Naturalism, Involved Philosophy, and the Human Predicament

In Fiona Ellis (ed.), New Models of Religious Understanding. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 59-78 (2017)


Scientistic naturalism is an important current in contemporary philosophy, but it offers a skewed and impoverished account of nature, human existence, and the nature of philosophy. I first present and contrast this form of naturalism with two opposing varieties: extended and expansive naturalism. As I show, extended and especially expansive naturalism point toward a conception of philosophy as an “involved,” hermeneutic discipline, which is incompatible with scientistic naturalism. This conception of philosophy is then enriched by taking into account Cottingham’s religious epistemology of involvement and Heidegger’s elaboration of the hermeneutic circle. As it turns out, a genuinely involved approach to philosophy requires, as its starting-point, a hermeneutics of the human predicament. Key aspects of such a hermeneutics are introduced by means of Luther’s existential theology. Finally, six main points of an involved philosophy, taken as a new model of religious understanding, are formulated.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,722

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

8 (#1,014,058)

6 months
1 (#388,319)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Cooperative Naturalism.Wang Huaping & Sheng Xiaoming - 2007 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (4):601-613.
P.F. Strawson’s Soft Naturalism: A Radicalisation and Defence.Tom Whyman - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (4):561-581.
Naturalism.Geert Keil - 2008 - In Dermot Moran (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophy. London: Routledge. pp. 254-307.
God, Value, and Nature.Fiona Ellis - 2014 - Oxford University Press UK.
Nature as Sacred Ground: A Metaphysics for Religious Naturalism by Donald A. Crosby.Scot D. Yoder - 2017 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 38 (2):232-235.
Introduction - the Nature of Naturalism.David Macarthur & Mario De Caro - 2004 - In Mario De Caro & David Macarthur (eds.), Naturalism in Question. Harvard University Press. pp. 1-20.
Philosophical Naturalism at the Turn of the Century.Robert Audi - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Research 25:27-45.
Philosophical Naturalism at the Turn of the Century.Robert Audi - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Research 25:27-45.
Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism.Joel Smith & Peter Sullivan (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.