PHIL 3443

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PHIL 3443-001
CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
Dr. Neal Judisch
Dale Hall Tower 618
Office Phone: 325-5950
[email protected]
Office Hours: TR 10:00-11:30
Spring 2009
TR 12:00-1:15
KH-0138
Course Description
This is a survey course covering some of the major topics of interest in contemporary
philosophy of religion. Our focus will be on the writings of philosophers concerning
religious subjects that have been produced within the last 100 years or so. Topics to be
covered include religious epistemology (whether and how we can have any religious
knowledge), contemporary arguments for the existence and the non-existence of God,
and recent examples of philosophical theology. Our goal will be to get a “fix” on the
state of the art in these subdivisions of philosophy of religion.
Text
Charles Taliaferro and Paul J. Griffiths, eds. Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology,
Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.
Student Evaluation
Grades will be assigned on the basis of four exams, each of which contains an essay and
a short answer component, and each of which is worth 1/4 of the overall grade.
Tentative Reading/Discussion Schedule
Week 1. Contemporary Philosophy of Religion and Western Theism
– Introductory Lecture.
– “God,” Richard Swinburne (II.4)
Week 2. Psychological Explanations of Religious Belief and Religious Experience
– “Psychoanalysis and Theism,” Adolf Grünbaum (III.10)
– “The Varieties of Religious Experience,” (III.12)
– Optional: “Psychoanalytic Theory and Religious Belief,” William Alston (III.11)
Week 3. The Rational Acceptability of Religious Belief
– “The Ethics of Belief,” W.K. Clifford (III.17)
– “Religious Belief as ‘Properly Basic’,” Alvin Plantinga (III.18)
Week 4. Review and Exam 1.
Week 5. Natural Theology I
– “The Cosmological Argument,” Richard Swinburne (IV.19)
– Optional: “Cosmological Arguments,” J.L. Mackie (IV.20)
Week 6. Natural Theology II
– “Teleological Argument,” David Hume (IV.21)
– “The Argument from Design,” Robert Hambourger (IV.22)
Week 7. Natural Theology III
– “Anselm’s Ontological Arguments,” Norman Malcolm (IV.23)
– Optional: “The Ontological Argument,” Michael Martin (IV.24)
Week 8. Review and Exam II.
Week 9. Problems for Theism I
– “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism,” William Rowe (VI.30)
– Optional: “The Problem of Evil, the Problem of Air, and the Problem of Silence,”
Peter van Inwagen (VI.32)
Week 10. Problems for Theism II
– “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God,” Marilyn McCord Adams (VI.33)
– Optional: “The Problem of Evil,” Brian Davies (VI.31)
Week 11. Problems for Theism III
– “Of Miracles,” David Hume (VIII.49)
Week 12. Review and Exam III
Week 13. Philosophical Theology I
– “Omnipotence and Omniscience,” T.V. Morris (II.5)
Week 14. Philosophical Theology II.
– “Divine Freedom and Creation,” Laura L. Garcia (II.7)
– “Eternity,” Brian Leftow (II.6)
Week 15. Philosophical Theology III, Wrap Up and Review
– “The Possibility of Incarnation,” Richard Swinburne (VII.42)
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