Philosophy

PHIL4431Direct Divine Agency and the World (A)3 ch [W]

The concept of direct Divine action is inseparable from that of a personal God. Such a God does not simply hold creation in existence, but is actively involved in its history. Hence the religious believers speak of divine agency not just in terms of "general providence," i.e., an overall teleological order of the universe in which God works indirectly via created secondary causes, but also in terms of "special providence," i.e. instances in which God works directly in creation to achieve particular purposes. Critics argue that there are strong philosophical reasons for thinking that "special providence" is impossible, improbable or improper. This course examines these charges and the responses made to them.

Prerequisite: A previous Philosophy course or permission of the instructor.