This article reflects critically on some of the claims of J. L. Schellenberg's trilogy and on the fundamental decisions lying behind them. Some of the latter are found to be tied to his earlier work on atheism in ways that can be questioned.
Since the 1950s, Terence Penelhum has been a leading contributor to studies on the thought of David Hume. In this collection, he presents a selection of the best of his essays on Hume. Most of the essays are quite recent and three are previously unpublished.
This is a re-Examination of hume's intentions in the final part of the "dialogues". It is here, If anywhere, That we find the resolution of the conflict between his naturalistic acceptance that belief has non-Rational causes, And his wish to expose religious belief as irrational. The paper amends its author's previous view that hume is shown to have accepted, At least verbally, That such a theism is a result of cleanthes' arguments, But to have maintained his secularism by showing it (...) to be religiously vacuous, And hence a socially benign influence. The argument relies on hume's use of the thought and language of the fideist tradition, And on questioning how far we can identify hume with philo as the "dialogues" conclude. (shrink)
Is parapsychology a pseudo-science? Many believe that the Eighteenth century philosopher David Hume showed, in effect, that it must be. In this article, Terence Penelhum explains and endorses Hume's arguments concerning testimony of the miraculous, but also explains why he believes there is now evidence of sufficient quality concerning the paranormal to make further investigation scientifically worth-while.
The purpose of this paper is not to offer any solution to the problem of evil, or to declare it insoluble. It is rather the more modest one of deciding on its nature. Many writers assume that the problem of evil is one that poses a logical challenge to the theist, rather than a challenge of a moral or scientific sort. If this assumption is correct, and the challenge cannot be met, Christian theism can be shown to be untenable on (...) grounds of inconsistency. This in turn means that it is refutable by philosophers, even if their task is interpreted in the most narrowly analytical fashion. It has recently been argued that the challenge of the problem of evil can be met on logical grounds, and that if the existence of evil is damaging to theism it is not because the recognition of its existence is inconsistent with some essential part of it. I take two examples of this position. The first is in the paper ‘Hume on Evil’ by Nelson Pike; the second I owe to Professor R. M. Chisholm. (shrink)
My intent in this paper is to give an account of Aquinas' analysis of the nature of Christian faith, to indicate some difficulties to which it seems to me, and has seemed to others, to give rise, to try to evaluate the degree to which his analysis can suggest answers to those difficulties, and then to conclude with some general comments about the sources of those perplexities that still remain.*.
Russell's study of Hume's theories of freedom and responsibility is the first extended treatment of these themes in the literature and shows in detail how what is regarded by most readers as merely the first statement of "compatibilism" is part of a full naturalistic analysis of praise, blame, punishment and responsibility. The notice seeks to bring out how Russell's account of Hume's view of freedom illuminates his psychology and ethics and concludes with a few "libertarian" criticisms of Hume's position.
Inattention to the historical antecedents of current philosophical views may impoverish our arguments in defense of those views. A case in point, examined here, concerns the difference that can be made for current strategies designed to defend religious belief by carefully reconsidering the position of historical sceptics.
Those who despair of the possibility of proving the existence of God tend, naturally, to hold that knowledge of God's existence and of those religious claims that depend upon it can only be had, if it can be had at all, through some direct religious awareness or insight. On this view appeals to authority or to revelation rest on appeals to such insight, if it is agreed that the credentials of the revealing authority cannot be established by the methods of (...) natural theology. It is common for debate between believers and sceptics who share this despair about the possibility of proof to take on an air of hopelessness and unreality because of a fundamental epistemological cleavage: on the one hand the believer has an allegedly cognitive experience and on the other the sceptic lacks and suspects it. I want in this paper to scrutinise some aspects of this division. I shall not do much to mitigate the pessimism of my earlier statements, since I think the division really is, in certain critical ways, an unbridgeable one. But it is worth while to come to a clearer understanding of its nature than I think some philosophers have. What follows has been influenced by reflection on recent controversies about the meaningfulness of religious discourse, but is not intended to be a contribution to them. Some of the best-known contributions, however, seem to me to have made the epistemological cleavage I have referred to seem even worse than it is. (shrink)