Belief, Faith, and Hope: On the Rationality of Long-Term Commitment

Mind 130 (517):35–57 (2021)
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Abstract

I examine three attitudes: belief, faith, and hope. I argue that all three attitudes play the same role in rationalizing action. First, I explain two models of rational action—the decision-theory model and the belief-desire model. Both models entail there are two components of rational action: an epistemic component and a conative component. Then, using this framework, I show how belief, faith, and hope that p can all make it rational to accept, or act as if, p. I conclude by showing how my picture can explain how action-oriented commitments can be rational over time, both in the face of counterevidence and in the face of waning affections.

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Elizabeth Jackson
Toronto Metropolitan University

Citations of this work

Faith and resilience.Daniel Howard-Snyder & Daniel J. McKaughan - 2022 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (3).
Faithfully Taking Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - The Monist 106 (1):35–45.
How Does Trust Relate to Faith?Daniel J. McKaughan & Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (4):411-427.
True Grit and the Positivity of Faith.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (1):(A1)5-32.

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References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Propositional faith: what it is and what it is not.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):357-372.
Grit.Sarah K. Paul & Jennifer M. Morton - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):175-203.

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