Mapping the epistemic arguments for religious toleration


In the literature on toleration, epistemic arguments are commonly equated with John Stuart Mill's fallibilism according to which toleration of opinions is a necessary means to the attainment of truth. This conflation does not capture the variety of those arguments and it results from the fact that a proper analysis of epistemic arguments for religious toleration and a systematic account of their different types are still lacking. The purpose of this article is to provide such an analysis and to argue that those arguments come in four different types, which I name fallibilism, religious belief-forming process, epistemic parity, and differentiated access to religious truth or divine message. I also offer a mapping of those different types of arguments using the standard epistemic notions of justification, truth, and belief coupled with a distinction of focus in the epistemological approach – whether individually or socially focused.

This content has been updated on August 31st, 2020 at 14 h 31 min.