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ANNOUNCEMENT: Workshop on Religious Epistemology, Contextualism, and Pragmatic Encroachment

Workshop on Religious Epistemology, Contextualism,
and Pragmatic Encroachment

Oxford University, 13 & 14 March 2013 
Charity Anderson (Oxford) & John Hawthorne (Oxford)
'Knowledge, Practical Adequacy, and Stakes'

Jeremy Fantl (Calgary) & Matthew McGrath (Missouri)


Matthew Benton (Oxford)

'Pragmatic Encroachment and Theistic Knowledge'

Michael Pace (Chapman)

'Pragmatic Encroachment and the Nature of Faith'

Tim Pickavance (Biola) & Daniel Eaton (Texas)

'Wagering on Pragmatic Encroachment'

Stephen R. Ogden (Yale)

'A Contextualist Look at Skeptical Theism'

Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern) will be a commenter.
Registration is free, but space is limited so we kindly request that those who register commit to attending all of the sessions. Please note that the format of the workshop is pre-read. Thus, it is anticipated that attendees read the papers prior to the session.
Please email Giorgia Carta ( with your name and affiliation to register.
This event will be photographed, and photos will appear on the New Insights Website. All participants should bring the Photography Consent Form to registration.

The event is a part of the outstanding project, New Insights and Directions for Religious Epistemology, headed by John Hawthorne at Oxford University.


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Reformed epistemology, roughly, is the thesis that religious belief can be rational without argument. After providing some background, I present Plantinga's defense of reformed epistemology and its influence on religious debunking arguments. I then discuss three objections to Plantinga's arguments that arise from the following topics: skeptical theism, cognitive science of religion, and basicality. I then show how reformed epistemology has recently been undergirded by a number of epistemological theories, including phenomenal conservatism and virtue epistemology. I end by noting that a good objection to reformed epistemology must criticize either a substantive epistemological theory or the application of that theory to religious belief; I also show that the famous Great Pumpkin Objection is an example of the former. And if a copy should make its way to my inbox...

UPDATE: Thanks!