The Divine Attributes
This course concerns the metaphysical implications of the concept of God at the center of traditional, Western philosophical theology. According to this concept God possesses essentially various perfections in their highest degree, e.g., omnipotence, omniscience, absolute independence, necessary existence. Moreover, everything there is supposed to be completely dependent on God. We will examine the consequences of these ideas for the metaphysics of modality, the fixity of the past and the openness of the future, the status of morality and mathematical truths, freedom of the will, etc.
Students should be able to reconstruct and critically evaluate positions and arguments from historical and contemporary texts. They should be able to design and execute suitable research projects in which they demonstrate their capacity for independent thought
Attendance and active participation is required and will account for 10% of your final grade. The remainder of your grade will be determined by a 2000 word term paper. You will be asked to submit a draft of the paper by the end of the tenth week of class. You will receive detailed comments on the draft and a provisional grade. There will be presentations of the papers during the last two weeks of the course. Papers should then be revised on the basis of my feedback and feedback received in presentation. Your final paper grade will be based on the provisional grade of the first draft and the grade on the revised version.