Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

22 p.

Publication Date

6-2010

Publisher

Philosophy Documentation Center

Source Publication

International Philosophical Quarterly

Source ISSN

0019-0365

Abstract

While some philosophers suggest that mystical experience may provide evidence for belief in God, skeptics doubt that there is adequate warrant for even accepting the claim of a mystical experience as evidence for anything, except perhaps for some kind of mental instability. Drawing from the work of Gabriel Marcel, I argue that the pervasive philosophical skepticism about the evidential status of mystical experiences is misguided because it rests on too narrow a view about ways of knowing and about what can count as evidence for belief in the divine. I illustrate the advantages of Marcel's approach by applying it to the respective spiritual journeys of Augustine of Hippo and Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali. I then argue that Marcel's framework improves on contemporary analytic approaches because it captures more accurately the kind of knowledge that mystical experiences convey as reported by the subjects who claim to have them.

Comments

Accepted version. International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 50, No. 2 (June, 2010): 221-241. Permalink. © 2010 Philosophy Documentation Center. Used with permission.

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