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Naturalism and Self-Defeat: Plantinga's Version

N. M. L. Nathan
Religious Studies
Vol. 33, No. 2 (Jun., 1997), pp. 135-142
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20008086
Page Count: 8
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Naturalism and Self-Defeat: Plantinga's Version
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Abstract

In "Warrant and Proper Function" Plantinga argues that atheistic Naturalism is self-defeating. What is the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable, given this Naturalism and an evolutionary explanation of their origins? Plantinga argues that if the Naturalist is modest enough to believe that it is irrational to have any belief as to the value of this probability, then he is irrational even to believe his own Naturalism. I suggest that Plantinga's argument has a false premise, and that even if his argument were sound there would be reasons for doubting whether the Naturalist should respond to it by abandoning his Naturalism.

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