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The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology by
Publication Date: 2012-02-27
With the help of in-depth essays from some of the world's leading philosophers, The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology explores the nature and existence of God through human reason and evidence from the natural world. Provides in-depth and cutting-edge treatment of natural theology's main arguments Includes contributions from first-rate philosophers well known for their work on the relevant topics Updates relevant arguments in light of the most current, state-of-the-art philosophical and scientific discussions Stands in useful contrast and opposition to the arguments of the 'new atheists'
The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays by
Publication Date: 2004-03-30
If philosophy has any business in the world, it is the clarification of our thinking and the clearing away of ideas that cloud the mind. In this book, one of the world's preeminent philosophers takes issue with an idea that has found an all-too-prominent place in popular culture and philosophical thought: the idea that while factual claims can be rationally established or refuted, claims about value are wholly subjective, not capable of being rationally argued for or against. Although it is on occasion important and useful to distinguish between factual claims and value judgments, the distinction becomes, Hilary Putnam argues, positively harmful when identified with a dichotomy between the objective and the purely "subjective." Putnam explores the arguments that led so much of the analytic philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology to become openly hostile to the idea that talk of value and human flourishing can be right or wrong, rational or irrational; and by which, following philosophy, social sciences such as economics have fallen victim to the bankrupt metaphysics of Logical Positivism. Tracing the problem back to Hume's conception of a "matter of fact" as well as to Kant's distinction between "analytic" and "synthetic" judgments, Putnam identifies a path forward in the work of Amartya Sen. Lively, concise, and wise, his book prepares the way for a renewed mutual fruition of philosophy and the social sciences.
God and Nature by
Publication Date: 1986-04-29
Since the publication in 1896 of Andrew Dickson White's classic History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, no comprehensive history of the subject has appeared in the English language. Although many twentieth-century historians have written on the relationship between Christianity and science, and in the process have called into question many of White's conclusions, the image of warfare lingers in the public mind. To provide an up-to-date alternative, based on the best available scholarship and written in nontechnical language, the editors of this volume have assembled an international group of distinguished historians. In eighteen essays prepared especially for this book, these authors cover the period from the early Christian church to the twentieth century, offering fresh appraisals of such encounters as the trial of Galileo, the formulation of the Newtonian worldview, the coming of Darwinism, and the ongoing controversies over "scientific creationism." They explore not only the impact of religion on science, but also the influence of science and religion. This landmark volume promises not only to silence the persistent rumors of war between Christianity and science, but also serve as the point of departure for new explorations of their relationship, Scholars and general readers alike will find it provocative and readable.
The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology by
Publication Date: 2015-03-15
The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology is the first collection to consider the full breadth of natural theology from both historical and contemporary perspectives and to bring together leading scholars to offer accessible high-level accounts of the major themes. The volume embodies anddevelops the recent revival of interest in natural theology as a topic of serious critical engagement. Frequently misunderstood or polemicized, natural theology is an under-studied yet persistent and pervasive presence throughout the history of thought about ultimate reality - from the classicalGreek theology of the philosophers to twenty-first-century debates in science and religion. Of interest to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, this authoritative handbook draws on the very best of contemporary scholarship to present a critical overview of the subject area. Thirty-eight new essays trace the transformations of natural theology in different historical andreligious contexts, the place of natural theology in different philosophical traditions and diverse scientific disciplines, and the various cultural and aesthetic approaches to natural theology to reveal a rich seam of multi-faceted theological reflection rooted in human nature and the environmentswithin which we find ourselves.
Principal Writings on Religion Including Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and the Natural History of Religion by
Publication Date: 1994-01-06
David Hume is one of the most provocative philosophers to have written in English. His Dialogues ask if a belief in God can be inferred from what is known of the universe, or whether such a belief is even consistent with such knowledge. The Natural History of Religion investigates the origins of belief, and follows its development from polytheism to dogmatic monotheism. Together, these works constitute the most formidable attack upon religious belief ever mounted by a philosopher. This new edition includes Section XI of The Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding and a letter by Hume in which he discusses Dialogues.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by
Publication Date: 1996-12-15
"A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably not claim his own theory to be true. But if causing a revolution is the hallmark of a superior paradigm, [this book] has been a resounding success." --Nicholas Wade, Science "Perhaps the best explanation of [the] process of discovery." --William Erwin Thompson, New York Times Book Review "Occasionally there emerges a book which has an influence far beyond its originally intended audience. . . . Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work." --Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement "Among the most influential academic books in this century." --Choice One of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War," Times Literary Supplement
Where the Conflict Really Lies by
Publication Date: 2011-12-09
This book is a long-awaited major statement by a pre-eminent analytic philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, on one of our biggest debates - the compatibility of science and religion. The last twenty years has seen a cottage industry of books on this divide, but with little consensus emerging.Plantinga, as a top philosopher but also a proponent of the rationality of religious belief, has a unique contribution to make. His theme in this short book is that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.Plantinga examines where this conflict is supposed to exist - evolution, evolutionary psychology, analysis of scripture, scientific study of religion - as well as claims by Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Philip Kitcher that evolution and theistic belief cannot co-exist. Plantinga makes a casethat their arguments are not only inconclusive but that the supposed conflicts themselves are superficial, due to the methodological naturalism used by science. On the other hand, science can actually offer support to theistic doctrines, and Plantinga uses the notion of biological and cosmological"fine-tuning" in support of this idea. Plantinga argues that we might think about arguments in science and religion in a new way - as different forms of discourse that try to persuade people to look at questions from a perspective such that they can see that something is true. In this way, thereis a deep and massive consonance between theism and the scientific enterprise.
The Heavens Declare by
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
One of the central themes of inquiry for Karl Barth, the twentieth-century Protestant theologian, was the notion of revelation. Although he was suspicious of natural theology (i.e. the seeking of evidence for God's existence in the ordered structure of the world), recent scientific advances (notably in physics and cosmology) and the flourishing modern dialogue between science and religion offer compelling reasons to revisit Barth's thinking on the concept. We must again ask whether and how it might be possible to hold together the notion of revelation whilst employing reason and scientific evidence in the justification of belief. In The Heavens Declare, author Rodney Holder re-examines Barth's natural theology argument and then explores how it has been critiqued and responded to by others, starting with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Wolfhart Pannenberg. Holder then considers the contributions of two notable British participants in the science-religion dialogue, Thomas Torrance and Alister McGrath, who, despite their repudiation of natural theology in the traditional sense, also provide many positive lessons. The book concludes by defending an overall position which takes into account the ideas of the aforementioned theologians as well as others who are currently engaged positively in natural theology, such as John Polkinghorne and Richard Swinburne. Holder's new study is sure to be of interest to theologians, philosophers of religion, and all scholars interested in the science-religion dialogue, especially those interested in natural theology as an enterprise in itself.