As I mentioned in two previousposts, it's commonly thought that a naturalist can't plausibly accept the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR), on the grounds that (i) she thereby commits herself to the existence of a metaphysically necessary being (more carefully, a metaphysically necessary concrete object), and that (ii) this is incompatible with any plausible version of naturalism. I critiqued (i) in the first of the two posts and (ii) in the second. Here I'd like to return to (i) and offer one more critique of it.
My previous criticism of (i) was that merely factually necessary beings are sufficient to satisfy a plausible version of PSR. Here my criticism shall be that a plausible version of PSR can be satisfied without appeal to necessary beings of any sort -- i.e., it can be satisfied merely in terms of continent, dependent beings. This sort of criticism goes back to Hume, of course, but William Lane Craig has tried to circumvent Hume's criticism in recent years. T…
I admit I lost my faith When I felt the shake from a Lisbon quake And I could not believe This is how things ought to be So I wondered from place to place But the evils of the human race They made themselves apparent That they were inherent
My life felt like someone else’s dream And that’s when it came to me, and I could see
This is not the actual world
Yeah we’re in world 223 And a world like this must in some sense be For God’s not choosing it to be praiseworthy And what else could explain This seeming random distribution of pleasure and pain? On the just and the unjust alike Falls the same rain
On otheroccasions, we noted Plantinga's "Content and Natural Selection" (CNS), which is (I believe) his most recent paper on the topic of his evolutionary argument against naturalism. In this short paper (forthcoming in PPR), Ruth Millikan argues that Plantinga has severely misread her theory of teleosemantics in CNS.
(Revised a bit more in light of J.D.'s helpful comments)
As I mentioned in a previous post, it's commonly thought that a naturalist can't plausibly accept the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR), on the grounds that (i) she thereby commits herself to the existence of a metaphysically necessary being (more carefully, a metaphysically necessary concrete object), and that (ii) this is incompatible with any plausible version of naturalism. In the previous post, I offered reasons to doubt (i). Here I'll briefly argue that (ii) is doubtful as well. As before, I'll use some remarks from William Lane Craig as my foil.
As a part of his defense of the Leibnizian cosmological argument, Craig has argued that the universe cannot plausibly be considered a metaphysically necessary being. He offers three main lines of argument for this conclusion: (1) our modal intuitions indicate that there could've been no universe at all, which is evidence that our universe isn't metap…
Here is Parfit's "Why Anything? Why This?" A shorter, earlier statement of several of his key points can be found here.
I was just thinking of a reply to Craig's "Why these quarks, and not others (and why this many, and not more or fewer)?" criticism of naturalistic accounts of a metaphysically necessary being along (some of) these lines.
"In his first presidential speech, Hollande promised to fight financial speculation and "open a new path" in Europe but acknowledged that he inherits huge government debt. He has pushed back against austerity measures championed by Germany amid Europe's debt crisis and wants government stimulus instead. Hollande also pledged to bring "dignity" to the presidential role – something voters felt that Sarkozy did not always do."
(Revised in light of Dr. Rizz's excellent comments)
It's commonly thought that a naturalist can't accept the Principle of
Sufficient Reason (PSR), on the grounds that (i) she thereby commits herself to the existence of a metaphysically necessary being, and that
(ii) this is incompatible with any plausible version of naturalism. I
have my doubts about (ii), but here I want to focus on (i). For it seems
to me that (i) is false. To be a tad more precise: there is a plausible
version of PSR, the acceptance of which doesn't thereby require one to admit a
metaphysically necessary being into one's ontology. William Lane Craig has recently defended a version of PSR as a component of his favored formulation of the Leibnizian cosmological argument. I will therefore use his treatment of PSR as a foil.
In several places, William Lane Craig has endorsed the following restricted version of PSR:
Every existing thing has an explanation for its existence, either in
Long-time readers of this blog may have noticed that I'm somewhat inclined toward Russellian monism. I'm therefore excited to see that Yujin Nagasawa and Torin Alter have a forthcoming book on the topic (with Oxford University Press).
Those who follow Nagasawa's work will know that he's been interested in non-physicalist versions of monism for some time now, and headed (with Max Velmans) a recent (2009-11) Templeton-funded project on the topic.
6-8, 2012, Purdue University will host an interdisciplinary conference
entitled “Challenges to Religious and Moral Belief: Disagreement and
The conference will focus on three main challenges to religious and moral beliefs: Widespread interpersonal disagreement among intellectual peers on
religious and on moral topics provides reason to doubt these beliefs;Belief-source disagreement on moral issues between commonsense moral
intuitions and religious belief sources raises doubts about both
methods of belief formation;Evolutionary accounts of the origins of our religious and moral
beliefs creates doubts about these beliefs by undermining our confidence
in the reliability of their sources. Conference Participants: Robert Audi University of Notre Dame (Philosophy)Sarah Brosnan Georgia State University (Psychology)Kelly James Clark Calvin College (Philosophy)Stephen Davis …
...on Think Atheist Radio. In the interview, Maitzen provides nice, intuitive summaries of his work on (e.g.) the argument from divine hiddenness, Anselmian atheism, skeptical theism, and the cosmological argument.
Scientific Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion (Yujin Nagasawa, ed.) is due out in August. Here is the table of contents:
Series Editors' Preface
Notes on Contributors
PART I: DIVINE ATTRIBUTES
The Necessity of God and the Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking; R.Le Poidevin
Why Would Anyone Believe in a Timeless God?: Two Types of Theology; B.Murphy
PART II: GOD, CREATION AND EVOLUTION
Darwin's Argument from Evil; P.Draper
Attributing Agency: Fast and Frugal or All Things Considered?; G.Wood
PART III: GOD AND THE UNIVERSE
On Non-Singular Spacetimes and the Beginning of the Universe; W.L.Craig & J.D.Sinclair
The Theistic Multiverse: Problems and Prospects; K.J.Kraay
PART IV: RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
How Relevant is the Cognitive Science of Religion to Philosophy of Religion?; D.Leech & A.Visala
The Rationality of Classical Theism and Its Demographics; T.J.Mawson
PART V: RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND DISAGREEMENT
Coercion, Consequence and Salvation; S.…
In this book Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski gives an extended argument that
the self-reflective person is committed to belief on authority.
Epistemic authority is compatible with autonomy, but epistemic
self-reliance is incoherent. She argues that epistemic and emotional
self-trust are rational and inescapable, that consistent self-trust
commits us to trust in others, and that among those we are committed to
trusting are some whom we ought to treat as epistemic authorities,
modeled on the well-known principles of authority of Joseph Raz. Some of
these authorities can be in the moral and religious domains.
have people for thousands of years accepted epistemic authority in
religious communities? A religious community's justification for
authority is typically based on beliefs unique to that community.
Unfortunately, that often means that from the community's perspective,
its justifying claims are insulated from the outside; whereas from an