Michael C. Rea

Michael Cannon Rea is an American analytic philosopher and, since 2017, John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy[1] at the University of Notre Dame. He delivered the 2017 Gifford Lecture on divine hiddenness.[2]

The argument against naturalism

In World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Rea argues that naturalists are not justified in accepting either realism about material objects, or realism about other minds, or materialism.[3]

Rea's understanding of naturalism

According to Rea, naturalism is primarily a research program.[4] 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".[5] The core of naturalism is, therefore, something attitudinal.[6] He argues that research programs "cannot be adopted on the basis of evidence".[7] This claim suggests that the naturalist commitment to science is just a secular faith, no better epistemically than standard religion.[8]


  • 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

  • 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


  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.
  2. ^ http://ndsmcobserver.com/2015/09/professors-begin-research-project-transformative-experiences/
  3. ^ Melnyk, Andrew (2004). Mind. 113 (451): 575–581. Missing or empty |title=
  4. ^ World Without Design, p. 73.
  5. ^ World Without Design, p. 2.
  6. ^ Melnyk 2004, p. 576.
  7. ^ World Without Design, pp. 6-7.
  8. ^ Melnyk 2004, 577.

External links

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Peter van Inwagen
President of the Society of Christian Philosophers
Succeeded by
Michael Bergmann

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