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Wednesday, March 01, 2023


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Hi Bill,

I agree with you entirely. It seems to me the difference between absolute and hypothetical necessity is entirely irrelevant to the question of modal collapse. The point of the modal collapse argument is that, while we assume that things other than God do not have to exist at all, whether because of themselves or because of anything else, yet the doctrine of divine simplicity would seem to entail that things other than God have to exist because of him, or because of his knowledge of them, or whatever. They are still necessary, even if ab alio and not in se, which is problem enough.

RT Mullins ([email protected])
To:you Details
Great to hear from you, Bill. I am strongly tempted to agree that hypothetical necessity is not really necessity. I think the points you raise in your blog post are pretty solid in this regard.

In my previous writings, I grant the distinction between hypothetical and absolute necessity because I knew everyone would play that card in response if I didn't mention the distinction. What I have argued in my The End of the Timeless God is that the distinction doesn't matter because DDS entails absolute necessity. This is why I don't understand the Pedersen and Lilley paper. They employ the distinction as if I hadn't already argued that it doesn't help avoid the modal collapse. In the more recent paper attached below, I go into more detail why hypothetical necessity cannot help avoid the modal collapse.

Ryan Mullins
Palm Beach Atlantic University
University of Lucerne

This may be of interest to you. It's a discussion with Christopher Tomaszewski on "collapsing the modal collapse argument". There is a transcript to the video.


Thanks, Kurt. Will take a look.

Christopher Tomaszewski mentioned his essay is in Classical Theism (Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Religion). It's currently free on Kindle at Amazon.com.

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