plenitude, principle of

   The principle of plenitude is the principle that God's boundless goodness expresses itself in creating every possible sort of being or, at least, that God has created as many beings as could possibly coexist (other beings couldn't coexist with actually existing ones). The reason why this principle is held is that it would seem mean of God to restrict creation or to deny actuality to possible beings. But since the possible beings would never have existed if God had not created them it is hard to see that God would have wronged anything in not creating them. The principle, much discussed by American historian of ideas Arthur Lovejoy, is found in various expressions in Neoplatonism, Augustine and Aquinas.
   Further reading: Lovejoy 1936

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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