A History and Critique of Methodological Naturalism, Joseph B. Onyango Okello
Joseph B. Onyango Okello

A History and Critique of Methodological Naturalism

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Methodological naturalism is the thesis that only natural features can be factored into any legitimate explanation. Moreover, the thesis contends, any attempt to explain natural phenomena by appealing to supernatural features is unscientific and, therefore, illegitimate. This book argues that nothing inherently problematic afflicts possible appeals to supernatural agency in the attempt to explain select phenomena in nature. Reputable philosophers of the ancient and medieval periods, as well as prominent scientists of the early modern era, invoked supernatural agency in their attempts to understand nature. For them, miraculous interventions in nature by a supernatural agent were not unreasonable. However, the super-naturalistic worldview has been replaced by methodological naturalism. The assumptions of two pivotal figures--David Hume and Charles Darwin--brought about this change. This book shows that this change was motivated by unscientific means. Hence, the change itself remains inconsistent with the assumptions of methodological naturalism.
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336 printed pages
Original publication
2016

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