I believe that there is a beer in the fridge; we ordinarily think it is by virtue of its content that this belief causes me to go over to the fridge. I intend to get a beer from the fridge and undertake to do so; we ordinarily think the content of this intention and undertaking is causally relevant to my action of going to the fridge. Not only do we ordinarily think these things; they are no more than the sober truth. There is a beer in the fridge. On dualism the view that our minds are a composite of the physical brain and a nonphysical mental component, e.
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Alvin Plantinga is not only known in philosophical circles for his reformed epistemology but also for his evolutionary argument against naturalism. As such, evolutionary theory feeds into an argument that seeks to undermine philosophical naturalism, the philosophical worldview held by most atheists. Plantinga notes that if human beings are a result of the evolutionary process then one needs to maintain that the main purpose of our cognitive faculties are for survival and reproductive fitness.
Rather, it only cares whether or not our actions are adaptive and whether or not they contribute to our fitness. As Plantinga argues, if this is the case then the naturalist would be unwarranted to expect his or her cognitive faculties to be aimed at truth. The implications for the naturalist are significant. This would undermine the trustworthiness of the human cognitive faculty as atheists themselves such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Thomas Nagel have noted.
They are not immaterial souls that have a body. Now suppose we think about some creatures on an alien planet that are a lot like us. What causes their behaviour will be neurology, the states of which their neurons are firing sending a signal down to a muscle causing it to contract. And their beliefs and the content of these beliefs are also caused by neurology. Now given that evolution is true these creatures have come into being by virtue of natural selection we can take it for granted that their behaviour is adaptive, it enhances their fitness which leads to survival and reproduction.
If that is true the same thing will go for what causes their behaviour, namely their neurology which also promotes survival and reproduction. If their neurology causes the right behaviour what they believe makes no difference.
If the neurology causes false beliefs but causes the right actions it makes no difference whatsoever. Mechanisms of belief formation that have selective advantage in the everyday struggle for existence do not warrant our confidence in the construction of theoretical accounts of the world as a whole.
What is the conclusion Plantinga draws from the argument? The human cognitive faculty cannot be trusted to produce more true beliefs than false beliefs. Thus to assert that naturalistic evolution is true the naturalist also asserts that one has a low or unknown probability of being right.
If evolution is true, which the vast majority of naturalists believe to be the case, then ascribing truth to naturalism and evolution is dubious or inconsistent. Nagel, T. Mind and Cosmos. Share this:.
Alvin Plantinga’s Problems with Materialism
Links to Google Translated versions of posts are not allowed. Douglas Odegard — — Personalist 58 April: Obviously there is no mystery why this is the case, but a myopic study of either would leave plantinnga with an explanatory gap. Posted by Maverick Christian at 9: Posts must not be behind any sort of paywall or registration wall. Dependence is one thing, identity quite another I believe something and on the basis of this belief my soul impacts my neural pathways in a certain way againsr cause behavior. That might be taken to mateiralism that my body and soul are discrete entities, if my soul can be replaced so easily. Surely whatever is performing the transition must be capturing and recording all that information and then restoring it. Exceptions are made only for posts about philosophers with substantive content, e.
ALVIN PLANTINGA AGAINST MATERIALISM PDF
Four ideas by Alvin Plantinga about God and materialism Alvin Plantinga Taking advantage of the awarding of the Templeton Prize to the American philosopher Alvin Plantinga, this post will try to review a few of his thoughts in the debate between theism and materialism. As it is impossible to review all his work in detail, I will mention just four of his ideas: The Mozart argument for the existence of God. Why are we able to appreciate beauty? According to the materialistic hypothesis, there is no explanation why evolution has led us to this, as it is difficult to see how this trait could be useful for our survival. Instead of good music, we should appreciate cacophony, which is more abundant in nature.
Alvin Plantinga is not only known in philosophical circles for his reformed epistemology but also for his evolutionary argument against naturalism. As such, evolutionary theory feeds into an argument that seeks to undermine philosophical naturalism, the philosophical worldview held by most atheists. Plantinga notes that if human beings are a result of the evolutionary process then one needs to maintain that the main purpose of our cognitive faculties are for survival and reproductive fitness. Rather, it only cares whether or not our actions are adaptive and whether or not they contribute to our fitness. As Plantinga argues, if this is the case then the naturalist would be unwarranted to expect his or her cognitive faculties to be aimed at truth. The implications for the naturalist are significant.
Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism
Suppose we believe that physics is the proper study of matter and its characteristics, and that other studies have other subjects. In the materialist framework, if physicists were to give us a complete explanation of matter and material interactions, then this would be a complete explanation of the universe. This reduction of all realms of thought i. Plantinga also points out problems with the materialist argument as articulated above. First and foremost, Plantinga finds materialism to be internally incoherent. What would it mean for some piece of matter to have a belief?