In William J. Wainwright (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press (2005)

This chapter discusses the miraculous largely in the context of Western philosophy of religion and therefore largely in the context of a concern with Christianity. The main elements of the discussion are: A definition of the miraculous, basically a modified version of David Hume’s notion of a divinely caused violation of a law of nature; a brief discussion of the main functions which religious thought seems to assign to miracles. I divide these roles into two categories. One involves some epistemic effect, such as providing someone with a basis or justification for belief. The other involves some other, non-epistemic, effect, such as providing physical healing,spiritual salvation, etc. A further discussion of epistemic concerns, mostly about the role of miracles as evidence for some belief, and the converse role of evidenceas justifying a belief in miracles; a further discussion of testimonial evidence in particular, and of how such evidence properly bears on judgments of probability.
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DOI 10.1093/0195138090.003.0013
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