Saturday, January 30, 2016

New IEP Entry on Proper Functionalism


New Paper on Anti-Theodicy

Betenson, Tony. "Anti-Theodicy", Philosophy Compass 11:1 (January 2016), pp. 56-65. Here's the abstract:

In this article, I outline the major themes of ‘anti-theodicy’. Anti-theodicy is characterised as a reaction, as rejection, against traditional solutions to the problem of evil (called ‘theodicies’) and against the traditional formulations of the problem of evil to which those solutions respond. I detail numerous ‘moral’ anti-theodical objections to theodicy, illustrating the central claim of anti-theodicy: Theodicy is morally objectionable. I also detail some ‘non-moral’ anti-theodical objections, illustrating the second major claim of anti-theodicy: Traditional formulations of the problem of evil are conceptually misguided. My focus remains on the analytic philosophical tradition throughout, but I briefly allude to the rich theological tradition of anti-theodicy. Although we should recognise the significant degree of diversity amongst anti-theodical arguments and the philosophical views of their proponents, this article should serve to illustrate the general theme: ‘Theodicies mediate a praxis that sanctions evil.

And if a copy should find its way to my inbox...

Update: Thanks!

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Book on Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy

Helen De Cruz, Ryan Nichols, and James Beebe have come out with a terrific new collection: Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy (Bloomsbury, 2016).

Here's the blurb:

Experimental philosophy has blossomed into a variety of philosophical fields including ethics, epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of language. But there has been very little experimental philosophical research in the domain of philosophy of religion. Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy demonstrates how cognitive science of religion has the methodological and conceptual resources to become a form of experimental philosophy of religion.Addressing a wide variety of empirical claims that are of interest to philosophers and psychologists of religion, a team of psychologists and philosophers apply data from the psychology of religion to important problems in the philosophy of religion including the psychology of religious diversity; the psychology of substance dualism; the problem of evil and the relation between religious belief and empathy; and the cognitive science explaining the formation of intuitions that unwittingly guide philosophers of religion when formulating arguments.Bringing together authors and researchers who have made important contributions to interdisciplinary research on religion in the last decade, Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy provides new ways of approaching core philosophical and psychological problems.
And here's the table of contents:

1. Introduction: Cognitive science of religion and its philosophical implications, Helen De Cruz (Department of Philosophy, VU University Amsterdam) and Ryan Nichols (Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton, and Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, & Culture, University of British Columbia)
2. Is religion or science debunked by the evolution of cognitive faculties? John Wilkins (Honorary Fellow at the School of Historical and Philosophical Sciences, The University of Melbourne)
3. A cognitive psychological account of reasoning about ritual efficacy, Cristine H. Legare (Associate Professor of Psychology, Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Texas) and Rachel Watson-Jones (Postdoctoral fellow, Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Texas)
4. Atheism, inference and intuition, Kelly James Clark (Senior Research Fellow, Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Grand Valley State University)
5. Cognitive science, evil and God, John Teehan (Professor of Religion, Hofstra University)
6. How to witness your own funeral: “The folk” respond to Anthony Flew, Mitch Hodge (Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Amarillo College)
7. How do philosophers evaluate natural theological arguments? An experimental philosophical investigation, Helen De Cruz (Assistant professor, Department of Philosophy, VU University Amsterdam) and Johan De Smedt (Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Philosophy, Ghent University)
8. Remembering past lives, Claire White (Assistant Professor, California State University, Northridge, Robert Kelly (California State University, Northridge) and Shaun Nichols (Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona)
9. An ecological theory of gods' minds, Benjamin Grant Purzycki and Rita McNamara (Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition & Culture, University of British Columbia)
10. Rethinking the significance of moral and religious diversity, Jason Marsh (Assistant professor of Philosophy, St Olaf College) and Jon Marsh (St. Louis University)

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