Naturalism: A Critical Analysis by William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland

By William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland

Naturalism presents a rigorous research and critique of the main different types of modern philosophical naturalism. The authors recommend the thesis that modern naturalism will be deserted, in mild of the intense objections raised opposed to it. members draw on a variety of themes together with: epistemology, the philosophy of technology, the philosophy of brain and business enterprise, and average theology.

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But with the rise and development of the mind/brain identity thesis during the last half of the twentieth century, the generous naturalism (as we shall call it) of Dewey, Santayana, Sidney Hook and others has largely disappeared in favor of a narrower naturalism more commonly and more correctly called “physicalism” (the older “materialism”). 1 In this chapter I will try to explain why narrower Naturalism or unqualified Physicalism cannot find a place for knowledge, and specifically for three of its essential components: truth, logical relations and noetic unity.

It depends, one might simply say, on how rational one is. Now I do not think that this point about belief in relation to knowledge is essential to the rest of this chapter, but I mention it to indicate that the absence of any reference to belief in my general description of knowledge is not an oversight. Belief is not, I think, a necessary component of knowledge, though one would like to believe that knowledge would have some influence upon belief, and no doubt it often does. In addition, it seems to me that specification of knowledge in terms of belief is a harmfully tendentious characterization, favoring the naturalization of knowledge.

Quine’s own version of Core Scientism, his epistemological naturalism, is itself, however, an instance of philosophy prior to the empirical sciences. To meet this objection, Quine must show that his epistemological naturalism is a thesis or at least a warranted product of the empirical sciences. Quine does not discharge this burden, because the empirical sciences, as we have noted, do not make sweeping, monopolistic claims about the status of epistemology – even if an individual scientist makes such claims on occasion, in a moment of epistemological chauvinism.

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