Some reflections on religious knowledge
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The essay that follows considers two topics. After dealing with relevant preliminaries, it asks: (a) what differences are there in what must be done in order to tell whether there is any religious knowledge if an internalist evidentialist account of knowledge is true, from what must be done in order to tell whether there is any religious knowledge if an externalist reliabilist account of knowledge is true; and (b) does the best current externalist reliabilist account of knowledge require (or perhaps already implicitly contain) an internalist evidentialist element? Put in a nutshell, then, a belief has warrant for a person S only if that belief is produced in S by cognitive faculties functioning properly (subject to no dysfunction) in a cognitive environment that is appropriate for S’s kind of cognitive faculties, according to a design plant that is successfully aimed at truth … when a belief meets these conditions and does enjoy warrant, the degree of warrant it enjoys depends on the strength of the belief, the degree of firmness with which S holds it. This is intended as an account of the central core of our concept of warrant … [Warranted Christian Belief, 156; implicit in reference to a design plan here is another feature—that the belief is subject to no undefeated defeaters; such a belief, if true, constitutes knowledge.]
KeywordsReligious Belief True Belief Design Plan Perceptual Belief Reliable Mechanism
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