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Knowledge of God

Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley (Wiley-Blackwell: May 2, 2008), 280 pages.

Is belief in God epistemically justified? That’s the question at the heart of this volume in the Great Debates in Philosophy series, with Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley each addressing this fundamental question with distinctive arguments from opposing perspectives. The first half of the book contains each philosopher’s explanation of his particular view; the second half allows them to directly respond to each other’s arguments, in a lively and engaging conversation. Knowledge of God offers the reader a one of a kind, interactive discussion. “It’s difficult to locate this book, since, in the series, there is already a book entitled Atheism and Theism. The difference is that this book is more focused on the rationality of theism — is it reasonable to believe in God — than the question of God’s existence (though the latter obviously informs the former). The book is divided into six sections. Both authors get a 75 page opening statement, a 35 page response, and a final 15 page rejoinder.” ~ Timothy Perrine at

Table of Contents

    • 1 Against Naturalism     Alvin Plantinga     1
    • 2 Does God Exist?     Michael Tooley     70
    • 3 Reply to Tooley’s Opening Statement     Alvin Plantinga     151
    • 4 Reply to Plantinga’s Opening Statement     Michael Tooley    184
    • 5 Can Robots Think? Reply to Tooley’s Second Statement     Alvin Plantinga     218
    • 6 Closing Statement and Response to Plantinga’s Comments     Michael Tooley     233
    • Bibliography     249
    • Index     257


“Knowledge of God is a work of major significance. There is no other debate-style book in the philosophy of religion that packs the intellectual punches thrown by heavy-weights Plantinga and Tooley. Excellent.”  ~ Thomas Senor, University of Arkansas

“A rigorous yet accessible debate on central issues in the philosophy of religion by two leading contributors to the field. When Plantinga and Tooley turn to discuss each other’s views, they shed light not only on these topics but on a whole range of further issues, including minds and materialism, propositional content, evolutionary explanation, and probabilistic reasoning. A first-rate exchange, full of philosophical insight.” ~ Edward Wierenga, University of Rochester