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articles
1. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Graham Oddie Hume, the BAD Paradox, and Value Realism
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A recent slew of arguments, if sound, would demonstrate that realism about value involves a kind of paradox-I call it the BAD paradox.More precisely, they show that if there are genuine propositions about the good, then one could maintain harmony between one’s desires and one’s beliefs about the good only on pain of violating fundamental principles of decision theory. I show. however, the BAD paradox turns out to be a version of Newcomb’s problem, and that the cognitivist about value can avoid the paradox by embracing casual decision theory.
2. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
John F. Post Sense and Supervenience
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Alleged counter-examples based on conceptual thought experiments, including those involving sense or content, have no force against physicalist supervenience theses properly construed. This is largely because of their epistemological status and their modal status. Still, there are empirical examples that do contradict Kim-style theses, due to the latter’s individualism. By contrast, non-individualist supervenience, such as “global” supervenience, remains unscathed, a possibility overlooked by Lynne Baker, as is dear from a physicalist account of sense in the case of non-human biological adaptations that are for producing things about affairs in the world.
3. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Richard M. Gale Alvin Plantinga’s Warranted Christian Belief
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In Warranted Christian Belief, Alvin Plantinga makes use of his earlier two books, Warrant: the Current Debate and Warrant and Proper Function, to show how it is possible for someone to have a warranted belief that God exists and that all of the great things of the Christian Gospel are true even if the believer is unable to give any argument to support these beliefs. Three objections are lodged against Plantinga’s position. First, the alleged sensus divinitatis and the internal instigation of the Holy Spirit are crucially disanalogous to the cognitive faculties, such as memory and perception, in the standard package, thereby destroying his argument based on an analogy between the former and the latter. Second, in order to defeat defeaters for these beliefs one must give arguments, thus merely relocating the point at which the believer must produce argumentative support for her belief. Third, there are moral defeaters for exclusivist basic theistic and Christian beliefs based on the undesirable consequences of such beliefs.
4. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Graham Oppy Physical Eschatology
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In this paper, I review evidence which strongly supports the claim that life will eventually be extinguished from the universe. I then examine the ethical implications of this evidence, focusing, in particular, on the question whether it is a bad thing that life will eventually die out.
5. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Evan Fales Reformed Epistemology and Biblical Hermeneutics
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Literal-minded Christians are enjoying resurgent respectability in intellectual circles. Darwin isn’t the only target: also under attack is the application of modern historiography to Scripture According to Reformed epistemologists, ordinary Christians can directly know that, e.g., Jesus rose from the dead, and evidential concerns can be dismissed. This reversion to a sixteenth century hermeneutic deserves response.
6. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
L. Nathan Oaklander Personal Identity, Immortality, and the Soul
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The soul has played many different roles in philosophy and religion. Two of the primary functions of the soul are the bearer of personal identity and the foundation of immortality. In this paper I shall consider different interpretations of what the soul has been taken to be and argue that however we interpret the soul we cannot consistently maintain the soul is both what we are and what continues after our bodily death.
7. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Quentin Smith The Metaphilosophy of Naturalism
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The metaphilosophy of naturalism is about the nature and goals of naturalist philosophy. A real or hypothetical person who knows the nature, goals and consequences of naturalist philosophy may be called an “informed naturalist.” An informed naturalist is justified indrawing certain conclusions about the current state of naturalism and the research program that naturalist philosophers ought to undertake. One conclusion is that the great majority of naturalist philosophers have an unjustified belief that naturalism is true and an unjustified belief that theism (or supernaturalism) is false. I explain this epistemic situation in this paper. I also articulate the goals an informed naturalist would recommend to remedy this situation. These goals, for the most part, have as their consequence the restoring of naturalism to its original state (approximately, to a certain degree, given the great difference in the specific theories), which is the state it possessed in Greco-Roman philosophy before naturalism was “overwhelmed” in the Middle Ages, beginning with Augustine (naturalism had critics as far back as Xenophanes, sixth century B.C.E., but it was not “overwhelmed” until much later). Contemporary naturalists still accept, unwittingly, the redefinition of naturalism that began to be constructed by theists in the fifth century C.E. and that underpins our basic world-view today.
editorial
8. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Keith M. Parsons Greetings and Farewell
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papers
9. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Wes Morriston Omnipotence and the Anselmian God
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Can God be both omnipotent and essentially good? Working with the Anselmian conception of God as the greatest possible being, a number of philosophers have tried to show that omnipotence should be understood in such a way that these properties are compatible. In the present paper, I argue that we can, without inconsistency or other obvious absurdity, conceive of a being more powerful than the Anselmian God. I conclude that contemporary Anselmian philosophers have conflated two logically distinct questions: (1) How much power would be possessed by the best possible God? and (2) How much power is required for omnipotence? When these questions are distinguished, it can be seen that the Anselmian God does not have maximal power and is not omnipotent.
10. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Brian Zamulinski Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law in the Light of Evolution
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The main claim here is that Aquinas’s theory of natural law is false because it is incompatible with the occurrence of evolution by variation and natural selection. This contradicts the Thomist opinion that there is no conflict between the two. The conflict is deep and pervasive, involving the core elements of Aquinas’s theory. The problematic elements include: 1) the fundamental precept that good should be done and pursued, and evil avoided; 2) the claim that every organism aims at the good and that it is wrong to frustrate nature; 3) the Aristotelian preconception that everything has a single preeminent end; 4) the putative natural inclinations attributed to human beings; 5) the assumption that species essentialism is true; and 6) the notion that God’s intentions are discernible in the natural world. It is concluded that the problems are so extensive that Aquinas’s theory is beyond rescue.
11. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
William A. Rottschaefer No Messages Without a Sender: A Critique of Holmes Rolston’s Information-Based Argument for the Existence of God
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In his recent Gifford Lectures, Holmes Rolston argues that the informational character of biological phenomena is better explained by a theistic God of the process variety than by appealing to naturalistic biological explanations. In this paper, I assess Rolston’s argument by examining current biological and philosophical interpretations of the role of the theoretical concept of information in the description and explanation of biological phenomena. I find that none of these understandings of the concept allow Rolston’s conclusion. Natural selection explanations are in principle sufficient for accounting for the informational character of biological phenomena.
12. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Niall Shanks, Karl Joplin Behe, Biochemistry, and the Invisible Hand
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In this essay we take creationist biochemist Michael Behe to task for failing to make an evidentially grounded case for the supernatural intelligent design of biochemical systems. In our earlier work on Behe we showed that there were dimensions to biochemical complexity---redundant complexity---that he appeared to have ignored. Behe has recently replied to that work. We show here that his latest arguments contain fundamental flaws.
13. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Owen McLeod Science, Religion, and Hyper-Humeanism
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According to hyper-Humeanism, the world of “fact” is utterly distinct from the realm of “value”-that is, the realm of morality and religion.This is a well-known philosophical position, and it more or less follows from some well-known philosophical doctrines (e.g., logical positivism, and neo-Wittgensteinianism), but its appeal is not limited to philosophers. Indeed, an acceptance of hyper-Humeanism seems to be at the root of Stephen Jay Gould’s recent defense of the thesis that science and religion are utterly distinct. Gould’s stated aim in defending this thesis is to settle, or perhaps reveal as illusory, various conflicts between science and religion. However, I arguenot only that Gould’s version of this thesis is defective, but also that hyper-Humeanism itself is false. If I am right, then “facts” and “values”-science and religion in particular-can overlap in philosophically interesting ways.
14. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Aaron Holland Consistency in Presuming Agnosticism
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According to the presumption of atheism, we are to presume disbelief unless agnosticism or theism can be adequately defended. In this paper I will defend the presumption of atheism against a popular objection made by Thomas Morris and elucidate an insuperable difficulty for any attempt to argue for a presumption of agnosticism.
book reviews
15. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
John Beaudoin Another Beating for a Resilient Horse
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16. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
James Stacey Taylor Human Freedom and God’s Foreknowledge
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