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Rational Faith and Justified Belief

In Timothy O'Connor & Laura Frances Callahan (eds.), Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-73 (2014)

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  1. Can the Demands of Justice Always Be Reconciled with the Demands of Epistemology? Testimonial Injustice and the Prospects of a Normative Clash.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (4):537-558.
    ABSTRACT In this paper I argue that there are possible cases in which the demands of justice and the norms of epistemology cannot be simultaneously satisfied. I will bring out these normative clashes in terms of the now-familiar phenomenon of testimonial injustice. While the resulting argument is very much in the spirit of two other sorts of argument that have received sustained attention recently – arguments alleging epistemic partiality in friendship, and arguments that motivate the hypothesis of moral encroachment on (...)
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  • Analysis of Faith.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12517.
    In recent years, many philosophers of religion have turned their attention to the topic of faith. Given the ubiquity of the word “faith” both in and out of religious contexts, many of them have chosen to begin their forays by offering an analysis of faith. But it seems that there are many kinds of faith: religious faith, non‐religious faith, interpersonal faith, and propositional faith, to name a few. In this article, I discuss analyses of faith that have been offered and (...)
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  • Disagreement and Religion.Matthew A. Benton - 2021 - In Matthew A. Benton & Jonathan L. Kvanvig (eds.), Religious Disagreement and Pluralism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-40.
    This chapter covers contemporary work on disagreement, detailing both the conceptual and normative issues in play in the debates in mainstream analytic epistemology, and how these relate to religious diversity and disagreement. §1 examines several sorts of disagreement, and considers several epistemological issues: in particular, what range of attitudes a body of evidence can support, how to understand higher-order evidence, and who counts as an epistemic “peer”. §2 considers how these questions surface when considering disagreements over religion, including debates over (...)
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  • A Faithful Response to Disagreement.Lara Buchak - 2021 - The Philosophical Review 130 (2):191-226.
    In the peer disagreement debate, three intuitively attractive claims seem to conflict: there is disagreement among peers on many important matters; peer disagreement is a serious challenge to one’s own opinion; and yet one should be able to maintain one’s opinion on important matters. I show that contrary to initial appearances, we can accept all three of these claims. Disagreement significantly shifts the balance of the evidence; but with respect to certain kinds of claims, one should nonetheless retain one’s beliefs. (...)
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  • Trusting in Order to Inspire Trustworthiness.Michael Pace - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11897-11923.
    This paper explores the epistemology and moral psychology of “therapeutic trust,” in which one trusts with the aim of inspiring greater trust-responsiveness in the trusted. Theorists have appealed to alleged cases of rational therapeutic trust to show that trust can be adopted for broadly moral or practical reasons and to motivate accounts of trust that do not involve belief or confidence in someone’s trustworthiness. Some conclude from the cases that trust consists in having normative expectations and adopting vulnerabilities with respect (...)
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  • Beyond Belief : On the Nature and Rationality of Agnostic Religion.Carl-Johan Palmqvist - 2020 - Printed in Sweden by Media-Tryck, Lund University.
    It is standardly assumed that a religious commitment needs to be based upon religious belief, if it is to be rationally acceptable. In this thesis, that assumption is rejected. I argue for the feasibility of belief-less religion, with a focus on the approach commonly known as “non-doxasticism”. According to non-doxasticism, a religious life might be properly based on some cognitive attitude weaker than belief, like hope, acceptance or belief-less assumption. It provides a way of being religious open exclusively to the (...)
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  • Testimony, Faith and Humility.Finlay Malcolm - 2021 - Religious Studies 57 (3):466-483.
    It is sometimes claimed that faith is a virtue. To what extent faith is a virtue depends on what faith is. One construal of faith, which has been popular in both recent and historical work on faith, is that faith is a matter of taking oneself to have been spoken to by God and of trusting this purported divine testimony. In this paper, I argue that when faith is understood in this way, for faith to be virtuous then it must (...)
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  • Knowledge and Evidence You Should Have Had.Matthew A. Benton - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):471-479.
    Epistemologists focus primarily on cases of knowledge, belief, or credence where the evidence which one possesses, or on which one is relying, plays a fundamental role in the epistemic or normative status of one's doxastic state. Recent work in epistemology goes beyond the evidence one possesses to consider the relevance for such statuses of evidence which one does not possess, particularly when there is a sense in which one should have had some evidence. I focus here on Sanford Goldberg's approach (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Higher-Level Suspension.Eyal Tal - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Is it ever rational to suspend judgment about whether a particular doxastic attitude of ours is rational? An agent who suspends about whether her attitude is rational has serious doubts that it is. These doubts place a special burden on the agent, namely, to justify maintaining her chosen attitude over others. A dilemma arises. Providing justification for maintaining the chosen attitude would commit the agent to considering the attitude rational—contrary to her suspension on the matter. Alternatively, in the absence of (...)
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  • How Aristotelians Can Make Faith a Virtue.Anne Jeffrey - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (2):393-409.
    Neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics identifies the virtues with the traits the fully virtuous person possesses. Further, it depicts the fully virtuous person as having all the cognitive perfections necessary for possessing practical wisdom. This paper argues that these two theses disqualify faith as trust, as construed on contemporary accounts of faith, as a virtue. For faith’s role as a virtue depends on limitations of its possessor that are incompatible with the psychological profile of the fully virtuous person on the neo-Aristotelian picture. (...)
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  • The Strength of Faith and Trust.Michael Pace - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):135-150.
    While there has been considerable interest in the nature of faith and trust in recent philosophical literature, relatively little has been said about what it is for faith or trust to be psychologically stronger or weaker. Drawing on recent accounts of propositional faith by Daniel Howard-Snyder and Lara Buchak, I argue that the strength of one’s faith can vary in two distinct dimensions. The first primarily involves the extent to which one’s confidence motivates one to take risks. The second involves (...)
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  • Faith and Steadfastness in the Face of Counter-Evidence.Lara Buchak - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):113-133.
    It is sometimes said that faith is recalcitrant in the face of new evidence, but it is puzzling how such recalcitrance could be rational or laudable. I explain this aspect of faith and why faith is not only rational, but in addition serves an important purpose in human life. Because faith requires maintaining a commitment to act on the claim one has faith in, even in the face of counter-evidence, faith allows us to carry out long-term, risky projects that we (...)
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  • Does Hope Morally Vindicate Faith?Anne Jeffrey - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):193-211.
    Much attention in philosophy of religion has been devoted to the question of whether faith is epistemically rational. But is it morally and practically permissible? This paper explores a response to a family of arguments that Christian faith is morally impermissible or practically irrational, even if epistemically justified. After articulating the arguments, I consider how they would fare if they took seriously the traditional notion that genuine faith is always accompanied by Christian hope. I show how the norms of hope (...)
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  • The Moral and Evidential Requirements of Faith.Finlay Malcolm - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1):117-142.
    What is the relationship between faith and evidence? It is often claimed that faith requires going beyond evidence. In this paper, I reject this claim by showing how the moral demands to have faith warrant a person in maintaining faith in the face of counter-evidence, and by showing how the moral demands to have faith, and the moral constraints of evidentialism, are in clear tension with going beyond evidence. In arguing for these views, I develop a taxonomy of different ways (...)
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  • Wittgenstein and Contemporary Belief-Credence Dualism.Guy Axtell - forthcoming - In Wittgenstein and the Epistemology of Religion. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This paper examines religious epistemics in relationship to recent defenses of belief-credence dualism among analytic Christian philosophers, connecting what is most plausible and appealing in this proposal to Wittgenstein’s thought on the nature of religious praxis and affectively-engaged language-use. How close or far is Wittgenstein’s thought about faith to the analytic Christian philosophers’ thesis that “beliefs and credences are two epistemic tools used for different purposes”? While I find B-C dualism appealing for multiple reasons, the paper goes on to raise (...)
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  • On The Incompatibility of Faith and Intellectual Humility.James Elliott - 2019 - In Gregory E. Trickett & J. R. Gilhooly (eds.), Open-mindedness in Philosophy of Religion. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars. pp. 121-139.
    Although the relationship between faith and intellectual humility has yet to be specifically addressed in the philosophical literature, there are reasons to believe that they are at least in some sense incompatible, especially when judging from pre-theoretical intuitions. In this paper I attempt to specify and explicate this incompatibility, which is found in specific conflicting epistemic attitudes they each respectively invite. I first suggest general definitions of both faith and intellectual humility (understood as intellectual virtues), building off current proposals in (...)
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  • Believing on Authority.Matthew A. Benton - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (4):133-144.
    Linda Zagzebski's "Epistemic Authority" (Oxford University Press, 2012) brings together issues in social epistemology with topics in moral and political philosophy as well as philosophy of religion. In this paper I criticize her discussion of self-trust and rationality, which sets up the main argument of the book; I consider how her view of authority relates to some issues of epistemic authority in testimony; and I raise some concerns about her treatment of religious epistemology and religious authority in particular.
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  • True Grit and the Positivity of Faith.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (1):(A1)5-32.
    Most contemporary accounts of the nature of faith explicitly defend what we call ‘the positivity theory of faith’ – the theory that faith must be accompanied by a favourable evaluative belief, or a desire towards the object of faith. This paper examines the different varieties of the positivity theory and the arguments used to support it. Whilst initially plausible, we find that the theory faces numerous problematic counterexamples, and show that weaker versions of the positivity theory are ultimately implausible. We (...)
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  • Почему эвиденциалисты должны верить обещаниям (Why Evidentialists Must Believe in Promises).Pavel Butakov - 2019 - Phiosophy. Journal of the Higher School of Economics 3 (3):172-200.
    I argue that evidentialist ethics of belief requires believing in every promise, because any promise always has sufficient evidence. In order to combine evidentialism with ethics of belief, I distinguish two belief-like propositional attitudes. The first is categorical belief, which I call “opinion,” the second is quantitative belief, which I call “credence.” I accept doxastic voluntarism about opinions, and doxastic involuntarism about credences. Opinion has two values—affirmative and negative—and the subject has control over which one to choose. Credence can have (...)
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  • Платон, эвиденциализм и JTB (Plato, Evidentialism, and JTB).Pavel Butakov - 2018 - Schole 12 (2):669-685.
    It is often claimed that Plato’s definition of knowledge as “true opinion with an account” is in agreement with the contemporary analysis of knowledge as “justified true belief”. Some scholars disagree with the attribution of JTB to Plato. I analyze three influential arguments against the assumption of Plato’s agreement with JTB, and refute them. Then I provide my own argument against the assumption. I argue that the contemporary interpretation of the JTB formula understands “belief” not in the sense of an (...)
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