Religious epistemology

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Religious epistemology as a broad label covers any approach to epistemological questions from a religious perspective, or attempts to understand the epistemological issues that come from religious belief. The questions which epistemologists may ask about any particular belief also apply to religious beliefs and propositions: whether they seem rational, justified, warranted, reasonable, based on evidence and so on. Religious views also influence epistemological theories, such as in the case of Reformed epistemology.[1]

Reformed epistemology has developed in contemporary Christian religious epistemology, as in the work of Alvin Plantinga (born 1932), William P. Alston (1921-2009), Nicholas Wolterstorff (born 1932) and Kelly James Clark,[2] as a critique of and alternative to the idea of "evidentialism" of the sort proposed by W. K. Clifford (1845-1879).[3][4] Alvin Plantinga, for instance, is critical of the evidentialist analysis of knowledge provided by Richard Feldman and by Earl Conee.[5][6]

D. Z. Phillips (1934-2006) takes this further and says that the argument of the reformed epistemologists goes further and challenges a view he dubs "foundationalism":

The essence of the Reformed challenge is to accuse the foundationalist of claiming to have a criterion of rationality which, in fact, he does not possess. By means of this alleged criterion the foundationalist claims to discern which epistemic practices are rational and which are not. Non-rational practices, he claims, include those of religion.[7]

— Phillips, Faith after Foundationalism

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Clark, Kelly James (October 2, 2004). "Religious Epistemology". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ISSN 2161-0002. 
  2. ^ Clark, Kelly James (March 1990). Return to reason: a critique of Enlightenment evidentialism and defense of reason and belief in God. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-0456-3. LCCN 90031016. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Wolterstorff, Nicholas (1995). Divine discourse: philosophical reflections on the claim that God speaks. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 13–16. ISBN 978-0-521-47557-0. LCCN 94042264. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  4. ^ van Woudenberg, René (2008). "Chapter 3: Reformed Epistemology". In Copan, Paul; Meister, Chad. Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-3990-8. LCCN 2007014537. 
  5. ^ Feldman, R.; Conee, E. (July 1, 1985). "Evidentialism". Philosophical Studies (Kluwer Academic Publishers) 48: 15. doi:10.1007/BF00372404. ISSN 1573-0883.  edit
  6. ^ Plantinga, Alvin (1993). Warrant and Proper Function. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 185–93. ISBN 978-0-19-507864-0. LCCN 92000408. 
  7. ^ Phillips, D. Z. (1988). Faith after Foundationalism. London; New York: Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-415-00333-9. LCCN 87022153. 

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