Chapter

Epistemology and the Ethics of Belief

C. Stephen Evans

in The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780198263975
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600579 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019826397X.003.0009
 Epistemology and the Ethics of Belief

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The last three chapters have argued that there is no good reasons to doubt the possible historical truth and knowability of the incarnational narrative, but these arguments have been negative in character, with the aim of showing only that it is possible to have knowledge of such a narrative. This chapter looks at the positive accounts that might be given of how such knowledge could be actual, and to do this turns to some basic epistemological questions. It was suggested in the first chapter that one of the factors that created difficulties for the historicity of the incarnational narrative was the widespread embracement of Enlightenment epistemological thinking: the epistemologies of modernity. To have a real chance of surmounting the difficulties some sense is needed of what problems there are with the epistemologies of modernity, and what viable options there are today for understanding knowledge and reasonable belief; these issues are enormously complex, so an outline, rather than a comprehensive defence, is presented of the epistemological perspective. The different sections of the chapter are: the task of epistemology; classical foundationalism; realism and anti-realism; knowledge, justification, and warrant; externalism and internalism; foundationalism and coherentism; and epistemological virtues.

Keywords: belief; coherentism; Enlightenment; epistemology; ethics; externalism; foundationalism; historical truth; incarnational narrative; internalism; knowledge; modernity; realism

Chapter.  11090 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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