Faith, Belief and Fictionalism

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):257-274 (2017)
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Is propositional religious faith constituted by belief? Recent debate has focussed on whether faith may be constituted by a positive non-doxastic cognitive state, which can stand in place of belief. This paper sets out and defends the doxastic theory. We consider and reject three arguments commonly used in favour of non-doxastic theories of faith: (1) the argument from religious doubt; (2) the use of ‘faith’ in linguistic utterances; and (3) the possibility of pragmatic faith. We argue that belief is required to maintain a distinction between genuine faith, pretend faith, and fictionalist faith.

Author Profiles

Michael Scott
University of Manchester
Finlay Malcolm
University of Manchester


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