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Belief-In Revisited: A Reply To Williams

  • J. J. Macintosh (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 24 October 2008

In ‘Belief-In and Belief in God’ (Religious Studies, 28, 1992), J. N. Williams suggests that belief in God cannot be rational unless one has rational beliefs that God exists. While agreeing with his conclusion (though not with his statement of it), I disagree at almost every step with his method of arriving at it. In particular I suggest that Williams goes astray concerning the dual aspect of belief in, the nature of performatives, the arousal of belief states, and the correct account of belief in God.

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J. J. MacIntosh , ‘Belief-In’, Mind, LXXIX (1970), 395407 (hereafter MacIntosh).

John N. Williams , ‘Inconsistency and Contradiction’, Mind, xc (1981), 600–2. That is, belief often does not collect over conjunction; its not distributing over conjunction is also a possible, though less frequent, case.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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