The Theistic Argument from Beauty: A Philonian Critique
European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Vol. 5, pp. 149-158, 2013
10 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020
Date Written: August 9, 2013
In this paper I consider an understudied form of the design argument which focuses on the beauty of the natural world and which argues, on that basis, that the world requires a divine Artist in order to explain its beauty. Against this view, one might raise a question concerning the beauty of, and in, this divine Artist. What explains the divine beauty? This kind of explanatory regress objection is exactly like that used by Philo in Hume’s Dialogues to undercut standard versions of the design argument focused on the orderliness of the world. Here I argue that Philo’s explanatory regress objection likewise significantly undercuts versions of the design argument focusing on the beauty of the world.
Keywords: theism, theistic arguments, beauty, natural theology, explanatory regress, brute facts
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