Plantinga, Alvin


Plantinga, Alvin
(1932-)
   One of the leading Christian philosophers of the present day, Plantinga has made a major contribution to the current renaissance of Christian philosophy. He was educated at, and later taught at, Calvin College, a university of the Christian Reformed Church, of which church he is also a member, before moving to take up the John A. O'Brien Chair in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His philosophical work is marked by his insistence on the permissibility of his doing philosophy in the light of his Christian faith and by his refusal to follow philosophical fashion for its own sake. His first work (God and Other Minds) was in religious epistemology, arguing that belief in God was just as rational as belief in other minds. He then used insights in modal logic to construct a valid ontological argument and a rigorous version of the free-will defence. This led him into the problem of foreknowledge and freedom, in which he rediscovered Molinism. More recently Plantinga has returned to epistemology, publishing a trilogy of volumes on warrant, that is, that quality enough of which distinguishes knowledge from mere true belief. He argues in the first two volumes (Warrant: The Current Debate and Warrant and Proper Function) that a belief is warranted only if it is produced by a properly functioning mental faculty aimed at the production of true beliefs. He concludes in the last volume of the trilogy, Warranted Christian Belief, that Christian faith is, if true, warranted, and so, if true, counts as knowledge, since, according to Christianity, central Christian beliefs are produced by the 'internal instigation of the Holy Spirit', by which God reveals to people the truth of these beliefs. Plantinga cheerfully admits that this account will not appeal to atheists but equally cheerfully disavows any duty to do philosophy to please the atheistic academic community. He has also recently developed a (pre-existing) argument that evolutionary naturalism (see materialism) is self-defeating in that if it is true then we have reason to doubt that our minds have evolved to aim at truth and, hence, reason to doubt that it is true. In his landmark lecture, 'Advice to Christian Philosophers', Plantinga insisted that part of the Christian philosopher's duty was to serve the Christian community. This challenge has been enthusiastically taken up by a whole generation of Christian philosophers that looks to Plantinga as its inspiration.
   Further reading: Plantinga 1967, 1984 and 2000; Sennett 1998; Tomberlin and van Inwagen 1985

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • PLANTINGA, Alvin — (1938 )    American CALVINIST philosopher who has written extensively on both the ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT and the PROBLEM OF EVIL. His book God and Other Minds (1969) is a modern philosophical defence of THEISM …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Plantinga — Alvin Plantinga (* 15. November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA) ist ein amerikanischer Philosoph mit Arbeitsschwerpunkten in der Modallogik, Ontologie, Epistemologie und Religionsphilosophie. 1958 wurde er an der Yale University zum Ph.D… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Alvin Plantinga — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Alvin Plantinga (Ann Arbor, Michigan, 15 de noviembre de 1932) es un filósofo norteamericano profesor en la University of Notre Dame. Cuando nació Alvin, su padre, Cornelio, era entonces un estudiante graduado en… …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Bibliography —  ❖ Abelard, Peter (1849 59), Opera, ed. V. Cousin and C. Jourdain, Paris: Durand.  ❖ Abelard, Peter (1855), Opera Omnia, ed. J. P. Migne, Paris: Garnier.  ❖ Abelard, Peter (1969 87), Opera Theologica, i iii, ed. E. Buytaert and C. Mews, Corpus… …   Christian Philosophy

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  • Ontological argument — The ontological argument for the existence of God (or simply ontological argument) is an a priori proof for the existence of God. The ontological argument was first proposed by the eleventh century monk Anselm of Canterbury, who defined God as… …   Wikipedia


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