Suggested Readings on Epistemology

I was recently asked to suggest reading lists on (1) epistemology in general, (2) religious epistemology, and (3) Reformed presuppositional/Van Tilian/Framean epistemology. Here’s my response, in case it’s useful for other folk. Obviously these are just start-up lists, and there may be better introductory texts/articles that I haven’t come across. (Registered users, feel free to make further recommendations in the comments.)

I think the following books should get you up to speed on contemporary epistemology in general (and religious epistemology more specifically):

  • Robert Audi, Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge (3rd ed.)
  • Ernest Sosa et al, eds., Epistemology: An Anthology (2nd ed.)
  • Matthias Steup et al, eds., Contemporary Debates in Epistemology (2nd ed.)
  • William Alston, Perceiving God
  • Alvin Plantinga, Warrant: The Current Debate, Warrant and Proper Function, and Warranted Christian Belief
  • Richard Swinburne, Epistemic Justification
  • John M. DePoe & Tyler McNabb, eds., Debating Christian Religious Epistemology

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has many helpful articles on topics in epistemology, but start with these:

Kelly James Clark’s article “Religious Epistemology” in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides a good overview of the contemporary landscape (along with a helpful bibliography).

On Reformed presuppositional/Van Tilian/Framean epistemology, I recommend the following for starters:

Reformed Perspectives on the Problem of Evil

A correspondent asks:

Could you recommend the best books for me to read on a Reformed perspective on the problem of evil?

I’d recommend the following:

  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, I, chapters 16-18.
  • D. A. Carson, How Long, O Lord? (Baker, 2006).
  • John M. Frame, The Doctrine of God (P&R, 2002), chapter 9.
  • Paul Helm, The Providence of God (IVP, 1994), chapters 7 & 8.
  • James S. Spiegel, The Benefits of Providence (Crossway, 2005), chapter 6.

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor (Crossway, 2006) is very good for a more pastoral perspective.

I’ve heard good things about John Feinberg’s The Many Faces of Evil, but it’s still on my to-read list, so I can’t give a personal recommendation.

Also look out for a forthcoming multi-author volume, Calvinism and the Problem of Evil, edited by David E. Alexander and Daniel M. Johnson (Wipf and Stock). I don’t know exactly when it will be published.

Logic 101

A friend who read the Fallacy Files posts asked me to recommend an introductory logic textbook. The classic textbook is Introduction to Logic by Copi and Cohen. The fact that it’s now in its 13th edition is an indicator of its popularity and success. One of its best features is its extensive use of real-life illustrations of arguments and fallacies. It’s on the expensive side, admittedly, but it’s worth the investment if you’re serious about learning logic. You can probably pick up a second-hand copy for a tolerable price. It’s not crucial to have the latest edition unless you’ll be using it alongside others in a logic class.