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God and other minds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2010

Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, LondonW8 5HQ


I reconsider the idea that there is an analogy between belief in other minds and belief in God, and examine two approaches to the relevant beliefs. The ‘explanatory inductive’ approach raises difficulties in both contexts, and involves questionable assumptions. The ‘expressivist’ approach is more promising, and presupposes a more satisfactory metaphysical framework in the first context. Its application to God is similarly insightful, and offers an intellectually respectable, albeit resistible, version of the doctrine that nature is a book of lessons.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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38. Jantzen God's World, God's Body, 151.

39. Ibid., 134–135.

40. Ibid., 125.

41. Ibid., 126–127.

42. Ibid., 151.

43. Ibid., 153.

44. Ibid., 152.

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46. Ibid., 288–338.

47. I am grateful to Mike Inwood, Gerry Hughes, Gemma Simmonds, Craig French, Brian O'Shaughnessy, Roger Scruton, and Paul Snowdon for their indispensable and generous support. I would also like to thank an anonymous referee for this journal whose comments contributed greatly to my understanding of the problem.