Omnipotence as a Perfection of God
This article deals with the concept of omnipotence very important for contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. Within the analytic tradition it is usual to uncover an apparent tension between God’s omnipotence and other divine attributes. In response, some authors have proposed their own ideas on how classical problems of omnipotence can be solved in terms of possible worlds theory. In this paper we aim to consider the approaches developed by Geach, Adams and Plantinga. While admitting that each of them has made a significant contribution to the refinement of the concept of omnipotence, we still point out a number of important challenges that these authors were not able to overcome.
This contribution to a volume on the“ultimate why-question” discusses ambiguities in Leibniz’s formulation of the question, “[. . . ] pourquoi il y a plus tôt quelque chose que rien”. This formulation poses two problems: Leibniz does not explain how to understand the concepts of “something” and “nothing”. And it is not clear, whether “something” and “nothing” are contradictory opposites, so that there is either nothing or something, or whether both concepts denote principles which are effective in the world at the same time. My analysis rests on the hypothesis that the relevant context for Leibniz’s question is the theology of creation.
Hence, the paper compares eight different approaches to “creation from nothing” (Thomists, Scotists, Taurellus, Lubinus, Timpler, Keckermann, Kircher, Knorr von Rosenroth, van Helmont). Candidates for the nihil the world was created from include absolute non-being, thoughts in God’s mind, unformed matter, imaginary space, or a self-contraction of the Divine spirit. These different approaches can be translated into different versions of the “ultimate why-question”. The paper concludes that Leibniz’s formulation contains a comparison between two Divine acts of creation, because not only “something”, but “nothing” as well owes its subsistence to the Divine will. This rises substantial questions: either God created first an imperfect entity in order to create the world as a whole, or Leibniz subscribes to an emanative understanding of creation that either levels the difference between creation and (natural) generation or is based on misunderstanding God as a material entity.
There were two tendencies in ancient philosophy: according to the first one, our universe is unique (the Eleatics, Plato, Aristoteles), while according to the other, there are several universes, similar or totally dissimilar to ours (the Pythagoreans, the Atomists). Proponents of the first theory diverged in their opinion on the universe’s eternity though. Supporters of the second one argued over the similarity of another universes as well as the question if those universes co-exist or replace each other over time. These questions didn’t stop being actual in medieval Christian philosophy. But if there were no doubts about the question of an actual existence of our universe as being the only and unique, the question if God created only our universe was yet to be answered. St. Thomas Aquinas provides several evidences of the uniqueness of the universe – two from the ‘authority’ and three from himself.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) zählt zu den vielseitigsten und genialsten Köpfen der Menschheit. Er war nicht nur Begründer der Computersprache, nicht nur Erfinder von Bergbauförderanlagen und Rechenmaschinen, nicht nur Diplomat, Kirchenpolitiker, Wissenschaftsreformer und Bibliothekar, nicht nur Jurist, Mathematiker, Historiker, Sprachforscher und Theologe er war insbesondere Philosoph, der die kausal-mechanische Welterklärung der Naturwissenschaften mit den Grundannahmen der klassischen Geistmetaphysik harmonisieren wollte. Hierfür stellte er eine neue metaphysische Hypothese auf, welche die ganze Natur als Gesellschaft von 'Monaden' interpretiert, die untereinander und mit ihren Körpern in 'prästabilierter Harmonie' stehen, obwohl sie 'keine Fenster' haben. Für philosophisch Interessierte, die eine Einführung in dieses faszinierende System suchen, empfiehlt sich der Zugang über die berühmte Spätschrift aus dem Nachlass, die 1720 in deutscher Übersetzung unter dem Titel 'Monadologie' erschien. Sie bildet eine Art Summe, die alle großen Thesen der Leibnizschen Philosophie konzentriert, allerdings ohne sie zu erläutern, geschweige denn ihre Probleme zu analysieren. Dies ist deshalb die Aufgabe des kooperativen Kommentars. Er gibt einen Überblick über alle Themen der 'Monadologie', indem er ihre Thesen in 14 Beiträgen systematisch erläutert.
The present paper deals with the problem of omnipotence in the context of an original version of possible worlds ontology developed by Alvin Plantinga. His conception of “de re” and “de dicto” is analyzed in connection with the problems of essentialism and transworld identification. Using the notion of TWD (“transworld depravity”) Plantinga claim to solve the logical problem of evil, this solution being the part of his famous FWD (“free will defense”) program. Plantinga’s strategy is to confine the notion of omnipotence step by step with rational arguments. But some of his technical concepts are not clear-cut enough and some of his philosophical speculations are rather scholastic.
The article considers the Views of L. N. Tolstoy not only as a representative, but also as a accomplisher of the Enlightenment. A comparison of his philosophy with the ideas of Spinoza and Diderot made it possible to clarify some aspects of the transition to the unique Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical doctrine. The comparison of General and specific features of the three philosophers was subjected to a special analysis. Special attention is paid to the way of thinking, the relation to science and the specifics of the worldview by Tolstoy and Diderot. An important aspect is researched the contradiction between the way of thinking and the way of life of the three philosophers.
Tolstoy's transition from rational perception of life to its religious and existential bases is shown. Tolstoy gradually moves away from the idea of a natural man to the idea of a man, who living the commandments of Christ. Starting from the educational worldview, Tolstoy ended by creation of religious and philosophical doctrine, which were relevant for the 20th century.
This important new book offers the first full-length interpretation of the thought of Martin Heidegger with respect to irony. In a radical reading of Heidegger's major works (from Being and Time through the ‘Rector's Address' and the ‘Letter on Humanism' to ‘The Origin of the Work of Art' and the Spiegel interview), Andrew Haas does not claim that Heidegger is simply being ironic. Rather he argues that Heidegger's writings make such an interpretation possible - perhaps even necessary.
Heidegger begins Being and Time with a quote from Plato, a thinker famous for his insistence upon Socratic irony. The Irony of Heidegger takes seriously the apparently curious decision to introduce the threat of irony even as philosophy begins in earnest to raise the question of the meaning of being. Through a detailed and thorough reading of Heidegger's major texts and the fundamental questions they raise, Haas reveals that one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century can be read with as much irony as earnestness. The Irony of Heidegger attempts to show that the essence of this irony lies in uncertainty, and that the entire project of onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, therefore needs to be called into question.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.