University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

Religious Fictionalism

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12474
JournalPhilosophy Compass
Journal publication date7 Mar 2018
Early online date22 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2018


Religious fictionalism is the theory that it is morally and intellectually legitimate to affirm religious sentences and to engage in public and private religious practices, without believing the content of religious claims. This article discusses the main features of fictionalism, contrasts hermeneutic, and revolutionary kinds of fictionalism and explores possible historical and recent examples of religious fictionalism. Such examples are found in recent theories of faith, pragmatic approaches to religion, and mystical traditions in religious theology.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Michael Scott, and Finlay Malcolm, ‘Religious fictionalism’, Philosophy Compass, Vol. 13 (3): e12474, March 2018, which has been published in final form at Under embargo until 22 January 2020. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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