Search results for: early-wittgenstein-on-religion

The Early Wittgenstein on Religion

Author : J. Mark Lazenby
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Many have observed how Wittgenstein's later philosophy illuminates the philosophy of religion. Rarely, however, have they paid attention to his early philosophy. Those who have argued that Wittgenstein refuted his early positions in his later work. This book proves otherwise. The proof is found in the answer to an important, but largely ignored, question: what is the relation of Wittgenstein's discussion of logic to his discussion of religion and ethics in the early work? Lazenby's answer is that Wittgenstein, in his discussion of logic, describes the boundaries of factual discourse for the purpose of fixing a common language. And in his discussion of religion and ethics, Wittgenstein suggests that when religious and ethical statements fall outside this common language, we should reconstruct them to make sense within the common language. Such reconstruction ensures that the meaning of religious utterances agrees with how believers actually live and speak. Lazenby's approach is novel because it finds unity in what commentators have considered incommensurable topics in Wittgenstein's early work-logic and religion-while also finding unity between his early and later philosophy. Lazenby ends the book by considering the implications for theology and inter-religious dialogue. If theologians reconstruct the meanings of words that have lost their meaning in the common language of the modern world, these words will regain their force in the lives of believers. And the very possibility of a common language allows logical space for theologians from among the world's religions to find a common language in which to communicate.

Religion and Wittgenstein s Legacy

Author : Mario von der Ruhr
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Wittgenstein was one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. In this collection, distinguished Wittgenstein scholars examine his legacy for the philosophy of religion by examining key areas of his work: Wittgenstein's Tractatus; Frazer's 'Golden Bough'; and the implications of his later philosophy for the understanding of religion. Assessments are also provided of the philosophical and theological reception of his work. The collection provides an invaluable resource for graduate and undergraduate teaching of Wittgenstein in relation to religion.

Wittgenstein and Religion

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This thesis considers the implications of Wittgenstein's early and later philosophy for the issue of religious belief, as well as the relation of religion to Wittgenstein's thought. In the first chapter I provide an overview of the Tractatus and discuss the place of religion within the Tractarian framework. I then provide an overview of Philosophical Investigations. In the second chapter I consider interpretations by Norman Malcolm and Peter Winch of Wittgenstein's later philosophy in relation to religion, as well as Kai Nielsen's famous critique of 'Wittgensteinian Fideism.' The third and final chapter takes up the issue of construing religious belief as a distinctive language-game. I consider arguments from D.Z. Phillips and criticisms of Phillips from Mark Addis and Gareth Moore.


Author : Ludwig Wittgenstein
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In 1938 Wittgenstein delivered a short course of lectures on aesthetics to a small group of students at Cambridge. The present volume has been compiled from notes taken down at the time by three of the students: Rush Rhees, Yorick Smythies, and James Taylor. They have been supplemented by notes of conversations on Freud (to whom reference was made in the course on aesthetics) between Wittgenstein and Rush Rhees, and by notes of some lectures on religious belief. As very little is known of Wittgenstein's views on these subjects from his published works, these notes should be of considerable interest to students of contemporary philosophy. Further, their fresh and informal style should recommend Wittgenstein to those who find his Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations a little formidable.

A Confusion of the Spheres

Author : Genia Schönbaumsfeld
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Cursory allusions to the relation between Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein are common in the philosophical literature, but there has been little in the way of serious and comprehensive commentary on the relationship of their ideas. Genia Schönbaumsfeld closes this gap and offers new readings of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's conceptions of philosophy and religious belief. Chapter one documents Kierkegaard's influence on Wittgenstein, while chapters two and three provide trenchant criticisms of two prominent attempts to compare the two thinkers, D. Z. Phillips and James Conant. In chapter four, Schönbaumsfeld develops Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's concerted criticisms of the 'spaceship view' of religion and defends it against the common charges of 'fideism' and 'irrationalism'. As well as contributing to contemporary debate about how to read Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's work, A Confusion of the Spheres addresses issues which not only concern scholars of Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard, but anyone interested in the philosophy of religion, or the ethical aspects of philosophical practice as such.

Over Interpreting Wittgenstein

Author : A. Biletzki
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This book tells the story of Wittgenstein interpretation during the past eighty years. It provides different interpretations, chronologies, developments, and controversies. It aims to discover the motives and motivations behind the philosophical community's project of interpreting Wittgenstein. It will prove valuable to philosophers, scholars, interpreters, students, and specialists, in both analytic and continental philosophy.

Wittgenstein and Theology

Author : Tim Labron
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Does Wittgenstein's philosophy lead to atheism? Is it clearly religious? Perplexingly, both of these questions have been answered in the affirmative. Despite the increasing awareness and use of Wittgenstein's philosophy within theological circles the puzzle persists: 'Does his philosophy really fit with theology?' It is helpful to show that Wittgenstein has no agenda towards atheism or religious belief in order to move ahead and properly discuss his philosophy as it stands. A study of Wittgenstein's key concepts of logic and language in his major works from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to the Philosophical Investigations and On Certainty reveals how he came to see in his later work that meaning is not simply intuitive or a consequence of solitary empirical investigation; rather, meaning is shown in how words are woven into the community of concrete life practices. A discussion of Christology and Luther's distinction between the theologian of glory and the theologian of the cross provide clear theological analogies for Wittgenstein's later philosophy. It also provides important evidence to show-through examples of scripture, liturgy, and practice-that Wittgenstein's philosophy is a useful tool that can fit with theology.

Wittgenstein s Religious Point of View

Author : Tim Labron
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Examines the nature of Wittgenstein's early and later philosophies and the idea of a religious point of view as an analogy for a philosophy.

Wittgenstein s Remarks on Frazer

Author : Lars Albinus
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This volume is dedicated to Wittgenstein's remarks on Frazer's The Golden Bough and represents a collaboration of scholars within philosophy and the study of religion. For the first time, specialized investigations of the philological and philosophical aspects Wittgenstein's manuscripts are combined with the outlook of philosophical anthropology and ritual studies. In the first section of the book Wittgenstein's remarks are presented and discussed in light of his Nachlass and relevant lecture-notes by G.E. Moore, reproduced in this book as facsimiles. The second section deals with the cultural and philosophical background of the early remarks, while the third section focuses specifically on the general problem of understanding as being a main issue of these remarks. The fourth section concentrates on the philosophical development characteristic of the later remarks. Finally, the fifth section reviews Wittgenstein's opposition to Frazer, and the ramifications of his remarks, in light of ritual studies. The book is intended for scholars in philosophy and religious studies, as well as for the general reader with an academic interest in philosophy and the philosophy of religion.

On the Nonsense of Religion

Author : James Mark Lazenby
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Logic and Sin in the Writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein

Author : Philip R. Shields
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Bertrand Russell was fond of recounting the following story about Wittgenstein's student days at Cambridge: "He used to come to my rooms at midnight and, for hours, he would walk backwards and forwards like a caged tiger. ...On one such evening, after an hour or two of dead silence, I said to him, 'Wittgenstein, are you thinking about logic or about your sins?' 'Both, ' he said, and then reverted to silence". This is the first study to argue that Wittgenstein's philosophical writings are religious just as they stand. Although Wittgenstein often framed his writings on logic and philosophy in ethical and religious terms, the writings rarely discuss ethics and religion directly. This has led many scholars to dismiss Wittgenstein's remarks on such matters as isolated and eccentric personal views, while other scholars have attempted to reconstruct a plausible religious position from his cryptic religious comments and a selective use of his philosophy. Philip R. Shields shows that a matrix of ethical and religious concerns informs even the most technical writings on logic and language, and that, for Wittgenstein, the need to establish clear limitations is simultaneously a logical and an ethical demand. Rather than merely saying specific things about theology and religion, major texts from the Tractatus to the Philosophical Investigations express their fundamentally religious nature by showing that there are powers which bear down upon and sustain us. These powers manifest themselves in the structures that make significant use of language possible. Shields finds a religious view of the world at the very heart of Wittgenstein's philosophy. This perspective illuminates the distinctiveness andpeculiarity of Wittgenstein's philosophy and reveals more continuity between the "early" and the "later" thought than is usually supposed.

Interactive Wittgenstein

Author : Enzo De Pellegrin
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The philosophical thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein continues to have a profound influence that transcends barriers between philosophical disciplines and reaches beyond philosophy itself. Less than one hundred years after their publication, his early masterpiece 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus' and the posthumously published 'Philosophical Investigations' have emerged as two classic philosophical texts, each of which has elicited widely divergent readings and spawned contesting schools of interpretation. This collection of original essays by leading experts offers deep insights into the forces that shaped and influenced Wittgenstein's thought on a broad variety of topics. It also contains the text - in both the original German and an English translation by Juliet Floyd and Burton Dreben - of letters and cards sent to Wittgenstein by the philosopher and logician Gottlob Frege, which shed light on their interaction during the crucial period when Wittgenstein completed work on the 'Tractatus'. This important record of a philosophical friendship is complemented by a scholarly apparatus and an introduction. Other essays featured in this volume document and discuss Wittgenstein's thinking on music and religion as well as issues that take center stage in the 'Investigations' such as Wittgenstein's account of rule-following. The volume provides an invaluable research tool not only for students of the history of philosophy and for scholars of both Wittgenstein and Frege but also for anyone interested in the intellectual history of the first half of the twentieth century.

Wittgenstein A Guide for the Perplexed

Author : Mark Addis
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Presenting a commentary on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, this book offers guidance to reading Wittgenstein and a methodology for interpreting his works. It covers the entirety of Wittgenstein's career, examining the relationship between the early, middle and later periods of his philosophy.

Grammars of Faith

Author : P. F. Bloemendaal
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D. Z. Phillips is a leading figure in advocating a Wittgensteinian approach to the philosophical study of religion. His writings exert an important influence on contemporary philosophy of religion, giving a new direction to the philosophical discussion of religious belief and practice. Although his work has prompted much - often critical - comment, a thorough investigation has not been forthcoming. Grammars of Faith fills that gap. The book pays close attention to Wittgenstein's own remarks on religious belief, arranging them against the background of his broader philosophical methodology, as well as to the efforts of the early Wittgensteinians at providing a more comprehensive Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion. Central to this study are Phillips's understanding of philosophical enquiry as a form of contemplation, and his descriptive accounts of religious belief. By means of a careful and methodical examination of Phillips's oeuvre, the study seeks to present a fair assessment of Phillips's position, showing not only its weaknesses, but also its strength.

Wittgenstein within the Philosophy of Religion

Author : Thomas D. Carroll
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The commonly held view that Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion is fideistic loses plausibility when contrasted with recent scholarship on Wittgenstein's corpus and biography. This book reevaluates the place of Wittgenstein in the philosophy of religion and charts a path forward for the subfield by advancing three themes.


Author : Katharine Sarah Moody
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Is the affirmation or intensification of life a value in itself? Can life itself be thought? This book breaks new ground in religious and philosophical thinking on the concept of life. It captures a moment in which such thinking is regaining its force and attraction for scholars, and the relevance of thought to social, cultural, political and religious dilemmas about how and why to live. Bringing together original contributions by highly distinguished authors in the field of Continental philosophy of religion, including John D. Caputo, Pamela Sue Anderson, Philip Goodchild, Alison Martin and Don Cupitt, this book has a distinctiveness based on its refusal to sit easily within either secular philosophical or theological approaches. The concept of life mobilizes a thinking that crosses narrow disciplinary boundaries, whilst retaining philosophical rigour. Three sections explore the various dimensions of the question of life: The Politics of Life'; 'Life and the Limits of Thinking'; and 'Life and Spirituality'. This book will be of interest to a broad range of readers in the humanities, particularly to philosophers, theologians, cultural theorists and all those interested in philosophical or theological debates on the concept of life.

Gale Researcher Guide for Fideism and Wittgenstein s Influence on Religion

Author : Brendan Sweetman
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Gale Researcher Guide for: Fideism and Wittgenstein's Influence on Religion is selected from Gale's academic platform Gale Researcher. These study guides provide peer-reviewed articles that allow students early success in finding scholarly materials and to gain the confidence and vocabulary needed to pursue deeper research.

Ludwig Wittgenstein Between Analytic Philosophy and Apophaticism

Author : Sotiris Mitralexis
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This volume initiates an inquiry into the relationship between Ludwig Wittgenstein’s “analytic stance” towards philosophy and the inherently apophatic nature of his epistemology, a subject that has been repeatedly hinted at, but hitherto never thoroughly researched through this particular hermeneutical lens. In using the term “apophaticism,” the book is not merely referring to the theological “via negativa” or to tendencies towards mysticism, but rather to a comprehensive epistemological stance that “refuses to identify truth with its formulation and to identify the understanding of the signifier with the knowledge of its signified reality,” to use Christos Yannaras’ definition. The question of whether Ludwig Wittgenstein’s work can be approached as a particularly efflorescent case of the implementation of an implicitly (and at times explicitly) apophatic epistemology is herewith addressed. As such, this volume contends that such an approach would not merely provide elucidations on apophatic epistemologies, but rather shed potentially valuable hermeneutical light on Wittgenstein’s work, functioning as an epistemological thread running through it. Consequently, the focal points here consist of questions concerning knowledge and its disclosure, ineffability, non-discursivity, the function of language, the limits of one’s language as the limits of one’s world, and the language of religion, among others. In addition, the volume’s contribution to shedding more light on the apophatic aspects of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy is enhanced by its inclusion of a broad spectrum of different approaches, with contributors ranging from Wittgenstein scholars to Patristics scholars—and beyond.

Wittgenstein s Kierkegaardian Heritage

Author : Larry Victor Ort
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Language Image and Silence

Author : Onno Zijlstra
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This study examines the relation of image and language as well as the relation of ethics and aesthetics through a discussion of the positions of Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. In the Tractatus Wittgenstein pursues the idea that the image can show what language cannot express and defends an aesthetic unity of ethics and aesthetics. Is he right? Is there not much to be said in favour of the opposite position, represented by Kierkegaard's pseudonymous author Judge William (in Either/Or)? William criticizes the image and argues in favour of language and of an ethical unity of aesthetics and ethics. William shows that the word has a decisive surplus when compared to the image. However, this position has its shortcomings too: language is not the only place of authentic communication. Looking for an alternative to 'logoclasm' (the early Wittgenstein) and 'iconoclasm' (William), Zijlstra explores Wittgenstein's later work and Kierkegaard's oeuvre as a whole and presents a new way of thinking about the relation of ethics and aesthetics.