LINK: New Essay by Galen Strawson: “Real Naturalism”

"I’m a naturalist, an out-and-out naturalist, a philosophical or metaphysical naturalist, a naturalist about concrete reality. I don't think anything supernatural or otherwise non-natural exists.One can’t classify anything as supernatural or non-natural until one has a substantive conception of the natural relative to which something can be classified as non-natural. I do have one. I take it that reality—by which I mean concrete reality, anything that exists in spacetime—is entirely physical. … [Read more...]

On Caring about Whether Other People Become Naturalists

Relatively speaking, I don't care much if someone becomes a naturalist. I care more about refuting an anti-atheist stereotype, intentionally or unintentionally reinforced by Craig and his ilk, which Randal Rauser calls the Rebellion Thesis. I've encountered far too many Christians who think atheists are stupid (when it comes to evaluating the evidence about God) and immoral. Going beyond religion, I guess I also care more broadly about critical thinking skills and the fact that so many people … [Read more...]

A Very Rough Sketch of an Objection to Quentin Smith’s Argument for Moral Realism

In his book, Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language, Quentin Smith defends an argument for moral realism which he calls the argument from veridical seeming. (1)  Ordinary ethical sentences and commonsense first-level moral beliefs imply moral realism (or “Moral realism tacitly seems to be true in ordinary commonsense moral attitudes”). (2)  There are no empirical or a priori reasons to believe that first-level moral beliefs are all false.(3)  Therefore, it is m … [Read more...]

The Nature of Naturalism

Over the last year (or two?), I've had on-again and off-again exchanges on various blogs with reader "Crude" about the definition of metaphysical naturalism. I'd like to comment on his (?) recent objections in the combox on Victor Reppert's blog start with the linked comment here and work your way down. Each time we've had an exchange, I've (virtually speaking) walked away scratching my head, not feeling the force of Crude's objections. Since that could be due to a misunderstanding on my part, … [Read more...]


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