Abstract

Abstract:

Recent work on Peirce's religious writings has examined his defense of the rational acceptability of religious belief. This essay supplements that discussion with an examination of Peirce's account of faith. Within Peirce's defense of "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God" (1908) in a letter to Lady Welby, he offers a distinctive account of faith as trust. Peirce argues that faith arises from perception and leads to religious belief. What is distinctive about Peirce's view is that it includes the idea that faith arises prior to any properly 'conscious' belief that approaches knowledge. I contend that Peirce offers a non-doxastic account of faith according to which faith precedes and is separable from particular religious beliefs. Following an examination of Peirce's conception of perception, faith, and belief, I discuss a pressing objection to non-doxastic accounts, viz. the fictionalist objection. I conclude by arguing that a Peircean conception of faith copes with the objection and, in turn, provides a promising position from which to defend non-doxastic accounts generally.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9587
Print ISSN
0009-1774
Pages
pp. 457-479
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-28
Open Access
No
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