Thursday, November 03, 2011

Naturalism and Our Knowledge of Reality

... is the name of a new book by R. Scott Smith (Biola). Here is the blurb:

Philosophical naturalism is taken to be the preferred and reigning epistemology and metaphysics that underwrites many ideas and knowledge claims. But what if we cannot know reality on that basis? What if the institution of science is threatened by its reliance on naturalism?

R. Scott Smith argues in a fresh way that we cannot know reality on the basis of naturalism. Moreover, the "fact-value" split has failed to serve our interests of wanting to know reality. The author provocatively argues that since we can know reality, it must be due to a non-naturalistic ontology, best explained by the fact that human knowers are made and designed by God. The book offers fresh implications for the testing of religious truth-claims, science, ethics, education, and public policy. Consequently, naturalism and the fact-value split are shown to be false, and Christian theism is shown to be true.

And here is the table of contents:


Part 1 Direct Realism: An introduction to direct realism:
-The views of D.M. Armstrong
-The representationalism of Dretske, Tye, and Lycan
-Searle's naturalism and the prospects for knowledge

Part 2 Philosophy as Science: Neuroscience, Neurophilosophy and Naturalized Epistemology:
-Cognitive science, philosophy, and our knowledge or reality, part 1: the views of David Papineau
-Cognitive science, philosophy, and our knowledge of reality part 2: the views of Daniel Dennett
-Can the Churchlands' neurocomputational theory of cognition ground a viable epistemology? (Errin Clark)

Part 3 Other Alternatives and Naturalism's Future:
-Other proposals: Pollock's internalism, Kim's functionalism (with Peggy Burke) and more externalist considerations
-The future directions of naturalism and the scientific method, and other implications

I haven't read it yet, but it looks like yet another instance of The Common Apologetic Strategy.

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