Sunday, April 12, 2009

Salerno and Brogaard's Critique of the Argument from Anti-Realism to Theism

In his 1982 APA presidential address, "How to be an Anti-Realist", Alvin Plantinga (Notre Dame) argued that anti-realism is true, and that the best account of anti-realism entails the truth of theism. Plantinga summarizes his argument at the end of his address as follows:

"By way of conclusion then: the fundamental anti-realist intuition-
that truth is not independent of mind--is indeed correct. This intuition
is best accommodated by the theistic claim that necessarily, proposi-
tions have two properties essentially: being conceived by God and being
true if and only if believed by God. So how can we sensibly be anti-
realists? Easily enough: by being theists."

Recently, Michael Rea (Notre Dame) has offered a similar version of Plantinga's argument (‘‘Theism and Epistemic Truth-Equivalences’’, Nous 34:2 (2000), pp. 291–301).

Joe Salerno (Saint Louis University) and Berit Brogaard (U of MIssouri, St. Louis) published a paper ("Anti-realism, Theism and the Conditional Fallacy", Nous 39:1 (2005), pp. 123-139) that critiques Plantinga's and Rea's versions of the argument. The paper can be found here.


Chad said...

Similar to Plantinga and Rea's argument is Josh Peterson's, “Conceptualism and Truth” Ratio 13:3 (2000), pp. 234-238.

Thanks for the reference to this critique.

exapologist said...

Hi Chad,

Thanks for the reference to Peterson's paper!


Luke said...

This blog is a goldmine.

exapologist said...

Thanks for the kind words, Luke!

Site Meter