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Fiona Ellis

Fiona Ellis is Reader in Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London, and Director for the Centre for Philosophy of Religion. Her most recent book is God, Value, and Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 2016), and she is currently editing a collection of papers New Models of Religious Understanding (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). This collection originated from a project which was a sub-grant of the Templeton funded Varieties of Understanding project, and Ellis was the director. She is currently co-directing a project on Religious Experience and Desire for which she has a research fellowship at the University of Notre Dame.

God, naturalism, and the limits of science

Birmingham 2016

My target will be an approach which suggests that science is unlimited in its scope in the sense that it is ‘the measure of all things’. This is scientific naturalism, it is supposedly the main programmatic orientation of Anglo-American philosophy, and it is deeply problematic. Having set out the relevant difficulties, I shall consider a more expansive form of naturalism which, I argue, can be extended in a theistic direction. Expansive naturalism has important implications for how we think about the limits of science and its bearing upon the science versus religion debate. I spell out some of these implications and conclude that we should be expansive naturalists.