ABSTRACTThis article provides a Global South perspective on marginalised migrant youth and higher educational aspirations, with a specific focus on South Africa. We use data from a case study in Johannesburg to illustrate how marginalised migrant youth experience particular forms of disadvantage in their endeavours to realise their educational aspirations. Yet, educational opportunities and the achievement of educational aspirations may enhance dimensions important for individual wellbeing. Through education, marginalised migrant youth become better positioned to pursue what they have reason to (...) value, including escaping poverty in both their home and host countries. Using the human development and capability lens, the paper also presents what the disadvantages experienced by marginalised migrant youth may mean for human development. We argue that constrained educational aspirations can result in corrosive disadvantage and ultimately systemic poverty. We conclude the paper by highlighting how the capability approach could be used to inform social and educational policies in contexts of marginalisation. (shrink)
This essay shows how John Henry Newman reconciled the certitude of faith with a fallibilist epistemology. While Newman holds that many of our beliefs are held with certitude, he does not conceive of all certitude as Cartesian, apodictic certitude. In this way, he walks a middle road between rationalism and fideism.
I examine three attitudes: belief, faith, and hope. I argue that all three attitudes play the same role in rationalizing action. First, I explain two models of rational action—the decision-theory model and the belief-desire model. Both models entail there are two components of rational action: an epistemic component and a conative component. Then, using this framework, I show how belief, faith, and hope that p can all make it rational to accept, or act as if, p. I conclude (...) by showing how my picture can explain how action-oriented commitments can be rational over time, both in the face of counterevidence and in the face of waning affections. (shrink)
Does faith that p entail belief that p? If faith that p is identical with belief that p, it does. But it isn’t. Even so, faith that p might be necessarily partly constituted by belief that p, or at least entail it. Of course, even if faith that p entails belief that p, it does not follow that faith that p is necessarily partly constituted by belief that p. Still, showing that faith that p (...) entails belief that p would be a significant step in that direction. Can we take that step? In this essay, I assess, and reject, seven reasons to think we can. Along the way, I discuss having faith in a person, being a person of faith, believing something by faith, and believing a person. (shrink)
This paper provides an account of what it is to have faith in a proposition p, in both religious and mundane contexts. It is argued that faith in p doesn’t require adopting a degree of belief that isn’t supported by one’s evidence but rather it requires terminating one’s search for further evidence and acting on the supposition that p. It is then shown, by responding to a formal result due to I.J. Good, that doing so can be rational (...) in a number of circumstances. If expected utility theory is the correct account of practical rationality, then having faith can be both epistemically and practically rational if the costs associated with gathering further evidence or postponing the decision are high. If a more permissive framework is adopted, then having faith can be rational even when there are no costs associated with gathering further evidence. (shrink)
In “Can it be rational to have faith?”, it was argued that to have faith in some proposition consists, roughly speaking, in stopping one’s search for evidence and committing to act on that proposition without further evidence. That paper also outlined when and why stopping the search for evidence and acting is rationally required. Because the framework of that paper was that of formal decision theory, it primarily considered the relationship between faith and degrees of belief, rather (...) than between faith and belief full stop. This paper explores the relationship between rational faith and justified belief, by considering four prominent proposals about the relationship between belief and degrees of belief, and by examining what follows about faith and belief according to each of these proposals. It is argued that we cannot reach consensus concerning the relationship between faith and belief at present because of the more general epistemological lack of consensus over how belief relates to rationality: in particular, over how belief relates to the degrees of belief it is rational to have given one’s evidence. (shrink)
In Faith and Humility, Jonathan Kvanvig argues for an account of two virtues that balance, or provide correction for, the other: faith and humility. Faith is the disposition to act in service of an ideal, a disposition that remains despite difficulties or setbacks. One can, however, pursue distorted ideals or pursue them in the wrong way—with unquestioning zeal, for example. Humility, which helps to correct this extreme, is the disposition to attend to the value of one’s aims (...) and the extent of one’s contribution toward accomplishing them. To establish these accounts, Kvanvig first argues for a method that directs his arguments, and he then develops the accounts as he articulates and responds to alternative views. In what follows, instead of summarizing the book chapter by chapter, I provide a summary of Kvanvig’s positions and his arguments for them as they are eventually developed throughout the book. (shrink)
Is it necessary for all Christians – including Christians who are metaphysicians with demonstrative knowledge of God’s existence – to hold by faith that God exists? I shall approach this apparently straightforward question by investigating two opposing lines of interpretation of Thomas Aquinas’s own response to this question. I shall begin with two texts from Thomas that motivate two incompatible theses concerning Thomas’s doctrine of the harmony of faith and reason with respect to the existence of God. Next, (...) I shall clarify the salient points of disagreement between these two interpretations of faith and reason in Thomas Aquinas before examining dialectically a number of arguments in favor and against the respective theses of these two interpretations. In the final section I shall argue that the results of our dialectical inquiry reveal that the initial disagreement between the two positions is not irresolvable. Accordingly, I shall conclude by proposing two revised versions of the initial theses that emphasize the compatibility of these two interpretations of Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of the harmony of faith and reason. (shrink)
The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is normally applied to belief. The goal of this paper is to apply the distinction to faith and hope. Before doing so, I discuss the nature of faith and hope, and how they contrast with belief—belief has no essential conative component, whereas faith and hope essentially involve the conative. I discuss implications this has for evaluating faith and hope, and apply this to the propositional/doxastic distinction. There are two key (...) upshots. One, bringing in faith and hope makes salient additional normative categories, including the way the distinction between epistemic and practical justification interacts with the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification. Two, a paradigm example of propositional without doxastic justification is a belief that is evidentially supported but based on wishful thinking. Surprisingly, parallel cases of faith and hope may actually enjoy both propositional and doxastic justification. I conclude by exploring what it might look like for faith and hope to have propositional justification without doxastic justification. (shrink)
Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth 2015, 6th edition, eds Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. What is propositional faith? At a first approximation, we might answer that it is the psychological attitude picked out by standard uses of the English locution “S has faith that p,” where p takes declarative sentences as instances, as in “He has faith that they’ll win”. Although correct, this answer is not nearly as informative as we might like. Many people (...) say that there is a more informative answer. They say that, at the very least, propositional faith requires propositional belief. More precisely, they say that faith that p requires belief that p or that it must be partly constituted by belief that p. This view is common enough; call it the Common View. I have two main aims in this paper: (i) to exhibit the falsity of the Common View and the paucity of reasons for it, and (ii) to sketch a more accurate and comprehensive account of what propositional faith is. (shrink)
I offer an epistemic framework for theorising about faith. I suggest that epistemic faith is a disposition to believe or infer according to particular methods, despite a kind of tendency to perceive an epistemic shortcoming in that method. Faith is unjustified, and issues into unjustified beliefs, when the apparent epistemic shortcomings are actual; it is justified when the epistemic worries are unfounded. Virtuous faith is central to a great deal of epistemology. A rational agent will manifest (...)faith in their perceptual abilities, in determining which experts and testifiers to trust, in their a priori reasoning, and in the epistemic capacities that are specific to their social environment. To ignore faith is to ignore a crucial element of our social and individualistic epistemic lives. One exercises faith when one forms beliefs despite a kind of apparent epistemic shortcoming, which may or may not correspond to a genuine weakness in evidential support. For example, standing on a bridge one knows to be safe, despite one's natural but irrational fear, can manifest a kind of epistemic faith. So too can forming perceptual beliefs, or engaging in logical inferences, despite lacking a dialectically satisfying response to skeptical arguments. The same goes for beliefs that are informed by one's ideological stance – these too count as manifestations of faith, and under some circumstances, such faith is epistemically appropriate. One upshot of my project will be that an intuitively appealing neutrality ideal for education and discourse is untenable. I'll conclude with some discussion of practical questions about whether, when, and why it can be worthwhile engaging seriously with people who have radically opposed views and frameworks. (shrink)
Is propositional religious faith constituted by belief? Recent debate has focussed on whether faith may be constituted by a positive non-doxastic cognitive state, which can stand in place of belief. This paper sets out and defends the doxastic theory. We consider and reject three arguments commonly used in favour of non-doxastic theories of faith: (1) the argument from religious doubt; (2) the use of ‘faith’ in linguistic utterances; and (3) the possibility of pragmatic faith. We (...) argue that belief is required to maintain a distinction between genuine faith, pretend faith, and fictionalist faith. (shrink)
History and literature provide striking examples of people who are morally admirable, in part, because of their profound faith in people’s decency. But moral philosophers have largely ignored this trait, and I suspect that many philosophers would view such faith with suspicion, dismissing it as a form of naïvete or as some other objectionable form of irrationality. I argue that such suspicion is misplaced, and that having a certain kind of faith in people’s decency, which I call (...)faith in humanity, is a centrally important moral virtue. In order to make this view intuitively more plausible, I discuss two moral exemplars – one historical and the other literary – whose lives vividly exhibit such faith. Then I provide a rationale for the view that having such faith is morally admirable. Finally, I discuss cases in which someone’s faith in humanity can lead her to make judgments that are, to some degree, epistemically irrational. I argue that the existence of such cases does not pose a serious objection to the view that having faith in humanity is a moral virtue. Rather, it makes salient important limits on the role that epistemic, as opposed to practical, rationality should occupy in our ideals of how to live. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue against the received view among Unamuno scholars that Miguel de Unamuno was defending a sort of pragmatic argument for religious faith and that his notion of religious faith as “querer creer” (“wanting to believe”) is to be identified with William James’s “the will to believe”. As I will show in this paper, one of the aspects that makes Unamuno’s reasoning philosophically relevant is his ability to formulate a non-pragmatist defense of (...) religious faith without a prior commitment to the truth of any religious or theological statement and grounded in our longing for an endless existence through God’s Salvation. (shrink)
Popular discussions of faith often assume that having faith is a form of believing on insufficient evidence and that having faith is therefore in some way rationally defective. Here I offer a characterization of action-centered faith and show that action-centered faith can be both epistemically and practically rational even under a wide variety of subpar evidential circumstances.
Secular moral philosophy has devoted little attention to the nature and significance of faith. Perhaps this is unsurprising. The significance of faith is typically thought to depend on the truth of theism, and so it may seem that a careful study of faith has little to offer non-religious philosophy. But I argue that, whether or not theism holds, certain kinds of faith are centrally important virtues, that is, character traits that are morally admirable or admirable from (...) some broader perspective of human flourishing. I discuss three varieties of faith that a virtuous person has in people: faith in herself, faith in people to whom she bears certain personal relationships, and faith in humanity. Coming to understand the nature of these forms of faith and the roles they play in human life promises to deepen our understanding of aspects of moral life and aspects of human flourishing that are poorly grasped. Beyond this, it makes valuable contributions to the literature on self-trust and the literature on epistemic partiality in friendship, and it helps us better understand the relation between our epistemic and practical ideals. (shrink)
God demands that Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac. Why? Kierkegaard tells us that God requires of Abraham a "teleological suspension of the ethical." In this essay I explore the meanings of the Ethical, God, and Faith in an effort to make sense of this phrase, and, more broadly, of the biblical story itself.
In recent years, many philosophers of religion have turned their attention to the topic of faith. Given the ubiquity of the word “faith” both in and out of religious contexts, many of them have chosen to begin their forays by offering an analysis of faith. But it seems that there are many kinds of faith: religious faith, non‐religious faith, interpersonal faith, and propositional faith, to name a few. In this article, I discuss (...) analyses of faith that have been offered and point out the dimensions along which they differ. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
Belief is a central focus of inquiry in the philosophy of religion and indeed in the field of religion itself. No one conception of belief is central in all these cases, and sometimes the term 'belief' is used where 'faith' or 'acceptance' would better express what is intended. This paper sketches the major concepts in the philosophy of religion that are expressed by these three terms. In doing so, it distinguishes propositional belief (belief that) from both objectual belief (believing (...) something to have a property) and, more importantly, belief in (a trusting attitude that is illustrated by at least many paradigm cases of belief in God). Faith is shown to have a similar complexity, and even propositional faith divides into importantly different categories. Acceptance differs from both belief and faith in that at least one kind of acceptance is behavioral in a way neither of the other two elements is. Acceptance of a proposition, it is argued, does not entail believing it, nor does believing entail acceptance in any distinctive sense of the latter term. In characterizing these three notions (and related ones), the paper provides some basic materials important both for understanding a person's religious position and for appraising its rationality. The nature of religious faith and some of the conditions for its rationality, including some deriving from elements of an ethics of belief, are explored in some detail. (shrink)
A popular objection to theistic commitment involves the idea that faith is irrational. Specifically, some seem to put forth something like the following argument: (P1) Everyone (or almost everyone) who has faith is epistemically irrational, (P2) All theistic believers have faith, thus (C) All (or most) theistic believers are epistemically irrational. In this paper, I argue that this line of reasoning fails. I do so by considering a number of candidates for what faith might be. I (...) argue that, for each candidate, either (P1) is false or (P2) is false. Then, I make two positive suggestions for how faith can be epistemically rational but nonetheless have a unique relationship to evidence: one, that Jamesian self-justifying attitudes describe a distinctive kind of faith in oneself and others, and two, that faith is not solely based on empirical evidence. (shrink)
Faith is a central attitude in Christian religious practice. The problem of faith and reason is the problem of reconciling religious faith with the standards for our belief-forming practices in general (‘ordinary epistemic standards’). In order to see whether and when faith can be reconciled with ordinary epistemic standards, we first need to know what faith is. This chapter examines and catalogues views of propositional faith: faith that p. It is concerned with the (...) epistemology of such faith: what cognitive attitudes does such faith require, what epistemic norms govern these attitudes, and whether Christian faith can ever adhere to them. (shrink)
What is faith? Lara Buchak has done as much as anyone recently to answer our question in a sensible and instructive fashion. As it turns out, her writings reveal two theories of faith, an early one and a later one (or, if you like, two versions of the same theory). In what follows, we aim to do three things. First, we will state and assess Buchak’s early theory, highlighting both its good-making and bad-making features. Second, we will do (...) the same for her later theory, noting improvements on the early one. Third, we will mark various choice points in theorizing about faith, and we will argue for specific choices at those points, culminating in what we regard as a better, alternative theory of faith. Our critical aims, therefore, are ultimately constructive. By theorizing about faith with Lara Buchak, we aim to contribute to our common understanding of what faith is. (shrink)
My topic in this paper is the nature of faith. Much of the discussion concerning the nature of faith proceeds by focussing on the relationship between faith and belief. In this paper, I explore a different approach. I suggest that we approach the question of what faith involves by focussing on the relationship between faith and action. When we have faith, we generally manifest it in how we act; we perform acts of faith: (...) we share our secrets, rely on other’s judgment, refrain from going through our partner’s emails, let our children prepare for an important exam without our interference. Religious faith, too is manifested in acts of faith: attending worship, singing the liturgy, fasting, embarking on a pilgrimage. I argue that approaching faith by way of acts of faith, reveals that faith is a complex mental state whose elements go beyond doxastic states towards particular propositions. It also involves conative states and – perhaps more surprisingly – know how. This has consequences for the epistemology of faith: the role of testimony and experts, the importance of practices, and what we should make of Pascal’s advice for how to acquire faith. (shrink)
Can fictionalists have faith? It all depends on how we disambiguate ‘fictionalists’ and on what faith is. I consider the matter in light of my own theory. After clarifying its central terms, I distinguish two fictionalists – atheistic and agnostic – and I argue that, even though no atheistic fictionalist can have faith on my theory, agnostic fictionalists arguably can. After rejecting Finlay Malcolm's reasons for thinking this is a problem, I use his paradigmatic agnostic fictionalist as (...) a foil to explore a variety of ways in which to describe agnostic fictionalists, none of whom pose a problem for my theory. (shrink)
According to non-doxastic theories of propositional faith, belief that p is not necessary for faith that p. Rather, propositional faith merely requires a ‘positive cognitive attitude’. This broad condition, however, can be satisfied by several pragmatic approaches to a domain, including fictionalism. This paper shows precisely how fictionalists can have faith given non-doxastic theory, and explains why this is problematic. It then explores one means of separating the two theories, in virtue of the fact that the (...) truth of the propositions in a discourse is of little consequence for fictionalists, whereas their truth matters deeply for the faithful. Although promising, this approach incurs several theoretical costs, hence providing a compelling reason to favour a purely doxastic account of faith. (shrink)
This paper assesses J. L. Schellenberg’s account of propositional faith and, in light of that assessment, sketches an alternative that avoids certain objections and coheres better with Schellenberg’s aims.
W. K. Clifford famously argued that it is “wrong always, everywhere and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” Though the spirit of this claim resonates with me, the letter does not. To wit, I am inclined to think that it is not morally wrong for, say, an elderly woman on her death bed to believe privately that she is going to heaven even if she does so on insufficient evidence—indeed, and lest there be any confusion, even if the (...) woman herself deems the evidence for her so believing to be insufficient. After all, her believing so does not appear to endanger, harm, or violate the rights of anyone, nor does it make the world a worse place in a significant, if any, way. That Clifford might have put too fine a point on the matter, however, does not entail that there are no conditions under which it is wrong to believe something upon insufficient evidence. In this paper, I argue that, in cases where believing a proposition (read: believing a proposition to be true) will affect others, it is prima facie wrong to have propositional faith—for present purposes, to believe the proposition despite deeming the evidence for one’s believing to be insufficient—before one has attempted to believe the proposition by proportioning one’s belief to the evidence. (shrink)
Although the relationship between faith and intellectual humility has yet to be specifically addressed in the philosophical literature, there are reasons to believe that they are at least in some sense incompatible, especially when judging from pre-theoretical intuitions. In this paper I attempt to specify and explicate this incompatibility, which is found in specific conflicting epistemic attitudes they each respectively invite. I first suggest general definitions of both faith and intellectual humility (understood as intellectual virtues), building off current (...) proposals in the literature, in an attempt to portray both in as broad and uncontroversial a manner as feasible. I then move to arguing how this prima facie incompatibility aligns with these understandings of faith and intellectual humility, and illustrate how this incompatibility is even clearer on one recent theory. I close by considering one avenue of response for those who want to maintain that, while conflicting in these ways, intellectual humility and faith can be simultaneously virtuous. (shrink)
Is religious faith consistent with being an intellectually virtuous thinker? In seeking to answer this question, one quickly finds others, each of which has been the focus of recent renewed attention by epistemologists: What is it to be an intellectually virtuous thinker? Must all reasonable belief be grounded in public evidence? Under what circumstances is a person rationally justified in believing something on trust, on the testimony of another, or because of the conclusions drawn by an intellectual authority? Can (...) it be reasonable to hold a belief on a topic over which there is significant, entrenched disagreement among informed inquirers, or should such disagreement lead all parties to modify or suspend their own judgments? Is there anything about faith that exempts it from measurement against such epistemic norms? And if we would so evaluate it, how exactly should we understand the intellectual commitments faith requires? The volume's introduction provides a roadmap of the central issues and controversies as currently discussed by philosophers. In fourteen new essays written to engage nonspecialists as well as philosophers working in religion and epistemology, a diverse and distinguished group of thinkers then consider the place of intellectual virtue in religious faith, exploring one or more of the specific issues noted above. (shrink)
What is the relationship between faith and evidence? It is often claimed that faith requires going beyond evidence. In this paper, I reject this claim by showing how the moral demands to have faith warrant a person in maintaining faith in the face of counter-evidence, and by showing how the moral demands to have faith, and the moral constraints of evidentialism, are in clear tension with going beyond evidence. In arguing for these views, I develop (...) a taxonomy of different ways of irrationally going beyond evidence and contrast this with rational ways of going against evidence. I then defend instances of having a moral demand to have faith, explore how this stands in tension with going beyond and against evidence, and develop an argument for the claim that faith involves a disposition to go against, but not beyond evidence. (shrink)
On doxastic theories of propositional faith,necessarily,S has faith that p only if S believes that p. On nondoxastic theories of propositional faith, it’s false that,necessarily,S has faith that p only if S believes that p. In this article, I defend three arguments for nondoxastic theories of faith and I respond to published criticisms of them.
It is sometimes claimed that faith is a virtue. To what extent faith is a virtue depends on what faith is. One construal of faith, which has been popular in both recent and historical work on faith, is that faith is a matter of taking oneself to have been spoken to by God and of trusting this purported divine testimony. In this paper, I argue that when faith is understood in this way, for (...)faith to be virtuous then it must be accompanied by intellectual humility. I defend this view by showing how someone ought to respond to purported divine testimony if her faith is to be intellectually humble, and how, if it fails in this respect, it will instead be accompanied by the vices of either servility or arrogance. (shrink)
In some circles, faith is said to be one of three theological virtues, along with hope and agape. But not everyone thinks faith is a virtue, theological or otherwise. Indeed, depending on how we understand it, faith may well conflict with the virtues. In this chapter we will focus on the virtue of humility. Does faith conflict with humility, or are they in concord? In what follows, we will do five things. First, we will sketch a (...) theory of the virtue of humility. Second, we will summarize a common view of faith, arguably held by Thomas Aquinas among others, and we will argue that Thomistic faith is not an intellectual virtue and that it conflicts with humility in the domain of inquiry. Third, we will plump for an older view of faith, one that predates Aquinas by at least 1500 years, Markan faith. Fourth, we will argue that Markan faith is an intellectual virtue and it is in concord with humility in the domain of inquiry. Fifth, we will argue that Markan faith, unlike Thomistic faith, is a personal virtue and that it is in concord with humility in the domain of personal relationships, both human-human and human-divine. (shrink)
Faith is often regarded as having a fraught relationship with evidence. Lara Buchak even argues that it entails foregoing evidence, at least when this evidence would influence your decision to act on the proposition in which you have faith. I present a counterexample inspired by the book of Job, in which seeking evidence for the sake of deciding whether to worship God is not only compatible with faith, but is in fact an expression of great faith. (...) One might still think that foregoing evidence may make faith more praiseworthy than otherwise. But I argue against this claim too, once more drawing on Job. A faith that expresses itself by a search for evidence can be more praiseworthy than a faith that sits passively in the face of epistemic adversity. (shrink)
What it would mean for phenomenology to move in an ontological direction that would render its relevance to contemporary political movement less ambiguous while at the same time retaining those aspects of its method that are epistemologically and politically advantageous? The present study crafts the beginnings of a response to this question by examining four configurations of consciousness that seem to be respectively tied to certain oppressive contexts and certain kinds of oppressed bodies: 1. false consciousness, 2. bad faith, (...) 3. double consciousness, and 4. se faire objet (making oneself an object). Such a comparison both promises to widen our understanding of the ontology of consciousness in general and generate a suggestive vision of what it would take to follow through, ontologically speaking, on the idea that consciousness is fundamentally and irrevocably of a bodily nature. (shrink)
Christians in the West struggle with intellectual doubt more than they used to, especially university-educated Christians. It is common for young Christians to go off to college assured in their beliefs but, in the course of their first year, they meet powerful defenses of scientific naturalism and the basic Christian story (BCS, for short) in particular. What they learned at home or church seems much less plausible to them, and many are thrown into doubt. They think to themselves something like (...) this: To be honest, I am troubled about the BCS. While the problem of evil, the apparent cultural basis for the diversity of religions, the explanatory breadth of contemporary science, naturalistic explanations of religious experience and miracle reports, and textual and historical criticism of the Bible, among other things, don’t make me believe the BCS is false, I am in serious doubt about it, so much so that I lack belief of it. In that case, how can I have Christian faith? And if I don’t have faith, how can I keep on praying, attending church, affirming the creed, confessing my sins, taking the sacraments, singing the hymns and songs, and so on? I can’t, unless I’m a hypocrite. So integrity requires me to drop the whole thing and get out. Of course, our student is not alone. Many Christians find themselves for some portion of their lives somewhere on the trajectory from doubt to getting out. What should we say to them? In this paper, we give our answer to this question. (shrink)
In this article, I focus on the circular relationship that, in his 1998 encyclical, Jean Paul II argued there is between faith and reason. I first note that this image of circularity needs some explaining, because it is not clear where exactly the circular process begins and ends. I then argue that an explanation can be found in Aquinas’s reflection on the gift of understanding. Aquinas referred to the virtue of faith as caused by God, which promotes human (...) reason, and this in turn strengthens the certainty of faith. (shrink)
Kierkegaard's writings are interspersed with remarkable stories of love, commonly understood as a literary device that illustrates the problematic nature of aesthetic and ethical forms of life, and the contrasting desirability of the life of faith. Sharon Krishek argues that for Kierkegaard the connection between love and faith is far from being merely illustrative. Rather, love and faith have a common structure, and are involved with one another in a way that makes it impossible to love well (...) without faith. Remarkably, this applies to romantic love no less than to neighbourly love. Krishek's original and compelling interpretation of the Works of Love in the light of Kierkegaard's famous analysis of the paradoxicality of faith in Fear and Trembling shows that preferential love, and in particular romantic love, plays a much more important and positive role in his thinking than has usually been assumed. (shrink)
This paper presents and defends a model of religious faith as an epistemic disposition. According to the model, religious faith is a disposition to take certain doxastic attitudes toward propositions of religious significance upon entertaining certain mental states. Three distinct advantages of the model are advanced. First, the model allows for religious faith to explain the presence and epistemic appropriateness of religious belief. Second, the model accommodates a variety of historically significant perspectives concerning the relationships between (...) class='Hi'>faith and evidence, faith and volition, and faith and doubt. And, finally, the model offers an appealing account of what unifies religious faith with other kinds of faith. (shrink)
Faith, broadly construed, is central to the political, social and personal life of any rational agent. I argue for two main claims: first, that a typology of faith based on the fine-grained Indic categories of bhakti, śraddhā, prasāda, abhisaṃpratyaya and abhilāṣa dissolves many of the philosophical problems associated with the nature of faith; second, that this typology of faith has elements that cannot be encompassed in a belief-desire psychology. The upshot is that the structure of the (...) mind is more complicated than belief-desire psychology admits and that understanding the nature of faith has a role to play in charting the structure of the mind. (shrink)
The issue of communicated accountability is particularly important in Faith-Based Charity Organisations as the donated funds and use of those funds are often meant to fulfil religious obligations for the well-being of society. Integrating Stewart’s (1984) ladder of accountability with the Statement of Recommended Practice guidance for charities, this paper examines communicated accountability practices of Muslim and Christian Charity Organisations in England and Wales. Our content analysis results indicate communicated accountability to be generally limited, focusing on providing basic descriptive (...) information rather than judgement-based information. Our interviews with trustees and preparers of Trustee Annual Reports in Muslim Charity Organisations identified the reasons being due to high donor trust and consequently weak demand by stakeholders for the latter type of information, as well as internal organisational issues related to the organisational structure and culture, lack of internal professional expertise and high accountability cost. (shrink)
Aquinas’s thought is often considered an exemplary balance between Christian faith and natural reason. However, it is not always sufficiently clear what such balance consists of. With respect to the relation between philosophical topics and the Christian faith, various scholars have advanced perspectives that, although supported by Aquinas’s texts, contrast one another. Some maintain that Aquinas elaborated his philosophical view without being under the influence of faith. Others believe that the Christian faith constitutes an indispensable component (...) of Aquinas’s view; at least when Aquinas focused on those statements that, though maintainable by mere reason, belong to the Christian revelation. In this essay I intend to show that the aforementioned perspectives can be reconciled on the basis of Aquinas’s concept of faith. If we do not limit ourselves to considering faith as the assent to the revealed truth, but also look at what leads the believer to assent—i.e., charity that unites the believer with God and is gratuitously conceded by God himself—then the relation between faith and reason appears to be twofold. On the one hand, the truths of faith cannot participate in the rational inquiry, because according to Aquinas faith lacks the evidence searched for by natural reason. On the other hand, since Aquinas holds that faith is the assent to the revelation due to the love for God that is granted by God himself, the believer will take faith as more certain than intellect and science, and the truths of faith will constitute the orientation and criterion of her/his rational investigation. The truths shall constitute orientation because the believer aims to confirm by reason what she/he already believes. They will also be criterion, because in case of a contradiction between rational arguments and revealed truths, reason must be considered mistaken and the rational investigation must start anew from the beginning. (shrink)
The juxtaposition of models of God and Christian faith may seem repugnant to many, as models are tentative and faith aims at an abiding certainty. In fact, for many Christians, using models of God in worship amounts to idolatry. By examining Biblical and extra-Biblical views of idolatry, I argue that models are not idols. To the contrary, the practice of God-modeling inoculates Christians against one of the most seductive idols of our age: the love of certainty. Furthermore, by (...) examining meditations upon certainty in Melville’s Moby Dick and the early discourses of the Buddha, I suggest that overweening conviction is a vice that hinders rather than guarantees Christian discipleship, and that Christian faith is better defined as any or all of the following: relative confidence in propositions, faithful relationship, and a virtue of disciplined credulity. (shrink)
Trust within a secular or organizational context is much like the concept of faith within a religious framework. The purpose of this article is to identify parallels between trust and faith, particularly from the individual perspective of the person who perceives a duty owed to him or her. Betrayal is often a subjectively derived construct based upon each individual's subjective mediating lens. We analyze the nature of trust and betrayal and offer insights that a wise believer might use (...) in understanding his or her relationship with the divine. We suggest that the parallels between trust and faith involve a willingness to relinquish one's power or control in the expectant hope that our needs will be met. Betrayal, however, is often profoundly misunderstood. (shrink)
Many theists who identify themselves with the Abrahamic religions maintain that it is perfectly acceptable to have faith that God exists. In this paper, I argue that, when believing that God exists will affect others, it is prima facie wrong to forgo attempting to believe that God exists on the basis of sufficient evidence. Lest there be any confusion : I do not argue that it is always wrong to have faith that God exists, only that, under certain (...) conditions, it can be. (shrink)