Religious Studies

Articles

Does Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism work?

WANG-YEN LEEa1

a1 Department of Philosophy, National University of Singapore, 3 Arts Link, Singapore, 117570 e-mail: leewangyen@cantab.net

Abstract

In Alvin Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism (EAAN), he contends that someone who holds both naturalism (N) and evolution (E) acquires an undefeated defeater for her belief that ‘human cognitive faculties are reliable’ (R) and as a result an undefeated defeater for everything else she believes when she comes to realize that P(R/N&E) is low or inscrutable. I argue for two theses in this paper. First, when a naturalist-evolutionist comes to think that P(R/N&E) is inscrutable, that does not constitute an undefeated defeater for her belief that R if her original grounds for believing R are something other than an assessment of P(R/N&E). Second, even if she acquires an undefeated defeater for her belief that R when she comes to think that P(R/N&E) is inscrutable, it does not follow that she has a defeater for all her other beliefs. The main contribution lies in my response to Plantinga's attempt to resist my second thesis.