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Michael C. Rea is an analytic philosopher and, since 2017, John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy[1] at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in metaphysics and philosophy of religion and has competence in epistemology and applied ethics as well.[2] He is currently writing a book on divine hiddenness, in which he appeals to quantifier pluralism and argues that God cannot be quantified over by humans (although God can quantify over Himself). Also, he is scheduled to give the 2017 Gifford Lectures, where he will also talk about divine hiddenness.[3]


The argument against naturalismEdit

Michael Rea argues that naturalists are not justified in accepting either realism about material objects, or realism about other minds, or materialism.[4] This constitutes a pragmatic case against being a naturalist. These problems can be avoided by the adoption of a supernaturalist research program that "legitimates belief in some sort of supernatural being".[5]

Rea's understanding of naturalismEdit

According to Rea, naturalism is primarily a research program.[6] By a research program he means a particular set of dispositions to "trust certain ways of acquiring information with respect to various topics and to distrust others".[7] The core of naturalism is, therefore, something attitudinal.[8] He argues that research programs "cannot be adopted on the basis of evidence".[9] This claim suggests that the naturalist commitment to science is just a secular faith, no better epistemically than standard religion.[10]


  • World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Clarendon), 2002
  • Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (with Michael Murray). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Metaphysics: The Basics, London: Routledge (under contract)

Edited worksEdit

  • Material Constitution: A Reader. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. ISBN 978-0-8476-8384-0
  • Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, 5th edition (with Louis P. Pojman). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2007. ISBN 978-0-495-09504-0
  • Critical Concepts in Philosophy: Metaphysics, 5 vols., London: Routledge, 2008. ISBN 978-0-415-39751-3
  • Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology (with Thomas P. Flint). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-928920-2
  • Analytic Theology: New Essays in Theological Method (with Oliver D. Crisp). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-920356-7
  • Arguing About Metaphysics. New York: Routledge, 2009. ISBN 978-0-415-95825-7
  • Philosophical and Theological Essays on the Trinity (with Thomas McCall), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-921621-5
  • Oxford Readings in Philosophical Theology, 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-923746-3
  • Divine Evil? The Moral Character of the God of Abraham (with Michael Bergmann and Michael Murray). Oxford University Press, under contract. ISBN 978-0-19-957673-9

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Dame, Marketing Communications: Web // University of Notre. "Michael Rea named John A. O'Brien Chair of Philosophy // Department of Philosophy // University of Notre Dame". Department of Philosophy. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
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  3. ^
  4. ^ Michael C. Rea, World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 8. Discussed in a Book Review by Andrew Melnyk in Mind, Volume 113, Number 451, July 2004, pp. 575-581.
  5. ^ World Without Design, p. 213-214. Melnyk 2004, p. 575-576.
  6. ^ World Without Design, p. 73.
  7. ^ World Without Design, p. 2.
  8. ^ Melnyk 2004, p. 576.
  9. ^ World Without Design, pp. 6-7.
  10. ^ Melnyk 2004, 577.