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IdealismNew Essays in Metaphysics$
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Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746973.001.0001

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Explanation, Idealism, and Design

Explanation, Idealism, and Design

(p.231) 14 Explanation, Idealism, and Design

Daniel Greco

Oxford University Press

The aim of this chapter is twofold. First, it shows how versions of physicalism, dualism, and idealism can be formulated as theses about grounding, or metaphysical explanation, rather than as more straightforwardly ontological theses concerning what exists. Second, it argues that this reformulation provides a helpful lens through which to look at arguments in the philosophy of religion. In particular, traditional versions of theism are naturally understood as versions of idealism, once idealism is understood as a thesis about grounding. The chapter goes on to argue that once theism is seen as a version of idealism, theistic arguments from design—in particular, fine-tuning arguments—can be seen to have a limitation that is otherwise easy to overlook. Such arguments can be understood as aiming to convince, not just the atheist, but the physicalist and/or dualist. And this turns out to be harder than one might have thought.

Keywords:   idealism, physicalism, dualism, grounding, theism, arguments from design, fine-tuning arguments

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