A Critique of Naturalism from Alvin Plantinga’s Point of View

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor of Philosophy, Al-Zahra University, Tehran, Iran


Reliabilism is one the externalist theories of justification which, according to some epistemologists, can be used to avoid skepticism. Alvin Plantinga believes that reliabilism can prevent skepticism only if it is not combined with metaphysical naturalism, materialism, and evolution-based explanation because, according to him, the output of such a combination would be that the reliability of all productions of cognitive faculties, including naturalism itself, will be subject to extreme skepticism, and the naturalist is forced to abandon the presumption of the reliability of cognitive faculties.  Plantinga conditions reliability of cognitive faculties to its combination with supernatural metaphysics and believes that only those who follow the Abrahamic religions can claim the reliability of their cognitive faculties in the virtue of believing in God who has created human beings in His image. The present research, while accepting his ability to depict inefficiencies of naturalism and materialism in justifying the various manifestations of life, criticizes him of committing a kind of Cartesian circle.


Main Subjects

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