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Episteme

Abstract

Because it eschews classical foundationalism and coherence theory, one must wonder about the reliability of Plantinga’s radical account of knowledge of God’s existence. How does his appeal to proper basicality and epistemic warrant fair against Keith Lehrer’s objections? The answer: not very well. The author gives an analysis of Plantinga’s proper functionality concept, his grounds for warranted belief, and his anticipated response to what he calls the Great Pumpkin Objection. Next, the author presents Lehrer’s two counterexamples, Mr. Truetemp and Ms. Prejudice, and supports Lehrer’s claims that they show that proper functionality is neither a sufficient nor necessary condition for knowledge. Plantinga cannot save himself by drawing a dubious distinction between cognitive process and cognitive faculty, can he? No. Plantinga goes awry somewhere, and perhaps he should think some more about the Great Pumpkin.

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