Can Fictionalists Have Faith?

Religious Studies 54 (2):215-232 (2018)
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Abstract

According to non-doxastic theories of propositional faith, belief that p is not necessary for faith that p. Rather, propositional faith merely requires a ‘positive cognitive attitude’. This broad condition, however, can be satisfied by several pragmatic approaches to a domain, including fictionalism. This paper shows precisely how fictionalists can have faith given non-doxastic theory, and explains why this is problematic. It then explores one means of separating the two theories, in virtue of the fact that the truth of the propositions in a discourse is of little consequence for fictionalists, whereas their truth matters deeply for the faithful. Although promising, this approach incurs several theoretical costs, hence providing a compelling reason to favour a purely doxastic account of faith.

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Finlay Malcolm
University of Manchester

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