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World without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism Paperback – June 24, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199247617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199247615
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"World Without Design is filled with excellent summaries of positions and philosophers and enough provocative argumentation to incite even the most naturalistically minded. It was a pleasure to read! --Christian Scholar's Review


"Rea's is a dense and closely argued book, illustrating the convergence of philosophy of religion and sophisticated metaphysics and representative of the best of Christian philosophy today." --PHILOSOPHIA CHRISTI


About the Author

Michael C. Rea is in the Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Mullins on October 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the other reviews mentioned that this work is a philosophical and scientific argument for the Intelligent Design movement. All I have to say in response to this is, "What book were you reading?" ID is only discussed on a few pages, and Rea is not particularly in favor of the movement.

Michael Rea's work is a fair critique of Naturalism. Several things are worthy of note. First, chapters 2 and 3 are of particular interest as they provide a good historical understanding of Naturalism. Second, throughout the whole work Rea does something different than most critiques of Naturalism. Instead of claiming it as a metaphysical position or a philosophical worldview, Rea argues that Naturalism is best viewed as a methodological research program (sort of like the concept of a research program in contemporary philosophy of science). He claims that metaphysical naturalism is self-referentially incoherent, and for the sake of charity, it is best viewed as a research program. From this basis he offers a critique arguing that as a methodological research program it fails to account for important things like Realism about material objects, and Realism about other minds.

Anyone who is interested in Ontology, Naturalism, Theism, or the philosophy of science should give this book a read. It is philosophically challenging so if you are not willing to engage in extended arguments this work is not for you. If you are looking for cheap shots, name calling, and the like I would suggest going elsewhere.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on February 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whatever you choose to believe, you need to be aware of the consequences of that belief of yours. You might believe in naturalism, following the folks without rational and critical thinking. That's fine. But at least you need to know what that really involves. Read this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Travis Dougherty on February 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As others have mentioned, Rea starts with the premise that Naturalism is a research program - a sort of toolbox of problem solving tactics rather than what we might call a worldview. To me, this puts him on the wrong footing from the start. Naturalism is fundamentally a worldview and a set of core deductive beliefs, a sort of hermeneutic through which all sensory data is interpreted.

I couldn't get past the feeling that it's a dubious sort of argument to argue against Naturalism upon the basis of philosophical realism, when the latter is generally regarded with much greater suspicion than the former.
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12 of 23 people found the following review helpful By The Professor on December 12, 2007
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World without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism is a scholarly review (as one would expect from Oxford University Press) of the scientific and philosophical evidence for Intelligent Design by a Notre Dame professor. He concluded that William Dembski has so far developed the most effective method for detecting design in nature with his specified complexity system (page 216). He then does a good job of summarizing Dembski's argument. Rea also effectively shows the harm of naturalism in Western society today. His discussion of the critical importance of Darwin in the shift to naturalism, and the now open hostility to theism today, is also covered in some detail (see pages 30-31). Rea is very careful in his conclusions, all of which are well documented in 13 pages of references. His critique of Richard Dawkins, such as on page 120-121, is excellent, both fair and balanced, as is this whole book. One important role of this excellent work is to show how important Intelligent Design (i. e. the argument for intelligence from design) has been in Western civilization for the past 2000 years as well as before this time. The book also shows that the modern crusade against Intelligent Design is unfounded and actually irrational.
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