Paley's Argument for Design

Philo 5 (2):161-173 (2002)
The main aim of this paper is to examine an almost universal assumption concerning the structure of Paley’s argument for design. Almost all commentators suppose that Paley’s argument is an inductive argument---either an argument by analogy or an argument by inference to the best explanation. I contend, on the contrary, that Paley’s argument is actually a straightforwardly deductive argument. Moreover, I argue that, when Paley’s argument is properly understood, it can readily be seen that it is no good. Finally---although I do not stress this very much---I note that the points that I make about Paley’s argument can carryover to modern design arguments that are based upon the argument that Paley actually gives
Keywords Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1098-3570  
DOI 10.5840/philo20025210
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