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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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Pragmatic Encroachment and Theistic Knowledge

Pragmatic Encroachment and Theistic Knowledge

(p.267) 13 Pragmatic Encroachment and Theistic Knowledge
Knowledge, Belief, and God
Matthew A. Benton
Oxford University Press

If knowledge is sensitive to practical stakes, then whether one knows depends in part on the practical costs of being wrong. When considering religious belief, the practical costs of being wrong about theism may differ dramatically between the theist (if there is no God) and the atheist (if there is a God). This chapter explores the prospects, on pragmatic encroachment, for knowledge of theism (even if true), and of atheism (even if true), given two types of practical costs: namely, by holding a false belief, or by missing out on a true belief. These considerations set up a more general puzzle of epistemic preference when faced with the choice between two beliefs, only one of which could become knowledge.

Keywords:   pragmatic encroachment, practical stakes, knowability asymmetry, religious epistemology, knowledge norms

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