Introduction

Judith Walker, Tom Flynn

In this issue, we conclude our three-part series surveying the prospects for naturalism in academic philosophy—and for philosophy as an intellectual bulwark of secular humanism. We also cast a critical spotlight on the role of the John Templeton Foundation in distorting the handling of religious matters in science (which is well known) but also shaping discourse within philosophy in a more religion-friendly way.

In “A Most Unnatural Alliance," Flemish philosopher Maarten Boudry evaluates the threats to academic naturalism. They’re real enough, he acknowledges, as he dissects the attacks on naturalism embodied in the work of theologian—and current Templeton Prize winner—Alvin Plantinga. Even so, Boudry hopes that anti-naturalism will ultimately prove “a rearguard fight in philosophy, and will eventually run out of steam"—though he prefaces that prediction with “I may be overly optimistic." For Boudry, the “unnatural alliance" of science and philosophy benefits both, while it gives little real comfort to frustrated supernaturalists.

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