Michael C. Rea

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Michael C. Rea is an analytic philosopher and a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in metaphysics and philosophy of religion and has competence in epistemology and applied ethics as well.[1] 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.[2]

The argument against naturalism

Michael Rea argues that naturalists are not justified in accepting either realism about material objects, or realism about other minds, or materialism.[3] 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".[4]

Rea's understanding of naturalism

According to Rea, naturalism is primarily a research program.[5] 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".[6] The core of naturalism is, therefore, something attitudinal.[7] He argues that research programs "cannot be adopted on the basis of evidence".[8] This claim suggests that the naturalist commitment to science is just a secular faith, no better epistemically than standard religion.[9]


  • 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 works

External links


  1. http://www.nd.edu/~mrea/
  2. http://ndsmcobserver.com/2015/09/professors-begin-research-project-transformative-experiences/
  3. 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.
  4. World Without Design, p. 213-214. Melnyk 2004, p. 575-576.
  5. World Without Design, p. 73.
  6. World Without Design, p. 2.
  7. Melnyk 2004, p. 576.
  8. World Without Design, pp. 6-7.
  9. Melnyk 2004, 577.