Phil 383 Course Outline

(major sections are in reverse for easier access)


Part Three - Arguments Against the Existence of God

I. The Problem of Evil
       A. Introduction to The Problem of Evil
              1. The Basic Idea
              2. Cause-and-Effect Theodicy
              3. Necessary Connection Theodicy
                     a. Soul-Building Evils
                     b. Free Will Theodicy
       B. The Logical Problem
              1. Mackie’s Argument
                     a. Denying Evil
                     b. Establishing Inconsistency in General
                     c. Are (T) and (E) inconsistent?
                            (i) Some Principles about Good Beings and Evil
                            (ii) Plantinga’s Free Will Theodicy
       C. The Evidential Problem

Part Two - Arguments for the Existence of God

I. Pascal's Wager
II. The Cosmological Argument
       A. Aquinas Second Way
       B. Leibniz's Argument from Sufficient Reason
              1. The Principle of Sufficient Reason
                     a. What PSR Is Not
                     b. Reasons to Think PSR Is True
              2. The Argument
              3. Objections
                     a. Hume's Objection to P3
                     b. Against PSR
III. The Teleological Argument
       A. Paley's Teleological Argument
              1. A Principle about Reasoning
              2. Inference to the Best Explanation
              3. Objections
                     a. The Theory of Evolution
       B. The Fine-Tuning Argument
              1. The Evidence of Apparent Fine-Tuning
              2. Objections
                     a. The Multiple Universes Hypothesis
IV. The Ontological Argument
       A. Introduction to Ontological Arguments
       B. Anselm’s Ontological Argument
              1. The Problem of Negative Existentials
              2. An Anselmian Solution
              3. The Argument
              4. Guanilo’s Lost Isle Objection
              5. The Devil Objection
              6. Kant’s Objection
       C. Plantinga’s Modal Ontological Argument

Part One - The Nature of God: The Divine Attributes and Puzzles Concerning Them

I. A Conception of God: God as the Supreme Being
       A. The Need for a Definition
       B. Some Perfections
       C. Digression: Religion and Ethics
              1. The Divine Command Theory
              2. The Euthyphro Problem
       D. A Working Definition of ‘God’
II. Puzzles about Omnipotence
       A. Four Puzzles
              1. Can God do Evil?
              2. Can God Commit Suicide?
              3. The Paradox of the Stone
              4. Can God Change the Past?
       B. The Thomistic Account of Omnipotence
       C. Aquinas’s Treatment of (1).
       D. Feldman’s Solution.
III. The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge
       A. The Basic Idea
       B. Digression: Modality and Possible Worlds
       C. Five Principles for the Main Argument
              1. KET
              2. DFA
              3. FP
              4. TP
              5. FRP
       D. The Main Argument
       E. Replies

Course Introduction

I. First Day of School
       A. Stuttering
       B. Syllabus
II. What is Philosophy?
       A. Core Areas of Philosophy
              1. Metaphysics
              2. Ethics
              3. Epistemology
              4. Logic
                     a. Deductive Arguments
                     b. Inductive Arguments
                     c. Abductive Arguments
       B. Other Major Areas of Philosophy
              1. History of Philosophy
              2. Philosophy of Language
              3. Philosophy of Mind
              4. Philosophy of Religion