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Does Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism work?

  • WANG-YEN LEE (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0034412508009803
  • Published online: 01 February 2009
Abstract
Abstract

In Alvin Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism (EAAN), he contends that someone who holds both naturalism (N) and evolution (E) acquires an undefeated defeater for her belief that ‘human cognitive faculties are reliable’ (R) and as a result an undefeated defeater for everything else she believes when she comes to realize that P(R/N&E) is low or inscrutable. I argue for two theses in this paper. First, when a naturalist-evolutionist comes to think that P(R/N&E) is inscrutable, that does not constitute an undefeated defeater for her belief that R if her original grounds for believing R are something other than an assessment of P(R/N&E). Second, even if she acquires an undefeated defeater for her belief that R when she comes to think that P(R/N&E) is inscrutable, it does not follow that she has a defeater for all her other beliefs. The main contribution lies in my response to Plantinga's attempt to resist my second thesis.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

David Lewis (1996) ‘Elusive knowledge’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 74, 549567.

Richard Swinburne (2001) Epistemic Justification (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Richard Swinburne (2004) ‘Plantinga's argument against evolutionary naturalism’, in idem The Existence of God, 2nd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 350, n. 3.

James Van Cleve (1984) ‘Reliability, justification, and the problem of induction’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 9, 555567.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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