Friday, November 11, 2011

This is Balfour's Foundations of Belief

This contains an argument very similar to Lewis's AFR.

8 comments:

RM said...

Way cool. I had not known that Balfour was a philosopher. I knew him only as politician, a la the Balfour Declaration. Thanks for posting.

Ilíon said...

I downloaded one of the editions of it when you previously linked to it. I still haven't read all of it (I find it difficult to read a lengthy, or serious, text on a screen; I need such in book form); but what I did read was good.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting that when characterizing the notion of human reason, logically entailed given the doctrine of metaphysical naturalsim, Balfour uses the phrase "non-rational"( "The theory of the non-rational origin of reason). Anyone familiar with Dr. Repprt's seminal work, should realize that G.E.M Anscombe's critique of C.S. Lewis's 1st formulation of "The Argument From Reason"( erroneously claimed by those ignorant of Lewis to be a devastating blow to Lewis's strongest refutation of naturalism), depended heavily on Lewis's use of the term "irrational", when describing the account of human reason impled by the meataphysical tenets of naturalism. Lewis's revision of his "AFR", in whcih Anscombe's criticisms were surmounted, invoked the notion of "non-rational", as opposed to "irrational" in terms of the metaphysical consequences of the naturalist worldview. This is certiantly a great testimony to the genius of James Balfor.

Ilíon said...

"Anyone familiar with Dr. Repprt's seminal work, should realize that G.E.M Anscombe's critique of C.S. Lewis's 1st formulation of "The Argument From Reason"( erroneously claimed by those ignorant of Lewis to be a devastating blow to Lewis's strongest refutation of naturalism), depended heavily on Lewis's use of the term "irrational", when describing the account of human reason impled by the meataphysical tenets of naturalism."

Moreover, Lewis explained well enough what he meant by "irrational".

Victor Reppert said...

I actually made a change in my understanding of the debate thanks to Jim Slagle. I had argued previously that Anscombe was right in pointing out that Lewis had made an error in failing to distinguish between irrational and non-rational causes. However, as Slagle pointed out, Lewis actually makes the distinction between two meanings of the word "irrational" that corresponds to Anscombe's distinction in The Abolition of Man, which antedates the Anscombe rebuttal by six years. Second, I looked it up in the dictionary, and I found that the word "irrational" can be used in both senses.

Ilíon said...

Ah, but the Legend if too good to be allowed to die: too many people need it to be true.

Gregory said...

Here's an interesting link to supplement this discussion, regarding "magical thinking" among skeptics:

http://jonathanscorner.com/ai/

Ilíon said...

A number of years ago, before I had my "human minds are the proof thta God is" flash-insight, I read an arithmetic argument against naturalism/materialism from (as I recall) the late 1920s. I suspect that this argument was as formative to my insight/realization as Lewis and Plantinga were.