Volume 62, Issue 4, 2014
God and Antirealism
Two kinds of connections between semantic antirealism and theism may be distinguished. The first one begins with the antirealist claim that we understand language through our knowledge of justification of statements or sentences. Consequently, it becomes impossible to transfer God’s knowledge to the believer, if she or he personally doesn’t know the justification of the relevant statements. There is especially strong exposition of this doctrine in the last pages of Michael Dummett’s The Logical Basis of Metaphysics. This could be understood as the refutation of any kind of illuminationism, as well as some remotely related positions, like transcendental idealism. The second connection is more positive for theism. Antirealism needs to suppose that every statement could be known, which seems to be contrary to common sense. But there is one very easy way to make this supposition true, namely by acknowledging the existence of omniscient God, who knows every proposition. This way of thinking was first expounded by Alvin Plantinga few decades ago, and since then has become the subject of scrupulous discussions by different philosophers. It should be emphasized that after close examination these two connections aren’t equally justified, because only the first one has strong semantic roots in antirealism, why the second one is merely a speculative conjecture.