World without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism

World without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism

World without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism

World without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism

Synopsis

Philosophical naturalism, according to which philosophy is continuous with the natural sciences, has dominated the Western academy for well over a century; but Michael Rea claims that it is without rational foundation, and that the costs of embracing it are surprisingly high. Rea argues compellingly to the surprising conclusion that naturalists are committed to rejecting realism about material objects, materialism, and perhaps realism about other minds. That is surely a price that naturalists are unwilling to pay: this philosophical orthodoxy should be rejected.

Excerpt

Philosophical naturalism has dominated the Western academy for well over a century. It is not just fashionable nowadays; it enjoys the lofty status of academic orthodoxy. However, there is an important sense in which naturalism's status as orthodoxy is without rational foundation. Furthermore, the costs of embracing it are surprisingly high. the goal of this book is to defend these two claims.

In the present chapter I will introduce several of the concepts and assumptions that will occupy center stage in the book's main argument. in Section 1, I will introduce the notion of a research program. I will also defend the conclusion that it is impossible to adopt a research program on the basis of evidence. This will constitute my argument for the conditional claim that if naturalism is a research program, its status as orthodoxy is without rational foundation. in later chapters I will argue that naturalism is indeed a research program. in Section 2, I will introduce the central thesis of the book and explain in some detail the concepts involved in that thesis. Finally, in Section 3, I will provide a brief outline of what is to come.

1. Research Programs

Inquiry is a process in which we try to revise our beliefs in some way—by acquiring new ones, discarding old ones, or both. This is so whether we are trying to answer scientific questions like 'What causes thunder?', philosophical questions like 'Is capital punishment immoral?', or more mundane questions like 'Where are my keys?', 'Why does my stomach hurt?', or 'What's in that dark room?' But not just any attempt at belief revision counts as a process of inquiry. a severe blow to the head might bring about revisions in your belief

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.