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date: 23 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the two kinds of philosophical critiques of natural theology: external and internal critiques. External critiques take aim at the whole project, objecting to the metaphysics, epistemology, or theory of values that make natural theology possible at all. Internal critiques allow that natural theology can (in principle) succeed but none of its arguments are cogent or meet high philosophical standards. Among external critiques, Kant's seeks to undermine all metaphysics, as do contemporary forms of nonrealism. The chapter demonstrates that external philosophical critiques of natural theology have been less than successful, and also considers four internal critiques: the incoherence of theism, the poverty of theism, Humean uniqueness, and Kantian disappointment.

Keywords: natural theology, external critique, internal critique, Kant, Hume, theism

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