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Finlay Malcolm
University of Hertfordshire
  1. Faith, Belief and Fictionalism.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):257-274.
    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 (...)
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  2. Can Fictionalists Have Faith?Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (2):215-232.
    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 (...)
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  3.  83
    Epistocracy and Public Interests.Finlay Malcolm - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-20.
    Epistocratic systems of government have received renewed attention, and considerable opposition, in recent political philosophy. Although they vary significantly in form, epistocracies generally reject universal suffrage. But can they maintain the advantages of universal suffrage despite rejecting it? This paper develops an argument for a significant instrumental advantage of universal suffrage: that governments must take into account the interests of all of those enfranchised in their policy decisions or else risk losing power. This is called ‘the Interests Argument’. One problem (...)
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  4. The Moral and Evidential Requirements of Faith.Finlay Malcolm - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1):117-142.
    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 (...)
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  5. Religious Fictionalism.Michael Scott & Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (3):1-11.
    Religious fictionalism is the theory that it is morally and intellectually legitimate to affirm religious sentences and to engage in public and private religious practices, without believing the content of religious claims. This article discusses the main features of fictionalism, contrasts hermeneutic, and revolutionary kinds of fictionalism and explores possible historical and recent examples of religious fictionalism. Such examples are found in recent theories of faith, pragmatic approaches to religion, and mystical traditions in religious theology.
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  6.  51
    True Grit and the Positivity of Faith.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (1):(A1)5-32.
    Most contemporary accounts of the nature of faith explicitly defend what we call ‘the positivity theory of faith’ – the theory that faith must be accompanied by a favourable evaluative belief, or a desire towards the object of faith. This paper examines the different varieties of the positivity theory and the arguments used to support it. Whilst initially plausible, we find that the theory faces numerous problematic counterexamples, and show that weaker versions of the positivity theory are ultimately implausible. We (...)
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  7. How to Insult and Compliment a Testifier.Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Episteme 15 (1):50-64.
    Do we insult, offend or slight a speaker when we refuse her testimony? Do we compliment, commend or extol a speaker when we accept her testimony? I argue that the answer to both of these questions is “yes”, but only in some instances, since these respective insults and compliments track the reasons a hearer has for rejecting or accepting testimony. When disbelieving a speaker, a hearer may insult her because she judges the speaker to be either incompetent as a knower (...)
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  8.  31
    A Radical Pluralist Philosophy of Religion, Mikel Burley [Review]. [REVIEW]Finlay Malcolm - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
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  9.  73
    Cultivating Intellectual Humility in Political Philosophy Seminars.Finlay Malcolm - 2019 - Blended Learning in Practice.
    The cultivation of intellectual character is an important goal within university education. This article focusses on cultivating intellectual humility. It first explores an account of intellectual humility from recent literature on the intellectual virtues. Then, it considers one recent pedagogical approach – Making Thinking Visible – as a means of teaching intellectual virtue. It assesses one particular technique for cultivating intellectual humility arising from this pedagogical literature, and applies it to the teaching of political philosophy. Finally, there is a discussion (...)
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  10. Democratic Legitimacy and the Competence Obligation.Finlay Malcolm - 2021 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 8 (1):109-130.
    What obligations are there on voters? This paper argues that voters should make their electoral decision competently, and does so by developing on a recent proposal for democratic legitimacy. It then explores three problems arising from this ‘competency obligation’. First, how should voters be competent? I propose three conditions required for voter competence. Second, how competent should voters be? I argue that the competency required tracks the significance of the consequences of the vote. Third, if the electorate are unlikely to (...)
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  11.  24
    Evidence Thresholds and the Partiality of Relational Faith.Finlay Malcolm - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    This commentary shows how Dormandy’s ‘Partiality Norm of Belief for Faith’ can be made compatible with ‘Evidentialism about Faith’. Dormandy takes partiality to involve disrespect toward evidence – where evidence we are partial toward is given undue weight. I propose an alternative where partiality is to require more or less evidence for believing a proposition given the benefits or harms of holding the belief. Rather than disrespecting evidence, this partiality is simply to have variable ‘evidence thresholds’ that are partly set (...)
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  12. A Philosophy of Faith: Belief, Truth and Varieties of Commitment.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - forthcoming - Routledge.
    Faith occupies an important place in human lives in both religious and secular contexts: faith may be directed towards God, friends, governments, political systems and football teams. It is said to help people through crises and motivate people to achieve life goals. But what is faith? Philosophers and theologians have for centuries been concerned with questions about the rationality of faith, but more recently, have focussed on what kind of psychological attitude faith is. We bring together, for the first time, (...)
     
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  13. Silencing and Freedom of Speech in UK Higher Education.Finlay Malcolm - forthcoming - British Educational Research Journal.
    Freedom of speech in universities is currently an issue of widespread concern and debate. Recent empirical findings in the UK shed some light on whether speech is unduly restricted in the university, but it suffers from two limitations. First, the results appear contradictory. Some studies show that the issue of free speech is overblown by media reportage, whilst others track serious concerns about free speech arising from certain university policies. Second, the findings exclude important issues concerning restrictions to speech on (...)
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  14. Testimony, Faith and Humility.Finlay Malcolm - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    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 (...)
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  15. Testimonial Insult: A Moral Reason for Belief?Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Logos and Episteme (1):27-48.
    When you don’t believe a speaker’s testimony for reasons that call into question the speaker’s credibility, it seems that this is an insult against the speaker. There also appears to be moral reasons that count in favour of refraining from insulting someone. When taken together, these two plausible claims entail that we have a moral reason to refrain from insulting speakers with our lack of belief, and hence, sometimes, a moral reason to believe the testimony of speakers. Reasons for belief (...)
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