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Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume IExploring and Evaluating the Debate$
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William J. Abraham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786504.001.0001

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Exiting the Court of the Gentiles by Plundering the Athenians

Exiting the Court of the Gentiles by Plundering the Athenians

Chapter:
(p.88) 6 Exiting the Court of the Gentiles by Plundering the Athenians
Source:
Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume I
Author(s):

William J. Abraham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198786504.003.0006

In this chapter the author argues that a closed concept of human action is not available. Nearly all the thinkers under consideration in the previous chapters have subtly assumed that a closed concept of human action is needed for understanding divine action. Instead, the author argues that the concept of action is an open concept, that is, that while there are various sufficient conditions there are no necessary conditions for actions. The concept of action is more like the concept of “event” or “thing” than it is like the concept of a triangle or a chair. The author sketches the implications of this change in perspective for understanding divine action.

Keywords:   closed concept, open concept, divine action, epistemology, metaphysics, Donald Davidson, philosophy

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