Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Depoe on Internalism and the AFR

This is in response to Depoe's recent blog post on the AFR.

I don't have Hasker's book with me at the moment, but Hasker does say that a thoroughgoing externalism would be incompatible with his version of the AFR. Though on my multi-track model Plantinga's argument would be a way to get the argument going if you were an externalist.

Still, the argument is not about general theories of epistemic justification, but is rather about the fact when an atheist uses the argument from evil, or a scientist uses a mathematical equation to support a thesis in math, in order for it to be what the arguer from evil says it is, or in order for it to be the kind of mathematical inference the scientist says it is, there has to be an understanding of the propositions, a perception of a logical rule, and the reaching of the conclusion through a process of inference, the perception of what Lewis calls a ground-consequent relationship. Simply having a "black-box" reliable belief-producing mechanism is not enough to make these processes "as advertised." Internalists are good at these kinds of inferences. What they are not so good at are cases like, well, Steven Nash knowing when to pass the ball to Shawn Marion to get a dunk against the Spurs. :)

I'm not sure I have a general theory of epistemic justification that covers all cases. But reliabilism doesn't cut the mustard in the cases of scientific and philosophical inference.

1 comment:

Edward T. Babinski said...

I am not arguing for atheism, but I do not understand how everything begins with perfection/perfect Being, and then imperfections somehow arise. If everything begins with a perfect being and if everything arises directly from that being and from no other eternally existing thing except from that being's power, will and wisdom, then how do you go from perfection to something less?

Meanwhile Christians ask atheists how things go from simple to complex and from atoms to human beings. Though at least in the case of atheism, the cosmos we see does not seem "perfect," so at least the atheist isn't asking how to go from simplicity to perfection.

But the theist is asking how to go from perfection to, well, this cosmos, where everything dies, where pain and suffering of both a physical and mental sort are easily at hand, and where educated individuals still argue over whether our tiny lifeboat of a planet and our colliding cosmic galaxies were all created in six days, presto fashion, or evolved over billions of years.