General


I just came across this interesting interview with Alvin Plantinga, where he nicely cites me:

Q: What atheists writing today do you think are the most even-handed or doing the best work for the areas you’re working on (e.g. religious epistemology and the science/religion conflict)?

Plantinga: I guess I would say Michael Tooley would be one. Another would be Paul Draper, although he’s not really an atheist but more of an agnostic. So if you include agnostics I would include Paul Draper. Another would be Bradley Monton. I think he is an atheist and he writes very well on fine tuning and that sort of thing.

This is an absolutely brilliant book review. Krauss is a really smart guy in some ways, but horribly simple-minded in others. He represents a lot of what I don’t like about the contemporary atheist movement: treating theism as obviously wrong, and religious people as obviously misguided. While I agree with Krauss’s atheism, I recognize that Krauss and I might well be wrong; we should show the appropriate level of intellectual humility. 

I’ll be speaking at this conference on time travel at North Carolina State on April 9; it should be enjoyable!

Call For Papers: The 27th Boulder Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science

University of Colorado at Boulder

September 23rd – 25th, 2011

 

The Boulder Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science is an annual event focusing on a key topic in history and philosophy of science. Special invitations are extended to scholars in the Colorado area, but national and international participants are equally welcome.

 

This year’s topic is: History and Philosophy of Physics

 

Keynote speakers:

Daniel Kennefick (Department of Physics, University of Arkansas)

Laura Ruetsche (Department of Philosophy, University of Michigan)

 

 

Papers on any aspect of the history or philosophy of science are encouraged. Since the conference focus this year will be on history and philosophy of physics, some preference will be given to papers that focus on topics related to either of those areas.

 

To be considered for the program, either submit a completed paper with short abstract, or an extended (up to 1000 words) abstract. (Graduate students are asked to submit a completed paper.)

 

Any questions may be directed to one of the two conference organizers: Allan Franklin (Department of Physics, allan.franklin@colorado.edu) or Bradley Monton (Department of Philosophy, monton@colorado.edu). Submissions are due by 15 July 2011 and should be sent as an email attachment ( in .doc or .pdf format) to both Professors Franklin and Monton. Acceptances will be announced by 1 August 2011.

 

Graduate students are encouraged to submit for the program; those whose papers are accepted will receive a modest stipend of $100 to help offset expenses.

 

The Committee on the History and Philosophy of Science at University of Colorado at Boulder is cosponsored by the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, the Center for the Humanities and the Arts, and by the following University of Colorado Departments:  Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Geological Sciences; History; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Philosophy; Mathematics; and Physics.

 

 

Due to threats that I’m not in the mood to deal with, I have removed this post.

I’m on the editorial board of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, and I’m pleased to announce this new essay prize. (For the record, Jon Kvanvig, not I, gets the credit for helping to put together this prize.)

$8000 Younger Scholars Prize in Philosophical Theology

The Younger Scholars Prize program, funded by The Ammonius Foundation and administered by the Editorial Board of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, is an annual essay competition open to scholars who are within ten (10) years of receiving a Ph.D. or students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program. Independent scholars may also be eligible, and should direct inquiries to the Editor of OSPR (see below). The award is $8,000, and winning essays will be published in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.

Submitted essays must report original research in philosophical theology. Essays should generally be between 7,500 and 15,000 words; longer essays may be considered, but authors must seek prior approval by providing the Editor with an abstract and a word count prior to submission. Since winning essays will appear in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, submissions must not be under review elsewhere. To be eligible for next year’s prize, submissions must be received, electronically, by 31 August 2010. Refereeing will be blind; authors should omit remarks and references that might disclose their identities. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged by e-mail. The winner will be determined by a committee of members of the Editorial Board of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, and will be announced in late October or early November 2010. (The Editorial Board reserves the right to extend the deadline further, if no essay is chosen.) Each entry will be simultaneously considered for publication in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, independently of the prize.

Inquiries should be directed to the Editor, Jonathan Kvanvig, at jonathan_kvanvig at baylor.edu, or by post through regular mail at:

Professor Jonathan Kvanvig

OSPR Younger Scholars Prize

Philosophy Department

Baylor University

One Bear Place #97273

Waco, TX 76798-7273

A nice summary/review of my book has been posted here. (Sheperd Project ran the Castle Rock ID conference I went to a few months ago.)

Here’s the most interesting part of the review:

Personally, my own conclusion is that Monton is coming across much like a judge presiding over a court case. He’s pointing out valid arguments, weeding out the unnecessary fluff, and willing to let the two sides present their cases. And he does so in a respectable manner, fairly summarizing both points of views. And while his conclusions lean towards an atheist worldview, the majority of the book is concerned with letting the court case unfold, and not so much about his personal final sentencing.

As a pilot project, Broadview Press has made three of their books available electronically for purchase, and mine is one of the three. You can get the electronic edition of my book here.

William Lane Craig has written up his thoughts on his debate with Ayala, and he also made a positive mention of my book. (If you register for free at his web site, you can get his thoughts here; otherwise the most important parts have been quoted here.)

Here’s what he had to say about my book:

Another interesting feature of this debate was the moderator, a young philosopher from the University of Colorado, Boulder, named Bradley Monton. Though a self-confessed atheist, Monton is convinced that the typical refutations of ID that pass muster today are in fact fallacious, and so he has written a book defending not only the scientific status of ID but even its being taught as an option in public schools! Having read his remarkable book in preparation for the debate, I was able to quote “our esteemed moderator” to good effect during the debate itself to counter Ayala’s assertion that ID was not science.

 

My review of Gregory Dawes’ Theism and Explanation is out in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. You can read it here.

Here’s the last paragraph of the review:

One interesting aspect to this book is that Dawes never tells us whether he is a theist or an atheist. I take it that he is a theist, but I did wonder whether that was really the case when I saw how high he was setting the bar: theistic explanations must fulfill the optimality condition to even be in the running, and they don’t fare well when measured up against some of the six explanatory virtues under consideration. It’s unfair of me to think this way though — I shouldn’t just assume that a theistic philosopher will assess the virtues of theistic explanations in a different way than an atheistic philosopher would. Instead, my default presumption should be that a good philosopher like Dawes will make fair-minded, intelligent assessments of how theistic explanations fare, regardless of his personal beliefs about whether or not there is a God. The intellectual climate around theistic explanations, especially as relating to theistic explanations for scientific phenomena, has been somewhat poisoned by all the rhetoric regarding intelligent design. While Dawes talks about intelligent design here and there in his book, he never does so in an emotive, unfair way. It’s a virtue of this book that one comes away thinking that Dawes is fair-minded and intelligent — and that this assessment will hold regardless of whether one thinks that Dawes believes in God.

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