On Mathematical and Religious Belief, and on Epistemic Snobbery

Philosophy 91 (1):69-92 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that religious belief is epistemically equivalent to mathematical belief. Abstract beliefs don't fall under ‘naive’, evidence-based analyses of rationality. Rather, their epistemic permissibility depends, I suggest, on four criteria: predictability, applicability, consistency, and immediate acceptability of the fundamental axioms. The paper examines to what extent mathematics meets these criteria, juxtaposing the results with the case of religion. My argument is directed against a widespread view according to which belief in mathematics is clearly rationally acceptable whereas belief in religion is not. The paper also aims to make some of the implications of contemporary mathematics available to philosophers working in different fields.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,446

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Belief-in and Belief in God.John N. Williams - 1992 - Religious Studies 28 (3):401-405.
Evidence and Religious Belief.Raymond VanArragon & Kelly James Clark (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford, US: Oxford University Press.
A Note on Jaakko Hintikka's "Knowledge and Belief".Paul Weingartner - 1994 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 49 (1):135-147.
Rational Faith and Justified Belief.Lara Buchak - 2014 - In Timothy O'Connor & Laura Frances Callahan (eds.), Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-73.
Understanding Hume's natural history of religion.P. J. E. Kail - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):190–211.
The ethics of belief.Andrew Chignell - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-08-27

Downloads
75 (#197,884)

6 months
5 (#239,721)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Silvia Jonas
Universität Bamberg

Citations of this work

Rethinking Religious Epistemology.Amber L. Griffioen - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1):21-47.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Mathematical truth.Paul Benacerraf - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.
What numbers could not be.Paul Benacerraf - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):47-73.
Epistemic permissiveness.Roger White - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):445–459.
Rational animals.Donald Davidson - 1982 - Dialectica 36 (4):317-28.

View all 10 references / Add more references