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Monday, June 08, 2015

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Dr. Vallicella:

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. With your indulgence, I still have several questions, however:

1. How, if at all, does your form of "onto-theological absolute idealism" differ from Berkeley's position?

2. If I understand you correctly, the Paradigm existent creates concreta through an act of "unifying" their constituent parts. But why may not this act of unification confer an independent power of persistence ("existential inertia") on concreta, so that, once brought into existence, they endure in that state through time under their own steam, as it were?

3. Since you apparently reject such a notion of independent, moment-to-moment existence for concreta separate from divine activity, then is your position more or less the same as that of the classical occasionalists (al-Ghazali, Malebranche, and a few others)?

4. Finally, if that is correct, then what role, if any, do you see for the laws of nature as revealed to us by science?

James Barham

These are outstanding questions, James, and I thank you for them.

I would need a separate post to treat them adequately.

As for occasionalism, I have toyed very seriously with it. (How's that for an oxymoron?) See my article, "Concurrentism or Occasionalism?" Amer. Cath. Phil. Quart, Summer 1996.

I believe I say something about the laws of nature in that paper.

Your #2 is of central importance for my discussion with Tuggy, Rhoda, and the boys.

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