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Showing posts from July, 2013

Metz's Forthcoming Book on Meaning in Life

Readers of this blog may be interested in Thaddeus Metz's forthcoming book, Meaning in Life. Here's the blurb:
What makes a person's life meaningful? Thaddeus Metz offers a new answer to an ancient question which has recently returned to the philosophical agenda. He proceeds by examining what, if anything, all the conditions that make a life meaningful have in common. The outcome of this process is a philosophical theory of meaning in life. He starts by evaluating existing theories in terms of the classic triad of the good, the true, and the beautiful. He considers whether meaning in life might be about such principles as fulfilling God's purpose, obtaining reward in an afterlife for having been virtuous, being attracted to what merits attraction, leaving the world a better place, connecting to organic unity, or transcending oneself by connecting to what is extensive. He argues that no extant principle satisfactorily accounts for the three-fold significance of morality,…

Rob Lovering's New Book

Rob Lovering has a new book out: God and Evidence: Problems for Theistic Philosophers (Continuum, 2013). Here's the blurb: God and Evidence presents a new set of compelling problems for theistic philosophers. The problems pertain to three types of theistic philosopher, which Lovering defines here as 'theistic inferentialists,' 'theistic non-inferentialists,' and 'theistic fideists.' Theistic inferentialists believe that God exists, that there is inferential probabilifying evidence of God's existence, and that this evidence is discoverable not simply in principle but in practice. Theistic non-inferentialists believe that God exists, that there is non-inferential probabilifying evidence of God's existence, and that this evidence is discoverable not simply in principle but in practice. Theistic fideists believe that God exists, that there is no discoverable probabilifying evidence (inferential or non-inferential) of God's existence, and that it is n…

Rizzieri's Important Forthcoming Book on Pragmatic Encroachment and Religious Belief

On otheroccasions, we've noted Aaron Rizzieri's pioneering application of the hot  epistemological topic of pragmatic encroachment to issues in philosophy of religion. I'm happy to announce that Rizzieri has now produced a monograph on these matters: Pragmatic Encroachment, Religious Belief and Practice (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming).
Here's the blurb:
Pragmatic Encroachment, Religious Belief and Practice engages several recent and important discussions in the mainstream epistemological literature surrounding 'pragmatic encroachment'. It has been argued that what is at stake for a person in regards to acting as if a proposition is true can raise the levels of epistemic support required to know that proposition. Do the high stakes involved in accepting or rejecting religious beliefs raise the standards for knowledge that 'God exists', 'Jesus rose from the Dead' and other propositions? Professor Rizzieri also examines whether or not knowledge and…

Quote of the Day

. . .my friends believe that we have no sufficient reason at all to think it even likely that God could achieve the very best for us (humans and animals) were he to have prevented the Holocaust, the terrible suffering of the fawn, the horrible suffering of the little girl, or any of the other countless evils that abound in this world. Why on earth do they believe this? The basic reason is this: God's knowledge of goods and the conditions of their realization extends far beyond our own. Because God's knowledge of the goods and the conditions of their realization extends far beyond our own, they think it just may be that God would know that even he, with his infinite power, cannot achieve the best for us without permitting all the horrendous evils that occur daily in our world. And they also think it just may be that God can achieve the best for us only if he keeps us in the dark as to what the good is that justifies him in permitting any of these horrendous evils. But what the…

Kraay on Van Inwagen on Gratuitous Evil

Kraay, Klaas. "Peter van Inwagen on Gratuitious Evil", Religious Studies (forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Defenders and critics of the evidential argument from evil typically agree that if theism is true, no gratuitous evil occurs. But Peter van Inwagen has challenged this orthodoxy by urging that for all we know, given God’s goals, it is impossible for God to prevent all gratuitous evil, in which case God is not required do so. If van Inwagen is right, the evidential argument from evil fails. After setting out this striking and innovative move, I examine three responses found in the literature, and show that none of them defeats van Inwagen’s argument. I then offer a novel criticism: I show that van Inwagen implicitly relies on the claim that God can sensibly be thought to satisfice, and I argue that this is seriously under-motivated. Accordingly, van Inwagen’s objection to the evidential argument from evil is, at best, incomplete.
A link to the penultimate draft can b…

Craig's Critique of the Existence of Actual Infinites in His Blackwell Companion Article, Part I

Craig's recent defense of his philosophical arguments against the existence of actual infinites is unsuccessful. Start with his interaction with David Yandell's reply. Yandell correctly points out that no contradiction arises when one subtracts different infinite subsets from an actually infinite set. Thus: subtracting all the even numbers from all the natural numbers = all the odd numbers; subtracting all the natural numbers from all the natural numbers = 0. Now of course, if subtracting the very same subset yielded different answers on different occasions, then that would be a contradiction. But of course that doesn't happen when one subtracts from actually infinite sets.
In reply, Craig admits that no contradiction results from the infinite subtractions in Yandell's illustrations. Nevertheless, he asserts that a contradiction is yet to be found with another aspect of such subtractions. In particular, it's to be found in the fact that "an identical number of …

Announcement: Call for Papers: Theistic Metaphysics and Naturalism

Eastern Regional Conference
"Theistic Metaphysics and Naturalism"
October 24-26, 2013

University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

Conference Website:

Keynote Speakers: 
Trenton Merricks (University of Virginia)
Christina Van Dyke (Calvin College)

The Eastern Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers (SCP) will be held October 24-26 at the University of South Florida. Submissions are welcome from all theological perspectives, and we welcome Christian and non-Christian presenters and participants. The theme this year will be "Theistic Metaphysics and Naturalism." Paper submissions on any topic of philosophical interest, however, will be given equal consideration. 

Submissions should be 3,000 words or less and prepared for blind review (please send a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file with no identifying 'marks'). Submissions should also include a cover letter with your name, institutional affiliation, email…