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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 25, 2000

David Reiter
Pages 141-147

Plantinga on the Epistemic Implications of Naturalism

In the final chapter of Warrant and Proper Function, Alvin Planting a presents an “evolutionary argument against naturalism” (where naturalism is the claim that there are no supernatural beings). According to this argument, the conjunction of naturalism and evolution cannot be rationally believed by anyone who understands its epistemic implications. In this paper, I argue that if Plantinga’s evolutionary argument is sound, it follows that (what I call) perceptive naturalists have no propositional knowledge. Since it is plausible that perceptive naturalists do have some propositional knowledge, I infer that the evolutionary argument (EA) is unsound. However, I conclude the paper with the suggestion that even if EA is unsound, it may still provide important insights about the epistemic shortcomings of naturalism.

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