F. H. Jacobi on faith, or what it takes to be an irrationalist: BENJAMIN D. CROWE

Religious Studies 45 (3):309-324 (2009)
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F. H. Jacobi , a key figure in the philosophical debates at the close of the eighteenth century in Germany, has long been regarded as an irrationalist for allegedly advocating a blind ‘leap of faith’. The central claim of this essay is that this venerable charge is misplaced. Following a reconstruction of what a charge of irrationalism might amount to, two of Jacobi's most important works, the Spinoza Letters and David Hume , are scrutinized for traces of irrationalism. Far from being an irrationalist, Jacobi is best read as questioning the analytical-geometrical model of rationality popular among his contemporaries, and of proposing a more naturalistic theory of rationality that situates it more firmly in human psychology, the ultimate import of which lies in a reconceptualization of the relation between faith and reason



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