Probability in the Philosophy of Religion

Overview

Probability theory promises to deliver an exact and unified foundation for inquiry in epistemology and philosophy of science. But philosophy of religion is also fertile ground for the application of probabilistic thinking. This volume presents original contributions from twelve contemporary researchers, both established and emerging, to offer a representative sample of the work currently being carried out in this potentially rich field of inquiry. Grouped into five parts, the chapters span a broad range of ...

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Overview

Probability theory promises to deliver an exact and unified foundation for inquiry in epistemology and philosophy of science. But philosophy of religion is also fertile ground for the application of probabilistic thinking. This volume presents original contributions from twelve contemporary researchers, both established and emerging, to offer a representative sample of the work currently being carried out in this potentially rich field of inquiry. Grouped into five parts, the chapters span a broad range of traditional issues in religious epistemology. The first three parts discuss the evidential impact of various considerations that have been brought to bear on the question of the existence of God. These include witness reports of the occurrence of miraculous events, the existence of complex biological adaptations, the apparent 'fine-tuning' for life of various physical constants and the existence of seemingly unnecessary evil. The fourth part addresses a number of issues raised by Pascal's famous pragmatic argument for theistic belief. A final part offers probabilistic perspectives on the rationality of faith and the epistemic significance of religious disagreement.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199604760
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jake Chandler studied at King's College Cambridge, the University of Sussex, and finally King's College London, where he received a PhD in Philosophy in 2005, under the joint supervision of James Hopkins and David Papineau. Currently Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven, Belgium, he was previously Adam Smith Visiting Professor in Philosophy and Economics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, and Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Victoria S. Harrison (PhD, University of London, 1997) is Reader in Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Religion at the University of Glasgow. She came to Glasgow in 2005 from the University of Colorado at Boulder, having previously held positions at Birkbeck College (University of London), the University of Notre Dame's London Centre, the Muslim College (London), and Kingston University. She is on the Board of Associate Editors for the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and on the Editorial Board of both Philosophy Compass (Philosophy of Religion section) and Religious Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Contributors
1. Probability in the Philosophy of Religion, Jake Chandler and Victoria S. Harrison
Part I: Testimony and Miracles
2. Peirce on Miracles: The Failure of Bayesian Analysis, Benjamin C. Jantzen
3. The Reliability of Witnesses and Testimony to the Miraculous', Tim McGrew and Lydia McGrew
4. Does it Matter whether a Miracle-Like Event Happens to Oneself rather than to Someone Else?, Luc Bovens
Part II: Design
5. Can Evidence for Design be Explained Away?, David H. Glass
6. Bayes, God, and the Multiverse, Richard Swinburne
Part III: Evil
7. Comparative Confirmation and the Problem of Evil', Richard Otte
8. Inductive Logic and the Probability that God Exists: Farewell to Sceptical Theism, Michael Tooley
Part IV: Pascal's Wager
9. Blaise and Bayes, Alan Hajek
10. Many Gods, Many Wagers: Pascal's Wager Meets the Replicator Dynamics, Paul Bartha
Part V: Faith and Disagreement
11. Does Religious Disagreement Actually Aid the Case for Theism?, Joshua C. Thurow
12. Can it be it Rational to Have Faith?, Lara Buchak
Index

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