The Varieties of Scientific Experience is the published version of Carl Sagan’s 1985 Gifford Lectures given at the University of Glasgow. Capturing the lectures’ engaging tone, the volume consists of personal reflections on topics ranging from astrophysics and extraterrestrial life to human evolution and nuclear warfare. Sagan argues for the necessity of a worldview that adequately incorporates scientific knowledge and that, by consequence, is continually readjusting to account for new understandings of the cosmos and humanity’s place within it.
In Wandering in Darkness Eleonore Stump offers a new approach to theodicy by means of a unique combination of medieval metaphysics and biblical narrative. The work is divided into four parts. In the first part Stump presents her methodology arguing for the need to combine analytic and other means of knowledge. In the second part she presents the presuppositions for her theodicy, drawing on Aquinas’ thought. In the third part she outlines four biblical narratives of suffering and presents a detailed analysis of them.
In Warrant and Proper Function, Alvin Plantinga establishes a basic set of four criteria by which one can judge a belief to have warrant, explicates those criteria with respect to various types of knowing, and defends the claim that naturalism in epistemology requires supernaturalism in metaphysics. The four criteria Plantinga gives for establishing warrant are as follows.
In this first of his impressive trilogy on epistemology, Alvin Plantinga surveys the current offerings surrounding the concept of warrant. Warrant is that which distinguishes knowledge from mere true belief. Plantinga notes the confusion around the interrelation of justification, knowledge and evidence, and even more foundationally, over the nature of justification itself.
In Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism Alvin Plantinga addresses philosophically the perennial question of the conflict between science and religion. Plantinga’s thesis is that ‘there is a superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion, but superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism’. The work is divided into four parts. In the first two parts Plantinga discusses the alleged conflict between science and religion, arguing that this is at most superficial.
In Who’s in Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain Michael Gazzaniga puts forward a powerful case against neurological determinism, arguing that even given current insights into the physical workings of the brain there is no reason to downgrade human free will or moral responsibility.
In the published version of his Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of St Andrews in 2001, With the Grain of the Universe, Stanley Hauerwas considers William James (Chapters 2–3), Reinhold Niebuhr (Chapters 4–5) and Karl Barth (Chapters 6–7) in an effort to make the argument “that natural theology divorced from a full doctrine of God cannot but help distort the character of God and, accordingly, of the world in which we find ourselves.”[p.
The first volume is entitled The Four Historical Conceptions of Being and consists in the revised texts of the first series of ten lectures delivered by Royce between January 11th and February 1st 1899. The text of Lecture VII, the most central, is considerably longer than the original version. This volume also includes a supplementary essay entitled “The One, the Many and the Infinite.” The text of this essay does not correspond to any of the original lecture material.
This volume contains revised versions of the second series of lectures delivered during January 1900. The volume is entitled Nature, Man, and the Moral Order, and it contains an extensive analytical index covering both this and the previous volume.