Although Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, Alvin Plantinga has developed a theodicy that is fundamentally Arminian rather than Calvinistic. Anthony Flew, although the son of an Arminian Christian minister, regards the Arminian view of ‘free will’ to be both unacceptable on its own terms and incompatible with classical Christian theism. In this paper I hope to disentangle some of the involved controversy regarding theodicy which has developed between Plantinga and Flew, and between Flew and myself. The major portion of (...) this paper is devoted to showing that Plantinga's theodicy contains some serious flaws and undesirable implications. (shrink)
What are physical quantities, and in particular, what makes them quantitative? This book presents an original answer to this question through the novel position of substantival structuralism, arguing that quantitativeness is an irreducible feature of attributes, and quantitative attributes are best understood as substantival structured spaces.
Limits to Action: The Allocation of Individual Behavior presents the ideas and methods in the study of how individual organisms allocate their limited time and energy and the consequences of such allocation. The book is a survey of individual resource allocation, emphasizing the relationships of the concepts of utility, reinforcement, and Darwinian fitness. The chapters are arranged beginning with plants and general evolutionary considerations, through animal behavior in nature and laboratory, and ending with human behavior in suburb and institution. Topics (...) discussed include operant conditioning; the principle of diminishing returns; and issues in relation to mating strategies. Biologists, sociologists, economists, and psychologists will find the book interesting. (shrink)
Written over the last 18 months of his life and inspired by his interest in G. E. Moore's defence of common sense, this much discussed volume collects Wittgenstein's reflections on knowledge and certainty, on what it is to know a proposition for sure.
Surviving Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality is the first book of philosophy that explores race, ethnicity, and nationality together and attempts to present a systematic and unified theory about them with particular emphasis on the metaphysical and epistemological issues that these phenomena raise.
It is standardly assumed that there are three — and only three — ways to solve problem of temporary intrinsics: (a) embrace presentism, (b) relativize property possession to times, or (c) accept the doctrine of temporal parts. The first two solutions are favoured by endurantists, whereas the third is the perdurantist solution of choice. In this paper, I argue that there is a further type of solution available to endurantists, one that not only avoids the usual costs, but is structurally (...) identical to the temporal-parts solution preferred by perdurantists. In addition to providing a general characterization of this new type of solution, I discuss certain of its anticipations in the literature on bundle theory, as well as provide a detailed development of it in terms of my own preferred metaphysics of ordinary objects — namely, a distinctive form of substratum theory tracing to Aristotle. (shrink)
Recent literature on causation invokes a distinction between deviant and default behavior to account for token causation. Critical examination of two prominent attempts to employ a distinction between deviants and defaults reveals that the distinction is far from clear. I clarify and develop the distinction by appeal to the notion of a modally robust process, and show how the distinction can be employed by causal process theorists to respond to cases of causation by omission. This shows that the default/deviant distinction (...) is not so much a tool for counterfactual accounts of causation, but rather for causal process theory. (shrink)
This book evaluates Moore's contribution to the discussion of a number of epistemological problems, and arrives at the conclusion that Moore's contribution is not considerable. The author maintains that Moore was able to succeed philosophically in the refutation of Idealism, in the establishment of analytical techniques, and in his recognition of the role of common sense; but in those technical areas which were most interesting to Moore, the author finds little accomplishment, and even some confusion. For example, in considering the (...) problem of the relation between perception and an external world, Moore defends the common sense notions, but only on common sense grounds. The external world, which we know to exist with a high degree of certainty according to our common sense, we do not know to exist with any certainty at all when we approach the problem through an analysis of sense perception; and Moore will only say that we do not know that we do not know that external objects exist. Concerning the problem of truth and falsity the author finds Moore constructive but in need of revision and reconstruction, which the author obligingly attempts where necessary. Moore's position with respect to meaning and analysis is also evaluated with the same critical eye. Finally, the author shows the relative positions of common sense and ordinary language in Moore's thought.--J. J. E. (shrink)