Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The University That Is In My Kitchen

I just got a nice little gift from Oxford University Press - a three-month free subscription to Oxford's philosophy journals + access to 200 more Oxford journals. Fun!

So, when I went to libraries to study, I usually picked up a copy of Mind and looked at it. So here I am reading an essay by philosopher Judith Baker called "Rationality Without Reasons." I'm interested in this because of my interest in Plantinga's idea of warranted belief, which argues that it's rational to believe in God without arguing evidentially.

Baker's article isn't Plantingian in this sense but it's in the ballpark. She "challenges the assumption that reasons are intrinsic to rational action." Very interesting. Perhaps her work could sync with Plantinga's. (Mind, October 2008)

Now I'm reading a review of John Searle's Freedom and Neurobiology. I am truly fascinated by this topic. The problem of free will, according to Searle, is this: "How are the conscious processes that constitute the experience of free will realized by a neurobiological system? In particular, how can the operation of a conscious and free self be realized in a neurobiological system?" The reviewer notes that Searle offers two solutions, both of which he (Searle) finds unacceptable. "The problem of free will, Searle reminds us, has been debated for centuries and we are nowhere near a satisfying solution."

For my own remembrance I now cite an article in the British Journal of the Philosophy of Science by U of Notre Dame professor J. Allen Pitts, entitled "Why the Big Bang Singularity Does Not Help the Kalam Cosmological Argument for Theism." Pitts thanks William Lane Craig and others for discussions that contributed to this essay. (December 2008)

As I'm browsing several academic journals whole sitting at my kitchen table I am again amazed at how accessible such information has become.