If Analytic Philosophy of Religion is Sick, Can It Be Cured?

Religious Studies 56 (4):558-577 (2020)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that, if ‘the overrepresentation of Christian theists in analytic philosophy of religion is unhealthy for the field, since they would be too much influenced by prior beliefs when evaluating religious arguments’ (De Cruz and De Smedt (2016), 119), then a first step toward a potential remedy is this: analytic philosophers of religion need to restructure their analytical tasks. For one way to mitigate the effects of confirmation bias, which may be influencing how analytic philosophers of religion evaluate arguments in Analytical Philosophy of Religion (APR), is to consider other points of view. Applied to APR, this means considering religious beliefs, questions, and arguments couched in non-Christian terms. In this paper, I focus on Islam in particular. My aim is to show that Islam is a fertile ground of philosophical questions and arguments for analytic philosophers of religion to engage with. Engaging with questions and arguments couched in non-Christian terms would help make work in APR more diverse and inclusive of religions other than Christianity, which in turn would also be a first step toward attracting non-Christians to APR.

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Moti Mizrahi
Florida Institute of Technology