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I think that the only difference between the two is the semantic objective of the definition. Naturalism (see the SEP) is the view that the world can be explained entirely by physical, natural phenomena/laws. Naturalists either assert that there is no supernatural (or metaphysical) existence, or that if there is, it has no impact on our physical world. The ...


15

Naturalism does not presuppose materialism In addition to and amending @commando's answer, it is of interest to note that naturalism does not presuppose materialism (or physicalism, as it is called nowadays, in order to make clear that it is not about "matter"). This is important to understand the current debate in philosophy of mind which originated in the ...


10

The Naturalistic Fallacy is defined as making an argument based on what is naturally the case, and is closely related to the is-ought problem. Your example has elements of both. The argument can be phrased like this: Since a monkey's natural environment is the jungle, monkeys all ought to live in the jungle. Both the Naturalistic Fallacy and the is-ought ...


8

Scottish philosopher, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), authored Sartor Resartus (the tailor re-tailored), published in 1836, which roughly begins with a discussion of the 'naked savage' and subsequently presents a sort of hilarious tongue-in-cheek history or 'philosophy' -- of clothing. What I got from it essentially is that 'the naked truth' holds up the mirror ...


7

Your problem doesn't seem to be with philosophical naturalism as such, but rather with some kind of Naive Realism about generalizations in scientific language. And in this, you would be in good company. David Hume, in his discussions about causality, shared your sense of skepticism that there might be anything other than mere observed regularities to our ...


5

In modern physics, forces don't "exist" in the Newtonian sense. If you take the principle of inertia quite seriously, then by definition a force is a bookkeeping device (not unlike "potential energy") which accounts for the fact that objects occasionally accelerate. It proved to be useful to describe objects as accelerating to the extent that there is a net ...


5

John Searle wrote a lot about "problematic features" of mind. His favourites are consciousness intentionality subjectivity causality You can read about that e.g. in Mind, Brains and Science. I'll try and give a shot summary as well as my personal two cents. Searle is trying to get rid of the evil dualism introduced by Descartes that has been haunting ...


4

What you've uncovered is not a problem for philosophical naturalism in particular, but rather a much more general problem: skepticism, the problem that we may not be able to know anything at all. Skeptics point out that any way we have of justifying knowledge of anything is itself open to criticism, like "But how do you know THAT?" or "Why do you trust THAT?"...


4

The question asked and the one described are different. You asked if it is possible to define "the supernatural." The answer to that question is, yes. It has been done in many dictionaries, and the word very simply is used to cover all things which have no cause in nature or causality. Within the description you changed the question with the caveat that the ...


4

Essentialism is compatible with naturalism, Aristotle, the father of essentialism, is typically named as a precursor of naturalism (and even empiricism), and today we have scientific essentialism founded by Kripke and Putnam. Essentialism is simply the claim that objects have some properties "of necessity" while others are "accidental". It usually requires ...


3

The debate dates back at least to the Natural Philosophy of the Renaissance; see e.g Pietro Pomponazzi (1462–1525) : Referring to contemporary chronicles, Pomponazzi recalls events which many considered to be miraculous, such as a group prayers driving away clouds or entire communities persuaded that they had seen saints appear in the sky. In such cases, ...


3

Taking this as the core question: How can we have unambiguous evidence for an infinite being if we cannot even verify that the being is infinite? The short answer is: We cannot. Assuming that we humans have finite powers of perception, it is impossible to distinguish a being that exactly fills our perception window from one that extends beyond it. For ...


3

Naturalism: (philosophy)The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws. Source here. Materialism: Materialism is the view that the only thing that exists is matter; if anything else, such as mental events, exists, then it is reducible to matter. The definition of "matter" in modern ...


3

There are two formulations of the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN). The one outlined in the cited notes (NOTES) uses the earlier, pre-2008, version where naturalism is described through the relationship between belief and behavior. The more recent formulation in Where the Conflict Really Lies (WTCFL) describes naturalism with materialism "...


3

Naturalism in the broad sense is a very loose attitude, far looser than even materialism, let alone physicalism, because the notion of "nature" is left open to interpretation. Defined negatively as "not supernatural" it leaves room say for pantheism a la Spinoza with nature=God="substance of infinite attributes" (Spinoza is even sometimes described as "...


3

Darwin published On the Origin of Species in late 1859. In it, he provided a remarkably compelling case for the evolution of species through natural selection. Debates ensued on a number of fronts, of course, but the dust had settled by the time Nietzsche published Human, All Too Human in 1878. "By the mid-1870s, evolutionism was triumphant." -- P. ...


3

To me the question strikes at the heart of the modern debate about natural and artificial kinds. The term "natural kind" was introduced by Mill and then forgotten until Kripke and Putnam resuscitated it in 1970s, but the idea goes back to Plato and Aristotle. Namely, that things out there fall into "natural" categories, which science discovers by, as Plato ...


3

There are a number of strategies that scientists and philosophers of science have used to avoid (or at least decrease) tensions between religion and scientific naturalism. You can read more about several of these in the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on religion and science. As a preliminary point, it's important to recognize that the conflict thesis — the ...


3

Your premises are false, or, at least as of yet unproven. Your argument for a) is nonsensical. You do not prove that humans can cause things that have arbitrarily low probability, because the probability that is low is that of getting 202 heads in a row when you flip a random coin. But the human in your argument does not do that, the human places it. Hence ...


3

If by bit we mean a mathematical 1 or 0, then there is no smaller unit of information. But if we are talking about implementations of bits, then a bit has smaller constituent parts. An electrical engineer can calculate the number of atoms that make up a bit in a particular semiconductor material. Read world bits are made of atoms. Same as if you used a ...


3

Indirect realism is the view that our contact with reality is mediated ("filtered") through our sense organs and/or cognitive faculties. We do not experience reality "as it is, out there". This isn't assumed by science per se, but it is probably supported by science. Colors for example, do not inhere in mind-independent objects, but in our perceptions of ...


2

This is just an addition to the other answers from an analytic perspective, not an attempt to give an exhaustive reply. The argument goes something like: if we can confirm that a specific action consistently lead to a specific chemical reaction in the test subject's brain and if this chemical always makes the test subjects feel good, then we can conclude ...


2

This issue is not particularly well addressed IMO, mostly because people who do address it (e.g. the Churchlands) seem to end up talking past the people who see a problem. I think the real problem is that we don't know what "ought" means. We surround our oughts with their own little network of self-consistent terms, but what really is a bare "ought"? In ...


2

I don't know of any philosophers who fit the criteria, largely because "metaphysical naturalism" implies a physical reductionism when it comes to mind, which leaves no room for free will. Thus, there are no ethical issues to be considered: "ought" reduces to "is". EDIT: Since the question has been reframed a bit, I'll attempt to flesh out my question in a ...


2

The problem is not naturalism, but your bad epistemological ideas. Those ideas are extremely common, but they are still wrong. You write: I realize of course that there is incredibly strong evidence to support the idea, but ultimately, isn't this just circumstantial? It is not the case that there is strong evidence to support universal laws since ...


2

A god demonstrating his omnipotence would mean to make something which makes us convinced of his omnipotence. The simplest way to do that would be to manipulate our mind in a way that we believe in his omnipotence. An omnipotent god can almost certainly do that. The only way an omnipotent god might not be able to do so (noticed by virmaior in the comments) ...


2

There are logical arguments for proving the infinity of God. What you quoted from Anselm is, however, not an argument. The link you referenced does summarize his argument, but the validity and the actual implications of the argument are debatable. Firstly Anselm’s argument is an indirect argument proven through reductio ad absurdum. Such arguments often don’...


2

The reasoning goes that anything which "appears" to be supernatural, is simply misunderstood or conforms to laws of nature of which humans are not yet aware. I had asked a similar question a few weeks ago with regards to the dualism/materialism debate (arguably very close to your question if you consider belief in spirits, ghosts and angels to be a form of ...


2

In a dualistic view of the world that splits off spirit from matter, you can distinguish the supernatural as being related to those events where spirit has causative power in the world. Demons/angles/ghosts are all considered to have some kind of underlying spirit and are even more "pure spirit" than humans. Things like ESP and telekinesis are also related ...


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