God and Necessity by Brian LeftowGod and Necessity by Brian Leftow

God and Necessity

byBrian Leftow

Paperback | April 16, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$42.76 online 
$45.00 list price
Earn 214 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Brian Leftow offers a theory of the possible and the necessary in which God plays the chief role, and a new sort of argument for God's existence. It has become usual to say that a proposition is possible just in case it is true in some "possible world" (roughly, some complete history auniverse might have) and necessary just if it is true in all. Thus much discussion of possibility and necessity since the 1960s has focussed on the nature and existence (or not) of possible worlds. God and Necessity holds that there are no such things, nor any sort of abstract entity. It assigns themetaphysical "work" such items usually do to God and events in God's mind, and reduces "broadly logical" modalities to causal modalities, replacing possible worlds in the semantics of modal logic with God and His mental events. Leftow argues that theists are committed to theist modal theories, andthat the merits of a theist modal theory provide an argument for God's existence. Historically, almost all theist modal theories base all necessary truth on God's nature. Leftow disagrees: he argues that necessary truths about possible creatures and kinds of creatures are due ultimately to God's unconstrained imagination and choice. On his theory, it is in no sense part of thenature of God that normal zebras have stripes (if that is a necessary truth). Stripy zebras are simply things God thought up, and they have the nature they do simply because that is how God thought of them. Thus Leftow's essay in metaphysics takes a half-step toward Descartes' view of modal truth,and presents a compelling theist theory of necessity and possibility.
Brian Leftow has been the Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion in the University of Oxford since 2002, and a Fellow of Oriel College since 2003. Previously he taught at Fordham University (Bronx, NY). He is the author of Time and Eternity (Cornell University Press, 1991), Aquinas on Metaphysics (OUP, forthcomi...
Title:God and NecessityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:592 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.26 inPublished:April 16, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019873896X

ISBN - 13:9780198738961


Table of Contents

Introduction1. Modal Basics2. Some Solutions3. Theist Solutions4. The Ontology of Possibility5. Modal Truthmakers6. Modality and the Divine Nature7. Deity as Essential8. Against Deity Theories9. The Role of Deity10. The Biggest Bang11. Divine Concepts12. Concepts, Syntax, and Actualism13. Modality: Basic Notions14. The Genesis of Secular Modality15. Modal Reality16. Essences17. Non-Secular Modalities18. Theism and Modal Semantics19. Freedom, Preference, and Cost20. Explaining Modal Status21. Explaining the Necessary22. Against Theistic Platonism23. Worlds and the Existence of GodBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"...it provides a rigorous, rich, and detailed discussion of a problem that many (and not just analytic philosophers) will find puzzling." --Graham Oppy, Times Literary Supplement