Natural theology

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Abstract

In this chapter, I provide a chronological survey of Plantinga's changing conceptions of the project of natural theology, and of the ways in which those conceptions of the project of natural theology interact with his major philosophical concerns. In his earliest works, Plantinga has a very clear and strict conception of the project of natural theology, and he argues very clearly (and correctly) that that project fails. In his middle works, he has a tolerably clear and slightly less strict conception of the project of natural theology, and he argues – in my view unsuccessfully – that this project succeeds. In his later works, he has a much less clear and less strict conception of the project of natural theology, and it is much harder to determine whether there is any merit in the claims that he makes for natural theology as thus conceived. GOD AND OTHER MINDS (1967) The central question that Plantinga seeks to answer in God and Other Minds is whether it is rational to believe that the God of the Judaeo-Christian tradition exists. At least prima facie, it seems that there are two ways of understanding this question. On the one hand, the question might be whether reason requires belief in the God of the Judaeo-Christian tradition; on the other hand, the question might be whether reason permits belief in that God.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlvin Plantinga
EditorsDeane-Peter Baker
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages15-47
Number of pages33
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780511611247
ISBN (Print)0521855314, 9780521855310
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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