2014 Lecture Series

In 2014, the BLPR is proud to partner with the Associated Student club Theistic-Thinkers in bringing Dr. Linda Zagzebski, the George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Philosophy and Kingfisher College Chair of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at University of Oklahoma, to campus. Dr. Zagzebski is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers and the American Catholic Philosophical Association. She delivered the Wilde Lectures in Natural Theology at Oxford University in Spring of 2010, the Bitar Lectures at Geneva College in Spring of 2008, and the McCarthy Lectureship in Philosophy at Gregorian University in Rome in Spring of 2006. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including the following works:

Epistemic Authority: A Theory of Trust, Authority, and Autonomy in Belief (Oxford 2012)

Divine Motivation Theory (Cambridge 2004)

Virtues of the Mind: an Inquiry into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge (Cambridge 1996)

Is It Reasonable to Believe in God?

When philosophers argue that it is reasonable to believe in God, they might present the traditional arguments for God's existence, all of which have contemporary forms, or they might appeal to certain sorts of religious experience as a basis for reasonable belief in God. In this lecture, Zagzebski explores another route. She argues that trust in our own faculties commits us to trust in the faculties of others, and this leads to a new form of the consensus gentium argument for reasonable belief in God.

A Defense of Epistemic Authority

The modern suspicion of authority extends to the epistemic domain. Philosophers generally believe epistemic authority in any strong sense is incompatible with intellectual autonomy. In this lecture, Zagzebski applies Joseph Raz's well-known defense of political authority to the authority of belief. She argues that analogues of his principles justify epistemic authority, and that epistemic authority is compatible with autonomy.

Page Updated 02.24.2014