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#398 Overall Influence

Alvin Plantinga

American Christian philosopher


Why is this person notable and influential?

Alvin Plantinga currently holds the title of the William Harry Jellema Chair in Philosophy at Calvin University. Previously, Plantinga has taught at Wayne State University and the University of Notre Dame. Additionally, Plantinga was the president of the American Philosophical Association, Western Division from 1981 to 1982. As an undergraduate, Plantinga studied at Jamestown College, Calvin College, and Harvard University. Plantinga went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Michigan, before transferring to Yale University in 1955 and earning his PhD there in 1958.

Plantinga is one of the most prominent Christian philosophers alive today, and all of Plantinga’s work, whether in epistemology, logic, or philosophy of mind, is built on a Christian foundation. From his 1967 books, God and Other Minds, Plantinga argues that a person can assert that they know God exists, without argument, as a basic belief, likening this claim of the knowledge of existence of God to the basic belief that other people have minds through analogy. This basic argument developed into what Plantinga has called “reformed epistemology”, through which Plantinga has argued belief in God is rational and basic without evidence of existence.

Other notable works from Plantinga include Warranted Christian Belief and Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism.

For his work, Plantinga has received numerous honors and awards, including the Templeton Prize, the Nicholas Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellowship, and honorary degrees from universities including Brigham Young University and Glasgow University. Platinga is the namesake for the University of Notre Dame’s Alvin Plantinga Fellowship.

Academic Website

From Wikipedia

Alvin Carl Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher who works primarily in the fields of philosophy of religion, epistemology , and logic.From 1963 to 1982, Plantinga taught at Calvin University before accepting an appointment as the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He later returned to Calvin University to become the inaugural holder of the Jellema Chair in Philosophy.

Source: Wikipedia

Published Works

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What schools is this person affiliated with?

University of Notre Dame

Catholic university located in South Bend, Indiana, United States

Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

University of Michigan

Public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

University of Jamestown

American university

Yale University

Private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Wayne State University

American public research university located in Detroit, Michigan

Calvin University

Private Christian university in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Notable Works

What contributions to academia has this person made?

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#58 World Rank
#59 World Rank
Religious Studies