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670 BOOK REVIEWS featured address, and Nichols spoke briefly of his book and particularly of the Anglican Uniate jurisdiction suggested in the concluding chapter. A correspondent for The Tablet, sitting in the front row and sputtering (occasionally calling out "rubbish!") during Fr. Nichols's remarks, virtually ignored the address by Bishop Leonard and blasted Fr. Nichols in his column the following week. In some ways the event is a commentary on the book: Anglicans feel it is telling them that all of their problems will be solved if they become Catholics, and Catholics fear it is warning them that if they do not toe the line they will wind up like Anglicans; and the book is, in reality, doing neither. Dominican House ofStudies Washington, D.C. W. BECKET SOULE, 0.P. Ratwnal Faith: Catlwlic Responses to Rejorm£d Epistemology. Edited by LINDA ZAGZEBSKI. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1993. Pp. 272. $32.95 (cloth). "The hidden things of God," St. Paul writes, "can be clearly understood from the things that he has made." The question of whether this understanding requires the use of natural reason is a central issue in this book. Linda Zagzebski, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, assembles nine essays authored by philosophers well-versed in both AngloAmerican philosophy and Catholicism to respond to Christian philosophers in the Calvinist tradition (e.g., Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and George Mavrodes) who have argued that the rationality of religious belief is separate from the allegedly problematic arguments for God's existence. The collection is important both for the questions is raises about reformed epistemology and for the new directions it suggests in defending natural theology. In ''The Foundations of Theism Again: A Rejoinder to Plantinga" Philip Quinn agrees with Plantinga that it is possible for some human beings to be within their epistemic rights in believing the following two propositions without recourse to the arguments of natural theology: (1) God is speaking to me. (2) God disapproves of what I have done. Quinn concedes that there may be conditions in which such beliefs are "properly basic," i.e., not based on other beliefs and not supported by propositional evidence. According to Plantinga, such claims are grounded in experiences that, together with other circumstances, justify one in accepting them. BOOK REVIEWS 671 For example, upon reading the Bible, I may be impressed with a deep sense that God is speaking to me. This experience itself may provide the appropriate justification for my belief. For Plantinga, these properly held basic beliefs self-evidently entail the claim that God exists. Hence, natural theology is not necessary to secure the rationality of religious beliefs. While Quinn agrees that it is possible that such beliefs are properly basic for believers in special situations, for most believers such beliefs are not properly basic. For instance, intellectually sophisticated adults in our culture could not take (1) or (2) as properly basic, since they are familiar with the tradition stemming from Feuerbach and Freud of explaining theistic belief projectively . This possibility provides a sufficiently substantial reason to reject these properly basic beliefs, i.e., to think that potential defeaters of these religious claims are true. Plantinga has responded that the theist can have intrinsic defeaters of a defeater like the one that Quinn considers. An intrinsic defeater-defeater is a basic belief that has more by way of warrant than some of its potential defeaters. Plantinga writes, When God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, the belief that God was speaking to him, I daresay, had more by way of warrant for him than would have been provided for its denial by an early Freudian who strolled by and proposed the thesis that belief in God is merely a matter of neurotic wish fulfillment. (''The Foundations of Theism: A Reply," in Faith and Philosophy 3 (1986]: 312). But, having a deep sense that God is speaking to me upon reading the Bible does not carry with it the warrant that having the experience of being spoken to out of a burning bush does. While Moses may have had an intrinsic defeater of defeaters, Quinn correctly observes that the ordinary believer lacks...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 670-674
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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