Faith, Hope, and Justification

In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Paul Silva Jr (eds.), Propositional and Doxastic Justification. New York: Routledge. pp. 201–216 (2022)
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Abstract

The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is normally applied to belief. The goal of this paper is to apply the distinction to faith and hope. Before doing so, I discuss the nature of faith and hope, and how they contrast with belief—belief has no essential conative component, whereas faith and hope essentially involve the conative. I discuss implications this has for evaluating faith and hope, and apply this to the propositional/doxastic distinction. There are two key upshots. One, bringing in faith and hope makes salient additional normative categories, including the way the distinction between epistemic and practical justification interacts with the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification. Two, a paradigm example of propositional without doxastic justification is a belief that is evidentially supported but based on wishful thinking. Surprisingly, parallel cases of faith and hope may actually enjoy both propositional and doxastic justification. I conclude by exploring what it might look like for faith and hope to have propositional justification without doxastic justification.

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Elizabeth Jackson
Ryerson University

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