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Organon F

Volume 26, February 2019, Issue 1, Pages 5–24

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Causality, Free Will, and Divine Action

The Many Inadequate Justifications of Methodological Naturalism

Robert A. Larmer



Contrary to proponents’ claims, methodological naturalism is not metaphysically neutral. Consequently, its acceptance as a practice requires justification. Unfortunately for its advocates, attempts to justify it are failures. It cannot be defended as a definition, or a self-imposed limitation, of science, nor, more modestly, as an inductively justified commitment to natural causes. As a practice, it functions not to further scientific investigation, but rather to impose an explanatory straitjacket.


Ad hominem fallacy; nomological science; historical science; supernatural agency; inductive generalization; Robert Pennock.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Robert A. Larmer


University of New Brunswick


Department of Philosophy, University of New Brunswick, 19 Macaulay Lane, Carleton Hall 211, Fredericton NB, E3B 5A3, Canada



About this article


24 May 2018


4 September 2018

Published online

22 January 2019


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Larmer, R. A. (2019). The Many Inadequate Justifications of Methodological Naturalism. Organon F, 26(1), 5–24. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26102


Larmer, Robert A. 2019. "The Many Inadequate Justifications of Methodological Naturalism." Organon F 26 (1): 5–24. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26102


Larmer, R. A. (2019). The Many Inadequate Justifications of Methodological Naturalism. Organon F, 26(1), pp. 5–24. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26102

Copyright information

© Robert A. Larmer

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