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Naturalism and Our Knowledge of Reality (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology, and Biblical Studies) [Hardcover]

R. Scott Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

January 1, 2012 1409434869 978-1409434863
Philosophical naturalism is taken to be the preferred and reigning epistemology and metaphysics that underwrites many ideas and knowledge claims. But what if we cannot know reality on that basis? What if the institution of science is threatened by its reliance on naturalism? R. Scott Smith argues in a fresh way that we cannot know reality on the basis of naturalism. Moreover, the "fact-value" split has failed to serve our interests of wanting to know reality. The author provocatively argues that since we can know reality, it must be due to a non-naturalistic ontology, best explained by the fact that human knowers are made and designed by God. The book offers fresh implications for the testing of religious truth-claims, science, ethics, education, and public policy. Consequently, naturalism and the fact-value split are shown to be false, and Christian theism is shown to be true.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

R.Scott Smith has written many articles and a monograph on Virtue Ethics. He specialises in ethics, phenomenology, philosophy of religion, and constructivism (especially in postmodernism, naturalism, and philosophical theology, including the emerging church as a practical extension). He teaches on these themes, including a graduate philosophy of religion class on naturalism, postmodernism, and constructivism.

Product Details

  • Series: Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology, and Biblical Studies
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgate (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409434869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409434863
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,186,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

R. Scott Smith is Assistant Professor of Ethics and Christian Apologetics at Biola University in California. He is the author of Virtue Ethics and Moral Knowledge. Dr. Smith has lectured and presented numerous times on his specialty, postmodernism, and he is also the secretary-treasurer of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some knowledge on knowledge June 11, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Scott Smith has written a welcomed and overdue analysis of the present condition of epistemological studies in the academia. He has fairly presented and critiqued the most respected options being advocated by scholars of epistemology today. While the whole book takes a fresh look at an old discipline - presenting arguments against mainline naturalism that will have to be addressed - his most interesting contribution to the debate is found in chapter 9 where he presents his own view. If he is right naturalism is in big trouble. He shows why the old assumptions and categories lose their explanatory power when straw man arguments against Direct Realism are defeated. But his most powerful and helpful contribution is in presenting a positive case for Direct Realism. By the end of his book the old options don't seem to lead to the best explanation any more. While immaculate perceptions are only in the mind of God, Dr Smith makes a powerful case for human beings discovering knowledge by direct acquaintance with reality. This would be an excellent text to use in philosophy, sociology of knowledge and religious epistemology courses. I plan to make use of it.
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