Faith

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Faith is a trusting commitment to someone or something. Faith helps us meet our goals, keeps our relationships secure, and enables us to retain our commitments over time. Faith is thus a central part of a flourishing life. This article is about the philosophy of faith. There are many philosophical questions about faith, such as: What is faith, and what are its main components or features? What are the different kinds of faith? What’s the relationship between faith and other similar states, like belief, trust, knowledge, desire, doubt, and hope? Can faith be epistemically rationally? Practically rational? Morally permissible? This article addresses these questions. It is divided into three main parts. The first is about the nature of faith. This includes different kinds of faith and various features of faith. The second discusses the way that faith relates to other states. For example, what’s the difference between faith and hope? Can someone have faith that something is true even if they don’t believe it is true? The third discusses three ways we might evaluate faith: epistemically, practically, and morally. While faith is, of course, not always rational or permissible, this section will cover when and how it can be. The idea of faith as a virtue is also discussed.

Author's Profile

Elizabeth Jackson
Ryerson University

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