From Scripture to Fantasy: Adrian Johnston and the Problem of Continental Fundamentalism


  • Richard Scott Bakker Independant Scholar


Intentionalism, Eliminativism, Humanities, Heuristics, Speculative Materialism


Abstract: Only the rise of science allowed us to identify scriptural ontologies as fantastic conceits, as anthropomorphizations of an indifferent universe. Now that science is beginning to genuinely disenchant the human soul, history suggests that traditional humanistic discourses are about to be rendered fantastic as well. Via a critical reading of Adrian Johnston's ‘transcendental materialism,' I attempt to show both the shape and the dimensions of the sociocognitive dilemma presently facing Continental philosophers as they appear to their outgroup detractors. Trusting speculative a priori claims regarding the nature of processes and entities under scientific investigation already excludes Continental philosophers from serious discussion. Using such claims, as Johnston does, to assert the fundamentally intentional nature of the universe amounts to anthropomorphism. Continental philosophy needs to honestly appraise the nature of its relation to the scientific civilization it purports to decode and guide, lest it become mere fantasy, or worse yet, conceptual religion.

Author Biography

Richard Scott Bakker, Independant Scholar

Author of eight novels and numerous stories and articles, including most recently, "On Alien Philosophy," Journal of Consciousness Studies, (forthcoming).




How to Cite

Bakker, R. S. (2017). From Scripture to Fantasy: Adrian Johnston and the Problem of Continental Fundamentalism. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 13(1), 522–551. Retrieved from



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