Volume 20, 1995
Perceptual Experience, Doxastic Practice, and the Rationality of Religious Commitment
This paper is a constructive critical study of William P. Alston’s Perceiving God. It explores his account of perception of God, his doxastic practice epistemology, and his overall integration of faith and reason. In dealing with the first, it distinguishes some possible cases of theistic perception that have not generally been sorted out in the literature. In examining doxastic practices, it explores both the sense in which it is rational to engage in them and the epistemic status of beliefs formed through them. Concerning the integration between faith and reason, it proposes a conception of faith in which, contrary to the prevailing tradition, belief is not central; distinguishes rationality from justification; and argues that the rationality of faith so conceived need not meet the same standard appropriate to the justification, or even the rationality, of the corresponding religious beliefs.