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The study of epistemology can aid us as we work to achieve a vital, healthy cognitive life, one preoccupied with pursuing intellectual virtue. It can help to illuminate our intellectual duties and train us in the mental virtues. Providing an account of the stewardship of the mind requires that we think about three related epistemological matters: the logical structure of our knowledge, the requirement for justified belief, and how both bear on beliefs of central concern to Christians. Undertaking to make ourselves intellectually fit for the world in which we were created to live, believes Jay Wood, quite naturally leads us to ask whether there is an ideal structure for ordering our thought life, what rules or habits dispose us to flourish cognitively, and whether our religious and other beliefs reflect these cognitive ideals.

224 pages

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How do we know what we know? What have wisdom, prudence and studiousness to do with justifying our beliefs? Jay Wood begins this introduction to epistemology by taking an extended look at the idea of knowing within the context of the intellectual virtues. He then surveys current views of foundationalism, epistemic justification and reliabilism. Finally he examines the relationship of epistemology to religious belief, and the role of emotions and virtues in proper cognitive functioning

Professors will find this text, with its many examples drawn from everyday student experience, especially useful in introducing students to the formal study of epistemology.


1 The Nature of Epistemology
1.1 When Do Epistemological Questions Arise?
1.2 Epistemology and the Pursuit of Intellectual Virtues
1.3 The Christian and Intellectual Virtues
1.4 Doing Epistemology As If Virtue Mattered
1.5 Is Everyone Called to Pursue the Intellectual Virtues?

2 Exploring the Intellectual Virtues
2.1 Types of Intellectual Virtue
2.2 The Structure of Intellectual Virtues
2.3 Epistemology, Virtue and Responsibility

3 An Extended Look at Some Intellectual Virtues
3.1 Sudiousness and Vicious Curiosity
3.2 Intellectual Honesty and Dishonesty
3.3 Wisdom and Folly
3.4 The Relationship Between Ancient and Modern and Contemporary

4 Foundationalism
4.1 The Motivation for Foundationalsim
4.2 The Rudiments of Foundationalism
4.3 Strong Foundationalism
4.4 Problems with Strong Foundationalism
4.5 Modest Foundationalism

5 Epistemic Justification
5.1 Evidentialism
5.2 Coherentism
5.3 Kieth Lehrer's Coherence Theory

6 Reliabilism
6.1 Objections to Reliabilism
6.2 Virtue Epistemology and the Internalism-Externalism Debate

7 Epistemology & Religious Belief
7.1 Internalism and the Justification of Theism
7.2 Externalism and the Justification of Theism
7.3 Reformed Epistemology

8 The Role of Emotions & Virtues in Proper Cognitive Functioning
8.1 How Emotions Assist Good Thinking
8.2 Emotions, Intellectual Virtues and Religious Belief
8.3 Transformative Emotional Experiences

Suggestions for Further Reading


Names Index

Subject Index
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Product Details

Product #: 381698

Status: Special order item

Date Published: 26 Oct 1998

ISBN-10: 0851111955

Publisher Code: 522

Publisher: Apollos Publishing

Series: Contours of Christian Philosophy

Subjects: Books - Philosophy / Books - Ethics

Category: Books - Devotional