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Possibility and Permission? Intellectual Character, Inquiry, and the Ethics of Belief

In Pihlstrom S. & Rydenfelt H. (eds.), William James on Religion. (Palgrave McMillan “Philosophers in Depth” Series (2014)

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  1. Problems of Religious Luck: Assessing the Limits of Reasonable Religious Disagreement.Guy Axtell - 2019 - Lanham, MD, USA & London, UK: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield.
    To speak of being religious lucky certainly sounds odd. But then, so does “My faith holds value in God’s plan, while yours does not.” This book argues that these two concerns — with the concept of religious luck and with asymmetric or sharply differential ascriptions of religious value — are inextricably connected. It argues that religious luck attributions can profitably be studied from a number of directions, not just theological, but also social scientific and philosophical. There is a strong tendency (...)
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  • William James on Pragmatism and Religion.Guy Axtell - 2018 - In Jacob Goodson (ed.), William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Ethical Life: The Cries of the Wounded. London: Lexington Books. pp. 317-336.
    Critics and defenders of William James both acknowledge serious tensions in his thought, tensions perhaps nowhere more vexing to readers than in regard to his claim about an individual’s intellectual right to their “faith ventures.” Focusing especially on “Pragmatism and Religion,” the final lecture in Pragmatism, this chapter will explore certain problems James’ pragmatic pluralism. Some of these problems are theoretical, but others concern the real-world upshot of adopting James permissive ethics of belief. Although Jamesian permissivism is qualified in certain (...)
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  • Risk-Limited Indulgent Permissivism.Guy Axtell - manuscript
    This paper argues for a view described as risk-limited indulgent permissivism. This term may be new to the epistemology of disagreement literature, but the general position denoted has many examples. The paper argues for the need for an epistemology for domains of controversial views (morals, philosophy, politics, and religion), and for the advantages of endorsing a risk-limited indulgent permissivism across these domains. It takes a double-edge approach in articulating for the advantages of interpersonal belief permissivism that is yet risk-limited: Advantages (...)
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