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From Morality to MetaphysicsThe Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments$
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Angus Ritchie

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199652518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.001.0001

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Purpose Without Theism?

Purpose Without Theism?

Axiarchism and Neoplatonism

(p.178) 8 Purpose Without Theism?
From Morality to Metaphysics

Angus Ritchie

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the axiarchic account advanced by John Leslie and Hugh Rice. Against axiarchism, it argues that the goodness of a state of affairs is something that cries out for an explanation, rather than being something which can be invoked as the explanation. The chapter then evaluates non-axiarchic Neoplatonism — in which a non-personal power is postulated as the cause of good states of affairs. It argues that such a view would close the ‘explanatory gap’ described in Chapter 2, but not in as satisfying a way as theism.

Keywords:   axiarchism, teleological explanation, Rice, Leslie, theism, neoplatonism

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