III Philosophy

The Theory of Credition and Philosophical Accounts of Belief: Looking for Common Ground

Aku Visala and Hans-Ferdinand Angel

Abstract The nature and function of belief and the goal of believing have been central topics in Western philosophical and theological traditions since Antiquity. Basic questions have been asked, for instance, about the relationship between belief and knowledge, belief in God or gods, and the nature of believing itself. Is belief somehow inferior to knowledge, and how is it related to evidence? In this chapter, we introduce some historical and contemporary philosophical discussions about these issues and explore a number of ways in which the theory of credition could benefit from engaging with the philosophical literature on belief. We begin by looking at some historical and contemporary accounts of the relationship between belief and knowledge. After that, we address the perennial association of religion with belief. Finally, we conclude the chapter by making some preliminary suggestions as to how we could relate philosophical debates and discussions to the theory of credi- tions. We suggest that philosophy has much to give to the theory of credition and vice versa.

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