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Consciousness and the Existence of God

J.P. Moreland (Routledge: Jun 24, 2008), 242 pages.

In Consciousness and the Existence of God, J.P. Moreland argues that the existence of finite, irreducible consciousness (or its regular, law-like correlation with physical states) provides evidence for the existence of God. Moreover, he analyzes and criticizes the top representative of rival approaches to explaining the origin of consciousness, including John Searle’s contingent correlation, Timothy O’Connor’s emergent necessitation, Colin McGinn’s mysteries “‘naturalism,” David Skrbina’s panpsychism and Philip Clayton’s pluralistic emergentist monism. Moreland concludes that these approaches should be rejected in favor of what he calls “‘the Argument from Consciousness.” ~ Product Description


In Consciousness and the Existence of God, J.P. Moreland develops a ground breaking, rigorous, systematic case against naturalism and for theism in light of the evident reality of consciousness. His engagement with contemporary naturalism is vigorous, thorough, and fair. This is essential reading for those with interests in metaphysics and epistemology in general, and philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion in particular. ~ Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College

J. P. Morelands intriguing and well-informed book argues forcefully for the view that a theistic explanation of human consciousness is the only viable alternative to an implausibly strong form of reductive physicalism in the philosophy of mind. It deserves close attention from philosophical naturalists and theists alike, and is written in an engaging and accessible manner that makes it suitable material for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and philosophical theology. ~ E. J. Lowe, Durham University

Table of Contents

    • 1 The epistemic backdrop for locating consciousness in a naturalist ontology 1
    • 2 The argument from consciousness 28
    • 3 John Searle and contingent correlation 53
    • 4 Timothy O’Connor and emergent necessitation 70
    • 5 Colin McGinn and mysterian “naturalism” 95
    • 6 David Skrbina and panpsychism 114
    • 7 Philip Clayton and pluralistic emergentist monism 135
    • 8 Science and strong physicalism 156
    • 9 AC, dualism and the fear of God 175
    • Notes 195
    • Bibliography 221
    • Indexes 230