Faith as a Mustard Seed

Jacquette, Dale (2012). Faith as a Mustard Seed. Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy, 17(2), pp. 141-173. Akademia Ignatianum

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Abstract: This investigation of the concept of faith is divided into two parts. Part One evaluates a topical philosophical interpretation of faith as irreducibly disjunctive, collecting the best fragmented ideas as to what constitutes faith in a recent family resemblance exposition as an objective for an adequate essentialist analysis of the concept of faith to achieve. Part Two offers a more extended essentialist analysis of the concept of faith as unconditional patience in the eventuality of a positive future state, and a detailed reduction of six supposedly disparate family resemblance senses of faith to this single definition. Criteria for a satisfactory analysis of faithfulness are considered and defended. In contrast with what has become a standard doxastic-epistemic interpretation of faith as persistent unjustified or even unjustifiable belief, a concept of faith is advanced that appears to satisfy the necessary and sufficient criteria identified. Systematic comparison with a variety of usages of the word “faith” suggests that the analysis agrees with many and arguably most applications of this sometimes loosely understood term. Implications of the analysis of the concept of faith are considered and defended against anticipated objections. Pascal’s wager is critically examined in relation to matters of religious faith, along with positivist meaningfulness requirements that seem to conflict especially with epistemically ungrounded belief, the power of faith, and the metaphorical size of mustard seeds. The inquiry concludes with a synthesis of five aspects of six supposedly distinct senses of faith under the single essentialist reductive umbrella of unconditional patience in the eventuality of a positive future state.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy > Theoretical Philosophy

UniBE Contributor:

Jacquette, Dale

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 110 Metaphysics

ISSN:

1426-1898

Publisher:

Akademia Ignatianum

Language:

English

Submitter:

Caroline Bolz

Date Deposited:

10 Sep 2014 08:13

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2014 08:13

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/54545

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