Dr. Adam Barkman, Associate Professor of Philosophy, will present the faculty colloquium Common Sense—The Reidian Root of Reformed Epistemology.
Thomas Reid’s emphasis on common sense against what he saw as the “metaphysical lunacy” of many of his modernist colleagues, such as Descartes, Hume and Berkeley, was largely ignored in his day, but has had particular resonance with many contemporary Christian philosophers, especially the Reformed Epistemologists—Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff—who, using the template of Reid’s common sense, have developed very particular theories of properly basic beliefs, including the belief that God exists and that Scripture is trustworthy.
Thomas Reid was a Scottish philosopher best known for his philosophical method, his theory of perception and its wide implications on epistemology, and as the developer and defender of an agent-causal theory of free will.
Nicholas Wolterstorff is an American philosopher and a prolific writer with wide-ranging philosophical and theological interests. He has developed and expanded upon a view of religious epistemology that has come to be known as reformed epistemology. He also helped to establish the journal Faith and Philosophy and the Society of Christian Philosophers.
Alvin Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, and the inaugural holder of the Jellema Chair in Philosophy at Calvin College.