Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Classics, Philosophy, and Religion
Department Chair or Program Director
Major or Concentration
There exists a conflict between the fields of religion on science. This conflict exists, according to Gregory Dawes, on the grounds that these disciplines share no common epistemic norms, and therefore this conflict is "ineradicable." An epistemic norm describes the way that someone goes about the pursuit of knowledge. I disagree with Dawes' assertion that this conflict is, in fact, "ineradicable." Pragmatic faith, first posited as "sub-doxastic faith" by F. R. Tennant, expresses values found in both religion and science, as well as in other "reason-based" disciplines like mathematics and philosophy. This work uses examples from each discipline to demonstrate these similarities in how knowledge is pursued, bringing together such elements as Abraham from the Book of Genesis, Bertrand Russell's explanation of the principle of induction, Kurt Godel's conclusions about the natures of truth and provability, and philosophical skepticism. The goal is to provide a common ground upon which those in the religious and "reason-based" realms of thought may meet, by presenting pragmatic faith as an epistemic norm that both camps share.
Willis, John Benjamin, "Pragmatic Faith: An Epistemic Link between Religion, Science, Mathematics, and Philosophy" (2018). Student Research Submissions. 248.