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Indirect epistemic reasons and religious belief

Lougheed, K; Simpson, RM; (2017) Indirect epistemic reasons and religious belief. Religious Studies , 53 (2) pp. 151-169. 10.1017/S0034412516000202. Green open access

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Abstract

If believing P will result in epistemically good outcomes, does this generate an epistemic reason to believe P, or just a pragmatic reason? Conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons seems to lead to absurdity, e.g. by allowing that someone can rationally hold beliefs that conflict with her assessment of her evidence's probative force. We explain how this and other intuitively unwelcome results can be avoided. We also suggest a positive case for conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons, namely, that they exhibit a form of interpersonal normative parity that's typical of epistemic reasons but not pragmatic reasons. We then link this discussion to religious belief, suggesting that there are sometimes indirect epistemic reasons for religious belief, and that certain characterizations of religious belief are instructive in thinking about how to take account of indirect epistemic reasons.

Type: Article
Title: Indirect epistemic reasons and religious belief
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0034412516000202
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0034412516000202
Language: English
Additional information: © Cambridge University Press 2016. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042898
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