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Believing by FaithAn Essay in the Epistemology and Ethics of Religious Belief$
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John Bishop

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199205547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205547.001.0001

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Faith as Doxastic Venture

Faith as Doxastic Venture

Chapter:
(p.101) 5 Faith as Doxastic Venture
Source:
Believing by Faith
Author(s):

John Bishop (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205547.003.0005

This chapter sets out a model of (theistic) faith as doxastic venture — understood, not as believing ‘at will’, but rather as taking a proposition to be true in one's practical reasoning while recognizing its lack of adequate evidential support. This doxastic venture model is contrasted with alternative models of specifically Christian faith (such as those of Calvin and Aquinas) that locate the venture of faith elsewhere. The conceptual and psychological possibility of doxastic venture is defended by appeal to William James's notion of ‘passional’ causes for belief in The Will to Believe. The possibility, raised by Richard Swinburne amongst others, that faith may involve only sub-doxastic venture (acting on the assumption that God exists without actual belief) is also acknowledged.

Keywords:   Aquinas, Calvin, Christian faith, doxastic venture, passions, sub-doxastic venture, Swinburne, theism, will to believe, William James

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