Alvin Plantinga and the Taj Mahal

A little philosophical humor from The Prosblogion regarding Plantinga’s frequent use of the Taj Mahal as an illustration.

Ed Wierenga and I were talking today about a certain Plantinga quote (see Ed’s review of the book _Alvin Plantinga_ on NDPR today by the way) and his frequent mention of the Taj Mahal came up.

A bit of unjustified time-wasting got me at least the following:

In God and Other Minds he uses “The Taj Mahal is greater than God” in an argument concerning the relative values of existent and non-existent beings.

Ol’ Taj shows up in NN [The Nature of Necessity] at various points of course, now being pink, now being non-green, now merely existing.

It’s an actual being in God, Freedom, and Evil. It’s distinct from some proposition R in WCB [Warranted Christian Belief]. In WPF [Warrant and Proper Function] it’s the object of a false belief that it’s in Australia.

And, just about everywhere, it’s distinct from some proposition or other.

Other’s join the fun as well. In PvI’s [Peter van Inwagen’s] “Theory of Properties” Taj is red or not round.

So if someone really didn’t know what the Taj Mahal was (and, like you, as a kid I thought it was “The Tajma Hall”), but they read a lot of great analytic philosophy, they could piece together this description of the famous object:

It is an existent non-pink, non-round or non-red, concrete object distinct from at least one proposition, and it is somewhere outside of Australia. That doesn’t narrow it down too much, but it does at least potentially rule out the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.

PS – 10^13 points for the best Photoshopped pic of Al at the Taj Mahal. Top entries will be posted on Prosblogion.


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