Reidianism in Contemporary English-Speaking Religious Epistemology

Peter Byrne

Abstract

This paper explores the main contours of recent work in English-speaking philosophy of religion on the justi cation of religious belief. It sets out the main characteristics of the religious epistemologies of such writers as Alston, Plantinga, and Swinburne. It poses and seeks to answer the question of how far any or all of these epistemologies are indebted or similar to the epistemology of the Scottish enlightenment thinker Thomas Reid. It concludes that while there are some links to Reid in recent writing, contemporary approaches depart from Reid’s views on the specific topic of the justification of religious belief. 

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