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  • #16
    I've been reading Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God, ed. by Dougherty and Walls. This book seems to have been weirdly ignored around internet philosophy circles, even though it's one of the biggst things to happen to Natural Theology in years. The book is a development of Plantinga's list of two dozen (or so) arguments for God, and are very innovative and unique; it has many epistemological arguments, metaphysical arguments, unique arguments ("from love", "beauty and play", "the argument from so many arguments", etc). The list of experts includes such names as Alex Pruss, Josh Rasmussen, Robert Koons, William Lane Craig, Richard Swinburne, Brian Leftow, Robin Collins, Tim McGrew, and many more. Definitely a great volume.

    Some really good arguments include Rasmussen and Weaver's cosmological argument with the very modest causal principle that "it is possible that there could be a cause for a totality of contingent events"; Collins's defense of he fine tuning for discoverability (this argument will probably get big in the upcoming years, though it is still very much in its early days); Walls's argument from love; Pruss's argument from counter-factuals; Leftow's argument from possibility; McGrew's overview of the current standing of debates on miracles; Koons's argument from intuitions.

    Definitely recommend.


    • #17
      Atno Richard Carrier reviewed that book, you might want to check that out.


      • #18
        I've just started on (page 40 atm) Randolph Clarke's Libertarian Accounts of Free Will. First impressions are that it's well written and the author does not strawman positions he disagrees with. A slightly annoying thing for me is the modern analytical tendency to talk of causation as between events, which means - to use functionalist speak - I have to have a mental translation program going all the time to parse many of this examples into useful form. Another slight concern is that many of the accounts of explanation he deals with may be unfit for the job, as they are largely relics of the Positivist era and carry all its faults (scienticism and Humean regularity theory).

        Originally posted by Calhoun View Post
        Atno Richard Carrier reviewed that book, you might want to check that out.
        I'd read the book but personally would charge at least $500 an hour to read anything Richard Carrier wrote.
        Last edited by DanielCC; 04-26-2019, 11:28 AM.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Calhoun View Post
          Atno Richard Carrier reviewed that book, you might want to check that out.
          Actually, it seems Carrier has only reviewed Plantinga's list, not the book I mention (which is a collection with articles written by numerous different authors who expand upon and defend the original arguments in Plantinga's lecture). But it's Richard Carrier anyway, the guy has nothing of value to bring to philosophy of religion, he only exists for the sake of low level atheist polemics.


          • #20
            Werner Herzog reading Cormac McCarthy. "For decades we have not had language like this in American literature." I wish I could hear him read all of Suttree, which is so otherworldly it can only be approached through the via negativa: It is false to say this autobiographical novel is not like Faulkner on steroids and DMT, not like Huck Finn meeting Hieronymus Bosch, not as funny as A Confederacy of Dunces, not an over-the-top sprawling tour-de-force wearing GENIUS on its sleeve in a way that makes Pynchon seem modest.

            Werner Herzog making "the best documentary ever."

            Very little art after 1900 improves on anything in the Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

            Short but inspiring Herzog tangent in progress. "If I abandon this project I would be a man without dreams. And I don't want to live like that. I live my life or I end my life with this project!" Testify. The story behind Fitzcarraldo could make Job wince. The final product has more to tell you than Sisyphus.

            On this river G-d never finished His Creation. Ebert's review wasn't ecstatic enough. It was a miracle these two films were made. Klaus Kinski could be temperamental. They should be seen back to back. They're not about the ephemeral characters chasing the wind. They're about the Amazon: its permanence and indifference.

            Started reading God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God's Absoluteness by James Dolezal. This Calvinist is down with Aquinas. Sometimes you bump into philosophers from whom you'd like to download everything they know. Regarding the migraine-inducing issues involving free will:

            Originally posted by James Dolezal
            Specific consideration was given to God’s knowledge and will inasmuch as many regard these divine perfections as uniquely challenging to the classical understanding of simplicity. It was argued that, far from being a liability, the DDS actually secures the absoluteness of divine knowledge and volition. God is absolute in his knowledge because he knows all things in knowing himself. He does not discover any truth or fact outside himself. Rather, he knows all things ad extra in knowing his essence as imitable and in knowing his will for their existence. Furthermore, God is absolute in his will inasmuch as he himself is the end at which all his willing is directed. The end supplies the reason for the will and thus God himself is the sufficient reason for all his willing. Furthermore, as he is identical with the end or goal of his will, God’s act of will does not function in him as a mediator between willer and willed. As these are identical in him, his act of will also is identical with him; the divine will is nothing other than God willing.

            Finally, we considered the difficulty in explaining how it is that a simple God freely wills non-divine things. Would not simplicity cancel out divine freedom, or vice versa? Some recent scholars are content to simply choose one over the other. Yet the fact that we cannot explain ontologically or modally how God is simple yet free does not prevent us from affirming that he is both. God could not be absolute if he were not pure act inasmuch as only a being that is pure act is sufficient to account for the existence of anything at all. But this one who is simple pure act must also be free in his will to create. If he created from natural necessity then God would, by nature, need the world in order to complete his purpose and enjoyment of himself. If he were compelled to create from some necessity in creation itself, then he would be acted upon from without and would be determined to be “Creator,” even if only accidentally. Of course, neither would he be the absolute first cause of being if he were compelled to create by some extrinsic force. All this was to conclude that, inscrutable as the relation between divine simplicity and freedom may be, they are both indispensable to the confession of God as most absolute. Moreover, it seems that God’s ontological simplicity makes his will to be free and independent of the creature in an absolute sense, thus securing the absoluteness even of his freedom.

            Based on the conclusions of this study, dispensing with the DDS is not advisable. In fact, restoring it to its traditional role as a controlling and vital concern in the orthodox Christian doctrine of God is a non-negotiable for all who would uphold the confession that he is most absolute.
            Now I just have to study the arguments. (Are we really supposed to read philosophy from left to right?)

            Take a much-needed break from Western frameworks with Herzog's Wheel of Time. Most of our philosophical and religious preoccupations must seem peculiar to them.
            Last edited by Bamidbar 22; 05-14-2019, 03:28 AM.