Wittgenstein and natural religion

In the philosophy of religion ‘Wittgensteinianism’ is a distinctive position whose outlines are more or less unanimously agreed by both its defenders and detractors. By invoking a variety of
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In the philosophy of religion ‘Wittgensteinianism’ is a distinctive position whose outlines are more or less unanimously agreed by both its defenders and detractors. By invoking a variety of concepts to which Wittgenstein gave currency – language games, forms of life, groundless believing, depth grammar, world pictures – the defenders aim to defuse rationalistic criticisms of religion by showing them to be, in the strict sense, impertinent. In the light of these very same concepts, however, the detractors claim that ‘religion’ is being isolated from intellectual inquiry and rendered immune to critical scrutiny. The dispute began in 1962 at a conference in Princeton Theological Seminary when John Hick raised objections to a line of thought about religious belief that Norman Malcolm, inspired by Wittgenstein, seemed to be adopting. The most prominent ‘cold warriors’ of this particular debate were Kai Nielsen and the late D Z Phillips, who, astonishingly, kept it going for nearly forty. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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