Category Archives: Naturalism

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

These are slightly old now (in internet time), but here are a couple of noteworthy reviews in NDPR:

Paul Draper has a very good and critical review of Naturalism, which is written by Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro (Interventions series).  The final paragraph:

Although [Goetz and Taliaferro]’s assessment of naturalism is, in my opinion, far from complete, I would highly recommend the book to philosophy students at all levels. It would be an ideal text for a course in metaphysics or philosophy of mind or even philosophy of religion. For not only is it a very short book, which increases the likelihood that students would actually read it, but it is full of arguments that are rigorous, clear, and free of technical jargon. In addition to being accessible, these arguments provide excellent models for students to imitate in their own philosophical writing. I would also strongly recommend the book to professional philosophers, especially to naturalists. For the book is an excellent reminder that, while naturalism is unquestioned by most philosophers, there remains serious and all too often unanswered opposition to it, and the problems it faces are deep and difficult.

Not a bad book cover, either, eh?

David Burrell has a review of Michael Allen Gillespie’s newest book entitled The Theological Origins of Modernity.  The book sounds rather disappointing on Burrell’s take.  Which reminds me: I still need to finish Gillespie’s earlier work, which I’ve been told by people who have read both, is quite a bit better.  Oh here I go, getting all ‘indie’ on genealogical takes on philosophy and theology, oy.

In other news, it’s 4:30pm and the sun set about an hour ago.  I’m definitely not anywhere used to that.

Worthwhile Responses to the ‘New Atheism’


In the recent years, a new brand of atheism has emerged represented mainly by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Their critiques of Christianity and religion in general are really nothing new, but what is new is the way in which they are very loudly proclaiming their polemical message. Also, it seems, especially in the case of Dawkins and even more so in Hitchens, their critiques descend into really sloppy messes of just-plain-getting-things-wrong.

Below are a good handful of links I’ve gathered over the past year in response to the various books that have come out by these writers. Absent from this list is any response to Sam Harris’ work. With that, if anybody has any good responses they’ve found to Harris’ work, I will add it below; likewise, if I’ve missed some worthwhile engagements with Dawkins, Dennett and Hitchens, I will also append them to the lists. Lastly, a special hat-tip is in order to Lee, from whom I culled most of these links! ;)

Responses to Dawkins’ The God Delusion:

Responses to Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything:

Responses to Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon:

Of charitable conversations:

Forthcoming essay and book responses to the new atheism and naturalist crew:

  • Naturalism (Interventions), co-authored by Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliafero
  • “Trying My Very Best to Believe Darwin: The Supernaturalistic Fallacy: From Is to Nought” by Conor Cunningham in Belief and Metaphysics (Veritas)
  • Evolution: Darwin’s Pious Idea (Interventions), by Conor Cunningham. This is slated for a late 2008 release, I think.

Follow-up conversation

David at Ipsum Esse has followed up on my post from a few days ago on creationism.  He asks some good questions–questions which I left a bit too open-ended–and there is a good discussion that follows.