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Showing posts from October, 2013

Chalmers' Latest Exploration of Panprotopsychism

Regular readers of this blog may have surmised that I'm somewhat inclined toward Russellian monism about the nature of consciousness. I'm also inclined to think that the mere epistemic possibility of such a version of liberal naturalism functions as an undercutting defeater for both substancedualismin particular and classical theismin general. David Chalmers is of course a leading philosopher of mind with similar sympathies about the nature of consciousness. Here's his latest exploration and defense of a view in this vicinity.

New Paper on the Epistemology of Religion

Smith, Martin. "The Epistemology of Religion", Analysis (Forthcoming). The paper looks to provide an overview of past and recent trends in the epistemology of religion that we've discussed on a number of occasions (e.g., here and here).  Here's the abstract:
The epistemology of religion is the branch of epistemology concerned with the rationality, the justificatory status and the knowledge status of religious beliefs – most often the belief in the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and loving God as conceived by the major monotheistic religions. While other sorts of religious beliefs – such as belief in an afterlife or in disembodied spirits or in the occurrence of miracles – have also been the focus of considerable attention from epistemologists, I shall concentrate here on belief in God. There were a number of significant works in the epistemology of religion written during the early and mid Twentieth Century. The late Twentieth Century, however, saw a surge of …

Quote(s) of the Day

Alexander Vilenkin: Whatever it's worth, my view is that the BGV theorem does not say anything about the existence of God one way or the other. In particular, the beginning of the universe could be a natural event, described by quantum cosmology.
Bill Craig: In that vein, I do have a question about your statement: 
the BGV theorem uses a classical picture of spacetime. In the regime where gravity becomes essentially quantum, we may not even know the right questions to ask. Elsewhere you’ve written: A remarkable thing about this theorem is its sweeping generality. . . . We did not even assume that gravity is described by Einstein’s equations. So, if Einstein’s gravity requires some modification, our conclusion will still hold. The only assumption that we made was that the expansion rate of the universe never gets below some nonzero value [Vilenkin, 2006, p. 175]. How are these statements compatible? The 2006 statement sounds as if a quantum theory of gravitation would not undo the theor…

Conference and Call for Papers: Religious Studies at 50

To celebrate the publication of the 50th volume of Religious Studies in 2014, and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the journal in 1965, the University of Leeds is hosting a conference, sponsored by Cambridge University Press, on 25th - 27th June, 2014. Invited participants include: Pamela Sue Anderson, Peter Byrne, Victoria Harrison, Brian Leftow, Graham Oppy, John Schellenberg, Stewart Sutherland, Richard Swinburne, and Keith Ward.

The afternoon of 26th will be set aside for submitted short papers, and these are now invited. Abstracts of around 250 words, accompanied by a short CV, should be sent by e-mail attachment to the Editor, Prof. Robin Le Poidevin,, no later than 31st January, 2014.