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Knowledge, Belief, and GodNew Insights in Religious Epistemology$
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Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne, and Dani Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798705

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798705.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. 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 October 2021

Know-How and Acts of Faith

Know-How and Acts of Faith

(p.246) 12 Know-How and Acts of Faith
Knowledge, Belief, and God

Paulina Sliwa

Oxford University Press

The topic of this chapter is the nature of faith. When we have faith, we perform acts of faith: we share our secrets, rely on other’s judgment, refrain from going through our partner’s emails, and so on. Religious faith is also manifested in acts of faith: attending worship, singing the liturgy, fasting, embarking on a pilgrimage. Drawing on an analogy in moral philosophy between morally admirable actions and the nature of virtue, the chapter argues that examining what makes a given action an act of faith can tell us about the nature of faith: faith is a complex mental state whose elements go beyond doxastic states towards particular propositions. It also involves conative states and, perhaps more surprisingly, know-how. This has consequences for the epistemology of faith: the role of testimony and experts, the importance of practices, and what we should make of Pascal’s advice for how to acquire faith.

Keywords:   faith, religious belief, know-how, virtuous action, testimony, practical knowledge

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