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Volume 14, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2011

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents

1. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Matthew Carey Jordan, Metaphysical Naturalism and Some Moral Realisms
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I argue that morality as such is characterized by a number of distinctive features, and that metaphysical naturalists should believe that there are moral facts only if there is a plausible naturalistic explanation of the existence of facts which exemplify those features. I survey three prominent (and very different) naturalistic moral theories—the reductive naturalism of Peter Railton, Frank Jackson’s analytic descriptivism, and Christine Korsgaard’s Kantianism—and argue that none of them has the resources to explain the existence of genuine moral facts.
2. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Gordon Barnes, How to be an Evidentialist about Belief in God
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Evidentialism about belief in God is the proposition that a person is justified in believing in God only if she has evidence for her belief. Alvin Plantinga has long argued that there is no good argument for evidentialism about belief in God. However, it does not follow that such evidentialism is unjustified, since it could be properly basic. In fact, there is no good argument against the proper basicality of evidentialism about belief in God. So an evidentialist about belief in God can accept it as properly basic.
3. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Felipe Leon, Moreland on the Impossibility of Traversing the Infinite: A Critique
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A key premise of the kalam cosmological argument is that the universe began to exist. However, while a number of philosophers have offered powerful criticisms of William Lane Craig’s defense of the premise, J.P. Moreland has also offered a number of unique arguments in support of it, and to date, little attention has been paid to these in the literature. In this paper, I attempt to go some way toward redressing this matter. In particular, I shall argue that Moreland’s philosophical arguments against the possibility of traversing a beginningless past are unsuccessful.
4. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Alexis Mourenza, Nicholas D. Smith, Knowledge Is Sexy
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Philosophers’ appeals to the processes of natural selection that are adaptive in terms of survival provide an incomplete picture of what naturalists have available to them to make the sort of defense skeptics claim cannot be made. To supplement this picture, we provide evidence from what Darwin called “sexual selection” and also what others now call “social selection” to provide a more complete picture of why it is reasonable to suppose that evolution has supplied human beings and many other animals highly reliable and also veridical cognitive processes.
symposium: j.l. schellenberg’s trilogy
5. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Paul Draper, Faith without God: An Introduction to Schellenberg’s Trilogy
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This paper summarizes J.L. Schellenberg’s trilogy on the philosophy of religion. In the first book, Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion, Schellenberg analyzes basic concepts in the philosophy of religion. In the second, The Wisdom to Doubt, he rejects theism but defends skepticism about both naturalism and a very general religious position that he calls “ultimism.” And in the third book, The Will to Imagine, Schellenberg argues that rationality requires ultimistic faith.
6. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
J. J. MacIntosh, Sceptical Ultimism, or Not so Sceptical Atheism?
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In John Schellenberg’s important trilogy he offers us reasons, individually and cumulatively impressive, for adopting a sceptical attitude towards religious claims, both positive and negative. Part of Schellenberg’s argument consists in reminding us of the necessity of not overestimating our present state of intellectual development. In this paper, while allowing the force of the overestimation points, I consider the very real strength of the arguments he develops for atheism, and suggest that they outweigh his sceptical arguments in favour of non-commitment.Whenever I hear that a writer of real ability has demonstrated away the . . . existence of God, I am eager to read the book, for I expect him by his talents to increase my insight into these matters. Already, before having opened it, I am perfectly certain that he has not justified . . . his specific [claim] because . . . as reason is incompetent to arrive at affirmative assertions in this field, it is equally unable, indeed even less able, to establish any negative conclusion in regard to these questions.
7. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
J.L. Schellenberg, Reactions to MacIntosh
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In his response to my trilogy, Jack MacIntosh suggests a variety of ways in which its conclusions may be challenged, drawing on considerations scientific, moral, and prudential. I argue that the challenges can be met, and, in the process, show how the trilogy’s reasoning can be extended and strengthened on a number of fronts.
8. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Stephen J. Wykstra, Facing MECCA: Ultimism, Religious Skepticism, and Schellenberg’s “Meta-Evidential Condition Constraining Assent”
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Schellenberg’s Wisdom to Doubt uses a “meta-evidential condition constraining assent” that I dub MECCA. On MECCA, my total current evidence E may be good evidence for H, yet not justify my believing H, due to meta-evidential considerations giving me reason to doubt whether E is “representative” of the total evidence E* that exists. I argue that considerations of representativeness are implicit in judging that E is good evidence, rendering this description incoherent, and that Schellenberg’s specific meta-evidence has less trumping power than he thinks.
9. Philo: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
J.L. Schellenberg, A Reply to Wykstra
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Wykstra’s paper defends two objections to my reasoning in The Wisdom to Doubt. One says that we in fact do take evidence to be representative of all the relevant evidence that exists when forming the judgment that it makes some proposition probable, the other that our judgments as to the representativeness of evidence are often justified, and can be justified even in matters of religion. Both objections are instructive but ultimately unsuccessful, as I show here.