Saturday, March 28, 2009

Plantinga Paper

My copy of Naturalism Defeated - essays on Plantinga's argument against evolutionary naturalism, finally got here. The paper by William Ramsey does make the same point as me in the paper I am writing, though in a much sketchier way. Interestingly, Plantinga responds at the end. So I'll redo the paper in light of this....


Tony Lloyd said...

Hi Stephen

I'm halfway through a piece analysing truthlikeness using the EAAN and your counterargument.

Naturally I need to refer to your counterargument. But you have "NOT TO BE COPIED OR REPRODUCED ELSEWHERE!" on the drafts.

Do quotations count as (partial) reproduction? Should I say something along the lines of "Stephen Law has the counter argument [summary of your counter argument]"?

Steven Carr said...

I still don't quite understand why Plantinga is not saying anything more than the framing problem.

Dennett on Framing Dennett writes '.. an intelligent
being learns from experience, and then uses what it has learned to guide expectation in the future.
Hume explained this in terms of habits of expectation, in effect. But how do the habits work?'

Plantinga claims '.... innumerable belief-desire pairs could account for a given behaviour...'

And then Plantinga seems to claim that the chance of generating true beliefs is going to be 1 divided by an innumerable number.

Your paper is about how those innumerable belief-desire pairs are unlikely to be relevant in anything like enough situations for them to be established by natural selection.

Which is fine and good, but perhaps I am missing how we come up with the correct belief-desire pair for novel situations, given the innumerable of possible belief-desire pairs that could be generated.

(Of course, we often don't and people do stupid things - see the Darwin awards for further details)

Is Dennett's paper relevant to this question of how we choose relevant beliefs from the massive number of true beliefs that we could generate in any given situation?