Thursday, February 15, 2007

A good discussion on DI2

There is a very good discussion of Argument from Reason related issues at this post on DI2. The comment count is up to 45.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mister Reppert,

what's your opinion about this alleged rebuttal of your book?

Stunney said...

I must confess to having only skimmed Carrier's alleged rebuttal. In so doing, I came across this bit:

. States of mind have a relation to the world we call intentionality, or about-ness.

Cognitive science has established that the brain is a computer that constructs and runs virtual models. All conscious states of mind consist of or connect with one or more virtual models. Intentionality is an assignment (verbal or attentional) of a relation between the virtual models and the (hypothesized) real systems. Assignment of relation is a decision (conscious or not), and such decisions, as well as virtual models and actual systems, and patterns of correspondence between them, all can and do exist on naturalism, yet these four things are all that are needed for Proposition 1 to be true.

Carrier here seems to think that one thing in nature can correspond to another thing in nature and that this correspondence relation explains one thing in nature being about another thing in nature.

But this strikes me as simply a re-statement of the explanandum, and a defective one at that. Let's say X is about Y. Carrier purports to explicate this relation naturalistically by saying X corresponds to Y. But what is in nature that makes it the case that X corresponds to Y and not to Z, and make it the case that Y does not correspond to X (given that if X is about Y, it's often the case that Y is not about X).

It seems to me that Carrier is doing no explanatory work in this paragraph. His notion of correspondence seems to smuggle in intentionality, and not even in a good way.

Victor Reppert said...

I reply to Carrier in detail in an article that I will be publishing for Inter-Varsity Press. I have a number of entries here dedicated to responding to him, in fact I think I have probably spent more time that I should have responding to this. But just for starters, yes, he claims that intentionality can be accounted for naturalistically while at the same time using ONE INTENTIONAL CONCEPT AFTER ANOTHER to explain intentionality.

The most valuable point he makes is that a complete defense of my type of argument should include an awareness of empirical research on brain science. On the other hand, his account of what naturalists have actually explained is vastly exaggerated. Of course brain science is going to find plenty of correlations between brain states and mental states, but it doesn't follow that science has provided intertheoretic reductions between the mind and the brain.

Anonymous said...

I know this is an AFR blog, but do you have any interest in arguments for homosexuality based on scripture?

What do you think of this argument?

David Wood said...


Changing the emphasis to homosexuality.

Now that's a dangerous idea.

Anonymous said...

It's made by a PH.D. from within scripture. Surely you have some stock in the mater...