Gutting Again on NYT
August 13, 2010 — 11:41

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Existence of God Links  Comments: 3

Gary Gutting has another article in the NYT. This time, he’s critiquing Dawkins’ criticisms. It’s nice to have some professional philosophy in mass media.

In Memoriam: James F. Ross (1931-2010)
July 18, 2010 — 23:59

Author: Trent Dougherty  Category: Links News  Comments: Off

Yesterday, a funeral Mass was held for the inimitable James Ross. He was a truly remarkable philosopher and a remarkable man. He was one of my earliest inspirations for combining analytic philosophy with Medieval philosophy (a very natural fit as it turns out). And that was back in the 80’s (I was Medieval when Medieval wasn’t cool!)
A few years ago, I was privileged to be a commentator on the MS of his, as it turns out, last book, Thought and World: Hiddenn Necessities. It was an amazingly erudite monograph covering a vast range of topics for which he seemed to have the knowledge at his fingertips. He seemed to have read everything. It was a pleasure to know him. has a really nice obit.
It notes “For 54 years, he was married to Kathleen Fallon Ross, a nurse. They grew up in the same neighborhood and renewed their friendship when he had a summer job in Providence while in college. She died May 23.” He made it less than two months without her. Having been with Sarah for 20 years now, I can totally understand that. I hope God grants me the grace of dying before her or not long after.
It’s a testament to his optimism and remarkable productivity that he left a considerable list of unfinished projects in his CV.
His Phil Papers section also testifies to his productivity.

Humanities Should Be Interested in Phil. Religion
April 13, 2010 — 17:21

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Links  Comments: 32

In Leiter’s recent post on Jason Stanley’s nice article on the relationship between philosophy and the humanities, somebody asked, “What eternal truths have philosophers discovered in the last 2,000 years that have any bearing on life such that anyone in any discipline outside of philosophy ought to care?”
There was a lot of discussion on what philosophers (and analytic philosophers) have discovered, and so I cited Plantinga’s argument in the Nature of Necessity for the conclusion that the existence of God and evil are compatible. Most theists and atheists who work on the problem of evil (at least in analytic philosophy) think that his argument was successful. I thought that this was a conclusion that people in the humanities (outside of philosophy) should care about.
I’m bringing attention to this discussion at this blog partly because, if you have the time, I want to ask that you make sure that I’m not saying false things. (One guy thought that I was kidding!) (Also, here, I am really asking only those people who work on PoE and are familiar with the literature.) Second, I would like to give good PR to philosophy of religion; it’s largely ignored in these sorts of discussions, but I think it’s an area where real progress – progress that nonphilosophers should care about – has been made. And most philosophers who frequent this blog will care that phil. religion gets good PR.

Best PR Books in Last Decade
December 24, 2009 — 15:14

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Books of Interest General Links  Comments: 40

Leiter‘s put up a “top ten philosophy books or articles in last decade” post on his blog, and other blogs are doing their own specialized versions. I thought it’d be fun to follow the trend. Basically, write what you think might qualify to be among the top ten books or articles in philosophy of religion in the last decade (starting at 2000) and some reasons why it is important and worth reading.
Warranted Christian Belief‘s left a big impact; it is probably the most thorough defense of the justification, rationality and warrant of both theistic and Christian belief. (W/r/t warrant, it argues that there is no good de jure argument apart from a good de facto argument against theistic or Christian belief; w/r/t justification and rationality, it argues that there is no good de jure argument simpliciter.) This defense, as far as I’ve seen, has had little by way of strong objection in the literature. The book also outlines a detailed model for how Christian belief can have warrant. In addition, the chapter on defeaters is a good contribution to epistemology, and the chapter on pluralism has some of the earliest and (in my opinion) some of the best work on the currently hot topic of epistemic disagreement (it includes the now standard charge of self-defeat that equal weight viewers have to deal with). There is also the valuable material on the problem of evil.

Nagel’s Review and Craig’s Debate With Ayala
December 12, 2009 — 15:30

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Existence of God General Links Religion and Life  Comments: 28

In case people missed it, Thomas Nagel gave a positive review of Stephen Meyer’s book defending intelligent design. Brian Leiter gives his response here, along with a number of helpful links to further criticisms. Bradley Monton is more sympathetic with Nagel.
Also, William Lane Craig recently debated Fransisco Ayala on the subject of intelligent design. Ayala is supposed to be a prominent anti-ID proponent. From a quick skim of the blogosphere, it looks like Craig thoroughly won the debate. Monton was the moderator and gives his thoughts here. He also provides some further links.

A.N. Wilson Reverts
June 25, 2009 — 14:15

Author: Trent Dougherty  Category: Links Religious Belief  Tags:   Comments: 1

In the latest former-former-theist news, British biographer and poet A.N. Wilson has renounced atheism. His own account occurs here in the New Statesman.
The story is a few months old but, as most readers know and many have commented, I’ve been incognito this semester.
I find this very interesting for a number of reasons including. 1. It’s a token of the type intellectual revert. 2. It’s a token of the type British intellectual revert. 3. I read his biographies of Jesus and of C.S. Lewis and found them a bit bifurcated. There seemed to be a half-believing Wilson and a half-belligerent Wilson. 4. I once would have disassociated myself from the sort of case he makes, but now endorse it, and have been experimenting with formalizing it.

Draper’s Address on Intrinsic Probability
April 9, 2009 — 12:21

Author: Trent Dougherty  Category: Existence of God Links  Comments: 5

Has anyone had time to listen to this: 2009 SPR Presidential address
I’m dying to listen to it, but I defend on Monday.

PR Articles Reviewed at Philosopher’s Digest
April 3, 2009 — 11:14

Author: Trent Dougherty  Category: Links  Comments: 1

If, like me, you are *incredibly* strapped for time these days, you might consider looking at the Philosopher’s Digest, which right now has a couple of reviews of PR articles.

Mark Murphy’s Letter to the APA
March 6, 2009 — 7:49

Author: Alexander Pruss  Category: General Links News  Comments: 0

First we had the petition, then the counterpetition. Now Mark Murphy, of Georgetown University, has drafted a sedate and carefully argued draft letter to the APA, also opposing the original petition. Murphy is asking for comments and criticisms by March 31 by email (see the link at the bottom of his post), at which point he will freeze his draft and collect signatures. (I am not enabling comments on this announcement–comments should be directed directly to Mark Murphy.)

February 26, 2009 — 10:56

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Links News Religion and Life  Comments: 41

Alexander Pruss mentioned this counterpetition toward the end of the previous discussion, but I decided I’d put it up front for more to see.
The distinction the counterpetition strikes me as a relevant distinction; it’s actually the distinction I tried to make in the earlier discussion. Here’s what I said.
A school can have a policy against adultery without having a policy against those who have an orientation to act adulterously. Probably better, a school might discriminate against those who use pornography without discriminating against those who have an orientation to use pornography. (And the number of the latter is legion.)
But do such policies violate the spirit of the anti-discrimination clause as the original petition suggests? Consider the following scenario. Suppose the APA had a clause which said that you could not discriminate on the basis of whether or not you have an orientation to look at pornography. Now suppose a school has a policy which discriminates against those who view pornography. It’s not at all obvious to me that such a school would be violating the spirit of the APA clause which I am imagining.
Are there any disanalogies between my scenario and the current issue?