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Faith and Reason Hardcover – December 8, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0199283927 ISBN-10: 0199283923 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (December 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199283923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199283927
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,305,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A closely-argued philosophical treatise Methodist Recorder

About the Author

Richard Swinburne is at Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion, University of Oxford.

More About the Author

Richard Swinburne is a British philosopher. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and was Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at Oxford University from 1985 until 2002.His latest book Mind. Brain and Free Will argues that humans consist of two parts, body and soul, and that humans have free will. He is best known for his trilogy on the philosophy of theism (The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason). The Existence of God (2nd edition, 2004)claims that arguments from the existence of laws of nature, those laws as being such as to lead to the evolution of human bodies, and humans being conscious, make it probable that there is a God. He has written four books on the meaning and justification of central Christian doctrines (including Providence and the Problem of Evil); and he has applied his views about what is made probable by what evidence to the evidence about the Resurrection of Jesus in The Resurrection of God Incarnate. Is there a God? and Was Jesus God? are short books summarizing the arguments of the longer books. He has written at various lengths on many of the other major issues of philosophy (including epistemology, the study of what makes a belief rational or justified, in his book Epistemic Justification). He lives in Oxford, and lectures frequently in many different countries.

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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Maxwell Goss on May 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Swinburne would surely affirm Bishop Butler's famous declaration that "probability is the very guide of life." This sentiment is present throughout his work but it is developed most fully and explicitly in _Faith and Reason_. Swinburne maintains that there is no tension between faith and reason, defining faith simply as "a matter of pursuing the goals of religion on certain assumptions believed to be more probable than rival assumptions." This may sound sterile, but, for better or worse, it is thoroughly Swinburnean. The book is probably the best modern attempt to lay out a "rationalistic" account of religious faith, according to which faith is a matter of weighing probabilities and making decisions in light of them. This is required reading for anyone who would fully understand the contours of Swinburne's thought.
Swinburne begins by laying out a theory of rational belief, then applies it to the case of religious belief. Throughout the book, Swinburne does what he does best: make distinctions. For example, in Chapter 2 he distinguishes no less than five kinds of rationality, and in Chapter 4 he analyzes the rational and volitional components of faith and relates each to pragmatist theories of faith. His discussions of both faith and reason are often illuminating, even when his account of how they relate to each other is unsatisfying. Swinburne considers the positions of such figures as Aquinas, Luther, Pascal, James, and Newman in some detail, but is dismissive of Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. I think the book suffers from its failure to consider Kierkegaard's view that uncertainty is not just acceptable, as Swinburne admits, but is the very hallmark of faith. It would have been stronger had he tried to account for the intuition behind this view within his framework.
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