Volume 92, Issue 3, Summer 2018
The Perspective of Faith
Its Nature and Epistemic Implications
A number of philosophers, going back at least to Kierkegaard, argue that to have faith in something is, in part, to have a passion for that thing—to possess a lasting, formative disposition to feel certain positive patterns of emotion towards the object of faith. I propose that (at least some of) the intellectual dimensions of faith can be modeled in much the same way. Having faith in a person involves taking a certain perspective towards the object of faith—in possessing a lasting, formative disposition for things to seem as though the object of faith is worthy of one’s trust. After developing the view, I briefly discuss its epistemic implications. I suggest that, by systematically reorienting how one experiences the world, faith can actually change one’s total body of evidence (or perhaps even how one weighs that evidence), thereby altering what one is justified in believing about the object of faith.