Posted: Dec 19, 2011 2:42 am
by andrewk
-Sylvan wrote:I've been reading this thread for an hour or so now and I must say, it has been very interesting. :grin:
I was hoping that someone in this thread could recommend a few proponents of naturalistic philosophy, I haven't ever read much philosophy and have no idea where to start :ask:

It depends whether what you want to read is general philosophy written from a naturalist perspective, or philosophy that specifically argues for naturalism against supernaturalism, and most usually theism.

For the former, a great starting point is Bertrand Russell's "The Problems of Philosophy", which is available at any good library, or free in electronic form in many places on the web, such as here.

For the latter, some good old examples are David Hume's "Dialogues concerning natural religion" and Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason", again available at good libraries or electronically on the web. For more modern material, there are many good books although only a minority of them are by philosophers. Just about anything by naturalist philosopher Peter Singer is worth a read, provided you don't mind controversy.

Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell" is an intriguing, if somewhat slow paced, analysis of religion as an anthropological phenomenon.

You may enjoy some of the articles on the websites of Stephen Law, a British naturalist philosopher, or Paul Almond, who participates in this forum.

Because one should never just expose oneself to one side of an argument, there are lots of attacks on naturalism out there to read. One that I find particularly interesting, because it is different from the more common cosmological, design and moral arguments for supernaturalism, is Alvin Plantinga's "Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism". It uses some conditional probability calculations generally similar to what has been discussed here (not Bayesian though).