Alvin Plantinga by Deane-Peter Baker

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By Deane-Peter Baker

Few thinkers have had as a lot influence on modern philosophy as has Alvin Plantinga. The paintings of this integral analytic thinker has in lots of respects set the tone for the talk within the fields of modal metaphysics and epistemology and he's arguably an important thinker of faith of our time. during this quantity, a wonderful staff of cutting-edge top philosophers tackle the critical features of Plantinga's philosophy - his perspectives on common theology; his responses to the matter of evil; his contributions to the sector of modal metaphysics; the debatable 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 additionally integrated is an appendix containing Plantinga's usually said, yet formerly unpublished, lecture notes entitled 'Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments', with a considerable preface to the appendix written via Plantinga particularly for this quantity.

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Perhaps Plantinga might say that the key point is that the cost of rejecting the very notion of proper function and the analysis of warrant upon which it depends is so high: Given that one accepts the premises of the argument from the nature of warrant and proper function, the price of denying his supernaturalist conclusion is very high. But surely the proponent of Rowe’s evidential argument from evil is in an even stronger position here: Given that one continues to accept the premises of that argument, one will be positively irrational if one does not go on to accept its conclusion.

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. Of course, as Plantinga himself acknowledges, it is a very long step from the rejection of classical foundationalism to the rejection of the evidentialist critique of theism, that is, to the rejection of the claim that 1) it is irrational or unreasonable to accept theistic belief in the absence of sufficient evidence or reasons, and 2) there is no evidence or at any rate not sufficient evidence for the proposition that God exists.

43 That is, Plantinga claims that there are good arguments “from the nature of sets, of propositions, of numbers, of properties, of counterfactual propositions, . . from the nature of knowledge, from the nature of proper function, from the confluence of proper function with reliability, from simplicity, from induction . . good moral arguments; good arguments from the nature of evil; from play, enjoyment, 16:35 P1: JyD 0521855314c01 CUNY806B/Baker 30 0 521 85531 0 April 17, 2007 Graham Oppy love, nostalgia; and perhaps from colors and flavors,”44 all of which can play the role of ‘confirming and strengthening’ theistic belief.

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