Epistemology

The first order of business for a worldview is to represent reality more or less accurately. The articles in this section present scientific empiricism as the rational basis for worldview naturalism, as contrasted with less reliable ways of knowing.

Articles in this Section

Related Content from Other Sections

  • Rational Optimism: Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now, Book Review

    Pinker is a conditional, rational optimist, not a Panglossian, about the prospects for continued global economic and moral progress. There is much we need to do, and can do, if we set our minds to it, to advance human flourishing and protect against existential threats. Besides making the rational case for science and reason itself, his book offers guidance on defending and augmenting the success we’ve achieved on multiple fronts, economic, political, and social. Hope for the human project is justified if we act on behalf of, and on the basis of, the Enlightenment ideals that Pinker argues account for our progress thus far.

  • Naturalism and Well-Being, Article
    Chapter for "Beyond Religion," Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks
  • Saving Secularism: The Open Interrogation of Faith, Book Review

    How can secular liberals (including many progressive naturalists and religionists) best defend a pluralistic, diverse, open society against the authoritarian and absolutist opposition?

  • Projecting God: The Psychology of Theological Justification, Book Review

    Theologian John F. Haught argues that science isn't our best and most reliable means of knowing ultimate reality; rather, there are other means involving subjective experience which put us directly in touch with God. But why should we trust such experience? Haught's says this trust is justified because God exists, but this presumes what needs to be proved. His brand of theological cognition violates some basic epistemic norms that should constrain any description of the world which aims for objectivity. His concept of God seems vague, contradictory, and is clearly driven by human psychological needs.

  • The Specter of Scientism, Article
    A thorough-going naturalism, based in science, offers significant resources in the quest for a humane and equitable planetary culture.
  • The Specter of Brain Science, or How the New Age Might Lose Consciousness, Article
    There's no need to resort to pseudo-science to defend our humanity or discover life's significance. The physical world is the marvelously sufficient basis for our highest capacities, including the capacity to discover meaning in a wholly natural universe.
  • The Cognitive Commitments of Naturalism – A Dialog, Article
    A dialog on naturalism between Richard Carrier and David Macarthur in response to questions raised by Gabriel Mihalache.
  • Consciousness Evolving: Can Enlightenment Save the Planet?, Article
    An analysis of "What Is Enlightenment?" magazine suggests we’d be better off sticking with mainstream science to avoid global catastrophe.