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An Introduction to Design Arguments

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Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy

  • Date Published: February 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521183031

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  • The history of design arguments stretches back to before Aquinas, who claimed that things which lack intelligence nevertheless act for an end to achieve the best result. Although science has advanced to discredit this claim, it remains true that many biological systems display remarkable adaptations of means to ends. Versions of design arguments have persisted over the centuries and have culminated in theories that propose an intelligent designer of the universe. This volume is the only comprehensive survey of 2,000 years of debate, drawing on both historical and modern literature to identify, clarify and assess critically the many forms of design argument for the existence of God. It provides a neutral, informative account of the topic from antiquity to Darwin, and includes concise primers on probability and cosmology. It will be of great value to upper-level undergraduates and graduates in philosophy of religion, theology, and philosophy of science.

    • The only comprehensive survey of design arguments and their history
    • Explores design arguments from antiquity through to Darwin
    • Neutral and informative discussion of the topic which will be accessible to students
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521183031
    • length: 347 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.69kg
    • contains: 34 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Introduction
    2. Preliminaries
    3. Arguments from antiquity
    4. Medieval arguments
    5. The golden age of natural theology
    6. Unusual design arguments
    7. Hume
    8. Paley
    9. Darwin
    10. Loose ends
    11. The modern likelihood argument
    12. Intelligent design I: irreducible complexity
    13. Intelligent design II: specified complexity
    14. What is complexity?
    15. Supernatural agents and the role of laws
    16. A brief survey of physical law
    17. Fine-tuning I: positive arguments
    18. Fine-tuning II: objections
    19. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Benjamin C. Jantzen, Virginia College of Technology
    Benjamin C. Jantzen is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Tech. He has published papers in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Biophysical Journal, Philosophy of Science, and Synthese. His work on formal methods in the philosophy of religion has been published in Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society and in the anthology Probability in the Philosophy of Religion (2012).

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