Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Debate: "What Difference Would - or Does - God's Existence Make?"

Speakers: Dr. Peter van Inwagen, Duke University.
Dr. Ronnie de Sousa, University of Toronto. 
Date/Time: Friday, March 6th, 4:00-5:30 pm (reception to follow)
Location: Oakham Lounge, 63 Gould Street, Ryerson University
Registration: To register to attend, click on the link below.

Monday, February 16, 2015

John Russell Roberts' Nice New Paper on Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing

Roberts, John Russell. "Axiarchism and Selectors", Faith & Philosophy 31:4 (October 2014), pp. 412-421. The mention of the notion of selectors reveals that it interacts in crucial ways with Derek Parfit's important paper, "Why Anything? Why This?". Here's the abstract:
This essay offers a defense of Axiarchism’s answer to the question, “Why does the world exist?” against prominent objections leveled against it by Derek Parfit. Parfit rejects the Axiarchist answer while abstracting from it his own Selector strategy. I argue that the abstraction fails, and that even if we were to regard Axiarchism as an instance of a Selector hypothesis, we should regard it as the only viable one. I also argue that Parfit’s abstraction leads him to mistake the nature and, thereby, the force of Axiarchism’s claim to being an ultimate explanation. Finally, I defend the Axiarchist’s claim that the good could not fail to rule.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Excellent Survey Article on Evolutionary Debunking Arguments...

...and a nice proposal for the way forward for a moral realist's reply: Vavova, Katia. "Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism", Philosophy Compass 10:2 (February 2015), 104-116. For what it's worth, I'm inclined to accept something like Street's own reply: a kind of constructivism. I'm still open to something like Wielenberg's non-natural moral realism, though.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Steinhart On Our Digital Afterlives...

...on New Books in Philosophy.

Tucker's Forthcoming Paper on Divine Satisficing

Tucker, Chris. "Satisficing and Motivated Submaximization (in the Philosophy of Religion)", Philosophy & Phenomenological Research (forthcoming).

Here's the abstract:
In replying to certain objections to the existence of God, Robert Adams, Bruce Langtry, and Peter van Inwagen assume that God can appropriately choose a suboptimal world, a world less good than some other world God could have chosen. A number of philosophers, such as Michael Slote and Klaas Kraay, claim that these theistic replies are therefore committed to the claim that satisficing can be appropriate. Kraay argues that this commitment is a significant liability. I argue, however, that the relevant defenses of theism are committed to the appropriateness of, not satisficing, but motivated submaximization. When one submaximizes with motivation, one aims at the optimum but accepts the good enough because of a countervailing consideration. When one satisfices, one aims at the good enough and chooses the good enough because it realizes her aim at the good enough. While commitment to the appropriateness of satisficing may be a significant liability, commitment to the appropriateness of motivated submaximization is not.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Proops on Kant on the Cosmological Argument

Proops, Ian. "Kant on the Cosmological Argument", The Philosopher's Imprint 14:12 (May 2014).

He also has a paper out on Kant on the ontological argument in the latest issue of Nous.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review of Rudder-Baker's Naturalism and the First-PersonPerspective

Owen Flanagan reviews the book for NDPR.

McBrayer's New Paper on Pascal's Wager

McBrayer, Justin. "The Wager Renewed: Believing in God is Good for You", Science, Religion, and Culture 1 (3):130 (2014). Here's the abstract:

Not all of our reasons for belief are epistemic in nature. Some of our reasons for belief are prudential in the sense that believing a certain thing advances our personal goals. When it comes to belief in God, the most famous formulation of a prudential reason for belief is Pascal’s Wager. And although Pascal’s Wager fails, its failure is instructive. Pascal’s Wager fails because it relies on unjustified assumptions about what happens in the afterlife to those who believe in God verses those who do not. A renewed wager can avoid this difficulty by relying solely on well-documented differences between those who believe in God verses those who do not. Social scientists have put together an impressive set of data that shows that theists do better in terms of happiness, health, longevity, inter- personal relationships, and charitable giving. Hence, most people have a strong reason to believe in God regardless of the evidence.

Substsantially Revised SEP Entry on Teleological Arguments