Rational fideism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Rational fideism is the philosophical view that considers faith to be precursor for any reliable knowledge. Whether one considers rationalism or empiricism, either of them ultimately tends to belief in reason or experience respectively as the absolute basis for their methods. Thus, faith is basic to knowability.


"Rational fideism" has been defined variously. The following are some definitions.

For Joseph Glanvill rational fideism is the view that "Faith, and faith alone, is the basis for our belief in our reason. We believe in our reason because we believe in God's veracity. We do not try to prove that God is truthful; we believe this. Thus, faith in God gives us faith in reason, which in turn "justifies" our belief that God is no deceiver."[1]

Richard Popkin sees rational fideism as the opposite of "pure, blind, fideism".[2]

According to C. Stephen Evans, rational fideism involves the possibility of reason becoming self-critical. Seeing it as the kind of responsible fideism, he states, "If human reason has limitations and also has some ability to recognise those limitations, then the possibility of responsible fideism emerges."[3]

Patrick J. Clarke defines rational fidesm as the approach that sees "reason as capable of providing the intellectual foundation of faith, not a priori but a posteriori, much as philosophy provides an intellectual foundation to theology.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard H. Popkin, The History of Scepticism, Oxford University Press, 2003, p.213
  2. ^ Ira O.Wade, Intellectual Origins of the French Enlightenment, Princeton University Press, 1971, p.552
  3. ^ C. Stephen Evans, Faith Beyond Reason, Edinburgh University Press, 1998, p.55
  4. ^ Patrick J. Clarke, Examining Philosophy and Ethics, Nelson Thomes, 2002. p.28

External links[edit]