Simini Rahimi and Simin RahimiCorresponding author

Swinburne on the Euthyphro Dilemma. Can Supervenience Save Him?

13/1 - Spring 2008, pages 17-29
Date of online publication: 15 June 2008
Date of publication: 01 June 2008


Modern philosophers normally either reject the „divine command theory” of ethics and argue that moral duties are independent of any commands, or make it dependent on God's commands but like Robert Adams modify their theory and identify moral duties in terms of the commands of a loving God. Adams regards this theory as metaphysically necessary. That is, if it is true, it is true in all possible worlds. But Swinburne's (1981) position is unprecedented insofar as he regards moral truths as analytically necessary. In this paper Swinburne's argument will be discussed and I will reveal some of the difficulties involved in categorising general moral principles (if there are such principles) as logical (analytical/necessary) truths.


Cite this article

Rahimi, Simini. “Swinburne on the Euthyphro Dilemma. Can Supervenience Save Him?“ Forum Philosophicum 13, no. 1 (2008): 17–29. doi:10.35765/forphil.2008.1301.02.


Adams, Robert Merrihew. “Divine Command Theory Modified Again.” In The Virtue of Faith and Other Essays in Philosophical Theology, 128–143. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Blackburn, Simon. “Supervenience Revisited.” In Essays on Moral Realism, edited by Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, 59–75. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988.

Dancy, Jonathan. “On Moral Properties.” Mind 90 (1981): 376–385.

Drier, James. “The supervenience argument against moral realism.” The Southern Journal of Philosophy 30, no. 3 (1992): 13–38. doi:10.1111/j.2041-6962.1992.tb00636.x.

Hare, R. M. The Language of Morals. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952.

Hare, R. M. “Supervenience.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary 58 (1984): 1–16.

Kim, Jaegwon. “Supervenience and Nomological Incommensurables.” American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1978): 149–156.

Kim, Jaegwon. Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Mackie, J. L. The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and against the Existence of God. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982.

Mawson, T. J. “God’s Creation of Morality.” Religious Studies 38, no. 1 (2002): 1–25. doi:10.1017/S003441250100587X.

Murphy, Mark C. An Essay on Divine Authority. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002.

Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey. Essays on Moral Realism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988.

Swinburne, Richard. “Analyticity, Necessity and Apriority.” Mind 334 (1975): 225–243.

Swinburne, Richard. “Duty and the Will of God.” In Divine Commands and Morality, edited by Paul Helm, 120–134. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981.

Swinburne, Richard. The Coherence of Theism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989.