The naïve teleological argument : An argument from design for ordinary people

Book chapter


Evans, C. Stephen. (2018). The naïve teleological argument : An argument from design for ordinary people. In In Walls, Jerry L. and Dougherty, Trent (Ed.). pp. 108-122 Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190842215.003.0007
AuthorsEvans, C. Stephen
EditorsWalls, Jerry L. and Dougherty, Trent
Abstract

This chapter considers an argument from design, meant for those without a technical scientific background, and based on Thomas Reid’s concept of natural signs. For Reid, sensations function as natural signs in perception when some object in the world causes sensations, on the basis of which one is disposed to form beliefs and concepts about those objects. This establishes direct, non-inferential knowledge of what we perceive. If God exists, it is plausible that He would make himself known by means of natural signs. One kind of natural sign would be the perceived design in nature. According to both externalist and internalist accounts of knowledge, natural signs of God offer justification for a person to believe in God. The justification could be non-inferential but the sign could also be the basis of an argument of the type explained in this chapter. The chapter ends by responding to an objection from evolution against apparent design.

Keywordsargument from design; Thomas Reid; evolution; perception; natural signs; justification
Page range108-122
Year2018
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationOxford
ISBN9780190842215
9780190842222
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190842215.003.0007
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All rights reserved
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Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print2018
OnlineSep 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited12 May 2021
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