University of Pretoria
LCC International University
  • Value Beyond Monotheim: The Axiology of the Divine. (edited book)
    Routledge.. forthcoming.
  •  39
    Introduction: Puzzles Concerning Epistemic Autonomy
    In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy, Routledge. pp. 1-17. 2021.
    In this introduction we explore a number of puzzles that arise concerning epistemic autonomy, and introduce the sections and chapters of the book. There are four broad types of puzzles to be explored, corresponding to the four sections of the book. The first set of puzzles concerns the nature of epistemic autonomy. Here, questions arise such as what is epistemic autonomy? Is epistemic autonomy valuable? What are we epistemically autonomous about? The second set of puzzles concern epistemic pater…Read more
  •  5
    This book offers a unique comparative study of ubuntu, a dominant ethical theory in African philosophy, and western monotheism. It is the first book to bring ubuntu to bear on the axiology of theism debate in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. A large motivating force behind this book is to explore the extent to which there is intersubjective ethical agreement and disagreement between ubuntu and Western worldviews like monotheism and naturalism. First, the author assesses the various …Read more
  •  1
    This book explores the value impact that theist and other worldviews have on our world and its inhabitants. Providing an extended defense of anti-theism - the view that God’s existence would (or does) actually make the world worse in certain respects - Lougheed explores God’s impact on a broad range of concepts including privacy, understanding, dignity, and sacrifice. The second half of the book is dedicated to the expansion of the current debate beyond monotheism and naturalism, providing an an…Read more
  •  13
    Epistemic Paternalism, Open Group Inquiry, and Religious Knowledge
    Res Philosophica 98 (2): 261-281. 2021.
    Epistemic paternalism occurs when a decision is made for an agent which helps them arrive at the truth, though they didn’t consent to that decision. Common defenses of epistemic paternalism claim that it can help promote positive veritistic results. In other words, epistemic paternalism is often good for inquiry. I argue that there is often a better alternative available to epistemic paternalism in the form of what I call Open Group Inquiry. I then examine how Open Group Inquiry can be applied t…Read more
  •  8
    In the philosophy of religion, ‘no-fault unbelief’ represents the view that a person can fail to believe that God exists through no fault of their own. On the other hand, ‘flawed unbelief’ says a person is always culpable for failing to believe that God exists. In a recent article in Sophia, Roberto Di Ceglie argues that some might find the usual reasons for rejecting ‘no-fault unbelief’ to be offensive. In light of this, he proposes an alternative rejection of ‘no-fault unbelief’ based on the c…Read more
  •  2
    John Pittard, Disagreement, Deference, and Religious Commitment (review)
    Faith and Philosophy 37 (3): 384-389. 2020.
  •  13
    Are atheist worlds really the best?
    Religious Studies 1-14. forthcoming.
    Anti-theism is the view that God's existence would detract from the value of the world. A distinctive argument for anti-theism says that the very best atheist worlds are better than the best theist worlds. The reason for this is that it's possible to gain most or all of the benefits associated with theism in Godless worlds. For instance, worlds with a lesser god or several lesser gods can provide many of the benefits of theism without the associated disadvantages. While some work has been done t…Read more
  •  1
    For centuries, philosophers have addressed the ontological question of whether God exists. Most recently, philosophers have begun to explore the axiological question of what value impact, if any, God's existence has on our world. This book brings together four prestigious philosophers, Michael Almeida, Travis Dumsday, Perry Hendricks and Graham Oppy, to present different views on the axiological question about God. Each contributor expresses a position on axiology, which is then met with respons…Read more
  •  8
    Semantic Non-Doxastic Agnostic Religious Faith
    Philosophia 49 (3): 1067-1081. 2020.
    The purpose of this article is to articulate the possibility of semantic non-doxastic agnostic religious faith. Robin Le Poidevin, who introduced the idea of semantic religious agnosticism, defines it as being agnostic about which parts of religion to treat in realist terms and which parts to treat in fictionalist terms. I take Le Poidevin’s view and argue that it is consistent with a non-doxastic attitude toward the object of faith such as acceptance. I then explore the similarities and differe…Read more
  •  12
    The Epistemic Benefits of Worldview Disagreement
    Social Epistemology 35 (1): 85-98. 2020.
    In my recent book, The Epistemic Benefits of Disagreement, I develop a defense of non-conciliationism, but one that only applies in research contexts: Epistemic benefits are more likely in the offi...
  •  64
    The Goals of Philosophy of Religion: A Reply to Ireneusz Zieminski
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (1): 187-199. 2019.
    In a recent article, Ireneusz Zieminski argues that the main goals of philosophy of religion are to define religion; assess the truth value of religion and; assess the rationality of a religious way of life. Zieminski shows that each of these goals are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Hence, philosophy of religion leads to scepticism. He concludes that the conceptual tools philosophers of religion employ are best suited to study specific religious traditions, rather than religion more b…Read more
  •  22
    Epistemic Autonomy (edited book)
    Routledge. 2021.
    This is the first book dedicated to the topic of epistemic autonomy. It features original essays from leading scholars that promise to significantly shape future debates in this emerging area of epistemology. While the nature of and value of autonomy has long been discussed in ethics and social and political philosophy, it remains an underexplored area of epistemology. The essays in this collection take up several interesting questions and approaches related to epistemic autonomy. Topics include…Read more
  •  31
    Anti-Theism, Pro-Theism, and Gratuitous Evil
    Philosophia Christi 21 (2): 355-369. 2019.
    Ebrahim Azadegan recently argues that personal anti-theism, the view that it’s rational for a particular individual to prefer that God not exist, is a form of gratuitous evil. He justifies this evil by arguing that the anti-theist is uniquely positioned to bargain, implore, and plea to God. I argue that Azadegan faces a paradox. Once the anti-theist recognizes that God plus anti-theism makes the world better, she should convert to pro-theism. But then there can be no reflective anti-theists who …Read more
  •  313
    Indirect Epistemic Reasons and Religious Belief
    Religious Studies 53 (2): 151-169. 2017.
    If believing P will result in epistemically good outcomes, does this generate an epistemic reason to believe P, or just a pragmatic reason? Conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons seems to lead to absurdity, e.g. by allowing that someone can rationally hold beliefs that conflict with her assessment of her evidence’s probative force. We explain how this and other intuitively unwelcome results can be avoided. We also suggest a positive case for conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reaso…Read more
  •  28
    This book presents an original discussion and analysis of epistemic peer disagreement. It reviews a wide range of cases from the literature, and extends the definition of epistemic peerhood with respect to the current one, to account for the actual variability found in real-world examples. The book offers a number of arguments supporting the variability in the nature and in the range of disagreements, and outlines the main benefits of disagreement among peers i.e. what the author calls the benef…Read more
  •  14
    The Axiology of Theism
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2019.
    The Axiology of Theism The existential question about God asks whether God exists, but the axiology of theism addresses the question of what value-impact, if any, God’s existence does have on our world and its inhabitants. There are two prominent answers to the axiological question about God. Pro-theism is the view that God’s … Continue reading The Axiology of Theism →
  •  5
    In a recent article in Sophia, Joshua Cockayne and Jack Warman defend a view they call supra-evidential atheistic fideism. This is the idea that considerations similar to William James’s defence of theistic belief can be used to justify atheistic belief. If an individual evaluates the evidence for atheism and theism as roughly the same, then she can rationally believe in atheism if her passions lean in that direction, provided the belief in atheism is forced, live and momentous. After outlining …Read more
  •  20
    In a recent article in Sophia, Joshua Cockayne and Jack Warman defend a view they call supra-evidential atheistic fideism. This is the idea that considerations similar to William James’s defence of theistic belief can be used to justify atheistic belief. If an individual evaluates the evidence for atheism and theism as roughly the same, then she can rationally believe in atheism if her passions lean in that direction, provided the belief in atheism is forced, live and momentous. After outlining …Read more
  •  10
    Carl-Johan Palmqvist recently examines a well-known form of non-doxastic religiosity called ultimism, which comes to us from J. L Schellenberg. He contends that traditional forms of religion are better candidates for non-doxastic religion for two reasons. First, their specificity makes them more likely to put one into contact with transcendental reality than ultimism. Second, religious experience can only be on traditional forms of religion, not on ultimism. I argue that Palmqvist’s rejection of…Read more
  •  61
    Religious Disagreement, Religious Experience, and the Evil God Hypothesis
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1): 173-190. 2020.
    Conciliationism is the view that says when an agent who believes P becomes aware of an epistemic peer who believes not-P, that she encounters a defeater for her belief that P. Strong versions of conciliationism pose a sceptical threat to many, if not most, religious beliefs since religion is rife with peer disagreement. Elsewhere I argue that one way for a religious believer to avoid sceptical challenges posed by strong conciliationism is by appealing to the evidential import of religious experi…Read more
  •  23
    Disagreement, Deep Time, and Progress in Philosophy
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (4): 285-313. 2019.
    The epistemology of disagreement examines the question of how an agent ought to respond to awareness of epistemic peer disagreement about one of her beliefs. The literature on this topic, ironically enough, represents widespread disagreement about how we should respond to disagreement. I argue for the sceptical conclusion that the existence of widespread disagreement throughout the history of philosophy, and right up until the present day indicates that philosophers are highly unreliable at arri…Read more
  •  13
    Conciliationism is the view that an agent must revise her belief in a proposition when she becomes aware that there is an epistemic peer who disagrees with her about that proposition. If epistemic peers are anything less than strict cognitive and evidential equals, then even slight differences could explain away why the two parties disagree in the first place. But this strict notion of peerhood never obtains in many, if not most, of real-life cases disagreements between inquirers. One recent acc…Read more
  •  128
    On the Axiology of a Hidden God
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4): 79-95. 2018.
    The axiological question in the philosophy of religion is the question of what impact, if any, God’s existence does make to the axiological value of our world. It has recently been argued that we should prefer a theistic world where God is hidden to an atheistic world or a theistic world where God isn’t hidden. This is because in a hidden theistic world all of the theistic goods obtain in addition to the experience of atheistic goods. I complete this line of argument by showing that theistic goo…Read more
  •  360
    Undermining the axiological solution to divine hiddenness
    with Perry Hendricks
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 86 (1): 3-15. 2019.
    Lougheed argues that a possible solution to the problem of divine hiddenness is that God hides in order to increase the axiological value of the world. In a world where God exists, the goods associated with theism necessarily obtain. But Lougheed also claims that in such a world it’s possible to experience the goods of atheism, even if they don’t actually obtain. This is what makes a world with a hidden God more valuable than a world where God is unhidden, and also more valuable than an atheisti…Read more
  •  11
    The Epistemic Significance of Disagreement
    Philosophia Christi 20 (1): 301-303. 2018.
  •  23
    Consider two epistemically possible worlds that are as similar as can be, except that atheism is true in one world and theism is true in the other world. Which world is it rational to prefer? I explore the strongest defence of the somewhat counterintuitive claim that it is rational to prefer the atheistic world. I also discuss the opposite conclusion, namely, that it’s rational to prefer the theistic world. Surprisingly, my conclusion is that it’s difficult to tell whether to prefer theism or at…Read more
  •  20
    Metaphilosophical discussions about the philosophy of religion are increasingly common. In a recent article in Sophia, N.N. Trakakis advances the view that Christian Philosophy is closer to ideology than philosophy. This is because philosophy conducted in the Socratic tradition tends to emphasize values antithetical to religious faith such as independence of thought, rationality, empiricism, and doubt. A philosopher must be able to follow the arguments wherever they lead, something that the reli…Read more