Agents Under Fire

Materialism and the Rationality of Science Angus J. L. Menuge

In the first study of its kind, Agents Under Fire defends a robust notion of agency and intentionality against eliminative and naturalistic alternatives, showing the interconnections between the philosophy of mind, theology, and Intelligent Design. Menuge argues that Behe’s irreducible complexity is a challenge to reductionism not only in biology, but also in psychology, and shows the inability of the Darwinian psychology proposed by Dawkins, Dennett, and Steven Pinker to explain the integration, unity, direction, and reliability of rational thought.

This fascinating defense against scientific materialism is the only book-length study relating Intelligent Design to contemporary issues in the philosophy of mind. Drawing on his experience as both a philosopher and a computer scientist, Menuge deftly shows the reader that the materialist’s attempts to rid science of all commitment to teleology can only result in incoherence, and presents instead his own unique argument for the legitimacy of Intelligent Design.


This book moves sharply against the grain of the naturalism and the materialism that dominate contemporary philosophy. It boldly portrays the world as laced with purpose, not just human purpose but divine purpose too. All readers can attend to this adventurous portrayal with very good purpose.

Keith Moser

With marvelous clarity and wit, Angus Menuge lays bare the philosophical incoherence of materialism. He clears the fog to show that the universe contains not only matter and energy; it contains agents.

Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry, Lehigh University

Philosophical naturalism is frequently advocated as the only doctrine that a scientifically informed intellectual of our time can possibly consider. Angus Menuge has shown, however, that a wide range of powerful considerations can be brought forward against this philosophy. Menuge provides a close examination of leading naturalists such as Dawkins, Dennett, and Churchland, and draws upon a wide range of critics from C. S. Lewis to Michael Behe, to provide what is arguably the most comprehensive critique of naturalism yet to appear. A must-read for naturalists and for their opponents.

Victor Reppert, author of C. S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea

In this wonderfully insightful book, Angus Menuge details how intelligent design is systematically dismantling materialism’s scientific and philosophical underpinnings. Though for now materialism persists as academic orthodoxy, Menuge’s withering attack against it in this book signals a coming sea of change.

William Dembski, author of No Free Lunch and The Design Revolution

With marvelous clarity and wit, Angus Menuge lays bare the philosophical incoherence of materialism. He clears the fog to show that the universe contains not only matter and energy; it contains agents.

Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry, Lehigh University

Angus J. L. Menuge

Chair of the Philosophy Department, Concordia University Wisconsin
Angus J. L. Menuge is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Concordia University Wisconsin. He was raised in England and became an American citizen in 2005. He holds a BA (Honors, First Class) in philosophy from Warwick University, and an MA and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has written many peer-reviewed and popular articles on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of law, and the foundation of ethics. He is author of Agents Under Fire (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004) and editor of Legitimizing Human Rights (Ashgate, 2013; Routledge, 2016), and Religious Liberty and the Law (Routledge, 2017). He is co-editor with Jonathan J. Loose and J. P. Moreland of The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism (Blackwell, 2018) and, with Barry W. Bussey, of The Inherence of Human Dignity, volume I and II (Anthem Press, 2021). Menuge is past president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (2012–2018).