chapter  4
18 Pages

What Would They Explain?

The previous chapter highlighted some key features of proposed theistic explanations, by approaching the issue from the point of view of the explanans. To complete this descriptive part of my task, let me now turn to the explananda of theistic explanations, the facts that theists claim to be able to explain. There are three features of proposed theistic explanations that I wish to discuss under this heading. The fi rst is that they cover both events and states of affairs (4.1). The second is that proposed theistic explanations are generally, but not always, singular explanations (4.2). The third has to do with the relationship of theistic and natural explanations. On some occasions, proposed theistic explanations cover facts that admit of a natural explanation, which the theist accepts; on other occasions they claim to be the only explanations on offer (4.3). The chapter will end with a discussion of the problem of miracles. If an account of divine action invokes an agent capable of working miracles, does this undermine its explanatory force (4.4)?