Philosophy | Seminar in Contemporary Philosophy
P730 | 3792 | O'Connor


Topic: Philosophy of Religion


We will consider at length two central arguments for and against
theism. The first is a newfangled version of the theistic argument
from design which is based on apparent cosmological 'fine-tuning'
for intelligent life. As we shall see, the argument raises
fundamental issues concerning the nature of probability,
possibility/necessity, and of explanation, and these issues are
explored in a range of writings we shall scrutinize, some of which
are collected in Neil Manson, ed., God and Design (Routledge).  The
second argument we shall examine is the atheistic argument from
evil. We shall consider this both in its deductive and inductive
(or 'evidential') versions. Some of the best of the voluminous
recent writing on this topic is collected in R. Adams and M. Adams,
The Problem of Evil (Oxford) and D. Howard-Snyder, The Evidential
Argument from Evil (Indiana).

Members of the seminar will write weekly short commentaries on the
readings (in advance of our seminar discussion) and a substantial
term paper.