Alvin Plantinga by Deane-Peter Baker

By Deane-Peter Baker

Few thinkers have had as a lot impression on modern philosophy as has Alvin Plantinga. The paintings of this imperative analytic thinker has in lots of respects set the tone for the controversy within the fields of modal metaphysics and epistemology and he's arguably an important thinker of faith of our time. during this quantity, a exotic crew of contemporary best philosophers tackle the relevant points of Plantinga's philosophy - his perspectives on average theology; his responses to the matter of evil; his contributions to the sphere of modal metaphysics; the debatable evolutionary argument opposed to naturalism; his version of epistemic warrant and his view of epistemic defeat; and his contemporary paintings on mind-body dualism. additionally integrated is an appendix containing Plantinga's usually talked about, yet formerly unpublished, lecture notes entitled 'Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments', with a considerable preface to the appendix written by means of Plantinga particularly for this quantity.

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If we agree that Plantinga’s different approach fails to provide a satisfactory answer to the question of the rationality of belief in God, then there are two courses of response that seem indicated. On the one hand, we might wish to look more closely at Plantinga’s treatment of what he calls ‘natural theology’ and ‘natural atheology’, to see whether his assessment of these projects is accurate; on the other hand, we might cast around for other ways in which that question might be answered (and, in so doing, we might consider the question whether he provides an appropriate characterisation of natural theology and natural atheology).

In particular, it is worth noting the following passage: [That there is no evidence or at any rate not sufficient evidence for the proposition that God exists] is a strong claim. What about the various arguments that have been proposed for the existence of God – the traditional cosmological and teleological arguments for example? What about the versions of the moral argument as developed, for example, by A. E. Taylor and more recently by Robert Adams? What about the broadly inductive or probabilistic arguments developed by F.

One is left wondering whether we should suppose that the premises of the argument provide enough support for the conclusion to license the claim that it is rational to believe that the universe is probably the product of intelligent design. Alas, Plantinga did not take up this question in God and Other Minds. It is also a nice question whether he continues to suppose that the foregoing is the strongest type of argument for design; we shall have reason to return to this question later. At the end of his discussion of these arguments, Plantinga adds: “Now of course these three are not the only arguments of their kind; there are also, for example, the various sorts of moral arguments for God’s existence.

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