Approximately 1500 years ago John Philoponus proposed a simple and compelling argument for the existence of God: (1) Whatever comes to be has a cause of its coming to be; (2) The universe came to be; (3) Therefore, the universe has a cause of its coming to be.
Due to the influence of William Lane Craig — analytic philosopher, Christian apologist, champion of Philoponus’s position, and author of The Kalam Cosmological Argument — this argument and the family of subarguments that support it have come to be known as the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA). The term kalam comes from Medieval Arabic philosophy and broadly means “natural theology” or “philosophical theism.”
Despite being one of the most widely discussed and hotly debated arguments in philosophy today, it has been more than twenty-five years since any systematic presentation of the argument as a whole has been attempted. The present book helps remedy that situation, laying bare the logical structure of the KCA as it has emerged from continuous philosophical refinement. A handy taxonomy of major objections and replies to the KCA has been included as an aid to understanding the argument and its background literature.
This book breaks new ground by arguing that future progress on the KCA requires that the argument be situated within a substance-based metaphysics. In addition to providing an analytic account of substances, this book describes a modal theory sensitive to the possibilities and necessities that obtain for substances. With these conceptual tools, the characteristic thought-experiments supporting the KCA can be properly assessed.
Hardcover | $59.99
Published by Prometheus Books Jan 30, 2007| 315 Pages| 5-3/8 x 8-3/8| ISBN 9781591024736
“Mark Nowacki’s book is clearly and elegantly written, and does an especially good job of making the mathematical background of the controversies surrounding the idea of an actual infinite accessible to lay readers. The central thesis of the book – that the impossibility of an infinite past can best be demonstrated when the argument is cast in terms of ‘real-substantial’ possibility – is quite novel, and will be sure to provoke a good deal of critical comment. This is a significant contribution to the literature on the kalam cosmological argument, and will be essential reading for anyone doing serious research on this topic.”
WES MORRISTON Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado-Boulder
“It is gratifying that the ancient kalam cosmological argument, so long neglected by post-Kantian philosophy, is at last receiving renewed philosophical attention. Mark Nowacki not only surveys thoroughly the current discussion of the argument but contributes positively to it, principally by his proposed analysis of the crucial modal notions employed in the argument and so often misunderstood by its critics.” WILLIAM LANE CRAIG Research Professor, Talbot School of Theology Biola University