1st Edition

A Philosophy of Faith Belief, Truth and Varieties of Commitment

By Finlay Malcolm, Michael Scott Copyright 2023

    Faith occupies an important place in human lives. It can be directed towards God, friends, political systems and sports teams, and is said to help people through crises and to 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. The authors of this book bring together, for the first time, the different elements of this recent debate, staking out the different positions and arguments, and defending a novel ‘true grit’ theory of faith, from which the rationality and language of faith are addressed from a fresh perspective.  

    The book engages with a range of questions about the nature of faith, including: Does faith require belief? Is faith motivational? What is the relationship between faith, trust and hope? Do expressions of faith aim at the truth? And, in what sense is faith resilient? The authors defend a distinctive conception of faith involving resistance to psychological, practical and epistemic challenges, from which a novel account of the psychology and epistemology of faith is developed. The treatment of the topic draws extensively on the philosophy of mind, language and religion, and provides a map of this exciting field of study for newcomers to the philosophy of faith. 

    A Philosophy of Faith will appeal to researchers and advanced students in philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and epistemology who are interested in the topic of faith.

    Introduction

    1. Propositional Faith
    2. Against Nondoxasticism
    3. True Grit and the Case for Doxasticism
    4. Objectual Faith
    5. Faith, Motivation and Plans
    6. The Epistemic Status and Scope of Faith

    Biography

    Finlay Malcolm is a Research Associate at King’s College, London. His research is in social, political and religious epistemology, with a focus on trust, faith, democracy, free speech and fundamentalism. He is the author of numerous articles in leading academic philosophy journals including Pacific Philosophical Quarterly and The Monist.

    Michael Scott is a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Manchester, UK. He is the author of Religious Language (2013) and Reading Philosophy of Religion (2010) with Graham Oppy, and has published numerous papers in the philosophy of religion, philosophy of language and philosophy of psychology.