nothing if and only if God creates everything except God Himself. I then show that this doctrine entails the modal problem that it is both possible and not possible that there is nothing at all except God, or alternatively, that it is both necessary and not necessary that there is something else besides God. I proceed to examine several proposals to solve the problem, and find them all inadequate. Therefore, I conclude that creatio ex nihilo violates modal logic and is necessarily false.


Creatio ex nihilo Modality Divine freedom Divine omnipotence 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySoochow UniversitySuzhou CityChina

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