Illogic Primer Quotes Clippings Books and Bibliography Paper Trails Links Film

Dallas Willard on Knowledge Sans Belief

JP Moreland and William Lane Craig, eds., Naturalism: A Critical Appraisal (Routledge: 2002), pp. 32-3.

The absence of any reference to belief in my statements on knowledge and knowing will be immediately noticed. The absence is intended, and though rare today in discussions of knowledge it is by no means unique in the history of the theory of knowledge. … Belief I understand to be some degree of readiness to act as if such and such (the content believed) were the case. Everyone concedes that one can believe where one does not know. But it is now widely assumed that you cannot know what you do not believe. Hence the well-known analysis of knowledge as “justified, true belief.” But this seems to me, as it has to numerous others, to be a mistake. Belief is, as Hume correctly held, a passion. It is something that happens to us. Thought, observation and testing, even knowledge itself, an be sources of belief, and indeed should be. But one may actually know (dispositionally, occurrently) without believing what one knows.