On stage one of Feser's ‘Aristotelian proof’

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Abstract

This article is a response to Ed Feser's claim that his 'Aristotelian proof' establishes that atheists have no part in 'the real debate'. I argue that Feser (2017) nowhere establishes that Premises 4 and 7 in his 'Aristotelian proof' are anything more than claims about which he and his opponents - including atheists like me - disagree. In particular, I suggest that it is neither mysterious nor surprising that, by their own lights, atheists have more than sufficient reason to reject premises 4 and 7. Given this, it is clear that Feser's 'Aristotelian proof' is not able to do what Feser claims that it does. Feser (2017) presents and defends five proofs of the existence of God. Each proof is in two stages: the first stage proves the existence of something which, in the second stage, is shown to possess an appropriate range of divine attributes. Each proof is given two presentations, one informal and one formal. Here, I propose to discuss just the first stage of one of Feser's five proofs. In particular, I propose to focus on just two of the premises in the chosen first stage proof.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-502
Number of pages12
JournalReligious Studies
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

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