The authors of this lively and thorough introduction to philosophy from a Christian perspective introduce you to the principal subdisciplines of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, ethics and philosophy ...
In _Consciousness and the Existence of God_, J.P. Moreland argues that the existence of finite, irreducible consciousness provides evidence for the existence of God. Moreover, he analyzes and criticizes the top representative of rival approaches to explaining the origin of consciousness, including John Searle’s contingent correlation, Timothy O’Connor’s emergent necessitation, Colin McGinn’s mysterian ‘‘naturalism,’’ David Skrbina’s panpsychism and Philip Clayton’s pluralistic emergentist monism. Moreland concludes that these approaches should be rejected in favor of what he calls ‘‘the Argument from Consciousness.’’.
In this article I present and (modestly) defend a hybrid position which we may call a Platonist constituent ontology. More specifically, I present a version of exemplification which entails (1) a certain form of Platonism, (2) a constituent ontology of ordinary objects, (3) a view of exemplification as a “tiedto” nexus, and (4) a view of properties as abstract objects that are non-spatially “in” ordinary objects. I clarify two sets of preliminary issues, present my hybrid analysis of exemplification, raise and (...) seek to undercut an argument against my constituent realism, and surface some of the costs and benefits relevant to assessing the relative merits of relational versus constituent realism. (shrink)
This article’s purpose is to defend the depiction of ordinary-sized physical objects as mereological aggregates (MAs), to clarify what the ontology of an MA is, and to show why mereological essentialism (ME) applies to MAs that seem to be ubiquitous if we are to adopt what Frank Jackson calls “Serious Metaphysics” and refuse to broaden our ontology beyond what is (allegedly) bequeathed to us by physics and chemistry. To accomplish this goal, first, I clarify certain background issues that inform what (...) follows and I identify certain constraints that relate to the contemporary ambivalence towards ME. Second, I present a primer on Husserlian mereology that provides a superior account of parts and wholes than the inadequate approach identified in the previous section. Third, I will offer a defense of ME as the correct approach to providing an ontological account of MAs. Finally, I will evaluate two defeaters against my thesis. (shrink)
Craig and Moreland present a rigorous analysis and critique of the major varieties of contemporary philosophical naturalism and advocate that it should be abandoned in light of the serious difficulties raised against it. The contributors draw on a wide range of topics including: epistemology, philosophy of science, value theory to basic analytic ontology, philosophy of mind and agency, and natural theology.
I clarify a widely accepted form of contemporary naturalism and argue that supervenient physicalism should not be considered an option for those who embrace this version of naturalism. Among other things, my thesis implies that if there are insuperable difficulties for strict physicalism, then the move toward supervenience views of the mind/body problem amounts to an abandonment of this version of naturalism and not a minor adjustment of it. More precisely, my argument is this: strict physicalism excludes both substance and (...) property or event dualism. But the supervenience thesis entails some form of property or event dualism. So strict physicalism excludes the supervenience thesis. Moreover, given the nature of a widely accepted contemporary understanding of naturalism, it is best construed along strict physicalist lines and naturalists of this persuasion should not be supervenient physicalists. To make my case, I offer a characterization of a ubiquitous version of contemporary naturalism followed by an analysis of the most plausible version of supervenient physicalism consistent with this form of naturalism. I then try to show why this version of supervenient physicalism should not be an option for a naturalist of a certain persuasion. (shrink)
I examine how a naturalist worldview informs work in philosophy of mind with a special focus on the appropriateness of a naturalist adopting emergent properties in his or her ontology. First, I examine two versions of naturalism construed as worldviews and clarify their differences. I argue that one of these versions is what naturalists ought to embrace. Happily, most but not all naturalists recognize this. To defend this claim, I will lay out certain epistemic criteria that are helpful in adjudicating (...) between rival scientific and philosophical paradigms. These criteria will contribute to supporting my preference for which version of naturalism is preferable. Next, I present a general depiction of the components and inner logic of a naturalistic worldview and follow this by providing a precise notion of an emergent property. Finally, I offer several criticisms of emergent properties and conclude that a naturalist ought to avoid them. (shrink)
In a lively debate, which includes questions from the audience, Christian philosopher and ethicist J.P. Moreland and Kai Neilsen, one of today's best-known atheist philosophers, go head to head on the fundamental issues and questions that have shaped individual lives, races, and nations throughout history.
J.P. Moreland—Christian philosopher, theologian, and apologist—issues a call to recapture the drama and power of kingdom living—to cultivate a revolution of Evangelical life, spirituality, thought, and Spirit-led power. Drawing insights from the early church, he unpacks three essential ingredients of this revolution: Recovery of the Christian mind. Renovation of Christian spirituality. Restoration of the power of the Holy Spirit. Western society is in crisis: the result of our culture's embrace of naturalism and postmodernism, and a biblical worldview has been pushed (...) to the margins. Christians have been strongly influenced by these trends, with the result that their personal lives often reflect the surrounding culture more than the way of Christ, and the church's transforming influence on society has waned as a result. Kingdom Triangle is divided into two major sections: The first examines and provides a critique of secular worldviews and shows how they have ushered in the current societal crisis. The second lays out a strategy for the Christian community to regain the potency of kingdom life and influence in the world. Moreland believes that evangelical Christianity can mature and lead the surrounding society out of the meaningless morass it finds itself in with humility and vision. With clear insight, he puts the thoughtful Christian in a position to understand our current cultural struggle and to return to a responsible presentation of "the way of Christ" as not just a way of right living, but also a way of knowledge and meaningful life. (shrink)
In recent years, Robert Adams and Richard Swinburne have developed an argument for God’s existence from the reality of mental phenomena. Call this the argument from consciousness (AC). My purpose is to develop and defend AC and to use it as a rival paradigm to critique John Searle’s biological naturalism. The article is developed in three steps. First, two issues relevant to the epistemic task of adjudicating between rival scientific paradigms (basicality and naturalness) are clarified and illustrated. Second, I present (...) a general version of AC and identify the premises most likely to come under attack by philosophical naturalists. Third, I use the insights gained in steps one and two to criticize Searle’s claim that he has developed an adequate naturalistic theory of the emergence of mental entities. I conclude that AC is superior to Searle’s biological naturalism. (shrink)
The literature on the Knowledge Argument exhibits considerable confusion about the precise nature of the argument. I contend that a clarification of the essence of self-presenting properties provides an explanation of this confusion such that the confusion itself is evidence for dualism. I also claim that Mary gains six different sorts of knowledge after gaining sight, and I show how this claim provides a response to a physicalist undercutting defeater for the Knowledge Argument. I try to show that this defeater (...) is inadequate due to its failure to capture the epistemic richness of what happens to Mary. Finally, I indicate how my enriched version of the Knowledge Argument provides grounds for rejecting those varieties of physicalism that eschew a depiction of phenomenal propertiesas intrinsic attributes a subject exemplifies in favor of a view that treats them as functional roles a subject realizes. (shrink)