The subject of special divine action, once a vigorous field of academic discussion and debate, fell into comparative neglect in the 20th century as Hume’s famous essay became, in many places, the only piece anyone was required to read on the subject.
Recent work, however, has shaken this consensus severely and brought Hume’s reasoning under heavy fire, providing a welcome opportunity to reopen the subject. For this purpose, it is important to revisit the long history of the discussion, a history that not only anticipates many modern moves but also includes perspectives that can, properly appreciated, advance the state of the art.
TIMOTHY MCGREW is Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University, where he specializes in epistemology, history and philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion. His recent publications include Internalism and Epistemolgy (with Lydia McGrew; Routledge, 2007), The Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology (with Marc Alspector-Kelly and Fritz Allhoff; Blackwell, 2009), “The Argument from Miracles” in William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland, eds., The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (Blackwell, 2009), the article on “Miracles” in the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (2010), the article on “Evidence” in Sven Bernecker and Duncan Pritchard, eds., The Routledge Companion to Epistemology (Routledge, 2011), “The Reliability of Witnesses and Testimony to the Miraculous,” with Lydia McGrew, in Jake Chandler and Victoria Harrison, eds., Probability in the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford, 2012), and “The Argument from Silence,” Acta Analytica 29 (2014).