Faith and rational deference to authority

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many accounts of faith hold that faith is deference to an authority about what to believe or what to do. I show that this kind of faith fits into a more general account of faith, the risky-commitment account. I further argue that it can be rational to defer to an authority even when the authority's pronouncement goes against one's own reasoning. Indeed, such deference is rational in typical cases in which individuals treat others as authorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • decision theory
  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • faith
  • philosophy of religion
  • testimony


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