Naturalism, science and the supernatural

Sophia 48 (2):127-142 (2009)
Abstract
There is overwhelming agreement amongst naturalists that a naturalistic ontology should not allow for the possibility of supernatural entities. I argue, against this prevailing consensus, that naturalists have no proper basis to oppose the existence of supernatural entities. Naturalism is characterized, following Leiter and Rea, as a position which involves a primary commitment to scientific methodology and it is argued that any naturalistic ontological commitments must be compatible with this primary commitment. It is further argued that properly applied scientific method has warranted the acceptance of the existence of supernatural entities in the past and that it is plausible to think that it will do so again in the future. So naturalists should allow for the possibility of supernatural entities.
Keywords Methodological naturalism  Ontological naturalism  Scientific method  Supernatural  Supernatural entities  Inference to the best explanation
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References found in this work BETA
Steve Clarke (2001). Defensible Territory for Entity Realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):701-722.

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