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Keywords:

  • epistemically ideal conditions;
  • epistemology;
  • evolution;
  • internal realism (IR);
  • metaphysical realism (MR);
  • naturalism;
  • Alvin Plantinga;
  • Michael Ruse;
  • theism;
  • truth

In Michael Ruse's recent publications, such as Taking Darwin Seriously (1998) and Evolutionary Naturalism (1995), he has advocated a certain sort of evolutionary epistemology and has argued that it implies a rejection of metaphysical realism (MR) in favor of a position that he calls “internal realism” (IR). Additionally, he has maintained that, insofar as his evolutionary epistemology implies a rejection of MR in favor of IR, it escapes the kind of argument against naturalism that Alvin Plantinga makes in his Warrant and Proper Function (1993). In this article I explain the relevant views and arguments of Ruse and Plantinga, and I critically engage with Ruse's views, arguing that (1) his case for rejecting MR has no essential connection to evolutionary considerations; (2) his case for rejecting MR depends upon internalist assumptions about the nature of knowledge that are in need of some kind of defense; and (3) given his implicit internalism and his commitment to IR, his argument for rejecting MR can be used against his IR.