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Warrant: The Current Debate 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0195078626
ISBN-10: 0195078624
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Warrant: The Current Debate + Warrant and Proper Function + Warranted Christian Belief
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"An important contribution which will be widely stimulating and influential for years to come."--Ernest Sosa, Brown University


"This two-volume work is one of the major accomplishments of twentieth-century epistemology."--Richard Foley, Rutgers University


"These books are contributions to epistemology of the first order of importance. They will, deservedly, receive a great deal of attention."--William P. Alston, Syracuse University


"A comprehensive and penetrating exposition and critique of contemporary epistemologies."--Umit D. Yalcin, East Carolina University


"A must for all epistemologists and philosophers of religion. Seldom is sustained philosophical argument such a joy to read."--Religious Studies Review


About the Author

Alvin Plantinga is at University of Notre Dame.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 27, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195078624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195078626
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Reader From Aurora on October 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warrant The Current Debate by Alvin Plantinga is the first in the author's trilogy on subject of warrant. This first instalment surveys current thoughts on knowledge and sets the stage for Plantinga to lay out his view in Warrant and Proper Function. It is then applied to theistic belief in Warranted Christian Belief. Plantinga a leading contemporary philosopher in the fields of epistemology and the philosophy of religion.

This is an extensive and comprehensive overview of historic and contemporary views on knowledge. It covers the leading thinking and concepts in this area; Chrisholm, Alston, Bonjour etc. and even a nice discussion of Bayesian probability. The presiding definition of knowledge is `justified true belief' - with perhaps some caveats to account for Gettier-like problems. Discussion of this understanding is usually centered on issue of justification, i.e. what in addition to true belief is required to constitute knowledge. Plantinga uses warrant more or less synonymously with justification and seeks to understand how it might be achieved.

I am a fan of Plantinga, I find him to be a rare intellectual; brilliant, humble and witty. I did, however, have a couple of minor quibbles with the book. First, with respect to the physical book itself, I'm not sure exactly what it was, perhaps the font or the construction (or maybe my failing eyesight) - but, I thought the layout was less than ideal for this type of dense subject-matter. Anyways, relatively minor stuff. The other criticism regards the flow, the front end of the book felt a bit choppy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Bambino on March 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You need to be on top of your epistemology and be prepared to spend a lot of time going through the arguments and examples carefully to get a lot out of this book. Plantinga is a genius, there is no doubt about that, but this book is pretty advanced. In this volume, Plantinga presents the current best theories of warrant/justification, and then shows problems with them. This, of course, is a lead-up to his next book in the series 'Warrant and Proper Function' where he gives what he believes to be a more adequate theory of warrant. Basically, he finds the same kind of problem with all the other theories of warrant. That is, they do not account for cognitive malfunction or someone "messing" with your brain. This is a very interesting counter-example because it implies (as I think he talks about in his next book) that it means something to have properly working cognitive faculties. I think the next question is "proper with respect to what?"

But in any event, this volume does a great job of preparing the reader for what he will do in the next book as well as giving the reader pretty much everything they'd ever want to know about the major views (up to Plantinga) on warrant or justification. I look forward to continuing with the series.
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Format: Paperback
And so begins Plantinga’s vaunted “Warrant Trilogy.” Reviewing this work presents some challenges for me. I read the books in reverse order (WCB, WPF, and finally WCD). Therefore, I have to resist the urge to fault Plantinga in WCD for leaving some points undeveloped when I know he developed them in WPF.

Plantinga begins his work by outlining what “internalism” entails. Internalism implies knowledge as “justification.” I am justified in knowing something if I have fulfilled my epistemic duty with regard to that knowledge. It is “internal” because it suggests special epistemic access.
Justification:
Connection between justification and knowledge
Connotes epistemic responsibility
Internal cognitive access
Match up with evidence

Internalism is often linked with classical or modern foundationalism. The ground of a belief’s justification is the same as the property by which I determine if I am justified in holding it (Plantinga 21).

Ordinary Foundationalism: The evidence of basis on which I form a belief is taken from other, logically prior beliefs. Beliefs that I do not accept on the basis of other beliefs are basic beliefs (68). A foundationalist will reject circular reasoning.

Another epistemological model is coherentism. Coherentism is not foundationalism. A coherentist will hold that belief B is properly basic for person S [iff] B coheres with the rest of S’s noetic structure. Coherentism is not concerned about the transmission of warrant but of its source (79).

Plantinga gives a number of reasons on why these internalist models fail. He then moves to externalist models.

EXTERNALISM

I do not have to have some internal access to truth-making functions.
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