What is the Argument from Design?

  • Thomas McPherson
Part of the New Studies in the Philosophy of Religion book series (NSPR)


The Argument from Design, in one shape or another, goes back to Plato. (On the history of the Argument, see Hurlbutt.) But it is the form of the Argument that David Hume and Immanuel Kant criticised, and William Paley advocated, that has been chiefly of interest to philosophers; that is to say, it is an argument with an eighteenth-century flavour, and, in particular, the criticisms of it put forward in the eighteenth century by Hume have seemed to the majority of subsequent philosophers to be unanswerable. What precisely is the Argument from Design? Let us begin our discussion of it by noting some representative versions.


Natural Theology Empirical Argument Conscious Purpose Spontaneous Thought Representative Version 
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Copyright information

© Thomas McPherson 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas McPherson
    • 1
  1. 1.University CollegeCardiffUK

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