Monday, August 23, 2010

The Waning of Materialism?

A piece of news I forgot to mention at the appropriate time: Robert Koons' edited volume with OUP, The Waning of Materialism, came out in April. As the title suggests, it's an evaluation of materialism, or what I have elsewhere called 'Conservative Naturalism'. I'm especially looking forward to reading the papers from Burge, Horgan, Jubien, Almog, and De Caro, which offer explorations and defenses of Moderate and Liberal forms of naturalism.

My guess is that some apologists will use some of the points in the volume to employ the Common Apologetic Strategy to argue from non-materialism to theism.

P.S., Perhaps it's worth noting that (Christian philosopher) Koons previously contributed to a volume similar to the one he has edited here. Why does he want to put out another one? The cynical side of me is tempted to think he did it primarily to have another book available for Christian apologists to appeal to in their books and in other apologetic contexts. ("See? It's not just us Christians who are saying materialism is in trouble. We've got Burge, et al. saying it, too!"). A causal glance at the book reveals two key differences between the previous volume and the current one: (i) this one goes up a notch in prestige from Routledge to Oxford University Press (although Routledge is of course a great academic publisher), and (ii) this one isn't written solely by axe-grinding Christian apologists of the likes of Craig, Moreland, Dembski, et al. (as the last one was). I expect references to the book to be in constant rotation among apologists for quite a while (I'm looking at you, WLC).

1 comment:

mpg said...


Slightly off-topic, but I am really bugged by the designations of conservative, moderate and liberal naturalism, as I don't feel it captures what those of us who identify with liberal naturalism really mean. After thinking about it, I offer reductive and non-reductive naturalism. I'm sure you will tell me why this is inadequate, but if it does hold up, I hope you will lead the charge in spreading this meme around the philosophical community.

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