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Page Range

35-51

Keywords

Plantinga, EAAN, Law, Metaphysics, Evolution

Abstract

Abstract: During the past two decades, Alvin Plantinga has formulated an argument against naturalism that focuses on naturalism’s acceptance of contemporary evolutionary theory. Plantinga argues that given naturalism and evolution, our cognitive faculties have been developed to produce beliefs that meet the Darwinian requirement of survival and reproduction. Plantinga argues that accepting this will lead a naturalist to have a defeater for all of their beliefs, including their belief in naturalism. In this paper, I survey and respond to two types of objections that have been given as a response to Plantinga’s argument. The first objection that I interact with is an objection given by Michael Bergmann. Bergmann argues that a naturalist can continue to hold on to both their naturalism and their belief that their faculties are reliable, even if the probability of their faculties being reliable is low. The second objection that I interact with is an objection that can be seen in the work of Jerry Fodor and Stephen Law. This objection argues that beliefs that enable survival and reproduction will likely be truth conducive and thus, the chance of having reliable faculties is high. I respond to this argument by first reiterating Plantinga’s traditional response to this objection. After I clarify and defend this traditional response, I then reformulate Plantinga’s argument to specifically address metaphysical beliefs. Not only does this give the non-naturalist two different responses to this objection, but I take it that the reformulation could be seen as even more persuasive than the traditional formulation.

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