<metaphysics, teleology> an attempt to explain or defend the perfect benevolence of god despite the apparent presence of evil in the world. In this vein, for example, Leibniz devoted great effort to demonstrating that this is the best of all possible worlds. Recommended Reading: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Theodicy: Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man, and the Origin of Evil, ed. by Austin Marsden Farrer (Open Court, 1988); The Problem of Evil: A Reader, ed. by Mark Larrimore (Blackwell, 2000); Richard Swinburne, Providence and the Problem of Evil (Oxford, 1998); and Alvin Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil (Eerdmans, 1978).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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