The Eutaxiological Argument and Apophatic Theism

Brown, Joshua Matthan (2021). The Eutaxiological Argument and Apophatic Theism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis proffers a novel argument from order for the existence of God called the eutaxiological argument. It maintains the universe’s order and existence is fundamentally grounded in logos (λογος) or Mind. Unlike teleological design arguments, the eutaxiological argument is not concerned with the alleged end or purpose of some physical entity—e.g., the human eye, the bacteria flagellum, or the universe taken as a whole. It is, instead, concerned with the fact that the universe is ordered. It, thus, makes a distinction between ‘order’ and ‘telos’. It argues that exemplifying essential order is both a necessary and sufficient condition for the existence of physical entities—and, indeed, for the existence of the universe—and that we need not think of physical order in terms of goals, purposes, or final causation.

Unlike most contemporary arguments for God’s existence, the eutaxiological argument argues for the existence of God as conceived of by apophatic theism. According to apophatic theism, the term ‘God’ denotes a unique, ontologically distinct, ineffable, logos that fundamentally grounds the universe’s order and existence from nothing. Historically, one can find proponents of apophatic theism in numerous philosophical and religious traditions—including some strands of Hinduism, Judaism, Neoplatonism, Christianity, and Islam. Its most ardent Christian exponents come from the Eastern Christian tradition. This dissertation offers a fresh defence of apophatic theism inspired by the Eastern Christian tradition. It responds to serious objections regarding the coherence of divine ineffability and the supposed logical incompatibility of apophatic theism with Christianity.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: St Barnabas Society
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity


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