Reformed epistemology is a thesis about the rationality of religious belief. A central claim made by the reformed epistemologist is that religious belief can be rational without any appeal to evidence or argument. One way reformed epistemologists have defended this claim is by comparing belief in God with other beliefs we take to be rational—if the latter set of beliefs can be rational without appeal to evidence or argument, then belief in God can also be rational without appeal to evidence or argument. A more detailed version of this parity argument, offered by Alvin Plantinga, argues that belief in God (like perceptual beliefs) is properly basic. Plantinga argues that humans are endowed with a special cognitive faculty, the sensus divinitatis, which gives rise to belief in God in an immediate and non-inferential fashion when occasioned by some event or experience. In this way, then, belief in God is said to be properly basic and can be warranted without inference from any evidence or argument.
|Key works||Two of the most important works in reformed epistemology are Plantinga & Wolterstorff 1983 and Plantinga 2000. For a number of essays critical of reformed epistemology see Zagzebski 1993.|
|Introductions||Good introductory articles include Bolos & Scott 2015, Bergmann 2012, and van Woudenberg 2008. Beilby 2006 provides a thorough overview of Plantinga's reformed epistemology. For an overview of recent work in reformed epistemology see Moon 2016.|
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
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