Thursday, September 16, 2004

More "Naturalisms"

I want to note some other references to the idea of an expanded (or not) naturalistic worldview.

Philosopher Gregg Rosenberg has a new book called “A Place for Consciousness: Probing the Deep Structure of the Natural World” (the on-line version is here, order book here). In the book he uses the term “liberal naturalism” to describe the perspective which lay behind the detailed proposals regarding consciousness and causality he makes in the book. I will post more about this thought-provoking book after receiving the hardcopy I ordered and rereading it.

In contrast to “liberal” naturalism, philosopher Daniel Dennett was recently happy (here) to go along in a tongue-in-cheek way with a critic’s depiction of him as advocating “fundamentalist” naturalism, meaning a kind of narrow conservative scientific naturalism.

Process philosopher/theologian David Ray Griffin is someone who has distinguished between different types of naturalisms in arguing for his theory as a middle way in the conflict between science and traditional Christianity. (See for instance this book which is drawn from recent lectures). He used the following terms: Naturalism(ns) means no ad hoc supernatural interventions by God, but otherwise being flexible on many points; in contrast Naturalism(nati) – “nature is all there is” -- means being committed to an atheistic, materialistic stance.

2 comments:

Peter said...

Having skimmed a couple of chapters of the Rosenberg book online, I'm looking forward to reading your considered views in due course.

Steve said...

When I read it the first time, I found the later chapters which outlined Rosenberg's causal model to be challenging to follow - thus the need to give it a second try.