Monday, December 22, 2008

Paul Draper's Forthcoming Work in Philosophy of Religion

...looks very interesting. It looks like his forthcoming work falls under three main headings: (i) the problem of evil, (ii) confirmation theory (and its implications for issues in philosophy of religion), and (iii) the negative impact of partisanship and polemics in contemporary philosophy of religion.

With respect to (i), he has a forthcoming monograph, The Evidential Problem of Evil, in which he develops a Bayesian version of the problem of evil, and defends it against the responses of various theodicies, the Skeptical Theist response, natural theology, and reformed epistemology. In addition, he's drafting a chapter in a collection of papers edited by Quentin Smith and Paul Pistone (Theism and Naturalism: New Essays). His chapter will be entitled, "Darwin's Argument from Evil".

With respect to (ii), Draper has at least four pieces in preparation. In one paper ("A New Theory of Intrinsic Probability"), Draper develops a theory of intrinsic probability for use in Bayesian probability arguments, and argues that it's more plausible than Richard Swinburne's theory of intrinsic probability. The other three works look to be "application" pieces. In one of these ("Evolution and the Problem of Induction"), Draper raises a worry for naturalists re: the problem of induction. He then uses his new theory of intrinsic probability to answer it. In another, ("Why Theists Bear a Heavy Burden of Proof"), Draper argues that the intrinsic probability of theism is low, and thus theism bears a heavy burden of proof to make its case. The third application piece critiques probabilistic arguments for theism. The piece will be an entry in the new (revised and massively expanded) edition of The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Religion. Notably, Draper is co-editing the new edition (with Charles Taliaferro, taking up the editorial role of the late Phillip Quinn).

With respect to (iii), Draper is working on a paper (originally delivered at the 2006 APA Central Division Meeting) that distinguishes between philosophy of religion on the one hand, and atheistic and theistic apologetics on the other. His central contention is that there has been too much of the latter and not enough of the former in contemporary philosophy of religion.

1 comment:

Wes said...

I really like his Bayesian approach to these issues. I know you've been arguing along these same lines in your conversations with theists.

I'm looking forward to reading those papers.

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