Faith and Rational Deference to Authority

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming)
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Many accounts of faith hold that faith is deference to an authority about what to believe or what to do. I show that this kind of faith fits into a more general account of faith, the risky-commitment account. I further argue that it can be rational to defer to an authority even when the authority’s pronouncement goes against one’s own reasoning. Indeed, such deference is rational in typical cases in which individuals treat others as authorities.

Author's Profile

Lara Buchak
Princeton University


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