Religious Studies



Miracles: metaphysics and modality


STEPHEN MUMFORD a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

Abstract

It is argued that miracles are best understood as natural events with supernatural causes and that such causal interaction is logically possible. Such miracles may, or may not, involve violations of natural laws. If violations of laws are possible, Humean supervenience views of laws are best avoided. Where miracles violate laws, it shows that what is naturally impossible may be actual and what is naturally necessary may not be actual. Whether or not miracles actually occur, this demonstrates that the nomic modalities differ from the logical. The theory contrasts favourably with competitors and allows, contrary to an interpretation of Aquinas, that Creation would have been a miracle.