Is Evolutionary Naturalism Epistemologically Self-Defeating

Philo 12 (2):135-141 (2009)
Abstract
Alvin Plantinga argues that our cognitive mechanisms have been selected for their ability to sustain reproductively successful behaviors, not for their ability to track truth. This aspect of our cognitive mechanisms is said to pose a problem for the biological theory of evolution by natural selection in the following way. If our cognitive mechanisms do not provide any assurances that the theories generated by them are true, then the fact that evolutionary theory has been generated by them, and even accepted by them, provides no assurance whatever that evolutionary theory is true. Plantinga’s argument, I argue, innocently assumes that the (problematic) “truth-tracking character” of our native cognitive mechanisms is the only possible or available source of rational warrant or justification for evolutionary theory. But it isn’t. Plantinga is ignoring the artificial mechanisms for theorycreation and theory-evaluation embodied in the complex institutions andprocedures of modern science
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Geoff Childers (2011). What's Wrong with the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (3):193-204.
    Feng Ye (2011). Naturalized Truth and Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (1):27-46.
    Timothy O'Connor (1994). An Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (4):527-540.
    Bernardo Cantens (2006). Cognitive Faculties and Evolutionary Naturalism. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:201-208.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2011-01-09

    Total downloads

    58 ( #22,302 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    5 ( #20,069 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.