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28 votes
3 answers
25k views

What is the difference between naturalism and materialism?

What is the difference between naturalism and materialism, if any? I see definitions of naturalism that say, in effect, it is the belief that there is no supernatural. But what is the supernatural ...
David Lewis's user avatar
15 votes
9 answers
5k views

Is naturalism falsifiable?

From Wikipedia: In philosophy, naturalism is the idea or belief that only natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the universe.[1] Naturalism is not so much a special ...
user avatar
13 votes
14 answers
6k views

Why is it an unpopular view, among philosophers and religious people, that a human being has a supernatural, spiritual soul?

I used to believe that a human being has a supernatural, spiritual soul and that it is obvious for the reasons stated below. I was very surprised to find out that not only secular philosophy, but even ...
gaazkam's user avatar
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11 votes
10 answers
2k views

Is it possible to define "the supernatural"?

From a naturalistic perspective, it is possible to argue that the supernatural not only doesn't exist, but cannot even be defined. The reasoning goes that anything which "appears" to be supernatural, ...
LightCC's user avatar
  • 1,026
10 votes
2 answers
367 views

Adequate Animal Housing and the Naturalistic Fallacy [closed]

Many animal rights activists claim that adequate animal housing should be geared towards the natural environment of animals. For example, they claim that monkeys should be not kept within human's ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 1,082
9 votes
7 answers
3k views

Could there ever be evidence for an infinite being?

The God of Anselm is understood as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." From this definition, God can be presumed to be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfectly free, uncaused, ...
Bryson S.'s user avatar
  • 201
8 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism?

I am trying to figure the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism. As far as I could tell, they were the same thing, except that physicalism (physicalist vs dualist) was the term used when ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
426 views

Quine and the Myth of the Given

To give you some background details about myself: I have a deep interest in Quine's work and Naturalism in Philosophy; I have been independently studying and reading Quine's work and his relation to ...
Leucippus's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
686 views

Is G.E Moore's notion of goodness widely held and defended by contemporaneous philosophers?

I was wondering whether the idea that goodness cannot be defined and is just intuitively recognisable when observed, still holds significant weight? It seems somewhat similar to Plato's idea of ...
Jim stoke's user avatar
  • 485
7 votes
5 answers
661 views

Are artificially synthesized chemical elements natural?

Humans have synthesized elements that do not exist in nature, at least not around here. This strikes me as a serious philosophical hairball: where does a philosophical naturalist put these critters? ...
user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is naturalism the null hypothesis?

If one is not able to come up with a reason to believe anything supernatural, should one “by default” assume naturalism to be true? Or should one remain completely agnostic? If I see a person hitting ...
user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is philosophical naturalism circular reasoning?

I'm a steadfast proponent of science and logic, but it's been occurring to me lately that this belief in the veracity of science may be just that, a belief---no different than a theist's beliefs in ...
brianmearns's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
234 views

Where can one find the most fully developed version of EAAN with the four-part defense of premise 1?

Having just completed Alvin Plantinga's book Where the Conflict Really Lies, I was a bit surprised to learn that he now takes a different approach to defending premise 1 of the Evolutionary Argument ...
DicePower's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
752 views

Barring miracles, can anything in principle ever establish the existence of the supernatural?

Before moving on with my question, I want to note that by supernatural I mean anything that would be considered a cause not known to be operating under known natural laws. Sure, if pigs started flying ...
user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is my objection to naturalism popular or fringe in contemporary philosophy?

I have a line of thought that strict naturalism (in the most extreme case, the belief that only particle physics is an accurate description of reality) is self-defeating. I say this because notions ...
Noah Mancino's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is Western atheism a kind of Protestant religion?

Alvin Plantinga, while setting up his evolutionary argument against naturalism in Where the Conflict Really Lies, writes (page 311): Now it is not clear that naturalism, as it stands, is a religion;...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
319 views

In what text and on what basis did G.E. Moore eventually reject the "open question argument"

Let's take the open question argument to basically be that if we tried to provide a reductive definition of (e.g.) goodness in non-non-naturalistic terms (so naturalistic terms), we can always ...
Lothrop Stoddard's user avatar
5 votes
7 answers
477 views

A Ground or Foundation of Morality

I am currently reading the very fascinating paper Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law by Arthur Allen Leff. It seems that the thrust of his paper is that there is no "naturalistic" way of grounding or ...
Eli Bashwinger's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
357 views

Under metaphysical naturalism, does everything boil down to Physics?

If metaphysical naturalism is true, would that mean that Physics is the ultimate discipline that can sufficiently explain everything, and that all other disciplines, including Chemistry, Biology, ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,017
4 votes
6 answers
3k views

What are the problems with Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism (EAAN)?

Alvin Plantinga's formulation of the argument is here. I'll try to summarize it as I understand it. Naturalistic evolution selects for traits that tend to lead to survival. Some true beliefs about ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
146 views

Which mental features resist naturalization the most and why?

According to contemporary philosophy and cognitive science which mental features resist naturalization the most and why? By mental features I mean something like qualia, consciousness, mental ...
lalessandro's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
201 views

What does it mean for a naturalist to claim that forces/actions "exist"?

tl;dr: How can forces (e.g. gravity) be said to "exist" or be true ? I've had this question for so long, I assume it stems from a basic misunderstanding about naturalism or metaphysics, so please set ...
jxn's user avatar
  • 291
4 votes
1 answer
434 views

Is essentialism compatible with naturalism?

I am not an expert and I cannot understand why essentialism is incompatible with naturalism? Why scientific laws cannot describe essential properties of objects?
Mortimer's user avatar
  • 121
4 votes
2 answers
405 views

Why does naturalistic dualism imply panpsychism?

From this article: First, [naturalistic dualism] seems to imply panpsychism, the view that everything in the universe has consciousness. Once you accept the existence of nonphysical features of the ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
83 views

Resources on the distinction between epistemology in pure and applied mathematics

I'm looking for recommendations for works that present roughly (or at least parts of) the following perspective on epistemology in mathematics. I hope having access to similar perspectives will allow ...
TomKern's user avatar
  • 151
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

What are theistic responses to Graham Oppy's argument for atheism from naturalism?

Short version I'm specifically referring to Graham Oppy's paper An Argument for Atheism from Naturalism: Abstract This paper outlines an argument for atheism from naturalism that I have developed in ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,017
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Naturalism and anti-realism in the philosophy of science

I was surprised by the lack of easily accessed discussion on overlap of these popular philosophical terms / ideas. Are they more or less orthogonal? As I understand it, ontological naturalism says we ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
406 views

Does natural science assume indirect realism?

The wiki on Direct and Indirect Realism seems to claim that indirect realism is part of natural science. The wiki defines indirect realism as follows: indirect or representative realism [is] the ...
user3776022's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
301 views

How one should live a peaceful life knowing this fact that there is no meaning of life? [closed]

So I am going through the philosophical path and I think I am deep into it nowadays. That old question "What is the purpose of living when we are going to die one day" was eating my mind but ...
Monk Programmer's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
333 views

Is science inherently naturalistic?

For an assignment, my philosophy of science professor had us read Phillip E. Johnson's "Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism" and then answer the following question: What is Johnson'...
Jordan's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
2 answers
585 views

How do metaphysical naturalists approach ethics?

I am wondering about traditions of ethics which might incorporate naturalism or skepticism. As far as I understand, the Academic Skeptics, in particular Carneades and Cicero, held that there was no ...
philosodad's user avatar
  • 3,321
3 votes
2 answers
72 views

What is the definition of supernatural? [duplicate]

What is the definition of supernatural? If one defines "natural" as "everything that exists", then, simply by definition, nothing is supernatural, not even ghosts or gods or ...
user107952's user avatar
  • 7,180
3 votes
1 answer
154 views

Is there any correlation between Quine’s underdetermination and bayesian issues of old evidence and new theories?

Bayesianism has some faults some of which involve the problem of old evidence and the issue of new theories. Are these two problems linked to Quine’s underdetermination? Or are they contrasting it? ...
W.V.O.'s user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
13 answers
4k views

Could Occam's Razor ever favor theism?

In principle, could Occam's Razor ever favor theism over rival hypotheses like naturalism? What conditions would have to be met for this to be the case? BONUS: for those interested in naturalism vs. ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,017
2 votes
6 answers
246 views

Which kinds of philosophical arguments are more than subjective opinions? [closed]

"There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it" - Cicero. Is it possible to express opinions about other opinions, without expressing oneself philosophically? For example, if I ...
Roger's user avatar
  • 39
2 votes
3 answers
522 views

Is the concept of "supernatural laws" an oxymoron?

In the discussion on defining and distinguishing between naturalism and supernaturalism, is it coherent to entertain the notion of a supernatural realm governed by rules or laws, and if so, would it ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,017
2 votes
3 answers
273 views

What kind of evidence would make theism/supernaturalism more theoretically virtuous than naturalism?

Graham Oppy is well-known for arguing that naturalism strikes the best balance between minimizing all of one's theoretical commitments and maximizing the explanation that one's theoretical commitments ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,017
2 votes
2 answers
933 views

Nietzsche and What he got wrong about evolution?

It is known that Nietzsche rejected the clause of the "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest" in the theory of evolution as not as much was confirmed about the theory during his time and it ...
Bunny's user avatar
  • 1,310
2 votes
1 answer
391 views

What is the relation between naturalism and the natural law theory?

What is the relation between naturalism and the natural law theory? Natural law (Britannica): natural law, in philosophy, system of right or justice held to be common to all humans and derived from ...
Starckman's user avatar
  • 1,702
2 votes
2 answers
282 views

What is the meaning of "natural"?

It's a term we all know, like "time". We all know what it means but when trying to explain it the difficulties start. For example, in trying to explain time circularity enters the ...
Pathfinder's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
276 views

What does 'nature' mean in Darwin's Origin of Species?

Recently, I have been reading the Origin of Species and quite a few times Darwin says that nature selects. But it seems like he is personifying nature. Could we say that nature=reality for him? And ...
Eauriel's user avatar
  • 155
2 votes
3 answers
385 views

Name for a form of naturalism that allows for abstract objects

Some of the more pressing arguments against materialism involve their inability to account for abstract objects such as meaning or reference. A few definitions before I continue: Abstract object: an ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
99 views

Is Kant's Transcendent naturalistic?

Reading this article, I found the following: Kant is sympathetic to the dominant strain in modern philosophy that banishes final causes from nature and instead treats nature as nothing but matter ...
Gloserio's user avatar
  • 285
2 votes
3 answers
181 views

What role does "DESIRE" play in materialistic determinism?

Let us assume the worldview of extreme materialistic determinism. This is the belief that everything is the result of its material make up. This view goes so far as to eliminate free will. Our ...
user46322's user avatar
  • 124
2 votes
5 answers
530 views

Is Cleverness a part of Wisdom? [closed]

Well, i mean to ask, that is a clever person....a wise one naturally or not? Is it necessary for a very wise person to be very clever also?
user13267's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
174 views

What is Brandom's notion of implicitness?

Robert Brandom seems to have a very distinct notion of implicitness when he says things like: For while that vocabulary is not itself descriptive vocabulary, its use is implicit in the use of ...
coffeekvlt's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
78 views

Who are the representatives of Michigan and Rutgers ethical naturalism?

I am writing an excursus on contemporary naturalism for my thesis. In fact, after a brief introduction to the subject of moral philosophy and to ethical naturalism, I will analyze the Duke manifesto "...
Valentina Maggi's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
80 views

Would the existence of an eternal, uncaused object conflict with the naturalistic framework?

What I'm asking is whether naturalism is the notion that everything has a natural cause, or whether it is the notion that only everything that begins has a natural cause, whereas everything that did ...
user3776022's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
181 views

Is there an innate drive to offer sacrifices for a higher being?

I have heard that philosophy recognizes or recognized a human inner drive to offer sacrifices to a higher being/authority and that this is the basis of early pagan practices and the foundation of ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

Is analytic philsophy the most associated with "armchair" knowledge and is that subject to change?

*By armchair I mean knowledge one can gain by not going out into the world very far. And by my title I get the impression (perhaps mistakenly) that if armchair knowledge was lessened, so too would ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,794