Naturalism, science and the supernatural

Sophia 48 (2):127-142 (2009)

Authors
Steve Clarke
Charles Sturt University
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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DOI 10.1007/s11841-009-0099-2
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.R. Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin I. Goldman - 1999 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Role of Metaphysical Naturalism in Science.Martin Mahner - 2012 - Science & Education 21 (10):1437–1459.
Naturalism and the Success of Science.Peter Harrison - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-18.

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