Contemporaries of Immanuel Kant understood his 'Critique of Pure Reason' and 'Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics' as ultimately solving some of the questions perpetually raised by theists: Is there a God? Can we even answer such a question? Kant's system, and his conclusion, seemed the death knell of respectable philosophizing about divine matterIt is obvious to contemporary philosophers, however, that our fascination with such questions remains undiminished.
It may be that Kant's own system is as much in dispute as the matters he intended to put to rest. It may be that, like Aristotle himself, we remain convinced that Mind lies behind the natural order of things. In any case, philosophers continue to debate those questions raised by the ancient philosophers who turned their minds heavenward to ask about the first of all causeIn 'Natural Theology: Collected Readings', Jean Rioux has provided a good selection of philosophical texts dealing with the existence and nature of God.
They range from a consideration of distinctions from Aristotle's logical works to some of the classical arguments found in the writings of Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, and Paley. Also included are some of the more important passages from the agnostic philosophers: Kant, Hume, Feuerbach, and RusselWhile not intended as a stand-alone text in the philosophy of God, 'Natural Theology: Collected Readings' does supply a number of original texts that collectively form the backbone of traditional considerations of the divine from a philosophical perspective.
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