Alvin Plantinga by Deane-Peter Baker

By Deane-Peter Baker

Few thinkers have had as a lot impression on modern philosophy as has Alvin Plantinga. The paintings of this fundamental analytic thinker has in lots of respects set the tone for the controversy within the fields of modal metaphysics and epistemology and he's arguably crucial thinker of faith of our time. during this quantity, a exclusive crew of cutting-edge top philosophers tackle the crucial features of Plantinga's philosophy - his perspectives on usual theology; his responses to the matter of evil; his contributions to the sector of modal metaphysics; the arguable evolutionary argument opposed to naturalism; his version of epistemic warrant and his view of epistemic defeat; and his contemporary paintings on mind-body dualism. additionally integrated is an appendix containing Plantinga's usually noted, yet formerly unpublished, lecture notes entitled 'Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments', with a considerable preface to the appendix written through Plantinga in particular for this quantity.

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25 While it seems to me that there is some wiggle room here for the classical foundationalist – in particular, with respect to the assumption that if epistemic relations hold within a rational noetic structure, then those relations are available as items of knowledge to the person who possesses that rational noetic structure – it is not clear that there is much harm in the concession that Plantinga’s argument inflicts mortal harm on classical foundationalism. For if we allow that a classical foundationalist can claim that knowledge of the relevant epistemic relations need not be available to the person who possesses a rational noetic structure, then we block any straightforward argument from classical foundationalism to the irrationality of theistic belief amongst those who are unable to offer good arguments on behalf of the claim that God exists.

P n God exists’, then why shouldn’t we suppose that that constitutes a success for the arguments of traditional natural theology? “THE PROSPECTS FOR NATURAL THEOLOGY” (1991) In “The Prospects for Natural Theology,”31 Plantinga considers the uses or functions that natural theology might have. Taking it that natural theology is “the attempt to provide proofs or arguments for the existence of God,”32 he approves of some potential uses of natural theology and disapproves of others. ”35 If we suppose that the aim of natural theology is to provide justification for theistic beliefs – that is, to show that the belief that God exists is not “somehow intellectually second-rate, intellectually improper, unjustified, out of order .

In his discussion of his ‘triumphant’ modal ontological argument, Plantinga makes the point that even though theists are bound to suppose that the following argument is sound: 1. Either God exists, or 7 + 5 = 14 2. It is false that 7 + 5 = 14 3. ”18 16:35 P1: JyD 0521855314c01 CUNY806B/Baker 0 521 85531 0 Natural Theology April 17, 2007 23 However, it seems to me that it is equally obvious that this argument fails to prove that the claim that God exists is rationally acceptable: for no one who didn’t already accept this conclusion would accept that the first premise is rationally acceptable.

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