David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Topoi 14 (2):149-160 (1995)
In this paper I consider three necessary conditions for a proposition counting as a theory: that the proposition be posited for its explanatory power; that it derive its feasibility from the extent to which it provides such explanatory power; and that it be empirically falsifiable. I then argue that some propositions might fail as theories because they do not satisfy the first two conditions, yet still satisfy the third condition. Such propositions I label falsifiable non-theories. I offer folk psychology (the proposition that beliefs, desires, and other intentional phenomena exist and play essential motivational and causal roles in many human actions) as a paradigm example of a falsifiable non-theory. I then argue that theism is in an analogous position. Like folk psychology, it fails to satisfy the first two conditions above for most theists. However, the empirical implications that theism has do make it susceptible to falsification. I demonstrate such falsifiability by an extreme scenario from Keith Yandell. Then I argue that recent work by Paul Draper demonstrates how a well articulated empirical argument from evil might threaten just such falsification.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|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
Peter Forrest (1996). Physicalism and Classical Theism. Faith and Philosophy 13 (2):179-200.
R. G. Swinburne (1971). Popper's Account of Acceptability. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):167 – 176.
Yasuyuki Kageyama (2003). Openness to the Unknown: The Role of Falsifiability in Search of Better Knowledge. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (1):100-121.
David N. Stamos (2007). Popper, Laws, and the Exclusion of Biology From Genuine Science. Acta Biotheoretica 55 (4).
Ian Wilks (2004). The Structure of the Contemporary Debate on the Problem of Evil. Religious Studies 40 (3):307-321.
Daniel Howard-Snyder & Michael Bergmann (2003). Grounds for Belief in God Aside, Does Evil Make Atheism More Reasonable Than Theism? In Michael Peterson & Raymond Van Arrogan (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell. 140--55.
David M. Ciocchi (2002). The Religious Adequacy of Free-Will Theism. Religious Studies 38 (1):45-61.
Mark Piper (2008). Why Theists Cannot Accept Skeptical Theism. Sophia 47 (2):129-148.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #68,698 of 1,088,389 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,389 )
How can I increase my downloads?