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A Middle Way to God 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195132687
ISBN-10: 0195132688
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Editorial Reviews


"Hallet proposes a lateral shift in our thinking by undertaking an exploration of what "rationally and good evidence look like in areas where standard criteria do not apply" (p.9). The goal is to promote fresh vision through a shift in perspective."--The Review of Metaphysics

About the Author

Garth L. Hallett is at Dean, College of Philosophy and Letters.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195132688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195132687
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,609,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Hallett undertakes to chart an epistemological course between those of two prominent contemporary philosophers, Alvin Plantinga (Notre Dame) and Richard Swinburne (Oxford). Plantinga's arguments are extra-evidentialist and argue for belief in God as being cognitively immediate and "properly basic," Swinburne argues as an evidentialist that belief in God is rational and mathematically warranted. The author spends most of his considerations on Plantinga's arguments for the epistemic correspondence of belief in the existence of God and belief in the existence of other minds. He pares off what he finds to be the weak aspects of Plantinga's views and finally looks to some of Swinburne's cumulative probabilistic arguments to bolster, or rehabilitate, Plantinga's conclusions. Hallett's hybrid approach is more Plantinga's than Swinburne's but effectively rejects the supposition that one should limit their preferred lines of argument to one extreme or the other. Belief in the existence of other minds is indeed immediate (evidentialism here proves incongruous and perhaps even perverse) and belief in God (the primordial Mind) is, to some extent, rationally similar, although Hallett points out it is not as equivalent as Plantinga seems to argue.

Hallett (Dean of Philosophy, St. Louis University) tries to carefully balance being thorough enough with his thesis with being too thorough, and it seems he errs on the side of being somewhat tedious. The most valuable portion of the book is his treatment of the 'problem of evil' (chap 7). One argument against the similarity of belief in God and belief in other minds is the argument from the existence of evil.
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