Volume 61, 2018
Philosophy of Religion
Michele Paolini Paoletti
Naturalism (Almost) Self-defeated
In this paper, I shall try to present and defend some arguments against naturalistic evolutionism that are partly inspired by A. Plantinga’s well-known evolutionary argument against naturalism. I give two different characterizations of naturalistic evolutionism: according to the first, it is the view for which, for every human activity, that activity is governed by adaptive functions and nothing else (N.E.1); according to second, it is the view for which, for most human activities, those activities are governed by adaptive functions and nothing else (N.E.2). Both versions of naturalistic evolutionism fall in trouble when they have to ground the truth of metaphysical beliefs, even including the beliefs that N.E.1, that N.E.2, that N.E.1 is true and that N.E.2 is true. Thus, it seems either that naturalistic evolutionism is false and self-defeating or that its defense is a huge metaphysical task to undertake than one could expect.