Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/diversityreading/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777
Full text Read free See used
Buchak, Lara, , . Can it be Rational to Have Faith?
2012, in Jake Chandler & Victoria Harrison (eds.) Probability in the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press: 225-247.
Expand entry
Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper provides an account of what it is to have faith in a proposition p, in both religious and mundane contexts. It is argued that faith in p doesn’t require adopting a degree of belief that isn’t supported by one’s evidence but rather it requires terminating one’s search for further evidence and acting on the supposition that p. It is then shown, by responding to a formal result due to I.J. Good, that doing so can be rational in a number of circumstances. If expected utility theory is the correct account of practical rationality, then having faith can be both epistemically and practically rational if the costs associated with gathering further evidence or postponing the decision are high. If a more permissive framework is adopted, then having faith can be rational even when there are no costs associated with gathering further evidence

Comment: A great paper for an intermediate philosophy of religion course, especially because many arguments from students are to the contrary: it’s irrational to believe in God when we don’t have satisfactory evidence. It could be nice to set up a debate centering around this paper. It could work particularly well towards the end of the course.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Buchak, Lara, , . Rational Faith and Justified Belief
2014, in Laura Frances Callahan & Timothy O’Connor (eds.) Reigious Faith and Intellectual Virtue. Oxford University Press: 49-73.
Expand entry
Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: In ‘Can it be rational to have faith?’, it was argued that to have faith in some proposition consists, roughly speaking, in stopping one’s search for evidence and committing to act on that proposition without further evidence. That paper also outlined when and why stopping the search for evidence and acting is rationally required. Because the framework of that paper was that of formal decision theory, it primarily considered the relationship between faith and degrees of belief, rather than between faith and belief full stop. This paper explores the relationship between rational faith and justified belief, by considering four prominent proposals about the relationship between belief and degrees of belief, and by examining what follows about faith and belief according to each of these proposals. It is argued that we cannot reach consensus concerning the relationship between faith and belief at present because of the more general epistemological lack of consensus over how belief relates to rationality: in particular, over how belief relates to the degrees of belief it is rational to have given one’s evidence.

Comment: This could be a great paper to set for further reading, with Buchak’s ‘Can it be Rational to Have Faith?’ as a primary reading. If being discussed as a primary reading, it would be good to get very clear on Buchak’s four candidates for the relationship between belief and degrees of belief: perhaps by splitting the room into four groups, and getting each group to discuss one proposal – as well as what follows about the relationship between faith and belief according to that proposal.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Galavotti, Maria Carla, , . The notion of subjective probability in the works of Ramsey and de Finetti
1991, Theoria 57 (3): 239-259.
Expand entry
Added by: Sara Peppe, Contributed by:

Introduction: The decade from the mid-twenties to the mid-thirties was undoubtedly the most crucial for the twentieth Century notion of subjective probability. It was in 1926 that Frank Ramsey wrote his essay ‘Truth and probability’, presented at the Moral Science Club in Cambridge and published posthumously in 1931. There he put forward for the first time a definition of probability as degree of belief, that had been anticipated only by E. Borel in 1924, in a review of J. M. Keynes’ Treatise on Ten years after Ramsey’s paper, namely in 1935, Bruno de Finetti gave a series of lectures at the Institut Poincare in Paris, published in 1937 under the title ‘La prévision: ses lois logiques, ses sources subjectives’. In this paper subjective probability, defined in a way analogous to that adopted by Ramsey, was implemented with the notion of exchangeability, that de Finetti had already worked out in 1928- 1930. Exchangeability confers applicability to the notion of subjective probability, and fills the gap between frequency and probability as degree of belief. It was only when these two were tied together that subjectivism could become a full-fledged interpretation of probability and gain credibility among probabilists and statisticians. One can then say that with the publication of ‘La prévision’ the formation process of a subjective notion of probability was completed.

Comment: This article is focused on subjective probability in the works of Ramsey and de Finetti even if the main part of the work is devoted to Ramsey. This text is crucial in order to understand the subjectivist line of thinking.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options