Friday, August 18, 2017

Five Proofs is out (Updated)


UPDATE 8/22: Some readers will be interested to learn that Ignatius Press is now offering an electronic version of the book.

My new book Five Proofs of the Existence of God is now available.  You can order it from Amazon or direct from Ignatius Press.  Brandon Vogt, friend of this blog and creator of the Strange Notions website, is kindly hosting a Q and A about the book at the site. 

Here’s the book’s back cover copy:

This book provides a detailed, updated exposition and defense of five of the historically most important (but in recent years largely neglected) philosophical proofs of God's existence: the Aristotelian, the Neo-Platonic, the Augustinian, the Thomistic, and the Rationalist.

It also offers a thorough treatment of each of the key divine attributes – unity, simplicity, eternity, omnipotence, omniscience, perfect goodness, and so forth – showing that they must be possessed by the God whose existence is demonstrated by the proofs. Finally, it answers at length all of the objections that have been leveled against these proofs.

This work provides as ambitious and complete a defense of traditional natural theology as is currently in print.  Its aim is to vindicate the view of the greatest philosophers of the past – thinkers like Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, Leibniz, and many others – that the existence of God can be established with certainty by way of purely rational arguments. It thereby serves as a refutation both of atheism and of the fideism that gives aid and comfort to atheism.

“A watershed book.  Feser has completely severed the intellectual legs upon which modern atheism had hoped to stand.”  

- Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

“A powerful and important book. The concluding chapter, where Feser replies to possible objections to his arguments, is a gem; it alone is worth the price of this excellent work.” 

- Stephen T. Davis, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

“Edward Feser is widely recognized as a top scholar in the history of philosophy in general, and in Thomistic and Aristotelian philosophy in particular.  This book is a must-read for anyone interested in natural theology.  I happily and highly recommend it.” 

- J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University 

“Refutes with devastating effect the standard objections to theistic proofs, from David Hume to the New Atheists.”

- Robert C. Koons, Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin

“Yet another fine book by Edward Feser.  He replies to (literally) all of the objections and shows convincingly how the most popular objections (the kind one hears in Introduction to Philosophy courses) are very often completely beside the point and, even when they’re not, are ‘staggeringly feeble and overrated’.

- Alfred J. Freddoso, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

You can find more information about the book here

269 comments:

  1. Amazon has it classified as: Books > Religion & Spirituality > Atheism. Cool! 🙂

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  2. I've ordered it. Looking forward to it!

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  3. I've ordered it too. Looking forward to it! Congratulations, Ed!

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  4. Preordered this awhile back, so awaiting it eagerly. Very few people have changed my mind as much as our host. When I first started reading this blog, I was pretty hostile, but now I'm pretty much with our host here on every significant philosophical issue, though it took David Bentley Hart's slightly different perspective on classical theism to help me see what our host was saying. I am a more confident and serene Christian, and I hope this book will bring even more clarity.

    I hope you expand a bit in the book on what Classical philosophers mean by will and intellect. I've said before that, to modern ears, saying that God is personal in the sense that he has will and intellect makes God seem like a cross between Hitler and computer.

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  5. Amazon saying my expected delivery is between 12th Sep - 9th Oct!!! Should have pre ordered in July!

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    1. Publishing this book looks like a bit of a shit show. I ordered the book from Book Depository and they don't have it yet, with no indication they will anytime soon. Amazon.ca lists the book with publishing date Aug 18, but says the book is only available for pre-order. Ignatius says they have it in stock (do they?), but want to add the price of the book on top of the price of the book to ship it to Canada.

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    2. Ignatius says they have it in stock (do they?),

      Yes, they do.

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    3. Looks like the publisher site is the go to place for American readers then. People elsewhere will have to wait, I guess.

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    4. I pre-ordered! By two months, still haven't gotten it.

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    5. I don't think Amazon is to blame here. Some publishers require Amazon to delay selling the book, so that the publisher (in this case, Ignatius Press) gets first crack. I believe that is the case here. I pre-ordered from Amazon a month or so, and got the same delaying tactics after the publication date (Aug. 18). So I cancelled that order and ordered directly from Ignatius (for a slightly lower price, including shipping, than what Amazon was charging), and the book was shipped the next day. I? expect it to show up early next week. Order from Ignatius, not Amazon!

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    1. There should be a "Tell The Publisher" link (with an image of a Kindle) at the Amazon page. Just click that to tell them you request such.

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    2. The physicist Luke Barnes? As in Fortune Universe Luke Barnes?

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    3. Yup, thats him! He's a Feser fan :)

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    4. Just bought a copy today on kindle, in case you folks were interested.

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  7. Hello,
    I will certainly buy the book, I just have one quick question. Does your theory of time matter to these arguments? That is, I haven't made up my mind between the A-theory or the B-theory, does it matter? Can I affirm these arguments on both the A and B theory of time? Thank you and I look forward to buying the book either way.

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    1. Theory of time is irrelevant to Rationalist proof which is to do with explanation, Augustinian proof which is to do with grounding realism about universals like numbers etc has nothing to do with either theory of time. Feser addressed before the compatibility of the Thomistic proof with B theory as well as A theory. The Neo-Platonic proof is concerned with composite things needing grounding by something simple. That argument too works atemporally as it does temporally. So at least 4 of the 5 don't. I haven't read the book yet as a disclaimer! Buy the book!

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    2. Hmmm...one interesting thing that I've been thinking about is how powerful the classical arguments for God really are.

      One situation that really interests me is a Steady-State model of the universe where matter is constantly created out of nothing in order to keep the universe stable. Such a model of the universe would explain the appearence of new matter out of nothing by stating a new law of physics that removes the laws of thermodynamics from acting on a global scale, and would thus explain how something could come from nothing without appealing to God as an explanation. It would also be able to explain the constant conservation of matter without appealing to God for it.

      Would any of the proofs for the existence of God work in such a universe where the laws of nature do indeed describe the creation of matter out of nothing without God, as well as it's conservation?

      Such a universe isn't just proposed my contemporary steady-state proponents; cosmologists who believe in the multiverse theory say that the multiverse could end up creating a variety of different universes with different laws, including one where matter is constantly created out of nothing. So what I am really interested in is in knowing mostly whether or not the Thomistic or existential proof of Aquinas would still suffice to ground God even in such a scenario.

      The Augustinian argument might be untouched by a Steady-State model of the universe, as it's appeal to universals seems to make the cosmology of any universe irrelevant.

      The Rationalist proof might or might not work, as we would have matter constantly popping into existence; though the reason that happens is because the laws of nature are such that it happens. The Aristotelian proof might or might not be refuted by a Steady-State model; though act and potency might still be real as the reason new matter is created is because the laws of physics are such that it happens. The Neo-Platonic proof, I also am not sure about.

      But what do you think? If, for the sake of the argument, a Steady-State model of the universe where the laws of physics describe matter constantly coming into existence out of nothing were true, how would this impact the various proofs for God? And what proofs would be solid even in Steady-State model of the universe? This might also have strong implications for certain proofs, as it would reveal the strenght and elasticity and wide application of the arguments for God.

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    3. Does your theory of time matter to these arguments?

      No, for the purposes of any of the arguments, one can bracket that question off. I do address that question in detail in the philosophy of nature book I am currently writing.

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    4. Dr. Feser,

      Just one question, if you don't mind.


      You stated multiple times that Aristotelian metaphysics does not depend on any discoveries in natural science.

      Whatever the universe ultimately turns out to be, A-T metaphysics can easily adopt it and the arguments can run with it.

      What about the Steady-State model of the universe as advanced by people like Grunbaum?

      The contemporary steady state model states that matter is constantly being created out of nothing in the universe in order to keep it stable.

      Such a model purports to explain the creation of matter out of nothing according to new laws of physics without appealing to God.

      This could also be applied to the whole universe as such, for if matter is constantly being created out of nothing due to the laws of physics, then one does NOT need to appeal to God to answer the question of why the universe doesn't blink out of existence.

      It would turn out that matter is constantly being created out of nothing, without a supernatural cause, and appeals to God as an explanation of the conservation of the universe from collapsing into nothigness would disappear.

      Now the steady state models may vary, with some simply saying that empty space has the property of creating new things spontaneously (which isn't actually completely nothing), while other models state that matter is created from absolute nothigness according to certain laws.

      In both cases, do you think A-T metaphysics would still be completely fine, or would such a discovery have negative consequences for the traditional arguments for the existence of God.

      Kind regards,

      JoeD

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    5. Now the steady state models may vary, with some simply saying that empty space has the property of creating new things spontaneously (which isn't actually completely nothing), while other models state that matter is created from absolute nothigness according to certain laws.

      The second version "from absolutely nothing" could not possibly be substantiated as a scientific theory. The best they could possibly do is say that it "comes from nothing we have so far identified". To verify it experimentally, they would have to have absolutely nothing, and then observe material things come to be. But of course, since they themselves are material things, they can't perform that experiment.

      And, (though this gets into philosophy of science), it becomes necessary to ask: if it is impossible even in theory to verify or falsify that "it comes from absolutely nothing", is it truly a SCIENTIFIC theory, or is it just a prejudiced postulate?

      Not to mention the question of whether in saying "it comes from absolutely nothingness according to certain laws" whether the "according to certain laws" is actually just per se contradicting the "absolutely nothing". (Or, what amounts to much the same thing, whether in that case whether "from absolutely nothing" is just begging the question.)

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    6. I agree.

      It seems that the steady state model could at most only prove that empty space can create things out of nothing.

      Even if empty space were such that it only rarely produced something, and did so for no apparent reason, we would still have something; namely empty space which produces something in some way or another, be it randomly or with periodic constancy.

      And what's interesting is that even this state of empty space would still have an essence, and thus it too would require having existence added to it.

      I think even time itself has an essence as well, and would need something to compose it with existence.

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    7. Hi,
      Glad someone brought this issue of time up as I think this is really important , I am not familiar with most arguments of this book and as another user points out that 4 of 5 arguments seems to be irrelevant to time( though that might turn out to be mistaken) but I think the first argument of this book rests entirely on a particular theory of time ( at least much of its force is diminished if that theory is rejected) ..
      I had just recently had opportunity to read his book "Scholastic Metaphysics" and it seems obvious that the truth of theory of act/potency rests on his particular conception of change which is neither well described nor well defended. just like the book Aquinas , this book never clearly describes what he really mean by change, not much definition or conceptual analysis of what change is or what is it for X to change ,
      And just like in Aquinas, when the term change is used, most of the time its a bit misleading because it seems to me what he is talking about is not change at all or at least not change per se , rather the sense of change he is trying to convey is captured through the concept of becoming or ontological change it is this special kind of change he is mostly talking about( or wants to talk about the way I read him) and when it comes to defending the reality of change against SR and other criticisms he only defends the weaker notion of change but that defense is hardly interesting because no one, I think denies that . it is the reality of objective becoming that is at issue and which is needed for theory of act/potency to go through and it is left undefended against any of those criticisms..

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    8. Now it seems becoming necessarily involves change but change need not involve becoming. Change itself is a sort of variation across time, if there is some succession of events there is change, but nothing about this require or involves one to postulate some potential existents or believe in absolute becoming of the sort I describe below And again I think very few people would deny the reality of this sort of change.
      on the other hand becoming is a kind of change when ontology of the world ( or what exists in the world ) itself changes with time. there is a difference objective fact of the matter (relative to every time) on what exits, its only if one assumes that change involves this sort of change, the theory of act and potency goes through. Otherwise it makes no sense to say that existence of my grandchildren is merely potential right now any more than my own existence is merely potential at Scotland, in the latter case I just don't exist there and in the former they just don't exist at this time .
      So if I am right here then it seems that this argument presupposes the particular theory of times termed as Presentism,Transientism or Temporaryism or maybe Growing block ( those theories that try to capture objective becoming in their account) and none of this has been defended. He says that one can't deny change and avoid incoherence because the denier itself undergoes change but same can not be said in the case of becoming because it would be question begging to assert that in the process of denying objective becoming one himself objectively becomes something.
      so like wise it would be question begging to assert that in process of denying act/potency one undergoes a transition from potentiality to actuality.
      similarly the case of SR I think, is handled badly because only the weaker notion of change which itself isn't that much relevant to the argument as it appears to me, is defended which again is very uninteresting because No one denies that sort of change in the name of relativity.
      The reason why SR seems directly to falsifies Act/Potency I think is this (I am sorry if I am badly misunderstanding act/potency or relativity at least it would help me get better grasp of it )

      If act/potency is true then only things that are actual are the things that exist now(otherwise how do we pick out potential things from actual things?) but what exists now is simultaneous with my typing(or your reading) this so what is actual are all the things that are simultaneous with my typing this(or your reading this) right now but assuming relativity, what is simultaneous with my typing this is relative to the frame of reference. So all this has a consequence that what is actual is relative to the frame of reference but that would be a crazy thing to suggest. so act/potency is false .

      So if I am right then the critics have a good response of at least the first argument , the extant to which it affects other would be how much they depend on notion of becoming. some of them seem pretty interesting as they are novel to me. And again I am sorry if this is based on just gross misunderstandings..

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    9. Another thing I want to talk about is related to the Augustinian proof, Do you engage with Divine Simplicity being incompatible with any kind of realist views. like Philosophers Michael Bergmann and Jeffrey Brower argue in their defense of DDS that it is incompatible with any and all kinds of Realism be it Platonic realism, Aristotelian realism, Immanent realism, Augustinian realism or even Trope nominalism . its interesting how your argument would proceed in light of that..

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    10. Please don't take my comments as being finished arguments, they are just working ideas that I am trying to bounce off smart people. With that said, here are some thoughts -
      http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/2760/1/ReaTimePTS.pdf As well as - https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1407/1407.7243.pdf Still working through this and some other papers, but it seems to me that that the relativity objection is severely weakened if one doesn't subscribe to verificationism. Also, waiting on Maudlin's second volume of his "New Foundations Series" in which he claims to vindicate change while preserving the equations of SR by using a non-standard topology.
      Finally (and I am aware that the word causation is itself a controversial term for which I am not prepared to give a full length examination of), I think causation might at least open the door to something like arguments from change in the B-theory. Even should tenseless relations hold between space-time foliations, it doesn't seem to follow that the changes between frames lack causes. A simple example would be that there are changes between the years of 1992 and 1994, namely that I was not walking the earth in 92 but was in 94. On a minimal understanding of the B-theory, 92 and 94 have equal ontological status, but I don't exist within 92 in the same way and this change is explained by my mother getting pregnant and giving birth etc. So the changes between years might themselves not have ever been truly "present" but the changes aren't without causes. Something changed about the world between 92 and 94 (my birth) and that change was brought about by my parents, even though the B-theorist would deny that those changes were ever uniquely present. So, I think that even if B-theory tense-relations hold between moments, the changes/differences in those moments still involve causation. My mother's potential for pregnancy didn't actualize itself (unless you are prepared to believe in virgin births) etc. So, if if we start with something like this (but obviously more thoroughly thought out) can't we make some kind of argument from changes? If not, what seems to be the problem?
      Please forgive any structure errors, I posted this from a phone.

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    11. Red, we've talked about this before, but I think you are still bringing some pretty big misunderstandings to this subject. I think you’ve misread him, but I’ll leave Feser’s analysis of change aside. Part of the problem is that your definitions and assumptions seem to be all over the place. Exactly which philosophers are you drawing upon for your understanding of time and change? You don’t have to stick with Feser for everything, If you think something is undeveloped, you could always look at what other thomists or aristotleans have to say about change and see if that tracks with what Feser says, but you don’t seem to have done so.
      Anyways, your fundamental issue is that you are confusing theories of time with theories of persistence. You seem to be talking about substantial change, where one substance goes out of existence and another comes into existence, or if you want to make it more friendly to b-theory, a substance fails to persist and is replaced by another substance. This can clearly occur under b-theory- i.e an acorn becomes an oak tree. We would still need act/potency under eternalism because the acorn has to have something about it that lets it turn into an oak tree instead of something else and there has to be something that acts upon the acorn to make it an oak tree. In other words, we still need a causal series that has to be explained, and we can still trace this causation back to God. Eternalism also doesn’t seem that relevant to the cosmological argument since it the argument is concerned with vertical causation not horizontal causation. God doesn’t cause things temporally like we do.

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    12. Red, you have had your points addressed several times by different contributors, here and on the classical theism forum. Some things at least don't seem to change.

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    13. In other words, you have to deny something like causal relations or dispositions and combine that with eternalism to make your objection work.

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    14. Sorry, that last part should read that you have to deny something like causal relations or dispositions and combine it with eternalism plus four-dimensionalism to work.

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    15. Hello CZ.
      your fundamental issue is that you are confusing theories of time with theories of persistence. You seem to be talking about substantial change, where one substance goes out of existence and another comes into existence, or if you want to make it more friendly to b-theory, a substance fails to persist and is replaced by another substance.

      well I don't know where you are getting that idea from I have clearly defined what I mean by change and it would apply to both substantial and accidental change. I haven't talked anywhere in above post about somethings going out of existence and coming into existence (at least that is not whats emphasized ), what I was talking about was that any kind of potency in the world would require that objective becoming is real ( I mean that if you make list of things that exist , that itself would change with passage of time or what actual world is itself change with time) otherwise it makes no sense to talk about X being merely potentially existing before being actualized.
      And sure I wouldn't disagree with what you say about change on B-theory(thought notice the stark difference between ontological foundations of friendly and unfriendly accounts, this is important I think). but what I where I think you're mistaken is
      i.e an acorn becomes an oak tree. We would still need act/potency under eternalism because the acorn has to have something about it that lets it turn into an oak tree instead of something else and there has to be something that acts upon the acorn to make it an oak tree.
      Like I have said any distinction here between actually existing and potentially existing makes no sense because it makes no sense to say that acorn is actually existing and oak tree is potentially existing as they both are equally actual . and as I've argued above act/potency seems false because it leads to solipsism.

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    16. In other words, we still need a causal series that has to be explained, and we can still trace this causation back to God
      Sure, but if we're talking about explanations now then that turns this into a totally different cosmological argument which is irrelevant to the argument from change.

      Eternalism also doesn’t seem that relevant to the cosmological argument since it the argument is concerned with vertical causation not horizontal causation. God doesn’t cause things temporally like we do.
      Sure I don't deny that there could be a sound cosmological argument under any theory of time , but the whole First way or Aristotelian proof is based on alleged existence of change of some kind which if rejected , damages the argument. even if Second way (proof from efficient causation) and leibniz style arguments might seem to be untouched .

      you have to deny something like causal relations or dispositions and combine it with eternalism plus four-dimensionalism to work.
      Well one doesn't have to be a complete eliminativist about causation but It seems causal relations are much like what Humean or semi-Humean accounts say. As for the dispositionalism first I would say that one would need to some how reformulate the argument as like I have tried to argue above the kind of change or motion Thomists want do not exist so one would need to reword Thomistic causal principle to not talk about that type of motion at all and only emphasize the role dispositions play in causal processes , how could that be done?
      And secondly , I do think dispositionalism goes out of the window if one accepts Eternalism see this paper below , Its very short thats why I am linking the paper itself

      http://www.academia.edu/29444459/Barring_dispositionalists_from_eternity

      finally I would like to talk about this
      Red, you have had your points addressed several times by different contributors, here and on the classical theism forum. Some things at least don't seem to change.
      Well I was told there to read this book to understand what act/potency is and what change is but it seems that they aren't described that well here too , and much of the puzzles still remain. So what should I do? , its specially puzzling why the concept of change isn't analysed in detail given the importance it have in the arguments.

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    17. well I don't know where you are getting that idea from I have clearly defined what I mean by change and it would apply to both substantial and accidental change.

      I was actually doing the opposite and criticizing you for not clearly defining your terms. Since this is a discussion about philosophy, it would be a good idea (standard practice, really) to define your terms before proceeding further in order to avoid confusion. So when you say…

      what I was talking about was that any kind of potency in the world would require that objective becoming is real ( I mean that if you make list of things that exist , that itself would change with passage of time or what actual world is itself change with time)

      Your objections in previous posts were based on the denial of accidental and substantial change. You are still talking about substantial and accidental change. These two terms are specifically referred to as by the paper you cited below (via generation and corruption), but you lack an understanding of basic terms and definitions for this debate and can’t even recognize it. The only real development is that you are now adding modality and possiblism/actualism to the mix without actually stating that you are doing so. The notion of temporal becoming is incredibly vague and seems to be ripped out of wikipedia. It’s only by virtue of the paper you cited that I know what you mean, and even then it’s still an educated guess. You’d save yourself and everyone else a lot of trouble if you used basic philosophical terms.

      Like I have said any distinction here between actually existing and potentially existing makes no sense because it makes no sense to say that acorn is actually existing and oak tree is potentially existing as they both are equally actual . and as I've argued above act/potency seems false because it leads to solipsism.

      Under eternalism, all I have to do is say that an acorn exists at T1 and is actualized into an oak tree at T2. Act and potency allows me to make this distinction. Causal powers are actual with respect to something that has them (at T1, T2, and T3, etc.) and potential with respect to their objects. For example, I have the potential to learn Chinese at T1 even I never actually do so at T2 or T3. Pretty basic stuff. The whole actualism/possiblism debate is a separate topic.

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    18. Sure, but if we're talking about explanations now then that turns this into a totally different cosmological argument which is irrelevant to the argument from change.

      I said that act and potency are necessary to explain or understand change. Tracing motion back to God is the cosmological argument.

      Well one doesn't have to be a complete eliminativist about causation but It seems causal relations are much like what Humean or semi-Humean accounts say.

      This is pure assertion on your part, and if this is what you actually believe, then this is your real objection to the argument from motion. Theories of time have little to do with these theories of causation.

      As for the dispositionalism first I would say that one would need to some how reformulate the argument as like I have tried to argue above the kind of change or motion Thomists want do not exist so one would need to reword Thomistic causal principle to not talk about that type of motion at all and only emphasize the role dispositions play in causal processes , how could that be done

      It’s been months and you still don’t understand the Thomist account of change as I demonstrated above. You don’t understand what Feser is doing in Scholastic Metaphysics either, as he is arguing against four-dimensionalism. This is an argument about change and persistence, not an account of “temporal becoming” as can be seen by the philosphers he references (Sider, Odeberg, etc.). Your newest depends on a number of controversial claims about time, change, persistence, causation and modality and I am not inclined to follow you down that rabbit hole.

      And secondly , I do think dispositionalism goes out of the window if one accepts Eternalism see this paper below , Its very short thats why I am linking the paper itself

      I don’t find this a compelling argument, and I don’t like it when someone uses another person’s paper to argue on their behalf. Maybe you’ll get lucky and someone with more knowledge about the subject can comment on it.

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    19. First lets sort this sort of stuff out..
      I was actually doing the opposite and criticizing you for not clearly defining your terms. Since this is a discussion about philosophy, it would be a good idea (standard practice, really) to define your terms before proceeding further in order to avoid confusion
      ...The notion of temporal becoming is incredibly vague and seems to be ripped out of wikipedia.
      ...You’d save yourself and everyone else a lot of trouble if you used basic philosophical terms.

      Well I had exactly defined my terms in the comment it specifically it contains the definition for what change is or Becoming is and they are hardly original to me , the notion of becoming is pretty standard one in Philosophy of time, something like this goes at least(AFAIK) back to C.D Broad's commentary on Mctaggart's argument. so I would be hardly surprised if its present on Wikipedia. so this accusation of yours that I haven't defined terms is pretty groundless.

      Your objections in previous posts were based on the denial of accidental and substantial change. You are still talking about substantial and accidental change. These two terms are specifically referred to as by the paper you cited below (via generation and corruption), but you lack an understanding of basic terms and definitions for this debate and can’t even recognize it.

      What? where exactly I have denied accidental and substantial change? Now once again I am going to have to request you to define what you yourself mean by change, I have tried to do this several times previously but you never comply.
      How how is that Paper supposed to be relevant to what I have said about change? it is instead linked in response to your claims that Disposition can be used to ground or explain modal facts like why acorn grows into oak and not something else and that Eternalism has no bearing on dispositionalism.

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    20. Under eternalism, all I have to do is say that an acorn exists at T1 and is actualized into an oak tree at T2. Act and potency allows me to make this distinction.
      See, there, right there is the Problem I have been talking about You're using the word actualized at T2 as if the oak wasn't actual before T2 ,which is not the case on Eternalism

      Allow me to explain further.

      Causal powers are actual with respect to something that has them (at T1, T2, and T3, etc.) and potential with respect to their objects. For example, I have the potential to learn Chinese at T1 even I never actually do so at T2 or T3. Pretty basic stuff.
      Ok I will try to explain why it seems that you can't use powers like that to ground claims like that on Eternalism , this exactly is what the upshot of that paper is.
      In the above example where you have the state of affairs of your learning Chinese .Here , on Eternalism, there is no need to talk about your ever having potential to learn Chinese because objects and properties involved in the state of affairs of your learning Chinese are already captured by our Semantics for actual portion of reality. which mean that ,you can take any time in the history of the world and quantify over (or simply make a list of) things that exist actually and it will contain your learning or not learning Chinese.

      So claims like I have potential to learn Chinese or Acorn have potential to grow into an oak do not track particularly interesting metaphysical principles , On Eternalism , they are more like saying that I am expecting that the history of the world is such that it contains my learning Chinese or I that acorn grows into an oak. And this I think answers this claim of yours
      that
      ...This is pure assertion on your part, and if this is what you actually believe, then this is your real objection to the argument from motion. Theories of time have little to do with these theories of causation. as this shows that theories of time are directly related to it. and it is not the case that The whole actualism/possiblism debate is a separate topic. as the theory you've mentioned( Dispositionalism) is an actualist theory.

      It’s been months and you still don’t understand the Thomist account of change as I demonstrated above.
      Did I remind you that you still haven't really explained what change to you is?

      You don’t understand what Feser is doing in Scholastic Metaphysics either, as he is arguing against four-dimensionalism. This is an argument about change and persistence, not an account of “temporal becoming” as can be seen by the philosphers he references (Sider, Odeberg, etc.). Your newest depends on a number of controversial claims about time, change, persistence, causation and modality and I am not inclined to follow you down that rabbit hole.

      Which argument are you referring to , The first way? well as I have just shown above that argument does depend on Temporal Becoming as notions like act/potency aren't compatible with Eternalism. and btw I know you probably don't like any references as you say at the end of your post but still allow me to say this that Robert Koons in his paper on God's existence explicitly characterizes First way as requiring an A-theory of time (and hence temporal becoming), it might be that no such strict requirement obtains despite what he says or what I have tried to show but it would be insincere of you to suggest that I have just made all the stuff up to waste time.

      Delete
    21. Red, have you ever wondered if the problem could be you? How many different people, including non-Thomists, have informed you that you are confusing all sorts of issues in the philosophy of time?

      Delete
    22. C.Z.,

      In other words, you have to deny something like causal relations or dispositions and combine that with eternalism to make your objection work.

      .......

      This is pure assertion on your part, and if this is what you actually believe, then this is your real objection to the argument from motion. Theories of time have little to do with these theories of causation.

      These were two of the main conclusions I took away from the long discussion Red was involved in over on the classical theism forum.

      Delete
    23. Anon said..
      Red, have you ever wondered if the problem could be you?

      Well of course its right that it could be me, when have I claimed to be some sort of expert. Given that Phil of Time is considered one of the most muddled debate, where some philosophers like to say that all issues here are uninteresting and all theories are mere verbal disagreements, it would be hardly surprising if it turned out I have misunderstood everything but again you have to actually show where I am confused, or what I have said wrong. try to actually engage with the arguments instead of trying to sour the discussion with empty rhetoric which helps no one.

      These were two of the main conclusions I took away from the long discussion Red was involved in over on the classical theism forum.

      Well I have tried to demonstrate in just the comment above why that not an assertion, so i'll suggest you stop with the red herrings and stick to the serious arguments.

      Delete
    24. I'm the anon who replied directly to Red. The one who responded to CZ is a different one. There are lots of us who have witnessed Red's confusion.

      Delete
    25. I'm the anon who replied directly to Red. The one who responded to CZ is a different one. There are lots of us who have witnessed Red's confusion.

      You know you're not going to please anyone with that kind of red herrings,so you should stop with them and demonstrate where exactly does confusion lies,of course I could be confused about lots of things but how am I ever going to know if you'll keep asserting that over and over again? so End the confusions, will you?

      Delete
    26. The problem Red is that you are entering Dainelos, even SP, territory. You lay down your point so confidently, and act so defensively when your confusion is pointed out, as CZ did above, as John West and others have done before, that people will just get tired of responding to you properly at all.

      Delete
    27. The problem Red is that you are entering Dainelos, even SP, territory.
      Which unpacks as "I automatically starts pretending that you're something like a troll, the moment I see you not being convinced by response you get on your remarks and press that response with further ones which I am unwilling or maybe unable to respond to"

      You lay down your point so confidently,
      so confidently? Are you serious? ...If this is supposed to be your some sort of litmus test for being troll like then you're blatantly lying here as I have explicitly admitted the "not much confidence" again if you ever really bothered to read, you would have known better...

      act so defensively when your confusion is pointed out, as CZ did above, as John West and others have done before,
      So defensively? what exactly are you talking about? All I have done is ask where exactly I am confused or wrong. And go figure that this user CZ according to whom I am supposed to be confused about lots of things and I just don't understand what Thomist account of change is , I have requested him over and over and over again to explain exactly what he and Thomists really mean by change( how else am I ever going to really know that I am confused or I just don't understand) and he never...ever responds to that . this is just...wow.

      people will just get tired of responding to you properly at all.
      Which again unpacks as( but this time its a warning) "I don't like when you press with more and don't just accept the response you've already been given( whether they really deal with the issues or not) so now you automatically become troll-like and unworthy of discussion when I feel Like I am unwilling to respond further"

      So if you don't have anything to say of any relevance then stop with those ridiculous red herrings and ad hominems.

      Delete
    28. Well I had exactly defined my terms in the comment it specifically it contains the definition for what change is or Becoming is and they are hardly original to me , the notion of becoming is pretty standard one in Philosophy of time, something like this goes at least(AFAIK) back to C.D Broad's commentary on Mctaggart's argument. so I would be hardly surprised if its present on Wikipedia. so this accusation of yours that I haven't defined terms is pretty groundless.

      Things going in and out of existence is not synonymous with temporal becoming. Similarly, substantial change and accidental change need not be concerned with things going in and out of existence simpliciter, just things existing or not existing at certain times (which does happen in eternalism). Eternalism is just denying that temporal relations is established by the relation of events to the present. We just relocate temporal relations and related actualization of potencies from a moving present to moments throughout time.

      What? where exactly I have denied accidental and substantial change? Now once again I am going to have to request you to define what you yourself mean by change, I have tried to do this several times previously but you never comply.

      For reference, your denials of accidental and substantial change start here- http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/03/supervenience-on-hands-of-angry-god.html.

      How how is that Paper supposed to be relevant to what I have said about change? it is instead linked in response to your claims that Disposition can be used to ground or explain modal facts like why acorn grows into oak and not something else and that Eternalism has no bearing on dispositionalism.

      And then you go on to use this paper to deny that accidental/substantial generation and corruption (you know, a thomistic account of change) can take place under eternalism in this very thread! Are you kidding me?

      Delete
    29. See, there, right there is the Problem I have been talking about You're using the word actualized at T2 as if the oak wasn't actual before T2 ,which is not the case on Eternalism

      Abraham Lincoln might “always” exist under eternalism by virtue of all moments in time being real, but he still doesn’t exist outside of 1809-1865. Eternalists everywhere will deny your claim because they want to maintain that we can distinguish between different moments in time. So if I can say an acorn exists at T1 and an oak tree exists at T2, then I can use act and potency to describe it. There’s no problem with thomists using act and potency to track change from certain points in time. An acorn may cease to exist at T2 or an oak tree cease to exist at T3 or without going out of existence entirely, but I still need to understand what happened at T2 and T3. Act and potency allows me to do this. Furthermore, the cosmological argument in question is vertical, not horizontal in nature. Under eternalism, God either stands behind each moment or the entire series of moments instead of the present moment via act and potency depending on how you want look at it.

      In the above example where you have the state of affairs of your learning Chinese .Here , on Eternalism, there is no need to talk about your ever having potential to learn Chinese because objects and properties involved in the state of affairs of your learning Chinese are already captured by our Semantics for actual portion of reality. which mean that ,you can take any time in the history of the world and quantify over (or simply make a list of) things that exist actually and it will contain your learning or not learning Chinese.

      1. I don’t see why I should believe this. I can still identify that something could be other than what it is using act and potency, and I don’t require that potential future states be different from actual future states. I also think that potentiality, contingency, possibility, and necessity are being improperly blurred together here. More importantly, I do not believe that pure dispositionalism is either necessary to Thomism or can account for all possibilities.

      2. I don’t think that eternalism entails this sort of Parmenidean universe that is needed for this argument to work. Eternalism just means that the present moment in time is not privileged and that all moments of time are equally real. In constrast to the paper, we don’t have to take the world as “a completed totality” under eternalism. That step would seem to require something more along the lines of four-dimensionalism. Anyways, I’m not very well read in this area, but I’m sure some of the regulars here have better thoughts on it.

      as this shows that theories of time are directly related to it. and it is not the case that The whole actualism/possiblism debate is a separate topic. as the theory you've mentioned( Dispositionalism) is an actualist theory

      1. I don’t think that the above argument works.
      2. Go ahead and check any metaphysics or philosophy textbook. You’ll see little to no arguments for causation based on views of time. That should tell you something.

      Did I remind you that you still haven't really explained what change to you is?

      Generation and corruption in terms of a temporal succession of distinct affairs ought to cover it. Any deeper analysis of change depends on the specifics of scenario being discussed. Others have offered you other definitions as well, plus recommended that you read other Thomists to understand what they are saying (I know that Brower was mentioned). You appeared not to have done so. And I didn’t say that I don’t like references, I said that I don’t like references as a substitute for argument

      Delete
    30. Red, I have lost count of the amount of people who have explained again and again you confuse basic issues in the philosophy of time, including the distinction of the A and B theories from externalism, presentism. John West gave you extensive explanation of your confusions, for example You never seem to take any of this in board. You just get defensive and then repeat the same old stuff.

      Perhaps it is time for the call of don't feed the trolls to go out?

      Delete
    31. Things going in and out of existence is not synonymous with temporal becoming
      You're saying this here makes no sense at all as I specifically did not define it as being synonymous with that here, just to avoid this confusion we're finding yourself in , so you're totally attacking a strawman here. as you can see above , I have defined becoming as when what exists in the world(or what there is) itself changes with time, below you object to the claim that world under Eternalism is a completed totality(because it is supposedly a Parmenidean notion ) , so you yourself just successfully confirmed my point that Thomists are committed to reality of becoming as I have defined it. Thanks a lot for that.

      Similarly, substantial change and accidental change need not be concerned with things going in and out of existence simpliciter, just things existing or not existing at certain times (which does happen in eternalism)
      Again you're saying this makes no sense as I have not denied it,it is only ever said that this sort of analysis of changes have serious negative effects on the kind of causation you're trying to uphold.
      For reference, your denials of accidental and substantial change start here- http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/03/supervenience-on-hands-of-angry-god.html.
      Thats very vague, how am I supposed to fine my alleged denial between all those comments? if you're going to reference at least reference properly.

      Eternalism is just denying that temporal relations is established by the relation of events to the present. We just relocate temporal relations and related actualization of potencies from a moving present to moments throughout time.
      see, again your use of word actualization here completely illicit because those "moments" are completely static. they don't undergo some sort of transition, they don't spring into actuality so to speak.You see the whole point of Eternalism is that all change in the world exhibits itself with themselves unchanging parts and relation between them. so its not the case that there are all these different spacetime slices we can make which all exist but still undergo some sort of actualization, that sort of talk, as that paper proves is entirely untenable with Eternalist quantification. So it appears to me that its fundamentally wrong picture you are having in your mind here. ( though passage of yours again prove my point about you being committed to becoming.)

      Delete
    32. And then you go on to use this paper to deny that accidental/substantial generation and corruption (you know, a thomistic account of change) can take place under eternalism in this very thread! Are you kidding me?

      What? again can you quote where exactly I am denying it? Worse, here you exhibit some severe inability to properly read as you are suggesting that that paper denies it. No where on it is it claimed that "accidental/substantial generation and corruption" doesn't take place on eternalism, it is only claimed that nothing new ever comes be in such a world. What is claimed is that dispositonalist are unable to explain the kind of accidental/substantial change that is available on eternalism. the one which you yourself have defined and explained several times.

      Things going in and out of existence is not synonymous with temporal becoming
      You're saying this here makes no sense at all as I specifically did not define it as being synonymous with that here, just to avoid this confusion we're finding yourself in , so you're totally attacking a strawman here. as you can see above , I have defined becoming as when what exists in the world(or what there is) itself changes with time, below you object to the claim that world under Eternalism is a completed totality(because it is supposedly a Parmenidean notion ) , so you yourself just successfully confirmed my point that Thomists are committed to reality of becoming as I have defined it. Thanks a lot for that.

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    33. Similarly, substantial change and accidental change need not be concerned with things going in and out of existence simpliciter, just things existing or not existing at certain times (which does happen in eternalism)
      Again you're saying this makes no sense as I have not denied it,it is only that this sort of analysis of changes have serious negative effects on the kind of causation you're trying to uphold.
      For reference, your denials of accidental and substantial change start here- http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/03/supervenience-on-hands-of-angry-god.html.
      Thats very vague, how am I supposed to fine my alleged denial between all those comments? if you're going to reference at least reference properly.

      Eternalism is just denying that temporal relations is established by the relation of events to the present. We just relocate temporal relations and related actualization of potencies from a moving present to moments throughout time.
      see, again your use of word actualization here completely illicit because those "moments" are completely static. they don't undergo some sort of transition, they don't spring into actuality so to speak.You see the whole point of Eternalism is that all change in the world exhibits itself with themselves unchanging parts and relation between them. so its not the case that there are all these different spacetime slices we can make which all exist but still undergo some sort of actualization, that talk as that paper proves is entirely untenable with Eternalist quantification. So it appears to me that its fundamentally wrong picture you are having in your mind here. ( though passage of yours again prove my point about you being committed to becoming.)

      And then you go on to use this paper to deny that accidental/substantial generation and corruption (you know, a thomistic account of change) can take place under eternalism in this very thread! Are you kidding me?

      What? again can you quote where exactly I am denying it? Worse, here you exhibit some severe inability to properly read as you are suggesting that that paper denies it. No where on it is it claimed that "accidental/substantial generation and corruption" doesn't take place on eternalism, it is only claimed that nothing new ever comes be in such a world. What is claimed is that dispositonalist are unable to explain the kind of accidental/substantial change that is available on eternalism. the one which you yourself have defined and explained several times.

      Delete
    34. Abraham Lincoln might “always” exist under eternalism by virtue of all moments in time being real, but he still doesn’t exist outside of 1809-1865.Abraham Lincoln might “always” exist under eternalism by virtue of all moments in time being real, but he still doesn’t exist outside of 1809-1865. Eternalists everywhere will deny your claim because they want to maintain that we can distinguish between different moments in time. So if I can say an acorn exists at T1 and an oak tree exists at T2, then I can use act and potency to describe it. There’s no problem with thomists using act and potency to track change from certain points in time. An acorn may cease to exist at T2 or an oak tree cease to exist at T3 or without going out of existence entirely, but I still need to understand what happened at T2 and T3. Act and potency allows me to do this.

      See, here the real problem is. its true that he doesn't exist in the sense that he isn't located at instants of time outside of 1809-1865 but he is still actual outside of it. its only that He is located only at those particular instants. it in in virture of those particular instants we refer to that we can distinguish between different times. just like we distinguish different places in space by referring to different spatial locations. for example I don't exist at Scotland right now in the sense that I am not located there , but it would be absurd to suggest that I am non-actual there.So it becomes completely redundant to suggest such such is potentially the case and such and such is actually the case, as these designation are unable to keep track of the very thing they are designed to do. because it doesn't exist at all. or you might as well start designating them to spatial relations too..start suggesting that my left hand is potential at my right hand but that would be as irrational as any gibberish can get.

      Furthermore, the cosmological argument in question is vertical, not horizontal in nature. Under eternalism, God either stands behind each moment or the entire series of moments instead of the present moment via act and potency depending on how you want look at it.
      Sure that does seem correct but the underlying causal principle through which causal series are constructed is the focus of controversy here, if that goes then the argument goes.

      1. I don’t see why I should believe this. I can still identify that something could be other than what it is using act and potency, and I don’t require that potential future states be different from actual future states. I also think that potentiality, contingency, possibility, and necessity are being improperly blurred together here. More importantly, I do not believe that pure dispositionalism is either necessary to Thomism or can account for all possibilities.

      First, you don't really address passage as does try to show why you should believe that because what you do require is that the state of affairs that you are designating as being potentially the case be just that, a non-actual potency, otherwise you won't track anything metaphysically interesting by them. as I said above you might as well suggest that my left hand is potential at my arm . since they also occupy different spatial locations but are equally actual.
      This also reminds me of my argument above that combining act/potency with contemporary physics seems to yield the consequence that external world is not actual. which would be pretty unpalatable even for thomists. secondly it was you who told me that I needed to show that how eternalism affects dispositionalism

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    35. 2. I don’t think that eternalism entails this sort of Parmenidean universe that is needed for this argument to work.
      How exactly did the universe became Parmenidean ? Does it ever entailed that change doesn't just exist.perhaps only in the sense that actual world itself is static.

      Eternalism just means that the present moment in time is not privileged and that all moments of time are equally real.
      And this exactly entails that world is a "completed totality" because nothing changes about the world itself from ontological point of view. that is what is meant by saying that nothing new comes to be.

      under eternalism. That step would seem to require something more along the lines of four-dimensionalism.
      Well Eternalists are usually four-dimensionalists too , it certainly very popular , but many of them aren't , but three/four-dimensionalism won't change much here.. because most of that debate consists of how temporary properties are possessed so that shouldn't concern us given that if both four dimensionalist and three dimensionalist accept Eternalism they will only disagee about how things persist through change not what consists change.

      Anyways, I’m not very well read in this area,
      Yes , pretty much the same case here. please tell this to your troll friend here too, that anyone could be confused not just the one who you disagree with. as he is constantly trying to stop me from discussing anything with you. And I would like to tell you that my intention is not to debunk this argument. its that I actually really want it to work it just that I can't seem to make it.

      1. I don’t think that the above argument works.
      2. Go ahead and check any metaphysics or philosophy textbook. You’ll see little to no arguments for causation based on views of time. That should tell you something.


      WOW.. this is just a howler you seriously haven't heard of any book on the topic? just to give you one big example of a very popular book , consider Michael Tooley's Time,Tense and Causation in it he tries to defend his dynamic views of time. the very upshot of that book is that Causation is real only if becoming is real. indeed this might be one of the answer to where you ask why should I believe this ,William Lane Craig also comes to mind as a philosopher who explicitly bases his views on causation and his arguments on dynamic theory of time.and even as I previously mentioned Robert Koons explicitly characterized The very argument we are discussing as requiring and assuming an A-theory of time .so that should tell you something.

      Generation and corruption in terms of a temporal succession of distinct affairs ought to cover it.
      So you mean change is one state of affair at one time and another state of affair at another time?

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    36. Red, I have lost count of the amount of people who have explained again and again you confuse basic issues in the philosophy of time, including the distinction of the A and B theories from externalism, presentism.
      What are you talking about? again I am finding this condition of yours absurd that if someone ever offers any replies he is automatically a troll..

      John West gave you extensive explanation of your confusions, for example You never seem to take any of this in board. You just get defensive and then repeat the same old stuff.
      Again this is very vague perhaps you have any example of my not taking valid explanations on board , getting defensive(whatever that means) and repeating the same old stuff? As as you probably know I was told to read this book so now I am trying to discuss this one.
      And as I have repeatedly told you no one here is talking with you , you got nothing relevant to say about anything, no business whatsoever. so just go away, stop interference as you're the only one who is not letting people discuss anything, you're the only one who is exhibiting troll characteristics here .

      Perhaps it is time for the call of don't feed the trolls to go out?
      SO yea , it really is time I should stop feeding you.

      Delete
    37. see, again your use of word actualization here completely illicit because those "moments" are completely static. they don't undergo some sort of transition, they don't spring into actuality so to speak.You see the whole point of Eternalism is that all change in the world exhibits itself with themselves unchanging parts and relation between them. so its not the case that there are all these different spacetime slices we can make which all exist but still undergo some sort of actualization, that talk as that paper proves is entirely untenable with Eternalist quantification.

      I think this is an important point. Red seems to deny that anything can be eternally being changed or be eternally having any of its potencies actualised at or between given points in time (say the acorn eternally having various of its potencies actualised between T1 and T2 so that later it is an oak). So eternalism itself mandates humean or neo-humean reductions of causation, and also mandates four dimensionalism and perdurantism or exdurantism (c.f. everything just being unchanging, inert parts). Aparently the linked paper proves this?

      William Lane Craig also comes to mind as a philosopher who explicitly bases his views on causation and his arguments on dynamic theory of time.

      I don't know how relevant WLC might be to discussions about the First Way with Thomists. It may add to the confusion; for example the question of the begining of the universe, which seems important to Craig, is not relevant to the First Way defended by St. Thomas. I'm also not sure where WLC stands on Humean or Neo-Humean accounts of causation vs. Aristotelians, powers theorists, Thomists etc.

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    38. Poe, is that you?

      Delete
    39. You're saying this here makes no sense at all as I specifically did not define it as being synonymous with that here, just to avoid this confusion we're finding yourself in , so you're totally attacking a strawman here. as you can see above ,

      No, the point is that accidental change and substantial change can be understood apart from notions of temporal becoming, and that you are unnecessarily conflating the two. Generation and corruption are when a part of matter changes its form and gains another one or loses it, and this does not require temporal becoming.

      I have defined becoming as when what exists in the world(or what there is) itself changes with time, below you object to the claim that world under Eternalism is a completed totalit

      Things in the world change from T1 to T2, T3, etc. under eternalism. This is all I need for act and potency

      so you yourself just successfully confirmed my point that Thomists are committed to reality of becoming as I have defined it. Thanks a lot for that.

      Just so you know, comments like the above one make me less inclined to respond to you and only seem to confirm other people’s suspicions that you are a troll. Anon is right. You do this constantly.

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    40. Thats very vague, how am I supposed to fine my alleged denial between all those comments?

      At this point, it’s for everyone else’s benefit so they can see what I am dealing with here.

      see, again your use of word actualization here completely illicit because those "moments" are completely static. they don't undergo some sort of transition, they don't spring into actuality so to speak. Eternalism is that all change in the world exhibits itself with themselves unchanging parts and relation between them.

      Act and potency are used to understand what tie those moments together and what leads from one moment to the next (dispositions and causal relations), whether this happens eternally or not.

      as that paper proves is entirely untenable with Eternalist quantification

      The paper is actually about the modality and act/potency and eternalism under a strict form of a dispositional-based modality, not whether things are really actual or potential at different times under eternalism.

      What? again can you quote where exactly I am denying it?

      You claim that substantial and accidental change require temporal becoming to work and aren’t compatible with eternalism, and then use said paper for support.

      See, here the real problem is. its true that he doesn't exist in the sense that he isn't located at instants of time outside of 1809-1865 but he is still actual outside of it

      Abraham Lincoln exists by virtue of being in 1809-1865, and we can only say that he exists by virtue of those moments being equally real to all other moments. He doesn’t exist outside those moments, nor is he actualized outside them. These are standard claims about eternalism. Denying this leads to all sorts of contradictory claims, like Lincoln both being President and not being President simulatenously and simpliciter (which is what you are now committed to saying). And you’re ignoring my point about the dispositions and causal relations that connect moments and objects together.

      just like we distinguish different places in space by referring to different spatial locations. for example I don't exist at Scotland right now in the sense that I am not located there , but it would be absurd to suggest that I am non-actual there

      You are confusing existence and location in a specific area with location and existence in general. If you aren’t located anywhere in a given moment in time, then you don’t exist and are non-actual for that moment in time. This is substantial change.

      I will comment on the cited paper later tonight, but there are people here with much better knowledge of the subject in question. Hopefully they will have something to say.

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    41. I will leave this quote here, however. from Borghini and Williams

      The first thing to note about P1 is that it is not required that the disposition in question ever be manifested. In order for S to be possible, it need only be the case that d is the disposition of some actual object or other, but as long as some object has the disposition d, it need never be manifested. If it should turn out that d is manifested at some time t, then at t, S will be some state of affairs that is not just possible, but actual. And, as all actual states of affairs are themselves the manifestations of various dispositions, any actual state of affairs is a possible state of affairs. But actuality is no requirement for the merely possible states of affairs—only
      the disposition that has the state of affairs as its manifestation must be actual. As long as the disposition exists, it suffices to make true the claim that S is possible. This point is crucial to the account, and worth repeating: a disposition does not have to be manifested in order to account for a possibility. That the glassware is fragile (a disposition of the glass for shattering) is enough to account for the possibility that it could break (S here being a state of affairs in which the glass is broken); it need never do so in order for the possibility to be genuine—the having of the disposition is sufficient.16 Similarly, the existence of the disposition does not depend on its being manifested. In order for an object to have a disposition, it must be in some state or other. If the object is in this state, then it has the disposition; this is all that is required for the disposition to exist, likewise for the possibility. This is the most obvious and basic case of what is possible, and provides the entities that are the basis of our account

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    42. Anonymous

      So eternalism itself mandates humean or neo-humean reductions of causation, and also mandates four dimensionalism and perdurantism or exdurantism (c.f. everything just being unchanging, inert parts)

      I think that you would find very few philosophers who say something like this, at least in stronger forms.

      I don't know how relevant WLC might be to discussions about the First Way with Thomists. It may add to the confusion; for example the question of the begining of the universe, which seems important to Craig, is not relevant to the First Way defended by St. Thomas.

      The type of causation that Craig uses is not as "robust" as thomists use, nor is the same, like my vertical vs horizontal example shows.

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    43. First, you don't really address passage as does try to show why you should believe that because what you do require is that the state of affairs that you are designating as being potentially the case be just that, a non-actual potency

      My first objection would be that he is running together that idea that things “will” happen a certain way in eternalism with the idea that things “must” happen a certain way given eternalism and we cannot know how things would otherwise happen. From my epistemic vantage point, I don’t know how I can legitimately distinguish potential future states and actual states from my current point in time, so a dispositional account of modality would still be useful. My second thought is that while potentiality is based on a given object in a world, possibilities have more to do with contingency. My third thought is that thomists don’t have to be strict dispositionalists about modality (for example, take the divine intellect). I might have more to say later if I get a chance to look it over again.

      And this exactly entails that world is a "completed totality" because nothing changes about the world itself from ontological point of view. that is what is meant by saying that nothing new comes to be.

      Parmenidean in the sense that nothing ever changes and we cannot talk about anything does not, has not, or will not exist.

      WOW.. this is just a howler you seriously haven't heard of any book on the topic?

      I said textbook, not monographs or books in general. Even then, you still don’t see that much on causation being based on a certain view of time.

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    44. lets first start with this..
      No, the point is that accidental change and substantial change can be understood apart from notions of temporal becoming,

      look here


      CZ
      Similarly, substantial change and accidental change need not be concerned with things going in and out of existence simpliciter, just things existing or not existing at certain times (which does happen in eternalism)
      Red
      Again you're saying this makes no sense as I have not denied it,

      CZ in response..
      No, the point is that accidental change and substantial change can be understood apart from notions of temporal becoming,


      is there any difference between above and below ? just stop with saying same thing over again.

      You claim that substantial and accidental change require temporal becoming to work and aren’t compatible with eternalism, and then use said paper for support.
      Thats absurd...where exactly have I claimed that do you see any where I said substantial and accidental change require temporal becoming to work and aren’t compatible with eternalism
      As I have already told you before, what me I am trying to say is that the kind of Accidental/Substantial change that Eternalism offers makes act/potency untenable. how exactly is that same as denying that it exists?

      Generation and corruption are when a part of matter changes its form and gains another one or loses it, and this does not require temporal becoming.
      although this doesn't really concern us that much here. but (assuming form-matter distinction is coherent) it seems it would be the case on eternalism that there just are different matters with different forms scattered throughout the history, there is clay at one time ,statue at another and both posses these forms eternally so they can't intelligibly be said to gain or loose anything, perhaps only in a very week sense. ( this again is not to say that I have denied that accidental/substantial change exist)

      Just so you know, comments like the above one make me less inclined to respond to you and only seem to confirm other people’s suspicions that you are a troll. Anon is right. You do this constantly.
      Ok so you said that you deny that world has to be an already "completed totality" I said in response that as I thought becoming just is when the world itself changes. this does seems to proves my point ..so again honest to God I might be (dead) wrong on my point. but that would be utterly insincere of you to suggest that this in anyway amounts to "trolling". If you just don't want continuation thats fine as there are many arguments not affected by issues at hand, as our host say that he is himself going to address the issue at length in the future so.

      Delete
    45. Things in the world change from T1 to T2, T3, etc. under eternalism. This is all I need for act and potency
      sure they change in the sense that they are different at all these times, so there is a variation across time. but to designate some of those things actual and other potential would be absurd. like I said before you might as well start saying that my right hand is potential at my left hand.
      same point could be said about this
      Act and potency are used to understand what tie those moments together and what leads from one moment to the next (dispositions and causal relations), whether this happens eternally or not.
      you see we don't say any of that stuff for space, similarly we can't for time

      Abraham Lincoln exists by virtue of being in 1809-1865, and we can only say that he exists by virtue of those moments being equally real to all other moments. He doesn’t exist outside those moments, nor is he actualized outside them. These are standard claims about eternalism. Denying this leads to all sorts of contradictory claims, like Lincoln both being President and not being President simulatenously and simpliciter (which is what you are now committed to saying). And you’re ignoring my point about the dispositions and causal relations that connect moments and objects together.

      suppose I ask you do you exist at Earth? and you reply No, I only exist at North America ,that would be kind of weird. similarly it would be absurd to suggest that you're only actual at North America, same thing is true of instants of time as they just are temporal locations, just the way places are spatial locations. for all ordinary objects to "exist" and hence be "actual"(since we're discussing actualist theory) here just is to mean that it occupies some spatiotemporal location. So just as we can say that Abraham Lincoln was located at America(but existed and hence was actual all over the world, again it would be absurd here to suggest that he becomes non-existent when we go to Sydney) we can say that he was located at 1809-1865. but exists at all times and hence is actual at all times. This "was" here is a tensed notion which is creating the problems for you I think but this should be analysed as saying There ''is" instants of time earlier than my utterance (which we named) 1809-1865 where he is located.
      now note here that to say that such and such was actualised at some certain times as if it is not actual at others is entirely redundant. the thing of importance to note here is that Time is
      a lot like space. that is why eternalism is also called block universe.

      as for this
      Denying this leads to all sorts of contradictory claims, like Lincoln both being President and not being President simulatenously and simpliciter (which is what you are now committed to
      saying

      that would only follow if I say that both non-president and president occupy same location which I haven't.

      You are confusing existence and location in a specific area with location and existence in general. If you aren’t located anywhere in a given moment in time, then you don’t exist and are non-actual for that moment in time. This is substantial change.
      See, what I said above. As like I said time and space are very much alike for Eternalists, hence since their quantifiers range all over the world, saying some ordinary object X exists and hence is actual just is to say that it occupies some spatiotemporal location, so if X is located at anywhere in world at all it is actual and exists at all times. The whole point of Eternalism you see is that Dinosours and Socrates are ontologically on par with me. the thing to remember is the analogy between space and time.

      Delete
    46. The first thing to note about P1 is that it is not required that the disposition in question ever be manifested. In order for S to be possible, it need only be the case that d is the disposition of some actual object or other, but as long as some object has the disposition d, it need never be manifested. If it should turn out that d is manifested at some time t, then at t, S will be some state of affairs that is not just possible, but actual. And, as all actual states of affairs are themselves the manifestations of various dispositions, any actual state of affairs is a possible state of affairs. But actuality is no requirement for the merely possible states of affairs—only
      the disposition that has the state of affairs as its manifestation must be actual. As long as the disposition exists, it suffices to make true the claim that S is possible. This point is crucial to the account, and worth repeating: a disposition does not have to be manifested in order to account for a possibility. That the glassware is fragile (a disposition of the glass for shattering) is enough to account for the possibility that it could break (S here being a state of affairs in which the glass is broken); it need never do so in order for the possibility to be genuine—the having of the disposition is sufficient.16 Similarly, the existence of the disposition does not depend on its being manifested. In order for an object to have a disposition, it must be in some state or other. If the object is in this state, then it has the disposition; this is all that is required for the disposition to exist, likewise for the possibility. This is the most obvious and basic case of what is possible, and provides the entities that are the basis of our account


      Ok becuase this passage is taken from a between the paper, it would be helpful to lets first start here with what the word "disposition" here means ..it is defined as an ability of an object to bring about some state of affairs, where the said state of affairs are known as its manifestation. so to clarify "the ability" to bring about is the disposition and what is brought about is manifestation.
      so with this in mind the theory is generally formulated as .. (taking variables from the passage) state of affairs S is possible given that there is some substance with a disposition to bring about S..
      now lets clarify few more things, consider the claim that X exists or Bike exists ...first thing to note about them is that they are not modal claims, secondly under actualism to say that X exists just is to say that X is actual. consider some more claims like this X is brought about , X has been brought about. so these sorts of claims as you can see are already captured under our non-modal semantics. it should also be noted here importantly that some sort of modal premises can't be applied to this non-modal talk. for example while it is appropriate to say that "my parents could bring me about" , is it not appropriate to suggest that "I exist(and hence actual) and my parents can bring me about" as that would be like saying that "I have been brought about but my parents can bring me about" which would be absurd.

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    47. Now lets run this theory on both theories of time and see how it works, hopefully this would make the conflict obvious.

      first lets assume that modal claim we want to ground is that some person X's existence is possible.

      first lets run it on a Dynamic theory of time ...What the theory would say is that "X's existence is possible" is grounded in X's parents having the ability to bring about X. indeed it in in virtue of the fact that X need not have been brought about that we are able to track genuine metaphysical modality. Note again that ,supposing that X does come to actually exist, it would be absurd to suggest that parents "now" have the ability to bring about X, so X exists and X is actual would be closed under our non-modal talk in that scenario . what work we do need the theory to do is to ground the claim "X's existence is possible" so does it work here? apparently very perfectly. as there really is a time which our we can track on a dynamic theory when the disposition can be said be Unmanifested , just waiting to be stimulated. and that exactly what our modal utterances track under such a theory.

      but now lets consider the situation under B theory of time. Now if we suggest "X's existence is possible" is grounded in X's parents having the ability to bring about X.Here it is worth pointing out that while it is right as the passage you quote points out that
      This point is crucial to the account, and worth repeating: a disposition does not have to be manifested in order to account for a possibility.
      But what really is important and crucial to the account is that the disposition might or might not be manifested. this is what is supposed to be tracked by our metaphysical modality. but can we have that here ? apparently not , because we can't pick out any time here about which we can say that X's parents could bring it about that X exists. because suppose if X's existence does actually obtain at any Point then it would be tenselessly true that he exists, that is to say that he exists and hence is actual at all the times.you could take any time,indeed the very first moment(assuming there is one) and it would have been true for it that he exists. so it never was the case really that disposition in this scenario might or might not have manifested. the very thing the account was supposed to capture. so consequently it appears that whatever turns out to be actually the case is what turn out necessarily be the case.

      So what this shows is in order for this account to really work at least the future of the world has to be Non-actual.

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    48. Red, I was under the impression most eternalists don't think the theory entails that there is no free will?

      Delete
    49. is there any difference between above and below ? just stop with saying same thing over again.

      I say it again and again its important. You’re also hardly one to complain about repeating himself.

      “Thats absurd...where exactly have I claimed that do you see any where I said substantial and accidental change require temporal becoming to work and aren’t compatible with eternalism

      Among other quotes…

      “its only if one assumes that change involves this sort of change, the theory of act and potency goes through.”

      sure they change in the sense that they are different at all these times, so there is a variation across time. but to designate some of those things actual and other potential would be absurd

      This is an assertion, not an argument, and once again ignores the dispositions and causal relations in question.

      suppose I ask you do you exist at Earth? and you reply No, I only exist at North America ,that would be kind of weird. similarly it would be absurd to suggest that you're only actual at North America, same thing is true of instants of time as they just are temporal locations, just the way places are spatial locations. for all ordinary objects to "exist" and hence be "actual"

      You are missing the point. Act/potency are tracking what happens within any given section of time and space in relation to time and space as a whole. It’s the difference between being located at a specific point like T1-T3 as opposed to being located or not anywhere in general like everything outside of T1-T3.

      Delete
    50. So just as we can say that Abraham Lincoln was located at America(but existed and hence was actual all over the world, again it would be absurd here to suggest that he becomes non-existent when we go to Sydney) we can say that he was located at 1809-1865. but exists at all times and hence is actual at all times

      Once again, eternalists are not going to say that something exists at all times (which in turn would hold true for other claims about accidental and substantial change). They are in fact committed to saying that things exist only at specific times. This is a straightforward fact about eternalism. To quote Robert Koons from his metaphysics textbook

      “Presentists and eternalists agree that there are now no humans or dinosaurs or human outposts on Mars, but disagree whether there are dinosaurs and Martian outposts. Presentists think there are none of those things, while eternalists think there are (although they would hasten to emphasize that they don’t now exist

      The whole point of Eternalism you see is that Dinosours and Socrates are ontologically on par with me.

      All moments in time are ontologically on par which is why can say dinosaurs and martian outposts exist because those moments never go out of existence in relation to the present. However, all moments in time are also different from one another which is why no eternalist is going to say that dinosaurs exist at all times. Always existing is a separate claim from existing at all times, but God is simultaneous to every event that occurs in time.

      I will reply to the claims about act/potency and modality if I have time tomorrow

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    51. I say it again and again its important. You’re also hardly one to complain about repeating himself.
      Well if you're going to assert stuff I have never said then you better provide some factual clue...

      Among other quotes…

      “its only if one assumes that change involves this sort of change, the theory of act and potency goes through.”


      Dude, quit with this sort of stuff..

      Here is the whole quote ..on the other hand becoming is a kind of change when ontology of the world ( or what exists in the world ) itself changes with time. there is a difference objective fact of the matter (relative to every time) on what exits, its only if one assumes that change involves this sort of change, the theory of act and potency goes through.

      Here you can see with your plain eyes that I am not denying accidental/substantial change? as I have told you repeated that what I have said the that the kind of accidental/substantial available to eternalist makes act/potency redundant ? does this amount to denying it? So quit with the caricatures?

      sure they change in the sense that they are different at all these times, so there is a variation across time. but to designate some of those things actual and other potential would be absurd

      This is an assertion, not an argument, and once again ignores the dispositions and causal relations in question.


      Well that exactly is what Eternalist mean by change. IF a clock shows 8 at one time and 9 at another it can said to be changed. , anything other than that is becoming and hence incompatible with it . which again you are committed to as you yourself show.

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    52. This is again a reminder that you haven't defined change yet...do this ignore just everything, just tell me the definition of change that goes like ....Change =X iff ....... or X changes if ......I would be very pleased with that.

      You are missing the point. Act/potency are tracking what happens within any given section of time and space in relation to time and space as a whole. It’s the difference between being located at a specific point like T1-T3 as opposed to being located or not anywhere in general like everything outside of T1-T3.

      Well as I tried to show below, under such a world act/potency isn't really able to track anything at all. and you have yet to show what exactly this "tracking" amount to..and as I've suggested above you might as well start saying that your one hand is potential at your other hand and other implausible stuff like that. as it doesn't really make any sense to call any specific time potential and other actual.

      Once again, eternalists are not going to say that something exists at all times (which in turn would hold true for other claims about accidental and substantial change). They are in fact committed to saying that things exist only at specific times. This is a straightforward fact about eternalism.

      Well I have provided you detailed exposition of what exactly saying "exists" amount to here, you've missed the point. again you might start suggesting that you only exist at North America and become non existent and hence non actual at Australia..Most important thing again to remember here is that for eternalists Space and Time are perfectly analogous.

      To quote Robert Koons from his metaphysics textbook

      “Presentists and eternalists agree that there are now no humans or dinosaurs or human outposts on Mars, but disagree whether there are dinosaurs and Martian outposts. Presentists think there are none of those things, while eternalists think there are (although they would hasten to emphasize that they don’t now exist”


      ahhh, well here you've provided a very vague quote. as the tensed word now needs to be considerably unpacked. Eternalists and Presentist have fundamentally different understanding of now, for presentists word now track something very metaphysically significant as they believe "now" is the only time that exists( that is why it is also called Nowism sometimes)..but Eternalist have to translate this tensed now into saying meaning having location simultaneous with the utterance.. I suggest you read that book in detail , you'll get my point.

      All moments in time are ontologically on par which is why can say dinosaurs and martian outposts exist because those moments never go out of existence in relation to the present. However, all moments in time are also different from one another which is why no eternalist is going to say that dinosaurs exist at all times. Always existing is a separate claim from existing at all times, but God is simultaneous to every event that occurs in time.

      Here again as you can see above. you have to be careful what "exists" amount to and what now amounts to. on both theories as there is a significant difference.

      I will reply to the claims about act/potency and modality if I have time tomorrow
      Yea, you're probably going to have the last words. as I am needed at a hospital for next few days. I might add something in the future.

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    53. Hello Callum, just few brief thoughts on this.
      Red, I was under the impression most eternalists don't think the theory entails that there is no free will?
      Yea, well that is whole other thorny issue, we'll have to examine a lot of stuff ( what free will is , what it is based on, are we psychologically or socially free or not, does it require alternate possibilities at all? etc ) so I can't say anything conclusive on that.
      but note that I have only suggested that it appears that "dispositions" ,the way I see it. can't ground modality under certain theories of time, but that argument could easily be wrong as there are many theorists who would identify themselves with that label. but disagree about lots of things..
      And in any case it seems traditionally thomists don't really ground modality(if that is supposed to affect free will) in them, for example Dr.Feser in Scholastic Metaphysics don't attempt to do that. although he does offer exposition of Power theories as they relate to act/potency , he grounds modality in essences and I haven't really thought about how theories of time would affect that.

      And again I am not saying I that I have refuted(even though I once thought that) any argument..it only seems that perhaps its not as powerful as it sometimes seems.

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    54. CZ: Act and potency are used to understand what tie those moments together and what leads from one moment to the next (dispositions and causal relations), whether this happens eternally or not.

      Red: you see we don't say any of that stuff for space, similarly we can't for time


      I thought of couple of points on this;

      Red seems to suggest here that spatial language and concepts are the only ones that can be used to describe temporal change (and are all that is needed?). This fits in with some of his later comments that space and time are perfectly analogous.

      But sometimes, Red has written that they are only closely analogous. If they are only closely analogous, I am wondering in what respects they might differ?

      Then, as far as I can understand, the perfect or exact analogy between space and time seems to have important implications for discussion of causation; for example, how (and if) it can be discussed only in spatial terms and with only spatial concepts.

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    55. More prompted by this:

      you see we don't say any of that stuff for space, similarly we can't for time

      I thought that sometimes we do want to talk about what it is that links together various spatial points when we say that they are being occupied by a particular object. Likewise, when we say that Abraham Lincoln is located at T1, T2, T3 but not at T63-T78, how do we determine that and in virtue of what can we localise Lincoln only to certain specific points in time?

      It made me think about what Dr. Feser writes (in Scholastic Metaphysics) about the origins and uses of the act/potency distinction in arguments against the Parmenidean claim that there can only be one single object and the Heraclitean claim that there no objects can persist through change (multiplicity versus unity).

      In those arguments the distinction seems to used to explain how a substance has a certain limited range of ways of being actual; its particular set of passive and active potencies. So, a substance, say an acorn, can be in one state at T1, with a specific set of unrealised potencies exisiting in it, which are actualised at T2-3, then at T4 it is an oak. The idea of the acorn's potencies is used to explain how the acorn and the oak can constitute a single substance.

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    56. So just as we can say that Abraham Lincoln was located at America (but existed and hence was actual all over the world, again it would be absurd here to suggest that he becomes non-existent when we go to Sydney)

      It seems this can be understood as saying that Abraham Lincoln was located at America, and because he existed and was actual everywhere else in the world in the world as well, that he also must have been located at every other place in the world. Similarly, with time, if he is localised at T1-T5 but is equally actual and exists at every other time, it seems he has to be located at all those times too.

      Delete
    57. Well if you're going to assert stuff I have never said then you better provide some factual clue...

      I take this to be your argument.

      Act/potency takes place through accidental and substantial change

      Act/potency depends on temporal becoming

      Eternalism rules out temporal becoming

      So accidental and substantial change does not take place

      By denying act/potency you are denying accidental and substantial change.

      Well that exactly is what Eternalist mean by change. IF a clock shows 8 at one time and 9 at another it can said to be changed.

      There is not one definition of an eternalist version of change. An aristotelian approach will involve things like accidents and substances. A non-aristotelian approach will not have accidents and substances.

      This is again a reminder that you haven't defined change yet...

      I already did- generation and corruption in terms of a temporal succession of distinct affairs. Any further description depends on the specifics of the situation involved since aristotelians and thomists work with wide ranging theories of causation.

      Well as I tried to show below, under such a world act/potency isn't really able to track anything at all. and you have yet to show what exactly this "tracking" amount to.

      I already told you how- how things happen via dispositions and causal relations. We want to know what makes the transition from t1 to t2. Under eternalism, it is better to understand this happening all at and from moment to moment. I suggest reading this thread in order to understand exactly what is going on with act/potency here (Scott was also something of an eternalist).

      http://classicaltheism.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=375&p=1

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    58. Most important thing again to remember here is that for eternalists Space and Time are perfectly analogous.

      It’s more complicated than that. Eternalists can either be substantivists or relationists in regards to time and space, but we can leave that aside.

      hhh, well here you've provided a very vague quote. as the tensed word now needs to be considerably unpacked. Eternalists and Presentist have fundamentally different understanding of now, for presentists word now track something very metaphysically significant as they believe "now" is the only time that exists( that is why it is also called Nowism sometimes)..but Eternalist have to translate this tensed now into saying meaning having location simultaneous with the utterance.. I suggest you read that book in detail , you'll get my point.

      Yes, for eternalists temporal location is spatial location, but this is irrelevant for my point. Given a section of space time in comparison or relation to all of space time, Abraham Lincoln will be either be found somewhere or nowhere. He will either exist or not exist for any given point in time. Your mistake seems to be thinking that eternalism is some form of exaggerated presentism.

      Here again as you can see above. you have to be careful what "exists" amount to and what now amounts to. on both theories as there is a significant difference.

      Tense vs tenseless has nothing to do with what I’ve said or what Koons has said. The temporal perspective of that statement is irrelevant. You can substitute “August 23, 2017” instead of “now” and what he said would have been just as valid- neither dinosaurs or martian outposts exist at this specific point in time. affairs are ordered by equally tenseless later than or earlier than relations

      “All moments exist simultaneously” can be equivalent with “what we call the past, present, and future being equally real”. What Koons makes abundantly clear is that neither of these two statements means something exists at all times by virtue of existing at a certain time.

      The bulk of my next reply was going to be showing how a thomist account of modality does not need to depend on dispositions, but since you’ve said as much, I don’t think I need to elaborate.

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    59. Anon, those are good points. The link are provided to the thread on the classical theism forum goes into more detail about act and potency.

      Delete
    60. Hey Guys, sorry I couldn't post anything for couple days as I was very busy.
      Here are some thoughts on some comments.

      I take this to be your argument.

      Act/potency takes place through accidental and substantial change

      Act/potency depends on temporal becoming

      Eternalism rules out temporal becoming

      So accidental and substantial change does not take place

      By denying act/potency you are denying accidental and substantial change.


      There you go I have never said this...specifically not in the passage you've quoted.
      Act/potency takes place through accidental and substantial change

      What I have said is this..

      Act/potency depends on temporal becoming

      Eternalism rules out temporal becoming

      So does that amount to denying accidental and substantial change?

      There is not one definition of an eternalist version of change.
      Like I said anything other than that might be incompatible with it. and how exactly does it rules out accidents and substances?

      An aristotelian approach will involve things like accidents and substances. A non-aristotelian approach will not have accidents and substances.
      But what exactly is this Aristotelian approach? lets take a look at what you say here,

      I already did- generation and corruption in terms of a temporal succession of distinct affairs. Any further description depends on the specifics of the situation involved since aristotelians and thomists work with wide ranging theories of causation.

      But thats very vague, I am not asking for what species of change there are but what change is if you're going to reply that change is accidental and substantial change then that is exactly like responding to what is a rose? with a rose is a red rose when it has red color on it and a blue rose when it has blue color on it, that wouldn't really define what rose is and hence would be completely unsatisfying..

      Why is it so hard to just say Chang is ............?

      I already told you how- how things happen via dispositions and causal relations. We want to know what makes the transition from t1 to t2. Under eternalism, it is better to understand this happening all at and from moment to moment.
      But that exactly what makes them incompatible, as nothing really makes transition from t1 to t2. its only that one thing is located at t1 and other at t2.

      I suggest reading this thread in order to understand exactly what is going on with act/potency here (Scott was also something of an eternalist).

      http://classicaltheism.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=375&p=1


      well they are pretty much making the same points as you, which I am already finding problematic( I say more related to this below), you have anything specific in mind? Very nicely posed question though..that exactly what my contention is, nothing about change itself requires anything like act/potency ..its only if change involves sore sort of coming from somewhere is when we are required to pose something like act/potency.

      It’s more complicated than that. Eternalists can either be substantivists or relationists in regards to time and space, but we can leave that aside.
      How exactly is that is supposed to be relevant to the analogy? that would be the case on either of those theories.

      Delete
    61. Yes, for eternalists temporal location is spatial location, but this is irrelevant for my point. Given a section of space time in comparison or relation to all of space time, Abraham Lincoln will be either be found somewhere or nowhere. He will either exist or not exist for any given point in time.
      Now lets look at this

      Yes, for eternalists temporal location is spatial location,
      OK you've accepted that much . but now just follow that.

      Given a section of space time in comparison or relation to all of space time, Abraham Lincoln will be either be found somewhere or nowhere. He will either exist or not exist for any given point in time
      Well if he is not found somewhere in that section, that simply means that he don't occupy any location in that given section but how does it follow that
      He will either exist or not exist for any given point in time?
      consider that President Trump is not sitting anywhere in my house, but does it follow that he becomes non-existent here? if someone ask me if he exists, should I reply NO?

      Your mistake seems to be thinking that eternalism is some form of exaggerated presentism.
      I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

      Tense vs tenseless has nothing to do with what I’ve said or what Koons has said. The temporal perspective of that statement is irrelevant. You can substitute “August 23, 2017” instead of “now” and what he said would have been just as valid- neither dinosaurs or martian outposts exist at this specific point in time.affairs are ordered by equally tenseless later than or earlier than relations

      well as soon as you do that, the metaphysical picture changes entirely, and your point becomes invalid because "now" then becomes a lot like "here" and to suggest that dinosaurs or martian outposts don't exist now, now is a lot like suggesting that President Trump don't exist here, remember that this sentence that "dinosaurs or martian outposts don't exist now" is an A-theoretic sentence and it is on its face incompatible with B-theory, these locutions as I have explained need to be considerably translated, so once this "now" is translated(as just keeping track of things located at the instant simultaneous with utterance) saying dinosaurs or martian outposts don't exist now has pretty much same metaphysical status as saying dinosaurs or martian outposts are not located in my house. from the fact that a thing is not located in my house it doesn't follow that it doesn't exist there, since our existential quantifiers range all over the world, anything that ever occupies any spatiotemporal location is within its range,we are (ontologically speaking) committed to its existence,that is why it can be said to exist an be actual at all times. this is why something exists at all times by virtue of existing at a certain time.

      “All moments exist simultaneously” can be equivalent with “what we call the past, present, and future being equally real”. What Koons makes abundantly clear is that neither of these two statements means something exists at all times by virtue of existing at a certain time.

      Here first, it is utterly mysterious in what sense being equally real is being supposed, If you're suggesting that all times exist but things in them become non-existent then its as absurd as saying that all places exist but things in them go out of existence. secondly as I've explained above you're totally misunderstanding him and I suggest you read that book more carefully. thing to remember is that for Eternalists such and such is the case now, is not really a claim about existence at all , it pertains to its location.
      and once again analogy with space and places is important in understanding exactly how something exists at all times by virtue of existing at a certain time.

      Delete
    62. The bulk of my next reply was going to be showing how a thomist account of modality does not need to depend on dispositions, but since you’ve said as much, I don’t think I need to elaborate.
      Good thing as that would have been little help considering that bringing essences here would have turned it into a completely different argument. and It was you who quoted that paper by dispositionalists so I had to respond to that.

      Here I think its good to discuss this passage from anon, as it relates to many things that are also said on that thread.

      It made me think about what Dr. Feser writes (in Scholastic Metaphysics) about the origins and uses of the act/potency distinction in arguments against the Parmenidean claim that there can only be one single object and the Heraclitean claim that there no objects can persist through change (multiplicity versus unity).

      In those arguments the distinction seems to used to explain how a substance has a certain limited range of ways of being actual; its particular set of passive and active potencies. So, a substance, say an acorn, can be in one state at T1, with a specific set of unrealised potencies exisiting in it, which are actualised at T2-3, then at T4 it is an oak. The idea of the acorn's potencies is used to explain how the acorn and the oak can constitute a single substance.


      hmm, that isn't implausible, but apparently that doesn't quite solve the puzzle, consider here that the key point is a substance, say an acorn, can be in one state at T1, with a specific set of unrealised potencies exisiting in it, which are actualised at T2-3, then at T4 it is an oak.

      Here the word "unrealisedpotencies" is very crucial.
      For this to have any meaning in interesting metaphysical sense, it would have to be the case that these potencies "could" have been realized, otherwise it wouldn't make much sense to call them unrealisedpotencies,indeed that what we mean when we are calling it in some sense "limited" but the main problem is what does this "could" here amounts to?, further note that this "could" here doesn't mean that there is some possible world which branches off at this point,in which certain state of affairs which are unactual here, are actual..so what does this "could" mean.?

      Assuming a dynamic theory of time its very easy to see what this "could" means here because "could" simply refers to a time when it was the case that certain limited range of ways of [its] being actual" were actual, indeed we can talk about its once being some other way, namely when it was non-actual, we can talk about some more ways too, like its being non actual in the time which was then-future.

      Here one might get hung up on vertical causal series, in which things don't begin like acorns or oaks. but to that I reply similarly that. While any ordinary objects contained within those series might be past-eternal, but under dynamic theory we can always track a time when it was the case that only said object's certain limited range of ways of [its] being actual", were actual.... like it can be said as being non actual in the time which was then-future. This is where we would have been able to hang our "could" hat, indeed this is how God can be said to move a past-eternal universe in context of first way.

      But assuming A static theory NOW where do we look for to make sense of this "could" given that the very thing that had made unrealisedpotencies a meaningful notion for us has now been taken away from us..and bringing in talk of essences will turn this into a whole different proof.

      so apparently, act/potency goes hand in hand with , and stands or falls with Dynamic conception of time.

      Delete
    63. It seems this can be understood as saying that Abraham Lincoln was located at America, and because he existed and was actual everywhere else in the world in the world as well, that he also must have been located at every other place in the world. Similarly, with time, if he is localised at T1-T5 but is equally actual and exists at every other time, it seems he has to be located at all those times too.

      How does it follow from
      and because he existed and was actual everywhere else in the world in the world as well
      That
      he also must have been located at every other place in the world ?

      Consider that President Trump is actual all over the Earth now, in which ever country you will go they will answer the Yes to the question if Trump exists or not. but does it follow from that he is located at every single place on it?

      Delete
    64. Something more about this bit
      The idea of the acorn's potencies is used to explain how the acorn and the oak can constitute a single substance

      That sounds very interesting but wouldn't that turn this into some sort of neo-platonic proof, considering that we're no longer talking about motion but composition here?

      Delete
    65. Red,


      Thanks for the comments.

      Consider that President Trump is actual all over the Earth now, in which ever country you will go they will answer the Yes to the question if Trump exists or not. but does it follow from that he is located at every single place on it?

      If you ask 'Does president Trump exist everywhere in the world?', 'Does president Trump exist in every country of the world' or say, asking a person in Seville, Spain, 'Does president Trump exist both in Washington and here in Seville?' there is a sense in which yes (temporal sense) and a sense in which no (spatial sense).

      Possibly it's clearer with things like specific buildings, minerals etc. Extensive coal deposits exist in the North East of England, therefore extensive coal deposits exist everywhere in the world and exist in every region of every country of the world. (But only in a temporal, not in a spatial sense).

      From an Aristotelian perspective especially, saying Trump is actual all over the Earth can be the same as saying he is a substance physically located all over the earth.

      In respect of Trump and time, saying that the substance that is Trump is eternally actual seems like saying that it exists at every temporal location T...

      (BTW there seems something a bit strange about the idea of substances that are both timeless, having an eternal unchanging existence outside of time, but that are also composed of temporal parts that can be located at specific moments or locations in time.)

      Delete
    66. That sounds very interesting but wouldn't that turn this into some sort of neo-platonic proof, considering that we're no longer talking about motion but composition here?

      I'm not sure. If you have read Feser's 'Aquinas' there is a bit where he notes that motion, in Aristotelian terms, means change in general (p.65). There is an article by David Oderberg on cosmological arguments where the same point is made in relation to Aquinas' First Way. Brian Davies is also clear about this in his Aquinas: An Introduction, concerning the First Way p.48: '...some things in the world undergo change (motus) meaning that they vary in place, quantity and quality'.

      It seems clear in the chapter of Scholastic Metaphysics on the origins of the distinction that it is also related to composition in some sense (in the multiplicity versus unity arguments) and universals. The fact that the distinction is tied up with ideas of how Being (or non-Being) can be limited seems to run through that chapter and the book in general.

      Delete
    67. Here the word "unrealisedpotencies" is very crucial.
      For this to have any meaning in interesting metaphysical sense, it would have to be the case that these potencies "could" have been realized,


      The way I understand it it is saying that they are not being actualised at T1 but are being actualised at T2, T3 etc. where the same substance is present at T1, T2, T3 with differing accidents or properties.

      otherwise it wouldn't make much sense to call them unrealisedpotencies,

      I have a feeling that our background understandings of the meaning of this word could be different.

      And on an interesting point you made to CZ:

      But that exactly what makes them incompatible, as nothing really makes transition from t1 to t2. its only that one thing is located at t1 and other at t2.

      Looking at this in a Scholastic context, it looks like affirming either the existence of only one object or substance (the Parmenidean postion) or the Heraclitean position that no objects or substances can persist over time with differing properties.

      Seemingly, even in the context of eternalist temporal parts theories, you are going to want to say that some objects can have more than one temporal part, these temporal parts can have different properties and the object made up of these parts exists over several T locations. So in some sense an object can transition or persist from one T location to another (especially given that our experience of temporal change is not analogous with our experience of spatial change).

      Delete
    68. So does that amount to denying accidental and substantial change?

      Yes, given that accidental change and substantial change are directly tied to act/potency.

      Why is it so hard to just say Chang is

      I gave you a definition. It’s not vague if you are familiar with the underlying philosophy and metaphysics. I suggest you read further on the subject because I’m not going into in-depth explanation in a combox.

      But that exactly what makes them incompatible, as nothing really makes transition from t1 to t2. its only that one thing is located at t1 and other at t2

      That’s an assertion, not an argument. And it’s not just one thing located at another t1 and another at t2, as there are clearly differences between an acorn at T1 and an oak tree at T2 that need explaining. You’ll need to argue against there being things like enduring substances, dispositions, and causal relations to make this claim work. Furthermore, you’re not giving an account of change either. You’re just stating that changed occurred. That’s not an explanation, its what needs to be explained.

      its only if change involves sore sort of coming from somewhere is when we are required to pose something like act/potency

      Saying something over and over again doesn’t make it true.

      How exactly is that is supposed to be relevant to the analogy? that would be the case on either of those theories

      It’s relevant because eternalists aren’t obligated to treat time and space as perfectly analogous, which undercuts your argument. They don’t need to refer to space time in the same manner that you do. I for one don’t believe that time and space are perfectly analogous and have only been granting this for the sake of the argument.

      consider that President Trump is not sitting anywhere in my house, but does it follow that he becomes non-existent here? if someone ask me if he exists, should I reply NO?

      Does Abraham Lincoln exist? Yes, because he exists in in the section of space time we call 1809-1865. Does he exist in the section of space time we call the twenty-first century? No, and you’ll be hard pressed to find an eternalist who will say so. Any explanation of change will let us know how and why he located at certain points in space time and not others.

      Delete
    69. remember that this sentence that "dinosaurs or martian outposts don't exist now" is an A-theoretic sentence and it is on its face incompatible with B-theory, these locutions as I have explained need to be considerably translated.

      There are some pretty elementary mistakes here. Tensed vs tenseless language (a-theory vs b-theory) doesn’t get you to temporal location as spatial location. That is b-theory plus certain forms of eternalism. The use of the word now was clearly shorthand for a given point in time by Koons. If you had read Koons or were familiar with the literature you would know that. Your appeal to tensed vs tenseless language is irrelevant.

      so once this "now" is translated(as just keeping track of things located at the instant simultaneous with utterance) saying dinosaurs or martian outposts don't exist now has pretty much same metaphysical status as saying dinosaurs or martian outposts are not located in my house

      Anon is right, and I thank him for pointing this out I better than I did. You’ve already defined existence and actualization as related to having a location in space time since you said “for all ordinary objects to "exist" and hence be "actual"(since we're discussing actualist theory) here just is to mean that it occupies some spatiotemporal location”. So when we say Abraham Lincoln exists at a certain time, we can take this to mean that he is located at a certain point in space time. But if Abraham Lincoln truly exists and is actual at all times, and any given time is the same as spatial location, then Abraham Lincoln exists at every point in space time. But it would be absurd to say that Abraham Lincoln is located everywhere at once. So you are going to restrict the use of existence and actualization if you want to make any sense.

      Good thing as that would have been little help considering that bringing essences here would have turned it into a completely different argument. and It was you who quoted that paper by dispositionalists so I had to respond to that.

      You’ve already admitted that thomists don’t need to base possible worlds off dispositions, so the rest of your argument doesn’t follow. Beyond that, you are blurring potentiality with possibility and contingency. Even if there is only one actualized world with a future set in stone, this does not entail that it is necessarily actualized, which is what you need to eliminate to eliminate possibility/contingency and dispositional modality. Unactualized possibilities are still grounded in dispositional properties. The unrealized potencies in our world could have still have been realized by another world being actualized in which said potencies were realized.

      Delete
    70. Since our world was contingently actualized, it is still the case that different world could have been actualized and we can still know what might or might not be the case with dispostions. Only if the world was necessarily actualized would we be unable to do so.

      Delete
    71. Yes, given that accidental change and substantial change are directly tied to act/potency.
      That is what your claim is, not mine, so if I don't think that it doesn't mean I deny accidental change and substantial change which is what you were supposed to show here.

      I gave you a definition. It’s not vague if you are familiar with the underlying philosophy and metaphysics. I suggest you read further on the subject because I’m not going into in-depth explanation in a combox.
      Well I have already explained to you why is it vague,and you haven't engaged with that here again, If you're going to define something in terms of some other things which themselves presuppose that very same thing than that would be entirely obscure definition. I am not asking for what species of change there are ...if you're asked what a country is and you reply that there is a country named Canada and there is a country named Japan that is not a definition of what country is.. So this liability still remains on you and how much in-depth explanation is needed for a mere definition? like I said all it would take you is to say Change happens when...........

      That’s an assertion, not an argument. And it’s not just one thing located at another t1 and another at t2, as there are clearly differences between an acorn at T1 and an oak tree at T2 that need explaining. You’ll need to argue against there being things like enduring substances, dispositions, and causal relations to make this claim work. Furthermore, you’re not giving an account of change either. You’re just stating that changed occurred. That’s not an explanation, its what needs to be explained.

      First given that you still haven't defined change you can hardly complain about me asserting stuff here.Only after you have yourself explained what is necessary and sufficient for change, you can complain that I haven't given you explanation. secondly I have already explained to you why dispositions can't do the work they are required here to do. You haven't responded to that

      It’s relevant because eternalists aren’t obligated to treat time and space as perfectly analogous, which undercuts your argument. They don’t need to refer to space time in the same manner that you do. I for one don’t believe that time and space are perfectly analogous and have only been granting this for the sake of the argument.

      Wait,how is any of these claims you make here related to Debate on Substantivalism and Relationalism? On which of these theories you claims are substantiated? Which other ways there are (if any exists at all) for them to be able to explain change? Indeed this passage is so obscure that I could ask many other questions regarding it.

      And by the way just consider here the kind of temporal relations B-series is constituted by namely of being earlier,later or simultaneous with, Those are exactly how spatial relations are also treated by us at any time. now consider if B-theory is true and time contains only the B-series then its very easy to see how this gets us to temporal location as spatial location

      Does Abraham Lincoln exist? Yes, because he exists in in the section of space time we call 1809-1865. Does he exist in the section of space time we call the twenty-first century? No, and you’ll be hard pressed to find an eternalist who will say so. Any explanation of change will let us know how and why he located at certain points in space time and not others.
      Well I am getting tired of telling you that you have to be very careful with what "exists" mean here, Now consider this claim here
      Does he exist in the section of space time we call the twenty-first century? No
      Well I am just going to have to ask you, Why would you restrict your quantifiers like that? is twenty-first century part of the same world or not?

      Delete
    72. There are some pretty elementary mistakes here. Tensed vs tenseless language (a-theory vs b-theory) doesn’t get you to temporal location as spatial location. That is b-theory plus certain forms of eternalism. The use of the word now was clearly shorthand for a given point in time by Koons. If you had read Koons or were familiar with the literature you would know that. Your appeal to tensed vs tenseless language is irrelevant.
      First lets look at this
      Well if all you're saying is that there is B-theory plus some other forms of Eternalism on which my claim doesn't quite apply then that hardly counts as "elementary mistakes" on my part ( further consider here that we're not told by you what these other theories really amount to or why should we just accept those other theories rather than these one ) .

      The use of the word now was clearly shorthand for a given point in time by Koons. If you had read Koons or were familiar with the literature you would know that. Your appeal to tensed vs tenseless language is irrelevant.
      Why exactly do you say this? I've already explained to you in detail that both those theories have fundamentally different metaphysical underpinning of the concept of a given point in time or now which needs to be analysed to see what it entails, whether it proves what you want it to prove can only be assessed after that , you've chosen to ignore that point entirely.

      Look if all you're gonna do to prove your point is pull some quote-mine out of several hundred pages long text book, then you should first at least analyse what it actually is saying whether it entails what you want it do or not. If providing quotes here is all that is needed to settle issues here, then well....congratulations to myself since as I've told you that the very same philosopher on whose quotes you are basing your points of has already characterized this argument as requiring an A-theory of time.(exactly what I am trying to show here) so that should have made me exempt from providing any other arguments long time ago right?

      consider this passage
      The first argument is based on Thomas Aquinas’s First Way and depends on assuming the truth of the A-Theory. The A-Theory of time is the theory that there is a metaphysically unique Present Moment that is constantly in motion._From GOD’S EXISTENCE Robert C. Koons

      Or consider this enlightening passage from our host here
      What is relevant is Lockwood’s point that on the Minkowskian interpretation of relativity, there is in the natural order no real actualization of potency or potentiality; everything in the world, whether “past,” “present,” or “future,” is all “already” actual, as it were. Thus there is no genuine change in the world—not even the sort Newtonian physics would allow occurs with the acceleration of an object. _From, The medieval principle of motion and the modern principle of inertia

      That should be QED,shouldn't it?

      Delete
    73. Anon is right, and I thank him for pointing this out I better than I did. You’ve already defined existence and actualization as related to having a location in space time since you said “for all ordinary objects to "exist" and hence be "actual"(since we're discussing actualist theory) here just is to mean that it occupies some spatiotemporal location”. So when we say Abraham Lincoln exists at a certain time, we can take this to mean that he is located at a certain point in space time. But if Abraham Lincoln truly exists and is actual at all times, and any given time is the same as spatial location, then Abraham Lincoln exists at every point in space time. But it would be absurd to say that Abraham Lincoln is located everywhere at once. So you are going to restrict the use of existence and actualization if you want to make any sense.

      First, how exactly is all this relevant to the passage you've quoted above it? Secondly, you're not really making sense here, I've asked anon this and I'll ask you the same.

      “for all ordinary objects to "exist" and hence be "actual"(since we're discussing actualist theory) here just is to mean that it occupies some spatiotemporal location”.
      How exactly does this entail that it has to occupy every single location in the world?

      How exactly from this
      So when we say Abraham Lincoln exists at a certain time, we can take this to mean that he is located at a certain point in space time. But if Abraham Lincoln truly exists and is actual at all times, and any given time is the same as spatial location, then Abraham Lincoln exists at every point in space time.
      Does this follow?
      that Abraham Lincoln is located everywhere at once

      Consider these claim
      X exits at world W if X is located at some location.
      Therefore
      X is located at every single place in W

      IF this is what you mean here, I don't see how that follows.

      Delete
    74. You’ve already admitted that thomists don’t need to base possible worlds off dispositions, so the rest of your argument doesn’t follow.
      Well they don't necessarily need to do that but ..like I said bringing in essences here won't help you, as that would make this whole argument itself redundant.

      Beyond that, you are blurring potentiality with possibility and contingency. Even if there is only one actualized world with a future set in stone, this does not entail that it is necessarily actualized
      well you're the one who provided the quoted passage from A Dispositional Theory of Possibility by Andrea Borghini and Neil E Williams to defend act/potency and you're asking me to give some reason for denying dispositionalism so its hardly me who is "blurring" things here.
      what that argument which you have yet to engage was intended to show was that conjunction of
      if there is only one actualized world with a future set in stone and Dispositionalism entails that it is necessarily actualized.

      Unactualized possibilities are still grounded in dispositional properties. The unrealized potencies in our world could have still have been realized by another world being actualized in which said potencies were realized.

      Look at these two claims closely
      1.Unactualized possibilities are still grounded in dispositional properties.
      2.The unrealized potencies in our world could have still have been realized by another world being actualized in which said potencies were realized
      First, as mentioned previously , that argument tries to show exactly that Dispositions are not up to the task on Eternalism, Secondly, what do you mean by saying The unrealized potencies in our world could have still have been realized by another world being actualized in which said potencies were realized since what "could" have been the case on this account is itself grounded in potentialities?

      Since our world was contingently actualized, it is still the case that different world could have been actualized and we can still know what might or might not be the case with dispostions. Only if the world was necessarily actualized would we be unable to do so.

      Again what does your "could" amounts to here? I think I should just ask you what sort of contingency you have in mind here? as to be contingent on this account simply is to be able to be brought about.

      Delete
    75. Anon,
      From an Aristotelian perspective especially, saying Trump is actual all over the Earth can be the same as saying he is a substance physically located all over the earth.

      Is that so? I am not sure I follow, consider that presently,I actually exist on Earth but this surely doesn't mean that I am located at every place on it,does it?

      Similarly,
      If you ask 'Does president Trump exist everywhere in the world?', 'Does president Trump exist in every country of the world' or say, asking a person in Seville, Spain, 'Does president Trump exist both in Washington and here in Seville?' there is a sense in which yes (temporal sense) and a sense in which no (spatial sense).
      I think he can be said to exist in spatial sense too because they would have to quantify over all of the space here, and these parts of space simply are parts of the whole world in which he can said to be existent,

      BTW there seems something a bit strange about the idea of substances that are both timeless, having an eternal unchanging existence outside of time, but that are also composed of temporal parts that can be located at specific moments or locations in time
      Well they don't exist outside time so can't be said to be timeless. Yes, those instantaneous parts don't themselves change, but that doesn't make them atemporal. as they constitute the fourth dimension which is designated time so to speak.

      I'm not sure. If you have read Feser's 'Aquinas' there is a bit where he notes that motion, in Aristotelian terms, means change in general (p.65). There is an article by David Oderberg on cosmological arguments where the same point is made in relation to Aquinas' First Way. Brian Davies is also clear about this in his Aquinas: An Introduction, concerning the First Way p.48: '...some things in the world undergo change (motus) meaning that they vary in place, quantity and quality'.

      It seems clear in the chapter of Scholastic Metaphysics on the origins of the distinction that it is also related to composition in some sense (in the multiplicity versus unity arguments) and universals. The fact that the distinction is tied up with ideas of how Being (or non-Being) can be limited seems to run through that chapter and the book in general.


      Well I mean like saying The idea of the acorn's potencies is used to explain how the acorn and the oak can constitute a single substance is not quite same as saying , whatever is changing is changed by another.

      The way I understand it it is saying that they are not being actualised at T1 but are being actualised at T2, T3 etc. where the same substance is present at T1, T2, T3 with differing accidents or properties.

      I have a feeling that our background understandings of the meaning of this word could be different.


      Well I do acknowledge that but it seems to me that the state of affairs you are referring to here only call for explanation if they could have been different in relevant way, is this right?

      Delete
    76. Hi Red,

      Is that so? I am not sure I follow, consider that presently,I actually exist on Earth but this surely doesn't mean that I am located at every place on it,does it?

      I think it's clearer if you say something like 'I exist actually everywhere on earth'; in Aristotelian terms it could be saying that you were physically present at every spatial location on earth. 'The substance-that-is-me is actual in respect of spatial presence at every location on earth'.

      Also in natural language I think there is a sense in which 'to exist everywhere', 'exist everywhere in a spatial sense' can mean being physically located in a certain space. For example, the spatially present sense I used in my example about coal deposits.

      Delete
    77. Well I do acknowledge that but it seems to me that the state of affairs you are referring to here only call for explanation if they could have been different in relevant way, is this right?

      As I've been saying, from what I read in Dr. Feser's manual the act/potency emerged, from, amongst other things, Aristotle's arguments against Parmenides, who was denying that there could be more than a single undifferentiated, unchanging being (because change must involve being arising from non-being, which is impossible, and differentiating being could only be done by non-being, which is also impossible) and Heraclitus, who was apparently denying that there could be any beings persisting more than momentarily.

      So at least some of what requires explanation in the oak/acorn example is how the oak and acorn can be real beings and not illusions and how a series of unrelated fleeting momentary beings can compose a persisting acorn and oak.

      Delete
    78. There is some interesting material on Act and Potency and other aspects of Aristotle's metaphysics in Christopher Shields' article 'Aristotle' on the Stanford Encyclopedia,e.g. under the Hylomorphism heading:

      .....
      In its most rudimentary formulation, hylomorphism simply labels each of the two factors: what remains is matter and what is gained is form. Aristotle’s hylomorphism quickly becomes much more complex, however, as the notions of matter and form are pressed into philosophical service. Importantly, matter and form come to be paired with another fundamental distinction, that between potentiality and actuality. Again in the case of the generation of a statue, we may say that the bronze is potentially a statue, but that it is an actual statue when and only when it is informed with the form of a statue. Of course, before being made into a statue, the bronze was also in potentiality a fair number of other artefacts—a cannon, a steam-engine, or a goal on a football pitch. Still, it was not in potentiality butter or a beach ball. This shows that potentiality is not the same as possibility: to say that x is potentially F is to say that x already has actual features in virtue of which it might be made to be F by the imposition of a F form upon it.


      I'm thinking, if you were a nominalist, Humean or neo-Humean about causation, reject essentialism and Aristotelian substances, believe in Lewisian possible worlds and so on, this will naturally lead to a lot of incompatibilities and conflicts with Scholastic positions on most things besides and including eternalism.

      Delete
    79. That is what your claim is, not mine, so if I don't think that it doesn't mean I deny accidental change and substantial change which is what you were supposed to show here

      It’s what your claim entails unless you can give an alternative account of how substantial change and accidental change occur on eternalism.

      Well I have already explained to you why is it vague,and you haven't engaged with that here again, If you're going to define something in terms of some other things which themselves presuppose that very same thing than that would be entirely obscure definition. I am not asking for what species of change there are

      It’s not my problem that you don’t know basic AT terms like generation or corruption or that terms like “state of affairs” seem “vague” to you. Read more books.

      First given that you still haven't defined change you can hardly complain about me asserting stuff here

      And you can’t even keep your own argument straight. What is it? Either I haven’t given you a definition or I have given you a vague definition.

      secondly I have already explained to you why dispositions can't do the work they are required here to do. You haven't responded to that

      Do you even read my entire replies before responding to them? Because this clearly isn’t true.

      Wait,how is any of these claims you make here related to Debate on Substantivalism and Relationalism?

      Why would you restrict your quantifiers like that? is twenty-first century part of the same world or not?

      The fact that you talk about quantifiers in the first place shows that our terms are linked to specific times and not all times.

      Eternalists don’t need to posit space-time and can treat the two as separate ontological categories. It’s obscure because you are unfamiliar with philosophy of time. If this is obscure to you that is your problem, not mine.

      Delete
    80. Why exactly do you say this? I've already explained to you in detail that both those theories have fundamentally different metaphysical underpinning of the concept of a given point in time or now

      Koons was clearly making the point that eternalism does not mean that things existat all times, which is what you were claiming. a-theory vs. b-theory had nothing to do with it since this statement doesn’t depend of privileging the present. He acknowledges debates about spatial vs temporal location in the book, yet he went ahead and wrote what I quoted anways. If you want to say he’s wrong, go ahead. However, he does not agree with you.

      The first argument is based on Thomas Aquinas’s First Way and depends on assuming the truth of the A-Theory. The A-Theory of time is the theory that there is a metaphysically unique Present Moment that is constantly in motion._From GOD’S EXISTENCE Robert C. Koons

      I disagree with Koons, although I would note that saying the first way depends on a-theory is different from saying that act/potency depends on a-theory. I don’t argue that you’re cherry picking from him like you do with me.

      What is relevant is Lockwood’s point that on the Minkowskian interpretation of relativity, there is in the natural order no real actualization of potency or potentiality; everything in the world, whether “past,” “present,” or “future,” is all “already” actual, as it were. Thus there is no genuine change in the world—not even the sort Newtonian physics would allow occurs with the acceleration of an object.

      You are definitely cherry-picking here. Feser isn’t saying this claim is true. Lockwood is saying this is true. It’s ambiguous whether or not he agrees with it and irrelevant to him since he is a presentist. Anyways, he is only describing a worse case scenario and not necessarily agreeing with Lockwood’s assessment of what a block universe entails. Plus Minkowski’s block universe is only one form of eternalism, it is not the only form of eternalism since eternalists do not have to posit space-time.

      Consider these claim
      X exits at world W if X is located at some location.
      Therefore
      X is located at every single place in W


      Your claim was that x exists at all times. For you, any given time is equivalent to a spatial location. If x exists at all times it is located at all spatial locations.

      Well they don't necessarily need to do that but ..like I said bringing in essences here won't help you, as that would make this whole argument itself redundant.

      As far as I know, it makes your argument irrelevant since thomists can still use dispositions to understand act/potency without using them as a basis for modality.

      what that argument which you have yet to engage was intended to show was that conjunction of
      if there is only one actualized world with a future set in stone and Dispositionalism entails that it is necessarily actualized.


      The world does not necessarily exist under dispositionalism. You have badly misread the paper you cited.

      Secondly, what do you mean by saying The unrealized potencies in our world could have still have been realized by another world being actualized in which said potencies were realized since what "could" have been the case on this account is itself grounded in potentialities?

      Let’s say x has the potential to either y or z. God could either create world a where x does y or world b where x does z, but neither world a or world b is created necessarily. In either case, what x does is still dependent on the disposition it has (it will never do s, t, u, etc) which restricts what worlds are possible.

      Delete
    81. It’s what your claim entails unless you can give an alternative account of how substantial change and accidental change occur on eternalism.
      Well you claimed that I denied it so burden is on you to show exactly how my claims entails it. It is not on me.

      It’s not my problem that you don’t know basic AT terms like generation or corruption or that terms like “state of affairs” seem “vague” to you. Read more books.
      Again I have exactly told you why is it vague, you're just not willing to understand anything but anyway, here goes once again, if you're going to define change in terms of generation or corruption and these locutions themselves are intelligible only in terms of change, you're not really going to define change at all. so once again this liability remains on you. one could put forward any odd gibberish and call it a day but that wouldn't explain anything and that would be hardly relevant to me not understanding basic AT terms...

      And you can’t even keep your own argument straight. What is it? Either I haven’t given you a definition or I have given you a vague definition.
      Fair enough, the point still stands, gibberish don't really constitute a definition. so tell me I am asserting stuff only after you've yourself have explained what it is.

      The fact that you talk about quantifiers in the first place shows that our terms are linked to specific times and not all times.
      What? would you please elaborate a little on what you're trying to say here because I can't quite understand what it amounts to.

      Eternalists don’t need to posit space-time and can treat the two as separate ontological categories. It’s obscure because you are unfamiliar with philosophy of time. If this is obscure to you that is your problem, not mine.
      But how is that relevant to analogy?as nothing about the analogy rests on positing space-time, saying that space and time are perfectly analogous don't put them under same ontological category.as I've explained to you that analogy has more to do with B-theory of time. And how change can be explained differently so that it makes act/potency compatible with Eternalism? I still have many questions ...as you can see here you've left all that stuff entirely obscure in your comment and that is hardly related with my being unfamiliar with philosophy of time.

      Koons was clearly making the point that eternalism does not mean that things existat all times, which is what you were claiming. a-theory vs. b-theory had nothing to do with it since this statement doesn’t depend of privileging the present. He acknowledges debates about spatial vs temporal location in the book, yet he went ahead and wrote what I quoted anways. If you want to say he’s wrong, go ahead. However, he does not agree with you.

      I disagree with Koons, although I would note that saying the first way depends on a-theory is different from saying that act/potency depends on a-theory. I don’t argue that you’re cherry picking from him like you do with me.

      Well this shows that you're simply not understanding or even trying to, how those locutions are completely different on both those theories or what they have to do with it. but again if all you want to do is base your point on some quote which seems to agree with you then at least some consistency is in order here, as saying something depends on assuming the truth of .... seems pretty clear cut to me and in any case if that is some how cherry picking then so is what you're doing here. If you want to say he is wrong then he doesn't agree with you either.

      Delete
    82. You are definitely cherry-picking here. Feser isn’t saying this claim is true. Lockwood is saying this is true. It’s ambiguous whether or not he agrees with it and irrelevant to him since he is a presentist. Anyways, he is only describing a worse case scenario and not necessarily agreeing with Lockwood’s assessment of what a block universe entails.
      Well you've missed the point here, I am not saying that he necessarily agrees with it but that this is what he thinks it could entail if its true, and again If I am cherry picking here from what seems like a pretty clear reading, so were you. and most importantly the main thing to emphasize is that block universe essentially entails that all times are actual, which is what you need to deny to make act/potency intelligible.

      Plus Minkowski’s block universe is only one form of eternalism, it is not the only form of eternalism since eternalists do not have to posit space-time.
      hmm, but what other forms of Eternalism are you talking about? care to explain that? and how would there be the relevant kind of change on that Eternalism, will that Eternalism with its peculiar kind of change be compatible with contemporary physics ?

      Your claim was that x exists at all times. For you, any given time is equivalent to a spatial location. If x exists at all times it is located at all spatial locations.
      Again you haven't explained what was asked of you
      How does (keeping in mind the fact that space and time are analogous and all the distinctions that are explained to you) from
      1.x exists at all times
      does this follow
      2.it is located at all spatial locations.

      As far as I know, it makes your argument irrelevant since thomists can still use dispositions to understand act/potency without using them as a basis for modality.
      Wait a minute, this is new, up until now we were discussing the paper "A Dispositional Theory of Possibility" which you cited to defend act/potency and now you're telling me there is some other way thomists can still use dispositions to understand act/potency(whatever this means)? well Ok lets look at this.

      The world does not necessarily exist under dispositionalism. You have badly misread the paper you cited.
      When have I said that? What I have said is that I have tried to argue that conjunction of Dispositionalism and Eternalism Entails that. whatever is actual is necessary. which is very different from the claim that World exists necessarily under dispositionalism period. On the other hand if all you mean in this yet another obscure remark is that , that argument was based on misreading of dispositionalism then you are yet to successfully demonstrate that.

      Let’s say x has the potential to either y or z. God could either create world a where x does y or world b where x does z, but neither world a or world b is created necessarily. In either case, what x does is still dependent on the disposition it has (it will never do s, t, u, etc) which restricts what worlds are possible.

      Again you simply ignored the question, what do you mean by "could" here, and how have we reached God already? since again What I have tried to argue that combining this account with eternalism will entail exactly that , nothing "could" have been different.

      Delete
    83. I realize this is a pretty late response, but I thought it was worth posting anyways. In my defense, I thought I posted this reply last week.

      Well you claimed that I denied it so burden is on you to show exactly how my claims entails it. It is not on me.

      My claim (which I should have made more explicit) has been that if accidental/substantial change occurs, then act/potency exists. For you to deny act/potency, you’ll have to deny accidental/substantial change as well. Given that these two sets of concepts have been historically linked together and that one flows from the other, the burden of proof is on you to show how they can be separated. All you’ve done is assert that they can be separated.

      What? would you please elaborate a little on what you're trying to say here because I can't quite understand what it amounts to

      Our quantifiers range over the entire world but this would be irrelevant if there weren’t differences in said world- like things existing at certain times and not others. So do I exist in time (total range)? Yes. Am I actual in time (total range)? Yes. Do I exist in 1200-1300 (specific range)? No

      But how is that relevant to analogy?as nothing about the analogy rests on positing space-time, saying that space and time are perfectly analogous don't put them under same ontological category.

      If time and space aren’t perfectly analogous, then temporal location doesn’t need to be equivalent to spatial location. Anon has shown how Trump can be seen as to exist on Earth in a spatial as opposed to temporal sense. For instance, do I exist on both Earth and Mars since I exist in this solar system? Yes in a temporal sense, no in a spatial sense.

      Delete
    84. How does (keeping in mind the fact that space and time are analogous and all the distinctions that are explained to you) from
      1.x exists at all times
      does this follow
      2.it is located at all spatial locations.


      I’ve already established that things always exist but don’t exist at all times under eternalism. For x to exist in world t means it has just has to have any given location. For x to exist at a certain time it must have a certain location. Thus for x to exist at all times it must exist at all locations.

      Wait a minute, this is new, up until now we were discussing the paper "A Dispositional Theory of Possibility"

      No, this was in reference to the paper you cited called barring dispositionalists from eternity

      When have I said that? What I have said is that I have tried to argue that conjunction of Dispositionalism and Eternalism Entails that. whatever is actual is necessary. which is very different from the claim that World exists necessarily under dispositionalism period

      This was a mistake on my part. The sentence should have read that the world doesn’t necessarily exist under dispositionalism and eternalism. God doesn’t necessarily create this world. The existence of this world (and thus how events play out in it) is contingent regardless of whether eternalism and dispositionalism are true or not. Your paper does not even address this issue, and you’ve offered no arguments for why this is the case. In other words, potentiality is based on the dispositions of objects which limits what worlds are possible, but possibility is based on contingency. The events in this world happen a certain way given eternalism, but this world itself did not have to be like this given eternalism and dispositionalism.

      Delete
    85. I realize this is a pretty late response, but I thought it was worth posting anyways. In my defense, I thought I posted this reply last week.
      Hello again, worth noting that its odd that you simply didn't check up on your comment within a week but thats fine, thanks for the response.

      My claim (which I should have made more explicit) has been that if accidental/substantial change occurs, then act/potency exists. For you to deny act/potency, you’ll have to deny accidental/substantial change as well. Given that these two sets of concepts have been historically linked together and that one flows from the other, the burden of proof is on you to show how they can be separated.

      Here the very first thing to note is that you still haven't even defined what change is , given that rest of your complaints seems pretty superfluous, you fail to make the very notion of act/potency intelligible consequently it also remains an entire mystery how exactly does act/potency follow from change, how is it compatible with eternalism or with contemporary physics, you are hardy at liberty to claim that if accidental/substantial change occurs, then act/potency exists much less demonstrate it.
      Remember you first quoted some passage from me in which you claimed I denied accidental/substantial change exists, you claimed that it somehow entailed it. you as you can clearly see it should be you who should be doing demonstrations. otherwise by your own logic I can just as well say Thomists are external world deniers since I've argued act/potency entail that.

      If time and space aren’t perfectly analogous, then temporal location doesn’t need to be equivalent to spatial location.
      Wait, once again how is any of this related to Substantivalism and Relationalism, which is what we were discussing in passages above ?

      Delete
    86. Anon has shown how Trump can be seen as to exist on Earth in a spatial as opposed to temporal sense. For instance, do I exist on both Earth and Mars since I exist in this solar system? Yes in a temporal sense, no in a spatial sense.

      hmm, i'll leave you to elaborate on what exactly you mean by existence in temporal sense and existence in spatial sense, It seems absurd to say that you occupy no spatial location on Earth if thats what you mean by saying no in a spatial sense

      I’ve already established that things always exist but don’t exist at all times under eternalism.

      I'll tell you to look twice at this passage of yours ..

      For x to exist in world t means it has just has to have any given location. For x to exist at a certain time it must have a certain location. Thus for x to exist at all times it must exist at all locations.

      Once again, how does from
      1. For x to exist at a certain time it must have a certain location
      Does it follow that
      2.for x to exist at all times it must exist at all locations

      This was a mistake on my part. The sentence should have read that the world doesn’t necessarily exist under dispositionalism and eternalism. God doesn’t necessarily create this world. The existence of this world (and thus how events play out in it) is contingent regardless of whether eternalism and dispositionalism are true or not. Your paper does not even address this issue, and you’ve offered no arguments for why this is the case. In other words, potentiality is based on the dispositions of objects which limits what worlds are possible, but possibility is based on contingency. The events in this world happen a certain way given eternalism, but this world itself did not have to be like this given eternalism and dispositionalism.

      Once again you simply fail to engage with the issues here, simply rewording and reasserting won't settle anything here. first of all again how have we reached God already? what sort of contingecy you have in mind here, what grounds these claims about contingecy ?

      The events in this world happen a certain way given eternalism, but this world itself did not have to be like this given eternalism and dispositionalism.
      This exactly what I have argued is not the case. to which you don't engage.

      Delete
    87. Here the very first thing to note is that you still haven't even defined what change is

      I’ve given you the standard AT definition. Philosophers everywhere have no problem with it, even with they disagree with it. They still know what it means. You have displayed little to no understanding of the basic concepts behind it with statements like “If you're going to define something in terms of some other things which themselves presuppose that very same thing than that would be entirely obscure definition” and “you're going to reply that change is accidental and substantial change then that is exactly like responding to what is a rose with a rose is a red rose when it has red color on it and a blue rose when it has blue color on it.” These aren’t coherent criticisms. Anyone can look up terms like generation, corruption, accidental change, and substantial change and see what they mean, and you can tell what I mean by substantial and accidental change by looking at the examples I gave.




      I’ve given specific examples of what substantial change and accidental change would look like under eternalism here and elsewhere. The thread I linked to at the classical theism board explains how change leads to the act/potency division works. You’ve done nothing to refute it. Furthermore, on your account of eternalism I see no way how you can affirm substantial and accidental change. If things exist at all times, and substantial change is by definition concerned with claims about existence, then you have no substantial change. The same goes for accidental change. If things are actual at all times, the rest of their properties must be actualized at all times as well. Again, no accidental change.

      Delete
    88. Wait, once again how is any of this related to Substantivalism and Relationalism, which is what we were discussing in passages above ?

      If you are a substantivalist about space and a relationist about time, then you don’t need to posit space-time. There goes your spatial location equals temporal location.

      It seems absurd to say that you occupy no spatial location on Earth if thats what you mean by saying no in a spatial sense

      Do you even bother to think about what I write for two seconds? I said both Earth and Mars. I am located spatially on Earth. I am not located spatially on Mars. It would be absurd to say that I exist both spatially on both Earth and Mars just because I exist in this solar system.

      Once again, how does from
      1. For x to exist at a certain time it must have a certain location
      Does it follow that
      2.for x to exist at all times it must exist at all locations


      Because you’ve already tied existence to spatiotemporal location. x can't be said to exist without a spatiotemporal location.

      Once again you simply fail to engage with the issues here, simply rewording and reasserting won't settle anything here.
      Again, it’s like you don’t bother to think about what I write. I clearly delineated between potentiality (the capacity for something to be brought about) versus possibility (the chances for something to be brought about). Potentiality limits what the set of actions that are possible, but possibilities are grounded in contingency. You said “what that argument which you have yet to engage was intended to show was that conjunction of if there is only one actualized world with a future set in stone and Dispositionalism entails that it is necessarily actualized.”

      Your paper does not support this position. This is why I mentioned God, since this is how the universe is actualized. If you’ve given an argument for why God has to necessarily actualize this particular universe as opposed to another one, I have not seen it. All my arguments needs is the fact that this universe (and thus all the events that occur within it) exists contingently.

      Delete
    89. I’ve given you the standard AT definition. Philosophers everywhere have no problem with it, even with they disagree with it. They still know what it means.
      Once again you simply do not bother to address any of the problems I have tried to identify with it saying its just the standard AT definition doesn't make it somehow more intelligible , and when did you do the headcount to check if philosophers have problem with it or not, indeed you use the word everywhere , this is a horrendous assertion which can't be based on any facts and make discussion with you all the more fruitless, so if you can't produce any coherent arguments at least you should stop with the blatant lies.

      You have displayed little to no understanding of the basic concepts behind it with statements like “If you're going to define something in terms of some other things which themselves presuppose that very same thing than that would be entirely obscure definition” and “you're going to reply that change is accidental and substantial change then that is exactly like responding to what is a rose with a rose is a red rose when it has red color on it and a blue rose when it has blue color on it.” These aren’t coherent criticisms. Anyone can look up terms like generation, corruption, accidental change, and substantial change and see what they mean, and you can tell what I mean by substantial and accidental change by looking at the examples I gave.

      This stuff is getting laughable , I simply didn't knew Thomists would have so much difficulty even defining the very notion which is central to their system(all the mush worse for them). once again you simply ignore any issues those passages you quoted raised , instead we are simply told that These aren’t coherent criticisms Why?? because apparently:
      Anyone can look up terms like generation, corruption, accidental change, and substantial change and see what they mean, and you can tell what I mean by substantial and accidental change by looking at the examples I gave.

      OK...Right , Now, consider what happens when someone "looks up" these term , all of them are only intelligible , and defined in terms of what change is , if that itself is left entirely obscure and unintelligible, there is no way for you to just define change like,
      Generation and corruption in terms of a temporal succession of distinct affairs indeed, no one can make any sense of what this gibberish means. no matter how much he "looks up" once again these are themselves only intelligible when change itself is properly defined as these themselves refer to change to make them intelligible.

      Likewise for examples, first of all which examples are you talking about here, which we haven't already discussed and which have not been criticized already ? can you be more specific? Secondly , only examples don't define any term you need a definition for that which is what you fail to provide. Japan and Australia are pretty good examples of a country but these by themselves don't define
      what a country is

      I’ve given specific examples of what substantial change and accidental change would look like under eternalism here and elsewhere.

      I'll again tell you to be more specific on this point , any links?
      and similarly here,

      The thread I linked to at the classical theism board explains how change leads to the act/potency division works. You’ve done nothing to refute it..

      Wait, where ? as far as I know that didn't happen, Saying that its situated somewhere on a whole other thread isn't particularly good way to settle any issues OK. I've already engaged with that above. once again anywhere specific you want us to look at there?

      Delete
  8. Dr Feser,

    Do you only reply to the standard objections in your book, or do you also reply to objections from professional atheistic philosophers of religion as well?

    Because it seems to me that the last chapter of your book, which is supposed to answer many other possible objections that you haven't discussed in the previous chapters, should in fact include responses to much more serious and worthy objections as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you only reply to the standard objections in your book, or do you also reply to objections from professional atheistic philosophers of religion as well?

      All of them, of course. What would be the point of not replying to objections from atheist philosophers of religion?

      Read what the people who endorsed the book say. As Fred Freddoso says in his blurb, "[Feser] replies to (literally) all of the objections." He wasn't kidding. Nor were Steve Davis or Rob Koons, who also emphasized the value of the book's responses to objections. The whole point was to be thorough.

      Delete
    2. Really? Wow. If that's the case then I guess the only thing that remains to be done is for one to read the book and convince oneself of God's existence.

      This book just might convince hordes of people of God's existence.

      Delete
    3. In my long experience, hard-bitten and convinced atheists will not be unconvinced. If you show them an iron-clad proof of God’s existence, which no reasoning can refute, rather than accept belief in God, they stop believing in reason. I have known sad cases.

      Delete
    4. A 'hard-bitten' atheist would always raise some issue not addessed in the book (like background metaphysics - no one book can cover everything).

      Can't find a real fault in the argument? The background metaphysics must be wrong. Arguments for the background metaphysics seem strong? Well epistemology is more fundamental anyway. Etc etc.

      Delete
    5. Tom SimonAugust 19, 2017 at 1:00 PM

      "If you show them an iron-clad proof of God’s existence, which no reasoning can refute, rather than accept belief in God, they stop believing in reason. I have known sad cases."
      --Interesting. I have never heard "an iron-clad proof of God’s existence, which no reasoning can refute".

      Got one handy you care to share here?

      Delete
    6. Well, we have one troll named Stardusty Pscyhe. By your presence, you're the perfect example of "stop believing in reason".

      Delete
  9. Already out of stock on Amazon :(

    Second the motion for ebooks (Kindle).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From "RBrad" below:

      In case anyone is still waiting on a physical copy, Ignatius just put up an ecopy available for download here: https://www.ignatius.com/Products/FPEG-E/five-proofs-of-the-existence-of-god.aspx

      Delete
  10. I'm sure Amazon will refill their inventory very soon. If not, I'm stuffed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they even had it in the first place. Amazon.ca and Book Depository never even had any. American readers should go to Ignatius site.

      Delete
  11. Just ordered my copy from Ignatius. Very much looking forward to reading it! Congrats on another book Prof. Feser.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was about to order it from Amazon, but it's sold out. Strange for a philosophy. Ignatius Press is not an option for my friends and I because the shipping costs 20$, more than the book itself. Ordered Scholastic Metaphysics instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From "RBrad" below:

      In case anyone is still waiting on a physical copy, Ignatius just put up an ecopy available for download here: https://www.ignatius.com/Products/FPEG-E/five-proofs-of-the-existence-of-god.aspx

      Delete
  13. My copy is supposed to arrive today. I will probably be checking the mailbox several times!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woah! When did you order it? I pre ordered back in June and they still haven't given me a delivery date.

      Delete
  14. What is it with these small publishers and their inability to offer ebooks? For Scholastic Metaphysics I clicked the "Tell The Publisher" link from two different Amazon accounts, had a bunch of friends do it as well...to no avail. Surely these things already exist in electronic format and it can't be that hard to offer a Kindle version...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scholatic Metaphysics is available from Barnes and Noble in ebook format. Dr Feser's previous book from the same publisher (the one on the death penalty) is available in Kindle format so this one should be as well..

      Delete
    2. From "RBrad" below:

      In case anyone is still waiting on a physical copy, Ignatius just put up an ecopy available for download here: https://www.ignatius.com/Products/FPEG-E/five-proofs-of-the-existence-of-god.aspx

      Delete
  15. Replies
    1. From "RBrad" below:

      In case anyone is still waiting on a physical copy, Ignatius just put up an ecopy available for download here: https://www.ignatius.com/Products/FPEG-E/five-proofs-of-the-existence-of-god.aspx

      Delete
  16. Can't wait to sink my teeth in it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Preordered it on Amazon over a month agp. Checked yesterday to see if it had shipped...seeing how Friday was the release date...it was already out of stock. Total b.s. and I'm totally bummed.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dr. Feser you must be proud that your book has sold out on release day on both UK and US amazon sites?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't seem to have had any stock in the first place.

      Delete
  19. Amazon doesn't yet have an estimated shipping date. Still, it's not that bad. If you want real delays, try Naval Institute Press. Six months is nothing with them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dr. Feser, I am really looking forward to reading this book. When you have a chance, could you briefly address whether there are any other theistic arguments that you consider to be persuasive, but perhaps not strong enough to make the top five included in your book? Perhaps Aquinas's third and fifth ways?

    Brad

    ReplyDelete
  21. OP "the existence of God can be established with certainty by way of purely rational arguments. "
    --How absurd. No certain rational argument either for or against god in general has ever been published into general circulation.

    It is, however, possibly to show that certain formulations of god are incoherent, such as the Christian god, since mutually exclusive properties are simultaneously assigned to the Christian god.

    Further, it is possible to show that particular arguments for god are flawed, such as Aquinas in his "first and more manifest way" which suffers from begging the question fallacy, affirming the consequent fallacy, ad hoc assertion fallacy, false dichotomy fallacy, false premises, and is glaringly incomplete as an argument for the existence of god.

    I have read Feser's arguments and listened to his arguments in video lectures at length. His arguments are invariably unsound. I challenge any reader to succinctly present any supposed "certainty by way of purely rational arguments" for the existence of god.

    I guarantee I can dismantle any such attempted argument in short order.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're funny. No, really... you're hilarious!

      Delete
    2. Is this a troll account?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous August 20, 2017 at 2:20 PM

      "Is this a troll account?"
      What question can you ask to determine if a person is a liar? If the subject of the question is independently verifiable, say the color of grass or the sky, then perhaps you can simply ask, but even a liar might be smart enough to tell the truth in such an easily verifiable case.

      Of course, your use of the word "this" was rather imprecise as to its intended subject. Which "this" are you talking about?

      Tell ya what...You post some supposedly certain rational argument for the existence god, I will dismantle it, and you can form your opinion as you see fit.

      Delete
    4. If you were new here, we might buy your spiel. But we have often seen what you imagine to be sound arguments, and frankly, I cannot easily imagine a person worse qualified than you to judge of the validity of anyone’s reasoning.

      By the way, it’s ‘God’ with a capital G. In the English language, one does not use a countable noun without an article, except as a proper name. Thus: a god, the god, some gods, God. Whether or not God exists does not affect the case: one does not deprive Santa Claus, King Kong, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster of their capital letters merely because they happen to be fictitious.

      I imagine the Cool Atheist Kids’ Club will throw you out and call you names for spelling God with a capital G, but believe me, it’s not worth staying in good with that little claque at the expense of being thought a fool by everyone else.

      Delete
    5. Nobody wants to engage with your old tired objections Star. I've seen you post such old canards as "Newtonian physics is incompatible with Aquinas's conception of motion etc.." on sites like this - http://philosopherdhaines.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-defense-of-aquinass-first-way.html#gpluscomments Or claiming that the unmoved mover has contingent parts in need of moving etc. All of these have been addressed by multiple different thinkers on different platforms. Feser has dealt with the motion objection at length in Neo-Scholastic Essays and most of your other objections are dealt with in similar works by Feser or thinkers like Oderberg. I'm not (and hopefully nobody else will) going to waste time addressing old issues from an internet sophist who can't be bothered to even read the books he is attacking. I will stick to replying to objections that are at least familiar with the already published material.

      Delete
    6. This person Stardusty Psyche's posts are consistently of very, very, very poor quality. Indeed, it's so bad it hurts. Can't help but feel secondhand embarrassment.

      Delete
    7. Tom SimonAugust 20, 2017 at 3:48 PM

      "By the way, it’s ‘God’ with a capital G. "
      --Nope, it's god, with a lower case "g". As in dog, or tree, or electromagnetic force. You wish to show deference to with capitalizations such as Him and He and God, that is up to you. I choose not to participate in your bit of reverence.

      Delete
    8. FerinusAugust 20, 2017 at 3:58 PM

      " I've seen you post such old canards as "Newtonian physics is incompatible with Aquinas's conception of motion etc.." on sites like this - http://philosopherdhaines.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-defense-of-aquinass-first-way.html#gpluscomments
      --Yet you have displayed no specific capability to address the specific arguments I have made there over the past 6 months.

      " All of these have been addressed by multiple different thinkers on different platforms. "
      --Typical theistic misdirection, vaguely pointing elsewhere claiming the answers have all been provided, yet unable or unwilling to make any specific arguments of your own.

      You cited a page where I did just the opposite. In a series of posts spanning 6 months I used very careful logical arguments, in words and in logical notation, referencing the logical notation of the author, and the words of a source of the author.

      Your response is that of the typical theist, use just a few words to assert a strawman then claim the answers are elsewhere.

      "Feser has dealt with the motion objection at length in Neo-Scholastic Essays"
      --I have read Feser's arguments regarding motion and they are very poorly structured, and of course unsound. I gave Billy the review he seemed to call for with his link but he never responded with any specifics, only a very short, general, and vacuous claim of broad subjects I supposedly do not understand. Imagine my surprise. Here:
      http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/07/taking-aquinas-seriously.html?showComment=1500757199296#c7837464110761868935

      " I will stick to replying to objections that are at least familiar with the already published material. "
      --Fine, the published material I responded to in the above case is at
      http://faculty.fordham.edu/klima/SMLM/PSMLM10/PSMLM10.pdf

      Delete
    9. The best course is simply to ignore the troll entirely. When has he given the slightest hint he is worth responding to? Don't feed him.

      SP, go away.

      Delete
    10. Yeah, Ed's asked in the past that people ignore him. I'd suggest that as tempting it would be to offer correction, out of deference to our host, we should restrain from doing so.

      Delete
    11. Also out of deference to yourself. By this point it is obvious that there is no chance of a sensible discussion on with SP. You will point out an obvious flaw in his post and not only will he not accept this, but you will get s flood of arrogantly expressed nonsense back. Any follow-ups from you will simply see the cycle repeat itself. It can be fun to deflate the superiority complexes of gnus, but when they're full trolls it gets tedious quickly.

      Delete
    12. AnonymousAugust 21, 2017 at 8:23 PM

      "... with SP. You will point out an obvious flaw in his post"
      --You have yet to do so. You only make that vacuous claim.

      What specific "obvious" flaw of mine have you ever pointed out?

      I very much doubt you have the capacity to do so, on the lack of demonstration of any such thing here.

      " and not only will he not accept this, "
      --Of course I do not accept the poorly reasoned assertions so typical of the theists here.

      " It can be fun to deflate the superiority complexes of gnus, but when they're full trolls it gets tedious quickly. "
      --You have made no such attempt. All you do is toss out a few offhand quips.

      The simple fact is that the claim of the OP is outlandish. If there were immediate harm at stake I would say outrageous.

      OP "the existence of God can be established with certainty by way of purely rational arguments. "

      That is an outlandish claim at the very least. No rational argument ever published has ever established with certainty either the existence of god or the non-existence of god.

      You certainly have done nothing here to support such an absurd claim.

      I can easily dismantle any such attempt, so it is no surprise you have made no such attempt.

      My arguments linked in the August 20, 2017 at 8:43 PM post are just a small sampling.

      I typically focus on the First Way here because this is an A-T site and Aquinas himself considered it the first and more manifest way. The First Way suffers from begging the question, ad hoc assertion, false premises, and is not even complete as an argument for the existence of god, much less establishing the existence of god with certainty.

      Even after tweaking away some of the most glaring defects of A-T argument inevitably the remaining argument is still unsound, as I have demonstrated in the above linked posts in thousands of carefully placed words.

      Delete
    13. SP,

      "I gave Billy the review he seemed to call for with his link but he never responded with any specifics, only a very short, general, and vacuous claim of broad subjects I supposedly do not understand."

      Yea, because you don't. As I said, I began responding, but found that in order to explain where you were wrong in your understanding, I had to explain some very very very very simple concepts to you.

      If you want a small piece of it, here is just the very first thing you said:

      "All change requires [local] motion"

      This statement is clearly false, since local motion is not something that comes WITH change, but simply IS a kind of change. However, I'll be charitable so I'm guessing what you actually meant (and your other responses seem to signify) was probably that all change just IS of the local motion kind. However, even then, this is clearly false since we can easily talk about changes in things that don't even have a spatial location.

      For example: Although physical objects out int he world are the easiest examples, instead lets take the law of conservation itself. You MUST believe that it, or something that the law refers to, must exist in some sense. How can it be any explanation, (whether as merely descriptive, prescriptive, or otherwise) if it doesn't exist in anyway whatsoever? You must believe that we didn't just invent it, like a rule in chess or soccer or anything else we simply make up, but actually DISCOVERED it. But clearly, the law, or any scientific law, is not floating around the sun, or sitting in a field somewhere, or has, even in principle, any location or moving between different locations at all. So it exists but cannot go through any local motion, but that does not mean it cannot go through change as I will show.

      We can definitely conceive of this law no longer applying to physical systems. Even if it never actually stops applying, it is possible for it to stop applying. But for it to go from applying to not applying requires change.

      Again, whether the law stops applying or not, we can easily speak of it not applying, which requires something about it to change, but this cannot be local motion (since the law is not moving between spatial locations). If the law is merely descriptive, and the physical system simply just starts behaving in a way contrary to the description we give, then the change is merely with the system, but then we need a further principle and the law is no longer a proper explanation. More fundamental scientific law then? If so, just apply everything we have been saying to that law instead. If you say that speaking of laws not applying is absurd and is merely us misunderstanding laws, you would need to give a reason why laws cannot stop applying. I can almost guarantee that you will begin using concepts such as necessity and/or causal (or explanatory) series to make your case (which will be very difficult to make anyway).

      This was just your very first sentence in your response. I am not going to go through that much wording for every single misunderstanding you made (which was a lot), and I'm sure the lack of understanding you have will simply cause you to raise even further questions and terrible criticisms. You got near the end saying: "His explanation is that when things don’t change an unchanged changer is continuously changing them to not change. What?" This is not what any AT philosopher says at all but this clearly shows just how much of a misunderstanding you have.

      This is why I said that you need to simply start by asking yourself: Why does the law of conservation, or any scientific law at all, even apply? Can you answer that without appealing to other scientific laws (which pushes the question back a step), brute facts (which is no explanation), or necessity/contingency (which you deny)? You keep just saying that modern understanding of causation has moved on but yet you haven't at all explained how it has.

      Delete
    14. Billy August 23, 2017 at 9:01 AM

      " I had to explain some very very very very simple concepts to you."
      --That's a good thing then, as it should be very, very, very, very easy for you to explain those things.

      "... all change just IS of the local motion kind. However, even then, this is clearly false "
      --Interesting. I suppose you can provide some real existent examples.

      "since we can easily talk about changes in things that don't even have a spatial location."
      --Talking about it doesn't count. I can talk about things that have no realization outside my imagination. Real change only occurs as a real motion, a real positional change of some thing real.


      "lets take the law of conservation itself. You MUST believe that it, or something that the law refers to, must exist in some sense."
      --I have no such requirement. Things simply act as they do. Nobody knows, ultimately, why. I have no need of a concept of some sort of "laws" Platonically floating about. So called "laws" are descriptive, not prescriptive.

      " ...So it exists"
      --Things simply act as they do.

      "We can definitely conceive of this law no longer applying to physical systems. "
      --You are confusing an abstraction with an external realization. Just because you can think of a thing does not mean it is necessary physically realizable.

      "Even if it never actually stops applying, it is possible for it to stop applying."
      --You are confusing an abstraction with a physically realizable possibility.

      " But for it to go from applying to not applying requires change."
      --You are now in a world of pure imagination. Hardly a sound argument.

      " I can almost guarantee that you will begin using concepts such as necessity and/or causal (or explanatory) series to make your case (which will be very difficult to make anyway)."
      --??? No, you are just imagining things, that's all, pretty simple. You can't give me any real examples so you are simply imagining something that somehow changes without a positional change.

      Feser elsewhere lists various things that are supposedly distinct from so-called "local" motion. Among them he lists quantity, which obviously requires positional change of real existent things, so the claim of Thomists about so called "local" motion is specious on its face.

      SP "His explanation is that when things don’t change an unchanged changer is continuously changing them to not change. What?"
      "This is not what any AT philosopher says at all "
      --Actually, it is what Thomistic arguments say, but it is so preposterous when accurately summarized that Thomists do mental and linguistic gymnastics to avoid such direct and honest phrasing.


      " Why does the law of conservation, or any scientific law at all, even apply? "
      --Nobody knows why, ultimately, things are the way they are, as opposed to any other way we can imagine, or perhaps not even imagine.

      " brute facts (which is no explanation), "
      --God is an asserted brute fact not in evidence. I prefer brute facts for which we have a universe of evidence.

      " You keep just saying that modern understanding of causation has moved on but yet you haven't at all explained how it has."
      --Actually, I have, but it has not been an often repeated aspect of my posts so you probably just did not happen to read it.

      In short, causal influences propagate no faster than c, classically, in what is called a light cone. A causal series is necessarily an "accidental" series, that is, a temporal process. The notion of an "essential" series is illusory. Simultaneity of cause and effect does not extend beyond the limit as t goes to zero, sometimes thought of as the infinitesimal, within which there can be no series of multiple events. The Thomistic notion of an ontological first mover, or unchanged changer, or first cause, or sustaining cause is nonsensical and irrational and patently absurd.

      Delete
    15. Billy,

      Please don't feed the troll. He feeds on responses. Ignoring him is the best route for all.

      Delete
    16. AnonymousAugust 23, 2017 at 8:43 PM

      "Please don't feed the troll. He feeds on responses. Ignoring him is the best route for all. "
      --In other words, you have no capacity for discussion on a discussion forum.

      For you, this ought not be a place where people of differing views trade rational arguments in an open marketplace of ideas.

      Rather, in your view, this so-called discussion forum should be a place of fundamental agreement, a center for groupthink where sycophants and devotees lavish praise and adulation upon the central hero, occasionally chattering about points of minutia, while plugging your ears and chanting nah nah nah at the appearance of any ugly creature so foul as to challenge your fundamental precepts via sound rational argumentation.

      Delete
    17. Stardusty you are so gay & not in the Milo fun way.

      Delete
  22. I am new to that site that is hosting Q/A , so can anyone please tell me when It will happen?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am going to assume that blurb about Ed address literally all the objections to the existence of God is just standard over-statement? If it addressed literally all of them the book would have to be way over 330 pages.

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    Replies
    1. Yes I think the point is that he is addressing the most common and what he views as the most significant issues raised in the literature. As some other comments in this thread demonstrate, there will always be a guy on the internet with a new objection.

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    2. In that case, Ed is only replying to the most reasonable objections to the proofs.

      Objections raised by your regular internet atheist don't actually seem that much of a challenge to answer and cab be refuted easily.

      Delete
  24. In case anyone is still waiting on a physical copy, Ignatius just put up an ecopy available for download here: https://www.ignatius.com/Products/FPEG-E/five-proofs-of-the-existence-of-god.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  25. Looking forward to reading this one, Ed, as well as your forthcoming one on (metaphysical, presumably) naturalism. As a (broadly-speaking) naturalist and non-theist, I'm interested in what you have to say. (I already, btw, have most of your other books.) Best wishes always...

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    1. Good to have you here! I'm looking forward to the book too.

      Delete
  26. Ed, Have you addressed the novel proof that Mortimer Adler proposed in his book "How to Think About God"?

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    1. I don't think he has (could be wrong), but in his article Existential Inertia and the Five Ways, he does address (and, in my view, refute) Adler's argument in that book against divine conservation.

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  27. Pre-ordered it last week. I've been looking forward to this for a while - since it was announced last year! Congratulations, Dr Feser.

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  28. Amazon is out of stock...that's a good sign, even if I have to wait.

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  29. I should get this the next pay check. I don't know when I'll read it. I just had surgery and the pain is terrible.

    Cheers guys.

    PS

    Stardusty is a homo and not the fun kind Milo is......

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  30. I need to refresh my memory particularly on how the modern Thomists get around the two challenges that atheists love to pose to them:

    1. The chain of explanations has to end somewhere, and wherever it ends is a brute fact. God's nature is a brute fact.

    2. Aquinas's definition of efficient causes is flawed because we know that an object A stops moving not exactly at the same moment as object B stops pushing it. Moreover, the movement stops due to other external forces influencing object A. If it were not for them, object A would be moving forever. Thus, the notion of efficient causes makes no sense.

    These are the two issues that I think need to be addressed thoroughly in the book, if you want to convince the modern reader that Aquinas's understanding of physics and metaphysics is not dated.

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    Replies
    1. Happily both of these objections are addressed at length in the book.

      Delete
    2. God's nature is a brute fact.

      Do you allow for a difference between a brute fact and a self-explaining fact? I.E. a fact with no possibility of explanation, vs a fact that is its own explanation?

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    3. Tony, I don't know what to allow, as I'm a novice Thomist, and I have to concede that those two objections have weight. I'd need to hear much more about self-explaining facts before I made my final judgement.

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    4. Kirill, that's fair enough. I would suggest, then, that before you read the Five Proofs, that you read a more basic Feser book, like "Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide)". It is valuable to get a good feel for what counts as an "explanation" and what does not, and why. I think "Aquinas" would help with that, as well as pointing out some of the underpinnings that are necessary to understand at least some of the Proofs (though I am sure he develops that also in the Five Proofs book). The Last Superstition would also do some of that.

      The point is, a lot of error runs around because of asking the wrong questions (i.e. questions that assume things that should not be assumed), or asking them in the wrong order (i.e. questions that have adequate answers only after you have tackled prior questions properly). Part of the wisdom of Aquinas and Aristotle is recognizing the right order of questions.

      Note, however, that "why is that the right first question" is NOT a question that can be answered early on, you have to go quite a long ways into understanding nature, philosophy of nature, and THEN philosophy of mind before one can adequately tackle that. So it requires trusting the teacher. For those of us who are Catholics, the Church helps by pointing to Thomas Aquinas and saying "trust this teacher".

      Delete
    5. Your suggested distinction between an inexplicable brute fact at the head of a series of qualitatively like facts, and a causal series ending with what amounts to a qualitatively different explanation, is a useful one.

      In one case the question as to what ultimately made or caused X dead-ends in a qualitatively equivalent brute fact; in the other, the causal series is itself explained by a qualitatively different agency.

      This distinction might not be seen as adequate by some who wish to jump domains and then pose domain jumping questions as if they apply equally well in case B as they do in case A, but nonetheless you imply a serious and important point.

      To posit a universe which is an artifact produced by an unlike kind, is not to logically fail to answer the brute fact challenge in the effect domain.

      To claim it is so, involves some serious question begging concerning "reality" on the part of the materialist himself.

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    6. I have read Feser's Aquinas but I don't recall him talking about the distinction between brute facts and self-explaining facts. In fact, I distinctly remember that the discussion of the possible infinite chain of efficient causes was easily the weakest part of the book, as he devoted only about 1.5 pages to it, and I for one was left unsatisfied with that part.

      But the way I see it, a self-explaining fact would still need to be inferred from something, no? Otherwise, what could possibly be an example of such a fact? What your atheist interlocutor will press on is that what you are really doing is disguising brute facts as self-explaining, when it comes to God, in order to satisfy the challenge of sufficient reasoning.

      Again, I understand that God's existence can be properly inferred from the impossibility of the infinite chain of efficient causes, but this inference is problematic, as we have to first establish that an efficient cause is even a coherent concept to begin with, and then that such a chain is actually impossible. THAT is what I want to see discussed in the book at length. Otherwise, the argument fails.

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    7. Generally speaking brute facts are regarded as contingent whereas self-explanatory facts are regarded as necessary. So a brute fact is a contingent fact that has no external explanation.

      Delete
  31. Not sure this is the best forum to pose a basic beginners question, but I started reading Dr. Feser's works, and have questions about basic Thomistic metaphysics.

    1. Dr. Feser seems to base Aristotle's concept of of actually and potentiality on the question posed by Parmenides regarding being and nonbeing. Why need Parmenides' question be answered with the concept of actuality and potentiality, can't we say simply that his assumption that all being is unified and unable to act "on itself," is wrong? There are different types of being (like different objects) and one object can change another object (even though neither is nonbeing). Why does that not deal with his question? Why the need to come on to act and potency? I sense that I dont grasp the depth of Parmenides' question, can someone please explain it to me?

    2. Maybe things don't need an inherent potential in order to change? Why must potency be an inherent characteristic?

    3. In response to Zeno's paradox about the infinite number of points that exists between any arbitrary A and B, how does Aristotle answer this? What does it mean that the number is infinite only potentially but not in actuality? I simply don't understand what that means. Does it mean that if someone would go and count out point (thus "actualizing" them) the number would be infinite and he would never finish? Is it possible for those potentially infinite number of points to be actualized?

    I really want someone to essentially prove the metaphysics to me because I am simply not getting it.

    I apologize for asking such elementary questions, but if someone can help me out with them I would greatly appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousAugust 23, 2017 at 7:05 PM

      " the number is infinite "
      --Infinity is not a number, it is a concept.

      There is no actual paradox of Zeno, rather, only malformed analysis. One problem with considering infinite divisions to that we tend to apply a time sequence stepwise analysis to a concept that does not apply over time, infinity.

      You might want to look into the difference between an arbitrarily large number as opposed to the concept of infinity.

      The answer to the problem of divisions is simple. Each segment requires a proportional time to traverse. The sum of those fractional times is always equal to the whole time for any arbitrarily large number of divisions. An infinity of divisions is not physically realizable. Any real set of divisions is a finite number of divisions.

      Delete
  32. Hey guys, some philosophers are working on disputing the law of non-contradiction. What do you think? http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=AH%2FK001698%2F1

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    1. "A rule of minimal logic, 'reductio' is a tool of rational criticism: a theory entailing both A and not-A *must* be revised, for it hosts a falsity. But a dialetheist can keep her entire theory, and the criticism that it involves an inconsistency: she may accept the entailed contradiction."

      The deliberate selection of a feminine possessive pronoun tells you much of what you need to know about the psychological impulses behind the "investigation".

      Wiping the sole of my shoe on Richard Rorty's sagging face.

      Delete
    2. I like the metaphor. Does Dr. Feser have anything interesting to say on Rorty or consequences of Rortian ideas on culture?

      Delete
  33. Hi Dr. Feser

    Have you written something or know anything about J.L. Ackrill's problem with hylomorphic dualism? I myself can't formulate it so I'll cite Christopher Shields in his article "A fundamental problem about hylomorphism". He says:
    "Now, whatever Aristotle’s motives for appealing to homonymy in this connection may be, it should first be appreciated that it has immediate and problematic consequences for his hylomorphic analysis of soul and body. For it entails that no human body is contingently ensouled; rather, every human body is essentially ensouled and goes out of existence at the moment it loses its soul, that is, at the moment of death. This will seem counterintuitive, insofar as it seems peculiar to speak of a human body as ceasing to exist at the moment of death. We say, after all, that many citizens in the Soviet Union made a special effort to view ‘Lenin’s body’ on display in Moscow, or that ‘King Tut’s body’ was preserved through mummification. Perhaps, though, one might agree that all this is just a manner of speaking, that a body embalmed and laid out for viewing or a body carted around to various museums for display is more like a statue than it is like the breathing organism belonging to a live human. This is not, however, the real problem noticed by Ackrill. It is rather that the hylomorphic account of change seems to require that bits of matter are only contingently enformed; the bronze is not made the bronze it is by gaining this or that shape. Instead, the bronze is the bronze it is because of its being an alloy of copper and tin, something it was before it was enformed by the shape of Hermes, something it remains while enformed by that shape, and, of course, something it is still after that shape has been lost. If human bodies are not bodies when they are not ensouled, and if the souls of bodies are, as Aristotle claims, their forms, then human bodies are not amenable to a hylomorphic treatment. The application of a general hylomorphic framework to the case of the soul and body does not even seem possible. Matter, according to hylomorphism, is contingently enformed; so, bodies, treated by Aristotle as matter, should also be contingently enformed. If, however, bodies are only homonymously bodies when they have lost their souls, then bodies are necessarily enformed: bodies are necessarily actually alive. So, human bodies are both contingently and necessarily enformed. That seems an unhappy and rather immediate consequence. In fact, Aristotle seems to have contradicted himself".
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-psychology/suppl1.html

    He then goes to propose a solution based on the concept of non proximate matter. But I don't really think it works, it is very weird to think of two bodies in the same person.
    Other solutions appeal to Scotism but I haven't been able to read them yet.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Felippe, I for one don't understand the complaint.

    rather, every human body is essentially ensouled and goes out of existence at the moment it loses its soul, that is, at the moment of death.

    When the human soul (or, for that matter, the lion soul) ceases to be the form of the body, the matter becomes then and there the matter of some other (collection of) substance(s). A pile of carbon, proteins, etc.

    Remember, though, that "a body" is not quite the same thing as "the matter" of the human person. The body is the matter as referred with elemental or lower-order virtual forms: the elemental virtual forms of oxygen and carbon, the lower-order virtual forms of the nutritive and sensitive souls. The body is perhaps the matter of the person, but it is the matter considered under a distinct aspect.

    Nevertheless the "body of" Lenin does not cease to be the body of Lenin in every respect when Lenin dies and the soul is no longer the form of the body. For, since the soul of Lenin persists, the soul remains in reference to that body that was, formerly, the body of Lenin and will become again (at the eschaton) the body of Lenin united. The soul and body once composite, the soul always remains oriented toward the body that was its particularizing matter. It always remains the form of THAT body and no other.

    So, in some sense, even though after death what was Lenin's matter becomes the matter of some other substances, at the same time there remains some relation to the soul of Lenin.

    Or so it seems to me.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Tony August 25, 2017 at 8:04 PM
    "the soul remains in reference to that body that was, formerly, the body of Lenin and will become again (at the eschaton) the body of Lenin united. The soul and body once composite, the soul always remains oriented toward the body that was its particularizing matter. It always remains the form of THAT body and no other. "
    --What happens when body X dies and soul X starts floating about absent a body, then bits of body X decompose into the environment and are absorbed by body Y to which soul Y is oriented. And again body Y dies such that soul Y is floating about oriented to bodystuff Y but body Y decomposes and is later absorbed in part by body Z to which soul Z is oriented.

    Well, you can see the problem, right? Inevitably body Z will die and soul Z will be oriented to the same stuff soul Y and soul X are also oriented to.

    So, along comes the eschaton and now soul X, soul Y, and soul Z are all fighting to be united again with the same bodystuff.

    Who's gonna get that stuff and who is going to have to go through eternity as an amputee?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SP: see John 6, and then go buzz off. The constraint that you imagine yields to God's power over matter, even to the extent of multiplying matter. You think that a God who can make Jesus body, whole and entire, be present in each and every communion wafer in the world is going to be defeated by your difficulty?

      Delete
    2. TonyAugust 26, 2017 at 5:53 PM

      "The constraint that you imagine yields to God's power over matter,"
      --Sure, if you are going to assert a magic being that can just poof new matter into existence, then that is one fantasy that would make up for the shortfall of body stuff.

      The above assertion was that there would be souls oriented toward bodies. Why bother if the magical being is just going to poof new stuff up for those souls anyhow?

      " You think that a God who can make Jesus body, whole and entire, be present in each and every communion wafer in the world is going to be defeated by your difficulty?"
      --I think anybody who literally believes such things has a least a few screws loose.

      Jesus's whole body in every wafer, seriously? What is the attraction of cannibalism by magic? That's a particularly gruesome superstition.

      Delete
    3. SP, you are a troll. You are not interested in actually understanding my position, you just want to take pot-shots at it.

      I think anybody who literally believes such things has a least a few screws loose

      Indeed, you think that every Catholic in history who believed Catholic dogma had a few screws loose. Still, numbers are irrelevant. You also think some of the smartest and SANEST, most mentally and spiritually wholesome people in history (the great saints) were nut-jobs. Read their stories, and then explain away their nuttiness; for myself, I would rather be nutty like them than "sane" like you.

      Jesus's whole body in every wafer, seriously? What is the attraction of cannibalism by magic? That's a particularly gruesome superstition.

      That you imagine this complaint hasn't been raised before, and settled before, is dreadfully boring of you. Better men than you have tried to hoist Catholicism on this and failed. See (for a partial and amateur answer) this series of posts between me and Vincent Torley that addresses the cannibalism at least tangentially.

      https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/06/stroud-on-hume.html?showComment=1497524096674#c7533612493021345595

      From June 15 to 20th. Of course I am not the best explainer of Aquinas's position, so my limitations are not the limitations of the underlying truth.

      Delete
    4. Tony August 27, 2017 at 11:16 AM

      "SP, you are a troll. You are not interested in actually understanding my position, you just want to take pot-shots at it."
      --Have you considered that you simply do not understand the errors in your own position?

      "Indeed, you think that every Catholic in history who believed Catholic dogma had a few screws loose."
      --People are multifaceted. Examples abound of great geniuses who also expressed some wacky ideas on certain subjects.

      SP Jesus's whole body in every wafer, seriously? What is the attraction of cannibalism by magic? That's a particularly gruesome superstition.

      "That you imagine this complaint hasn't been raised before, and settled before,"
      --Indeed, it has been settled that this doctrine is a particularly gruesome superstition. Eating the body of Christ in any sense is a primitive ritual at the level of a hunter-gatherer concept that was adopted by a small tribe some 2000 years ago.

      Delete
    5. ""That you imagine this complaint hasn't been raised before, and settled before,"
      --Indeed, it has been settled that this doctrine is a particularly gruesome superstition. Eating the body of Christ in any sense is a primitive ritual at the level of a hunter-gatherer concept that was adopted by a small tribe some 2000 years ago."

      Catholics get many things right, but not this one. Taking communion is a symbolic act. It has nothing to do with eating the body or drinking the blood of Christ. It has everything to do with the spirit of the act.

      There's a movie (I forget the title) where a family eats their last meal together before fleeing from the Nazis, not knowing whether they'll ever see each other again.

      The sense of closeness, of being alive, of being together, of savoring every moment with each other in a way that only the pending threat of death can provide gives the viewer the perfect glimpse of the meaning of the last supper and of communion.

      It's a matter of the heart.

      Delete
  36. When is amazon getting the book back in? I pre ordered in June and it still says my order hasn't shipped.

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    1. Amazon either never had the book or isn't allowed to sell it yet. This is probably deliberate. Ignatius prefers that you buy from them and Amazon is probably restricted from selling before a certain date. If you want the book now, order from Ignatius.

      Delete
    2. Also available on Kindle now, if you are willing to go the ebook route (as noted up thread, I bought my copy several nights ago)

      Delete
  37. "Sure, if you are going to assert a magic being that can just poof new matter into existence, then that is one fantasy that would make up for the shortfall of body stuff."

    --Well, if there is a supreme being who can bring an entire universe into existence ex nihilo, then I'm sure there should be no limitation pertaining to the resurrection of the body by some means beyond our comprehension. Alas, I guess it depends on how juvenile your limited concept of God is...

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  38. "...that the existence of God can be established with certainty by way of purely rational arguments"


    Even if you grant (for the sake of argument) that some deductive argument for God's existence is sound, one's confidence level in the conclusion can still be relatively low (e.g. 51% confidence). One might object by saying all of the premises and assumptions are known with certainty. But, why on earth think that?! There's no room for doubt?

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  39. AnonymousAugust 29, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    OP "...that the existence of God can be established with certainty by way of purely rational arguments"

    "Even if you grant (for the sake of There's no room for doubt? "
    --It is apparent that over the last few months Feser's claims about his latest book have climbed to absurd heights of hyperbole.

    In addition to the obviously false claim that he has made proofs that are certain, he has also claimed to address all objections. Even his admirers had to politely temper that outlandish claim here:
    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/08/five-proofs-is-out.html?showComment=1503273226288#c1015564799098655389

    Back in April he had much more modest claims that he simply presents the best arguments.
    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/04/five-proofs-preview.html

    When an author makes two such grandiose claims, that his five proofs of the existence of god are certain, and that he has addressed literally all objections, there is no reason to take such an author at all seriously.

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    1. Go away. No here takes you seriously, nor should they.

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    2. "and that he has addressed literally all objections, there is no reason to take such an author at all seriously."

      Only if you start from the position that philosophical knowledge of God's existence and attributes cannot, in principle, be certain.

      Get Feser's book, humble yourself, discard all your biases, give it a good long read, meditate on its passages, remind yourself again to be humble and keep your presuppositions in check, read again, meditate again, and then, and only then, comment on his claims about these arguments being a proof.

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    3. Kyle September 11, 2017 at 8:14 AM

      "Get Feser's book,"
      --That is the whole point of outlandish, over the top, grandiose claims. It gets people to buy the book. I don't fall for that technique.

      " give it a good long read, meditate on its passages,"
      I have listened to his lectures, read his articles, and read his posts. There is no need for any deep meditation on his points. I have heard them before and their flaws are deep, obvious, and many.

      " remind yourself again to be humble"
      --Do you suppose his words are engraved in stone by the finger of god or something? What is up with this reverence for his words?

      It is the Thomists who should humble themselves, put away their ancient presuppositions, and learn what modern science has to say about causality

      " and keep your presuppositions in check, read again, meditate again, and then, and only then, comment on his claims about these arguments being a proof. "
      --Feser does not understand crucial basics of causality. He completely misses the point of how modern science undermines his claims and only addresses a few strawman scientific arguments.


      Based on his public works there is no reason to even remotely suspect his new book contains even good arguments for the existence of god, much less "5" "certain" "proofs" for the existence of god

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    4. I'm new to the conversation. What are the deep, obvious, and many flaws of Feser's points? What does modern science have to say about causality?

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    5. Francesco,

      Modern science does not use the Aristotelian language or concepts of cause and effect. There are only interactive processes. The assignment of the title "cause" to one thing and "effect" to another things is arbitrary.

      Reality is a complex interactive system of mutual causation. Feser persists with the long obsolete and erroneous macro level notions of causation involving things like a book on a table, or a stick pushing a rock.

      His analysis of causation is so short sighted and erroneous that it leads him to conclude that somehow a hierarchical divine first cause is called for to sustain existence moment to moment.

      Feser erroneously distinguishes between an "essential" series and and "accidental" series. This fails under closer examination which reveals that every series is an "accidental" series and thus a temporal series that does not call for a hierarchical first mover.

      Feser does not even address the fact that macro scale objects are modeled by large scale physics, and that we have a hierarchy of physics models that calls for a fundamental physics, which is simply the terminus of any hierarchical analysis.

      Feser distinguishes falsely between asserted property changes such as change in quantity and so called "local motion". Clearly, such changes are simply our macro scale aggregate model of nano scale real motions, and not distinct from so called "local motion".

      Here is a video where Feser puts forth a number of his erroneous assertions.
      An Aristotelian Proof of the Existence of God - Edward C. Feser, PhD
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAIHs5TJRqQ

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  40. Ed you clearly don't address one of the most obvious objections to the Leibnizian argument: why did God create this specific world/infinite series of contingent things? Surely there has to be a reason why he specifically chose to create this world as opposed to others. But, as I noticed in your last chapter, you're unwilling to accept Leibniz's principle of the best possible world because you think it fetters God's freedom. Okay, well now you don't have an explanation for God's specific act of creation.

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