نوع مقاله : علمی-پژوهشی
1 دانشجوی دکتری فلسفه دین، دانشگاه پیام نور، تهران، ایران
2 استاد، فلسفه، دانشگاه تربیت مدرس، تهران، ایران(نویسنده مسئول)،
3 دانشیار گروه فلسفه اسلامی؛دانشگاه پیام نور
4 دانشیار فلسفه و حکمت اسلامی در دانشگاه پیام نور
عنوان مقاله [English]
A model for the epistemology of religious belief is Zagzebski’s virtue epistemology. It evaluates religious beliefs in terms of intellectual virtues such as understanding, wisdom (phronesis), and doxastic characters. A belief is stable and valid if its subject possesses intellectual virtues. We might embark on evaluating religious beliefs, particularly monotheism, God’s existence, and His attributes based on virtue renderings of intuitions and illuminations. Intuitions and illuminations are processes through which one achieves rational flourishing in light of wisdom. Both Suhrawardī and Zagzebski draw on intellectual virtues, particularly wisdom, to account for religious beliefs. In such an evaluation, instead of beliefs, believers are evaluated. Zagzebski’s account gives way to two readings: in terms of understanding and in terms of wisdom. This article deals with the role of wisdom in evaluating religious beliefs. This reading might be thought of as a version of Suhrawardī’s view of religious beliefs, particularly the belief in God. In a recapitulation of his view, Suhrawardī insists that attainment of genuine knowledge is enabled through theoretical wisdom, practical wisdom, intuitions and revelations, and possession of moral and intellectual virtues (Suhrawardī 1993, vol. 2; also see Zagzebski 1996, 1993a, 1993b, 2000, 2011). There has been research on religious beliefs in Iran in the last decade, but none of these studies has talked about the rationality of religious belief in the light of wisdom with all its aspects and independently. Therefore, the present research is novel in this connection, and its main contribution is its discussion of the virtue of wisdom according to Suhrawardī and Zagzebski.
The method of this research is descriptive-analytic. It is based on Lakatos’s research program. The research is focused on wisdom and its role in choosing beliefs. Its positive strategy is the epistemic authority of the self and others in choosing beliefs, and its negative strategy is the critique of rival theories such as radical fideism and strong rationalism.
Results and Discussion
This article begins with an overview of the epistemic foundations of Suhrawardī and Zagzebski:
(a) Intellectual virtues as modeled upon virtue ethics, (b) rational faculties or powers are not the only belief-forming powers. Indeed, moral faculties or powers play a reciprocal role in the formation and reception of beliefs, (c) an epistemic subject has both epistemic and moral duties, (d) just as we have an epistemic trust in our own rational and moral faculties, we have an epistemic trust in other people, (e) the will or motivation to attain the truth is as relevant to moral virtues as it is to intellectual virtues, (f) giving up on the scientific-empirical model of epistemology and tuning to the specialized model of religious epistemology, (g) extension of objects of religious beliefs from propositional to non-propositional facts, (h) taking into consideration the external and internal dimensions of knowledge-conferring character of non-epistemic factors in attainment of genuine knowledge, (i) special consideration of wisdom in reception of genuine knowledge, instead of explanation or justification of beliefs. A wise person is one who possesses moral and intellectual virtues, through which he or she decide under certain circumstances what is the right thing to believe or to do. Intuitions are crucial to the process of attaining wisdom. A wise person deploys intuitions, particularly rational intuitions, to make proper decisions about accepting or denying a belief or act.
There have been different versions of rational evaluation and stability of religious beliefs, including foundationalism, coherentism, and fideism. What matters is that the believer possesses moral and intellectual virtues to attain the beliefs that are proper to wise people. To take a wise person as a role model can pave the path for attainment of valid beliefs. In their virtue-theoretic framework, Suhrawardī and Zagzebski propose that a wise person, possessing spiritual virtues, is a superior model for those who seek genuine knowledge so that they can attain wisdom. Both Suhrawardī and Zagzebski begin with reflective reasons, and then turn to theoretical reasons. The highest degree of belief in monotheism, God’s existence, and His attributes can be attained in light of wisdom.