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Daniel Greco

I'm quite sympathetic to Vallier's thought. For physicalists (I count myself one), God isn't apt to be the ultimate explanation of being. That's because, even if God created the universe by an act of will, that fact couldn't be where explanation ends, because facts about acts of will, being mental facts, aren't apt to be ungrounded. I wrote about this in a recent volume on idealism:


Eric Schliesser

Hi Daniel,
Yes, voluntarist theology generates all kinds of concerns about grounding (which is why it is an unstable position--Leibniz exploits this in his debates with the Newtonians.)
Platonizing metaphysics (constrained by PSR) generally don't have this problem because they tend to conceive of God's acts of creation as emanations from his essence or being. And then creation is properly grounded.
That whole volume looks exciting!

Daniel L Greco

I'm not sure I agree that the platonizing theist escapes the problem, if she's also a physicalist. Are facts about God's essence mental facts? E.g., facts about what God values? I don't know, but if so, I think you still get the problem.

Eric Schliesser

I think the natural habitat of a Platonizing theist is not really physicalism (in so far as the physical is a lesser reality than the spiritual.) But Samuel Clarke faced the problem (this is in 1704 so not during his more famous exchange with Leibnz) and claimed that the facts about God's essence have to bottom out in the nature of necessity.
One aside, I think a platonizing theist will be rather cautious about making any claims about what, if anything, God values. But I don't have authority to speak on their behalf!:)

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