Purpose Without Theism?

Angus Ritchie

in From Morality to Metaphysics

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652518
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745850 | DOI:
Purpose Without Theism?

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This chapter considers the axiarchic account advanced by John Leslie and Hugh Rice. Against axiarchism, it argues that the goodness of a state of affairs is something that cries out for an explanation, rather than being something which can be invoked as the explanation. The chapter then evaluates non-axiarchic Neoplatonism — in which a non-personal power is postulated as the cause of good states of affairs. It argues that such a view would close the ‘explanatory gap’ described in Chapter 2, but not in as satisfying a way as theism.

Keywords: axiarchism; teleological explanation; Rice; Leslie; theism; neoplatonism

Chapter.  4115 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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