Catholics vs. Calvinists on Religious Knowledge

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Abstract
In this paper I will take it for granted that Zagzebski's position articulates a broadly Catholic perspective, and that Plantinga's position accurately represents a broadly Calvinist one. But I will argue that so construed, the Catholic and the Calvinist are much closer than Zagzebski implies: both views are person-based in an important sense of that term; both are internalist on Zagzebski's usage and externalist on the standard usage; and Plantinga's position is consistent with the social elements that Zagzebski stresses in her view. In the second part of the paper I will identify what I think is the real issue between Zagzebski and Plantinga. Namely, Zagzebski thinks that knowledge requires epistemic responsibility, in the sense that instances of knowledge must be appropriately praiseworthy. Plantinga thinks that no such condition is required for knowledge or warranted belief. I will argue that on this issue Zagzebski is right, and that her virtue approach gives us resources for seeing why. Finally, I will look at the consequences for religious knowledge. Here I will argue that the consequences are minimal. Even if knowledge requires responsibility, Plantinga can still make a good case that religious belief is properly basic. And even if religious belief is properly basic, natural theology can still have an important role in the justification of religious belief.
ISBN(s)
1051-3558
PhilPapers/Archive ID
GRECVC
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First archival date: 2011-02-28
Latest version: 2 (2019-04-22)
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2011-02-21

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