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Document Details :
Title: Plantinga, Sosa, and the Swampman
Author(s): SLAGLE, Jim
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 74 Issue: 4 Date: 2012
Alvin Plantinga’s naturalized epistemology is based on the notion of human beings’ cognitive faculties functioning properly in accordance with a design plan. Ernest Sosa has objected that Donald Davidson’s Swampman thought experiment conflicts with Plantinga’s epistemology, since the Swampman could not be said to have a design plan in any sense. As long as the Swampman is possible it damages Plantinga’s account. An analysis of the problems involved leads to the conclusion that Sosa is partially right, Plantinga is mostly right, and the Swampman is metaphysically impossible. Further analysis suggests that modifying the Swampman scenario to make it the product of the laws of nature rather than a random event renders it epistemologically impossible.