Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Evidential Force of Religious Experience$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Caroline Franks Davis

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250012.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 November 2019

Experience and Interpretation

Experience and Interpretation

(p.143) VI Experience and Interpretation
The Evidential Force of Religious Experience

Caroline Franks Davis

Oxford University Press

An extremely common challenge to arguments from religious experience—though not to the veridicality of religious experiences as such—is the claim that because religious experiences involve interpretation in terms of religious doctrines, any argument attempting to justify those doctrines by an appeal to religious experiences must be viciously circular. This chapter examines the assumptions of the vicious circle challenge, which can be expressed as the idea that one can distinguish between ‘the given’ and ‘interpretation’, and that the former is the real ‘experience’ whereas a religious experience is ‘an interpretation of an experience’ in a way that the sensory perception of material objects is not. It is a linear, foundationalist view of the relationship between beliefs and experiences, and a naive ‘associational’ view of concept formation. It is a rigidly non-cumulative view of the justification of perceptual claims; and ignorance or neglect of the principle of credulity.

Keywords:   religious experiences, vicious circle challenge, interpretation, principle of credulity, perceptual claims, concept formation

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .