An Analysis of the Relationship Between Faith and Volition With an Emphasis on the Opinions of Plantinga and William James

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 Associate Professor, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran


This article is an effort to show that during the history of philosophy – both in the epistemology and ethics domains – evidentialism based on extreme rationalism has tremendously influenced the true mechanism of the formation of faith in God. In the light of a kind of determinism, it has averted attentions from the role of other functions such as emotions, passions, and especially volition in the formation of faith in theists within the common understanding framework. Among the contemporary thinkers, William James and Plantinga have tried to modify this deterministic approach and revive those practical aspects of the formation of faith that are always forgotten. The salient common point in the theories of these two thinkers are the attention to the practical aspects of faith within the common understanding framework and the emphasis on the significant role of volition – in line with reason – in the formation of faith. This way, it can be observed that the opinions of William James and Plantinga about the way the mechanism of faith in God is formed complete each other.


Main Subjects

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