Res Philosophica 90 (4):565-587 (2013)

Authors
Ryan West
Wake Forest University
Abstract
The Christian tradition affirms that faith is a virtue. Faith is a multifaceted reality, though, encompassing such diverse aspects as belief, trust, obedience, and more. Given this complexity, it is no surprise that various thinkers emphasize different aspects of faith in accounting for faith’s status as a virtue. In this paper I join Søren Kierkegaard in arguing that faith is a passion, and that faith is a virtue because it disposes the person of faith to proper emotional responses. The paper has three sections. First, I lay the groundwork for understanding faith as a passion by explaining the relationship between passions and emotions. Drawing on the works of Kierkegaard, Merold Westphal, and Robert C. Roberts, I distinguish two senses of passion, and show how these senses are related to each other and to faith. The second section uses the account of faith developed in Concluding Unscientific Postscript to develop the idea that passional faith is a deep, identity-forming attachment to God. Finally, I explicate the idea that passional faith, so understood, functions as an emotion disposition. I do so by expounding part one of Kierkegaard’s Christian Discourses, which explores some of the ways in which faith disposes one away from certain emotions and toward other emotions.
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DOI 10.11612/resphil.2013.90.4.7
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References found in this work BETA

Upheavals of Thought.Martha Nussbaum - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325-341.
The Therapy of Desire.Martha Nussbaum - 1994 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Analysis of Faith.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12517.

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