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Showing posts from February, 2009

Two Threads to Follow...

...at Prosblogion:

(i) Christian and non-Christian members of the American Philosophical Association discussing discrimination against gay men and women at various Christian colleges. Here.

(ii) The same crowd's discussing a session between Plantinga and Dennett at the recent Central Division APA conference. Here.

U.S. Military Spending: Flat-Out Retarded

Yep, we spend just under what the rest of the world spends on military combined.

Let's cut that by 70 percent, and use it to build high-speed rail nationwide (like they have in, you know, the rest of the industrialized world). That'll create a huge employment boom, cut transportation deaths by 90 percent (and no more traffic -- yeah!), cut private spending on transportation (car payments, car insurance, car washes, car repairs, car lubes....gone!), make major strides against climate change, and eliminate the bulk of the basis for foreign conflict, all in one shot. And with the money left over every year, we can spend it on health care, social security, our creaky old infrastructure, etc. But of course that's just my opinion...

UPDATE: It looks like President Obama agrees with me to some extent. Good news!

James Kraft's New Paper

James Kraft has a fascinating new paper out in the online philosophy of religion journal, Ars Disputandi. He brings the currently-hot topics of epistemological contextualism and the epistemology of disagreement to bear on the problem of reasonable religious disagreement. I can see these two epistemological topics (epistemological contextualism and the epistemology of disagreement) becoming "hot" applications in philosophy of religion. Indeed, I just read that Dean Zimmerman recently organized a conference on the epistemology of disagreement and religious epistemology. And of course we've already seen Richard Feldman's recent contribution on this score.

Update: Here's another paper from Kraft on the same topic.

Yujin Nagasawa

Yujin Nagasawa Is a young up-and-coming philosopher of religion at the University of Birmingham in England. He has recently written an intriguing book, God and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Novel Approach, (recently reviewed at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, here) which critiques prominent a priori arguments for dualism, such as Thomas Nagel's and Frank jackson's. He has also co-edited the new cutting-edge volume, New Waves in Philosophy of Religion (with Erik Wielenberg).

A bunch of his papers are online at his department webpage, including his excellent "A New Defense of Anselmian Theism", which won the Essay Prize from the journal, The Philosophical Quarterly, in 2007. As you'll see at his page and his CV, he's working on a book-length treatment on the existence of God, entitled, The Existence of God: From Anselm to Big Bang Cosmology (under contract with Routledge).

UPDATE: I tracked down the table of contents for New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Here…

It'd Be Funny If It Weren't True

A bit of old news. In deliberating about the stimulus bill, GOP members consulted -- wait for it -- Joe the Plumber. Yep, that's the caliber and quality of thought in those quarters. I'm so glad they're taking the fate of the world so seriously that they're calling on such an economic expert. Don't ask economists; ask Joe, the willfully ignorant, opportunist, tax-evading Plumber.

Type-F Monism, Russellian Monism, and Conceivability Arguments for Dualism

Here is a nice recent paper by Barbara Montero (CUNY), which defends a line I've gestured to elsewhere. The paper's entitled, "Russellian Physicalism". In this paper, she offers an undercutting defeater for Chalmers' 2D argument for dualism. Briefly, she sketches a Russellian account of physicalism, which is distinct from both strict physicalism and dualism. She then points out (as Chalmers conceded in his The Conscious Mind and some subsequent work) that Chalmers' argument can't rule out this possibility, in which case his argument for dualism is undercut.

This I think this serves as an undercutting defeater for arguments from mental phenomena to God (arguments for dualism, Reppert's argument from reason, Moreland's arguments in this area, etc.).

Klaas Kraay

Klaas Kraay is a young philosopher of religion at Reyerson University (Toronto, Canada). He does cutting-edge work in this field by using the multiverse hypothesis (the hypothesis that there are many -- perhaps infinitely many -- universes) to solve problems for theism, such as the problem of evil, the multiverse objection to the argument from fine-tuning, and William Rowe's atheistic No Best World argument. Virtually all of his papers on this are available online at his department webpage. Required reading!