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Eric Winsberg

You lost me on most of this.

1)You say that it is prejudice that "the (non-trivial) progress of science as vindicat[ed] the (radical) Enlightenment's anti-revelation position"

I don't think this is prejudice at all, and I don't see the argument that it is at all. A)revealed religions are all full of empirically testable claims that have been shot down by science. B)They almost all present a picture of an omniscient creator who reveals truths to us. But science has repeatedly revealed that the world is full of strange and wonderous phenomena that the actual authors of these revelations never dreamed of. Why would an omniscient creator have done such a lousy job of informing us about the underlying structure of the world.

2)You say that its "more important," that "some traditional philosophical doctrines that were kind of taken for granted by the party of the Enlightenment were undermined in the progress of science" Why is this "more important"? or even surprising? Good enlightenment figures were empiricist, and surely they countenanced the possibility that they would get some things like this wrong. Unless science were to undermine the commitments that they had that were at the foundation of their critique of revealed religion, then this all seems incidental and not "more important." So some enlightenment figures made fun of Christians for thinking the world was eternal. Suppose science shows that it isn't? (I would say the prevailing scientific view right now, btw, is that it is). Why does this undermine the critique if, as I am suggesting, the reaction against non-eternity was just a _symptom_ of the critique, and not at its foundation. What would be "more important" would be if science showed that enlightenment figures used doctrines in their critique of the epistemic power of revelation that were now discredited by science. But I cant imagine there are examples of this.

3) you say "Analytic Christian Philosophy (ACP) was not supposed to happen if the progressive (soft-teleological), self-understanding of Enlightenment thought and its self-styled followers within early analytic philosophy were right" this puzzled me the most.

What part of the self-understanding of the Enlightenment made predictions about the sociology of a 21st century sub-discipline? Is the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and fascism not supposed to have happened? what is it about "ACP" in particular, that makes it a predictive failure for enlightenment figures?

Unless perhaps you mean something more than a _predictive_ failure. But then what _do_ you mean, and how do you propose to defend it?

Schliesser, Eric

Eric, Maybe you should engage with ACP directly.
1) You are just restating what I already said ("he epistemic status of some revealed religions and some of their doctrines have been undermined by scientific developments (especially those that hitched their wagons on now outdated scientific claims"). I would just add that if you actually knew your opponents's views (rather than recycle Enlightenment Memes), you would be aware that some revelations prophecy that empirical inquiry will reveal all kinds of wondrously unimaginable things. (I have even blogged about one such argument once at NewAPPS.)
2) The argument for eternity of the world hardly qualifies as an empiricist argument; nor is the critique of religion exclusively an empiricist affair (Hobbes, Spinoza, etc.)! I don't think the science of the Enlightenment is exclusively empiricist (the rational mechanics of Euler, D'Alembert, Laplace, etc. hardly counts as empiricist--in fact, lots of Leibnizian and, to lesser degree, Spinozist metaphysical premises in their approach to physics).
3) your puzzlement ought to motivate you to explore how analytical philosophy turned out to be a rather hospitable place for ACP.

F.A. Muller

Concerning (3): everything can be analysed, including christian nonsense: if a large enough group of people dive into one particular topic, produces papers in their own (Zygon), then you have a 'subfield' in philosophy.
Why now? Might the fourse horsemen have something to do with that?

Schliesser, Eric

If ACP were restricted to merely a niche journal, then I would not have written this post.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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