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Knowledge of God (Great Debates in Philosophy) (Great Debates in Philosophy)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Is belief in God epistemically justified? That's the question at the heart of this volume in the "Great Debates in Philosophy" series, with Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley each addressing this fundamental question with distinctive arguments from opposing perspectives.The first half of the book contains each philosopher's explanation of his particular view; the second ha ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by WileyBlackwell (first published 1968)
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Jacob Aitken
And so begins Plantinga's project. Plantinga evaluates the issue of whether we are rationally *justified* in believing in God. In doing so, he considers the natural theologian's arsenal, the atheologian's response, and whether belief in God can be salvaged from the analogy of other minds.

Natural Theology

In considering the Cosmological, Ontological, and Teleological arguments, Plantinga points out that most criticisms of these arguments do not obtain, but still, at the end of the day, the natura
John Doe
May 14, 2013 John Doe marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

When you feel pain, you say "Ouch!" From this, it is rational for me to believe that you are in pain but I don't experience your pain myself. In fact, it is possible to doubt that you experience pain when you say, "Ouch!" Maybe you're faking being in pain. In fact, I don't KNOW if you really feel anything at all.

I KNOW that I do because I feel my own pain. But I can be skeptical about other minds. While this is true, we say it is rational to believe other minds CAN exist. And, we often believe
Steven Dunn
Jul 06, 2013 Steven Dunn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Though this was before Plantinga's reevaluation of natural theology, the book has interesting merit throughout defense (though he rejects it) of the Ontological Argument from certain critics. I found his critique of Ayer to be quite interesting, and his critique of Aquinas to be quite poor.
Jacob O'connor
My 6yo niece visited last weekend. She read a children's book to me. She did a great job, but every once in a while she got stuck on a word. She was mentally exhausted by the end.

Later that night, I opened God and Other Minds. I struggled with the concepts, and when I put it down I was exhausted. Wish I could encourage my niece that it gets easier. Sigh.

This was my least favorite Plantinga book. It has three parts. In the first he evaluates classical arguments for God's existence, and he finds
Nov 02, 2011 Rachael rated it really liked it
In this debate Plantinga, a Christian philosopher, and Tooley, an atheist philosopher debated about the rationality of belief in God. Plantinga presented his usual Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism as well as some extra material involving the nature of consciousness. Tooley analyzed some conceptual atheological arugments and focused his attention on an evidential argument against evil using some sophisticated inductive probabilitistic calculations. I think they both did a sufficient job o ...more
The real force of Plantinga's thesis does not hit home until the final few pages - the rest of the book is just for "setting up the punch line", which is, to wit, if one has enough faith to believe in other minds and an external world, then one has more than enough faith to believe in a transcendent or universal mind. My take-away from this book: "If naive realism is metaphysical baking powder, then atheism is just half-baked solipsism." "God and Other Minds" represents the first truly novel and ...more
Joel McDaniel
Mar 29, 2007 Joel McDaniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: christian thinkers
Shelves: owned, philosophy
This is one of Plantinga's first books. It is foundational to his entire system of epistemology and is a must read for any christian philosopher. He is a genius, pure and simple.

In the book he draws an analogous relationship between the argument for the existence of God and the arguments for the existence of other minds. He shows that both fail at the same points, but that most people take the existence to be absolutely warranted, while others doubt the existence of God when given the same argum
Apr 13, 2012 Garren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not was I expecting. Plantinga doesn't actually offer evidence or rational justification for theism. Instead, he evaluates both theistic and atheistic arguments as inconclusive. In the agnostic vacuum that remains, he brings up the problem of other minds — that we can't really be sure other people exist — and claims God belief can have at least this status for those who feel strongly that God exists.
Jun 20, 2008 Morris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alvin Plantinga has revolutionized analytical philosophy by making belief in God a reasonable position again in that sphere. This book lays out the cores of his arguments and is much referenced, both by supports and those who attempt to refute his positions.
A much more accessible introduction to Plantiga's thought is The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader edited by James Sennett.
Feb 05, 2014 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some might want to try "God, Freedom and Evil", the more layman-oriented analogue to this one. But this one's damned good.
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He is an American analytic philosopher, the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and the inaugural holder of the Jellema Chair in Philosophy at Calvin College.

Plantinga is widely known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics and Christian apologetics.

He has delivered the Gifford Lectures three times and was described by TIME mag
More about Alvin Plantinga...

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