Plantinga’s New Argument Against Materialism

November 18, 2010
Posted by Administrator

The EPS is honored to have Dr. Alvin Plantinga deliver the plenary address at our annual meeting in Atlanta. Here is a snapshot from the opening of his paper:

Two thoughts, each itself tripartite. First beliefs. We think (a) that successful action is correlated with true belief; (b) beliefs cause (part-cause) action (and true beliefs are more likely to cause successful action than false beliefs); (c) beliefs cause action by virtue of their content.

Second, undertakings and intentions. We think, (a) a person is more likely to perform a given action A if she intends to perform that action; we also think (b) undertakings and intentions are part-causes of actions, and usually cause the action undertaken and intended; we also think (c) intentions and undertakings cause what they do by virtue of their contents. no more than the sober truth.

I’ll argue that if materialism (about human beings) were true, then these commonsense beliefs would very likely be false. If this argument is correct, then embracing materialism exacts (still another) substantial cost: giving up these obvious and commonsense truths.*

Come hear more at his presentation at 3:00 pm, Atlanta Hilton (Ballroom East).

* The above was used with Dr. Plantinga’s permission.