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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer reading: Naturalism as self-defeating?

A friend recommends this book, World Without Design by Michael C. Rea.
Philosophical naturalism, according to which philosophy is continuous with the natural sciences, has dominated the Western academy for well over a century; but Michael Rea claims that it is without rational foundation, and that the costs of embracing it are surprisingly high. The first part of World Without Design aims to provide a fair and historically informed characterization of naturalism. Rea then argues compellingly to the surprising conclusion that naturalists are committed to rejecting realism about material objects, materialism, and perhaps realism about other minds.
Well, that's pretty much what I found while doing research for The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul. Anyway, from what I can tell, the scruffier brand of naturalists/materialists hate the guy's arguments, so he must be on to something.

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