Sunday, May 04, 2014

Steve Thomas interviews me

A redated post.

Steve Thomas did an interview of me that spells out some basics of the Argument from Reason. It was done before C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea was published.


Joe Markus said...

Hi Professor Reppert,

In the interview you said:

"In addition, I have been in contact with two Ph.D candidates who are writing dissertations defending this argument."

If you don't mind my asking, is one of those students Christopher Bernard? He used to have quite a few papers online dealing with the argument. But I can't find anything from him online any longer.

Victor Reppert said...

I had never heard of Christopher Bernard. One of those students completed his dissertation, the other has abandoned his efforts. The one who completed his dissertation waas Justin Barnard, who did the dissertation at Florida State University and is now at Crichton College. Dissertations are available from University Microfilms, and I think his was finished in 2002 or 2003. I was impressed with it myself.

There are so many ends to pull on with this argument (and I think it's a bunch of arguments) that it's hard to know where to start first. And what to emphasize may depend on who the opponent is. I wrote the book thinking primarily in terms of nonreductive materialists, what Bill Hasker calls "sensible naturalists." They are going to have trouble accounting for mental causation but may have an easier time with intentionality. On the other hand if you are a reductionist like Carrier, if you think you can reduce intentionality, then it will seem easier to fit in into causal connection.

Joe Markus said...

Actually, I should have been searching for Justin Barnard instead of Christopher Bernard. That explains why I couldn't find any info on the web. I remember reading Justin Barnard's papers online several years ago. I was impressed with them as well. I remember specifically he had a fairly detailed discussion of anamolous monism. If I remember correctly, his ideas were similar to yours with regard to explantory compatibility.

jdhuey said...

"If naturalism is true, then all thoughts can be explained as the result of irrational causes."

I completely do not understand this statement. What is meant by "irrational causes"? And what is it about naturalism that enables it to use those "causes" to explain thoughts?

Obsidian said...

Hey , Victor Reppert. Saw your article in teh Blackwell companion to natural theology.

Was wondering
1) How has the response been from naturalists to your argument ? How has the response been from theists?

2)Anyone else taken up defense of the afr? Have there been citations of your work in the literature?

3)What would you recommend on getting to know philosophy of mind? I guess you would recommend Feser's book since you cite it approvingly at some points.

Victor Reppert said...

Obsidian: Bill Craig has come out in support of it, and Angus Menuge would be another. Richard Carrier wrote the most detailed counter-response shortly after my book came out, and Beversluis's revised edition of C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion also responds to it.

Victor Reppert said...

I would strongly recommend Hasker's The Emergent Self.