Saturday, February 09, 2013

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Receives Prestigious Rescher Prize

David J. Theroux, "Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Receives Prestigious Rescher Prize" (The Beacon, Feb. 2, 2013), writes:
The world-renowned philosopher Alvin C. Plantinga has recently received the prestigious Nicholas Rescher Prize for Contributions to Systematic Philosophy, awarded by the University of Pittsburgh’s Departments of Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science, and the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science. Plantinga is widely known for his work in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics and Christian apologetics, and he has revolutionized scholarly interest in Christian theism, shown naturalism/atheism to be self-refuting and incoherent, and set the new standards for the defense of free will, individual agency, consciousness, rational inference, science, objective truth and morality, and more. As a result, Plantinga has both directly influenced the entire field of philosophy and has mentored and inspired new generations of top scholars who are critiquing the reductionism, relativism, materialism, collectivism, scientism, positivism, determinism, and de-humanization of the modern era. In short, Plantinga has devastated the prevailing view in Western elites that human beings are merely “matter in motion” (i.e., purposeless, accidental, robotic products of a closed, natural world ruled solely by physical laws and that truth, reason, morality, and God are illusions).


Robert Allen said...

My Drive with Professor Plantinga:

My last year of graduate school at Wayne State University, our philosophy club brought in Professor Plantinga to give a colloquium. In his lecture he defended the notion of a sensus divinitatis. The atheists amongst the philosophy faculty, which is to say the entire department, gave him hell, which he handled with aplomb. The next morning my job was to drive him from the St. Regis to the train station: Professor Plantinga does not like to fly. It was frigid and snowy. While we were driving, trying to make small talk, I asked him if he'd seen ND's most recent bowl game. He said yes. I then remarked that one of their defensive lineman had played like a terror. He corrected me ever so slightly- "Yes he was a HOLY terror." He then asked me about my dissertation. I said that it was on Wittgenstein. He remarked that that subject probably didn't sit well with my committee. I said yes, "There are lots of Wittgenstein bashers in the department." Alluding to the previous night's festivities, he responded "There are lots of bashers of ALL stripes there." When we arrived at the station his parting comment was "On a morning like this it's good to see those big wheels planted firmly on the ground."

Pertinacious Papist said...

Great story, Mr. Allen. I've always enjoyed Prof. Plantinga as well, particularly his sense of humor and his faith. I was in Philadelphia years ago when he gave a talk at the meetings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association at the Ben Franklin Hotel. After his talk, Plantinga, a member of the Christian (Dutch) Reformed Church with a membership of about 200K, invited any disgruntled Catholics in the crowd who might be interested in coming back to "Mother Church" to see him about becoming Dutch Reformed. Hilarious.