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God Over AllDivine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism$
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William Lane Craig

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786887

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786887.001.0001

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Divine Conceptualism

Divine Conceptualism

Chapter:
(p.72) 5 Divine Conceptualism
Source:
God Over All
Author(s):

William Lane Craig

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786887.003.0005

Another version of realism about mathematical objects is considered: divine conceptualism, the view that objects normally taken to be abstract are actually thoughts in the mind of God. Whether conceptualism solves the challenge to divine aseity is unclear, since God’s thoughts seem to be objects not identical to God and must therefore be regarded as created by God, in which case the bootstrapping objection dogging absolute creationism rears its ugly head. Conceptualism can avoid the bootstrapping problem, since the conceptualist can hold that God, prior to His conceiving properties, for example, is as He is without exemplifying properties. While conceptualism holds promise for the theist, a number of worries about the adequacy of divine thoughts as substitutes for abstract objects nonetheless arise. Identifying propositions with God’s thoughts, for example, seems to saddle us with purely private propositions. Taking sets to be God’s collectings seems to violate the Axiom of Extensionality that sets have their members essentially. Such worries, though not knock-down objections, should motivate theists to explore more seriously the wide variety of anti-realist solutions to Platonism’s challenge to divine aseity.

Keywords:   conceptualism, Greg Welty, divine ideas, realism, abstract objects

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