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Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for GodThe Plantinga Project$
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Jerry L. Walls and Trent Dougherty

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190842215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190842215.001.0001

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The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability

The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability

Is God the Designer of Our Cognitive Faculties? Evaluating Plantinga’s Argument

Chapter:
(K) The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability
Source:
Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God
Author(s):

Alexander Arnold

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190842215.003.0011

Plantinga’s Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability purports to find support for theism in the claim that most of the human mind’s cognitive powers are reliable when functioning properly in the right environments. This chapter evaluates this argument and concludes that its prospects are mixed. On one hand, it does not show that such a claim provides significant support for theism over non-theistic evolutionism. However, the argument does highlight a non-trivial problem for naturalists, namely, providing a naturalistically acceptable psychosemantics. The chapter’s first section reconstructs Plantinga’s argument as a likelihood argument. The discussion then turns to a critical examination of the two key premises of that reconstruction. The fourth section concludes with some thoughts on various issues raised by the argument.

Keywords:   proper functionalism, theism, evolutionary argument against naturalism, likelihood, psychosemantics

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