I Believe in order to Understand:An Externalist Analysis of Augustin’s Viewpoint


Abstract
The Augustinian theologian's unusual assertion that understanding rests on the faith, seems to be confronted with various objections. Through analyzing, criticizing, and refuting these objections, we will clarify epistemological status of this assertion. This essay consists of two sections. In the first section, by distinguishing two different approaches to epistemic justification, that is, internalism and externalism, it will be argued that these objections are all due to epistemic obligations which are imposed by internalist approach. The said objections, thus, will be resolved if these obligations are eliminated; externalist approach undertakes to do this. Then, we will show that although the latter one can appropriately satisfy the requisites which are necessary to representing a general epistemology but its foundations rest on a condition which will merely be provided through a faith-based explanation. In the second section, we will argue that the Augustinian theologian's viewpoint is the only one which can appropriately pave the way for this condition.
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