Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Robert Pasnau

Second Advisor

Wesley Morriston

Third Advisor

Michael Zimmerman

Abstract

This project considers two views concerning the relation between faith and evidence. First, Lara Buchak proposes that faith requires one to cease looking for evidence in order to go ahead and act on one’'s faith. Second, Thomas Aquinas states that faith involves seeking evidence to better understand of one’'s faith. In first turning to analyze Buchak’'s account, I argue that Buchak’'s view is mistaken because it rules out that the faithful person seeks evidence to better understand his or her faith. In addition, I find that Buchak’'s view raises an important question regarding the relationship between faith and evidence: If faith is acting on a lack of evidence, how is it that finding evidence in support of one’'s faith serves to supplement rather than supplant one’'s faith? The second chapter turns to address this question by examining Aquinas’' account of faith. I argue that Aquinas allows us to see how faith rooted in charity on the part of the will shows how faith is not replaced by finding evidence. Moreover, Aquinas’' account offers several ways in which faith is supplemented by seeking evidence. I conclude that Aquinas’' account offers a fuller account of faith than Buchak’'s view of faith.

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