Rumours from the Ivory Tower

From “The tide is turning!” — Nagel and Plantinga at OUP

Passed by and noticed Dr Hunter’s post on Nagel’s forthcoming book.  (And, objectors, Nagel is a serious philosopher of mind, writing in his area of expertise.  As in, author of “What is it like to be a bat?”)

Going to the Oxford University Press [OUP] book page, I noticed another name popping up: Plantinga.

As in, the man who blew away the logical form of the problem of evil.

Passed by my thread on It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming, and saw Axel’s comment. Clipping:

. . . while on the subject of the materialists’ desperation to quash any theistic assumption from scientific consideration, surely the proven precedence of mind over matter in physics points unequivocally to a personal God.

One may want to debate that, but Nagel and Plantinga put their fingers on two sore spots: the failure of evolutionary accounts of mind and the problem of a priori methodological naturalism jiggering the supposedly empirically based explanatory process. As in what materialist objectors have been so desperate to dismiss when raised by design thinkers, for years now.


Mind and Cosmos
Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False
Thomas Nagel
OUP USA [upcoming Nov 2012]

. . . . In Mind and Cosmos Thomas Nagel argues that the widely accepted world view of materialist naturalism is untenable. The mind-body problem cannot be confined to the relation between animal minds and animal bodies. If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology . . . An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. No such explanation is available, and the physical sciences, including molecular biology, cannot be expected to provide one.


Where the Conflict Really Lies
Science, Religion, and Naturalism
Alvin Plantinga [Feb 2012, sold out]

. . . . Plantinga examines where this conflict is supposed to exist — evolution, evolutionary psychology, analysis of scripture, scientific study of religion — as well as claims by Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Philip Kitcher that evolution and theistic belief cannot co-exist. Plantinga makes a case that their arguments are not only inconclusive but that the supposed conflicts themselves are superficial, due to the methodological naturalism used by science. On the other hand, science can actually offer support to theistic doctrines, and Plantinga uses the notion of biological and cosmological “fine-tuning” in support of this idea. Plantinga argues that we might think about arguments in science and religion in a new way — as different forms of discourse that try to persuade people to look at questions from a perspective such that they can see that something is true. In this way, there is a deep and massive consonance between theism and the scientific enterprise.

–> The guy who decisively answered the logical form of the problem of evil

When you got two philosophers at that level on your case at the same time, in Oxford U Press, that is a serious sign that the tide is shifting decisively.>>


When two heavy-hitters like that weigh in so explicitly, that is a sign that it looks a lot like an early Spring Sunday Morning, just before dawn, North side of Jerusalem, AD 30.

Some ashen-faced guards are heading into Jerusalem, and some women are coming out, bearing burial spices. They hardly notice each other in passing.

Interesting times are coming, as the Established Order begins to shift and crack…


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