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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 Putnamian Argument (the Argument from the Rejection of Global Skepticism) [also, (O) The Argument from Reference, and (K) The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability]

The Putnamian Argument (the Argument from the Rejection of Global Skepticism) [also, (O) The Argument from Reference, and (K) The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability]

Putnam’s Semantic Skepticism and the Epistemic Melt-Down of Naturalism: How Defeat of Putnam’s Puzzle Provides a Defeater for Plantinga’s Self-Defeat Argument Against Naturalism

Chapter:
(N) The Putnamian Argument (the Argument from the Rejection of Global Skepticism) [also, (O) The Argument from Reference, and (K) The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability]
Source:
Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God
Author(s):

Evan Fales

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190842215.003.0013

A familiar story about reference that developed in the 1970s appeared to offer a light at the end of the tunnel of positivist theories of meaning. Coherence theories of truth and justification, paradigm shifts, and incommensurability stalked the land. Causal theories of reference (Kripke 1980) promised to change all that and restore scientific realism. But another dialectic took hold that led to what Putnam called internal realism. This chapter aims to rescue Putnam from internal realism, and to breathe new life into real realism. It also aims to rescue science from Plantinga’s argument N (and arguments O and K). That will allow an answer to perhaps the strongest link in the chain of arguments that Naturalism is epistemically self-defeating. The chapter offers a diagnosis of the central difficulty that appears to wreak havoc with the realist aspirations of causal theories of reference. Finally, a cure is offered for that malady.

Keywords:   Naturalism, self-defeat, Putnam, semantics, reference, justification

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