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Atheism and Theism

Atheism and Theism
Co-authored with J.J.C. Smart (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996) this is a volume in the Blackwell ‘Great Debates in Philosophy’ series. The series was inspired by Smart’s famous debate with Bernard Williams: Utilitarianism: For and Against (1973), and Atheism and Theism has been listed by Blackwell as one of ‘Tomorrow’s Classics’. A second enlarged edition was published in 2002. Read Atheism and Theism

Opinions and reviews
“Jack Smart and John Haldane are both remarkable philosophers. Each in his own way possesses the rare combination of formidable dialectical skills, an original vision for philosophy, and immense personal integrity … I do not see how anyone could read this book and not feel that it represents the finest kind of intellectual encounter, and encounter between thinkers who are able to take one another seriously despite a huge difference in world view”.
Hilary Putnam, Harvard University.

“Philosophers of both theistic and atheistic persuasions will find this important new debate on theism particularly interesting for themselves and for their students. Haldane and Smart show that the dispute over the existence of God is very much alive among the best philosophers at the end of the twentieth century”.
Linda Zagzebski, Loyola Marymount University.

“The discussions contain some outstanding treatments. I think particularly of Haldane’s exposition of the cosmological argument and the discussion by both of divine eternity”.
W.P. Alston, The Philosophical Quarterly.

“One of the many pleasing features of the book is the clarity and lack of evasion shown by the authors … ”.
James Baillie, Philosophical Books.

“This debate … is conducted with mutual respect, and in a thoroughly gentlemanly fashion. Given the character of the participants that is hardly surprising. Yet there is a more material reason why Jack Smart and John Haldane dispute so cordially: they share considerable common ground”.
John Bishop, Sophia.

 “[T]his Great Debate takes place between two broad-minded philosophers for the benefit of other philosophers of whatever specialism, students of philosophy and the general interested public. … I warmly recommend it to readers who want to make up their own minds on the issue of theism and atheism”.
Stefaan CuypersInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies:

“Their discussion is a model of clarity and charity. It is also a sure indication of the fact that philosophers can keep their feet on the ground while discussing difficult issues … both authors have produced a text which well indicates how and why theists and atheists can think as they do. Among the many books recently published in the area of philosophy of religion, it stands out as one to be taken very seriously”.

Brian Davies, The Tablet

“John Haldane’s formulation of what he calls “analytical Thomism” is an important contribution to the on-going debate about theism and deserves to be given very serious attention”.
Richard Gale & Alexander Pruss, Faith and Philosophy

“This [is an] engagingly written book …  it is an abundant source of suggestive and illuminating considerations ”.
Russell Panier, Review of Metaphysics

“One of the impressive aspects of Haldane’s beautifully written essay is the number of deep issues he engages with and makes important contributions to … he takes on naturalism, physicalist reductionism, as-if teleology, anti-realism, the anthropic principle and computer models of mind”.
Robin Le Poidevin, European Journal of Philosophy:

“[A]s I suspect many atheists would agree, John Haldane does a first class job, and his careful introduction of Thomism to issues in analytical philosophy should win theism some new friends, if not converts”.
Hayden Ramsay, New Blackfriars.

“[This] is a very engaging and much needed addition to the ‘Great Debates in Philosophy’ series … Smart holds that the denial of God’s existence is supported by his metaphysics based on a methodological principle that plausibility in the light of total science is an essential guide to metaphysical truth … Haldane responds by giving a comprehensive and original outline of a broadly Thomistic metaphysics, updated and clarified by the methods of analytical philosophy”.
Tadeusz Szubka, Canadian Philosophical Reviews.

Additional reviews in Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Dialogue, Heythrop Journal, Mind, New Blackfriars, Philosophical Books, Philosophical Review, Ratio, Religious StudiesReviews in Religion and Theology,  and other journals.

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