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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

Chapter:
(p.178) 8 Purpose Without Theism?
Source:
From Morality to Metaphysics
Author(s):

Angus Ritchie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.003.0009

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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