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On Cussing in Church: In Defense of What’s Within?

Cowie, Fiona (2001) On Cussing in Church: In Defense of What’s Within? Mind and Language, 16 (2). pp. 231-245. ISSN 0268-1064. doi:10.1111/1468-0017.00167.

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In his testimony in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F.Supp.1255 (E.D. Ark. 1982), Michael Ruse cites the lack of integrity and closed-mindedness of Creationists—in addition to Creationism’s untestability, absence of predictive power and tendency to appeal to miracles by way of ‘explanation’ of natural phenomena—as reasons to deny Creationism scientific status. While one may quibble with Ruse’s contention that the character of its advocates bears on Creationism’s claim to be a science, one can at least agree with him that it’s pointless to attempt to shake Creationists from their beliefs by the application of reasoned argument and evidence. Arguing with Creationists, as Ruse’s testimony emphasizes, is like arguing with the business end of a cricket bat: however many bits of empirical evidence or carefully-fashioned argument you lob at them, they whack them undigested right back at you, only harder and a lot nastier. Arguing with Nativists is sometimes like that too. Thus, it is a great relief to find Louise Antony and Robert Matthews expressing their critical reactions to What’s Within? (Cowie 1999) in such reasonable and respectful terms. I am grateful to them for transforming what might have been a thankless task—the writing of this response—into a welcome opportunity to conclude what has clearly been for all of us an illuminating and enriching exchange.

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Alternate Title:On Cussing in Church: In Defense of What’s Within? Response to Antony and Matthews
Additional Information:Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 2001. Issue published online: 17 DEC 2002. Article first published online: 17 DEC 2002. NOTE (2015): This paper is a response to critiques by Louise Antony and Bob Matthews at an Author Meets Critics session on my What’s Within at the APA Eastern Division Meeting, Boston, Ma., December 28th, 1999. The papers in the session were published as a symposium in Mind and Language, 16, 2001. This paper, with some changes affecting mostly its tone, appears there as 'On Cussing in Church: in Defense of What's Within,' Mind and Language, 16, 2001, pp. 231-245.
Issue or Number:2
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Official Citation:Cowie, F. (2001), On Cussing in Church: In Defence of What’s Within?. Mind & Language, 16: 231–245. doi: 10.1111/1468-0017.00167
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
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Deposited On:13 Oct 2015 23:41
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:42

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