Maitzen on the Explanatory Power of Penguins

In his contribution to The Puzzle of Existence, Stephen Maitzen defends the surprising claim that penguins hold the answer to the deep mysteries of the universe. Well, that’s not exactly what he says. Maitzen’s position is that the only interpretation of ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’ on which that sentence expresses a legitimate,…

Can people be genuine epistemic peers?

[this is cross-posted in NewApps] In Louise Antony’s thought-provoking interview, Gary Gutting asked her about the rationality of her atheism if she were confronted with a theist who is an epistemic peer, someone who is equally intelligent, who knows the arguments for and against theism, etc., this was her response: “In the real world, there are…

Lowe on Metaphysical Nihilism

Like several other contributions to The Puzzle of Existence, the essay by the late E. J. Lowe is devoted to the question whether there might have been nothing. Lowe calls the view that there might have been nothing ‘metaphysical nihilism,’ and he offers an argument against a certain version of it. Lowe’s paper begins with…

Why Do We Ask Why?

Several of the essays in The Puzzle of Existence argue, in one way or another, that no non-trivial answer can be given to those who ask why there is something rather than nothing. This may be because the question is somehow confused or mistaken, as in the case of Ross who argues that there is…

Fideism, Faith, and Rationality Conference

The 2014 Brackenridge conference at the University of Texas at San Antonio will be on Fideism, Faith, and Rationality.  The keynote speaker is John Bishop (Auckland).  The conference will be held February 20-22, 2014.  All are welcome to attend. Thursday, February 20 H.E.B. University Center 2.202, Travis Room 3:00 – 4:10 pm Daniel Bonevac (UT-Austin)…