Alvin Plantinga is a widely published philosopher. His published works cover the philosophical areas of epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. Since 1982 he has been the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame University. Prior to his current appointment he served on the faculty of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Professor Plantinga is best known for his work in the Philosophy of Religion, and he has written three books on topics in that area. They are: “God and Other Minds”, published by Cornell University Press in 1967, “God, Freedom and Evil”, published by Harper Torchbooks in 1974, and “Warranted Christian Belief”, published by Oxford University Press in 2000. His next best known area is in Metaphysics. His book in this area is “The Nature of Necessity”, published by Oxford University Press in 1974. His third area of interest is Epistemology, specifically on the concept of Warrant. He has written three books on that topic. One of the books is listed above. The other two are: “Warrant: The Current Debate”, published by Oxford University Press in 1993, and “Warrant and Proper Function”, also published by Oxford University Press in 1993. In addition he has written “Does God Have a Nature?”, published by Marquette University Press in 2000.
Professor Plantinga did his undergraduate work at Calvin College and earned his A.B. Degree in 1954. He then did one year of graduate work at the University of Michigan where he earned his M.A. in 1955. His doctoral graduate work was done in the Philosophy Department of Yale University from where he received his Ph.D. Degree in 1958. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, appointed him to an Assistant Professorship in the Philosophy Department in 1958. He quickly rose to Associate Professor, and in 1963 he moved back to his alma mater, Calvin College, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy.
During his long academic career, Plantinga has been quite active and prolific in his chosen field of study. In addition to the more than one dozen books he has published, he also authored or co-authored well over 100 papers. To be sure they were not all academic papers, but many were. His work has also caught the attention of his colleagues in the Philosophy profession. About a dozen books have in whole or in part responded to his past books and other publications, both critical and laudatory.
Professor Plantinga has also been quite active in his profession as a participant in and contributor to academic societies. He was elected to be the President of the American Philosophical Association, Central Division, from 1981 to 1982. He also served as the President of the Society of Christian Philosophers from 1983 to 1986.
Professor Plantinga has been honored with named lectureships at many universities and colleges. Some of these were at prestigious universities, such as Oxford University in 1976 and 1980, the University of Arizona in 1977, Wayne State University in 1984, Fordham University in 1986, Princeton University in 1990, Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1991, the Ohio State University in 1993, the University of Western Ontario in 1993, the University of Oklahoma in 1994, and the University of Florida in 1995, among others.
Spending time at other universities keeps a professor informed what goes on at other campuses. Plantinga was able to do quite a bit of this during his academic career. He held the position of Visiting Lecturer at the University of Illinois in 1960, Visiting Professor at Harvard University from 1964 to 1965, Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago in 1967, and in the same year also Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. In 1969 he was Visiting Professor at Boston University. The following year, in 1970 he was Visiting Professor at Indiana University. In 1972 he spent one semester at the University of California, Los Angeles, and in 1980 he spent a full term at the University of Arizona.
The ultimate honor for an academic is to be awarded Honorary Academic Degrees by other universities or colleges. Professor Plantinga was awarded an Honorary Degree by Glasgow University in 1982, by Calvin College in 1986, by North Park College in 1994, by the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1995, by Brigham Young University in 1996, and by Valparaiso University in 1999.
Professor Plantinga was also honored by his colleagues in his and other related academic fields. Among others he was named a Fellow by the Advanced Study for the Behavioral Sciences, 1968-1969, a Guggenheim Fellow, 1971-1972, and a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1975.
Alvin Plantinga was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 15, 1932. He spent his boyhood in Minnesota. His outdoor interests are in mountain climbing. He is married and has four children.
Alvin Plantinga, http://philosophy.nd.edu/people/alvin-plantinga/
Alvin Plantinga, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Plantinga
Curriculum Vitae of Alvin Plantinga, www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/plantinga/cv.html
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