Phenomenal conservatism and evidentialism in religious epistemology

In Kelly James Clark & Raymond J. VanArragon (eds.), Evidence and Religious Belief. Oxford University Press. pp. 52--73 (2011)


Phenomenal conservatism holds, roughly, that if it seems to S that P, then S has evidence for P. I argue for two main conclusions. The first is that phenomenal conservatism is better suited than is proper functionalism to explain how a particular type of religious belief formation can lead to non-inferentially justified religious beliefs. The second is that phenomenal conservatism makes evidence so easy to obtain that the truth of evidentialism would not be a significant obstacle to justified religious belief. A natural objection to phenomenal conservatism is that it makes evidence too easy to obtain, but I argue this objection is mistaken.

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