Graduate studies at Western
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (2):180-191 (1995)
|Abstract||Peter Winch and Ludwig Wittgenstein have opposed the idea that traditional religion and magic are practiced in order to gain practical, instrumental ends. Their argument rests on interpretive charity: other cultures would have to be unbelievably irrational to believe in magic's practical effectiveness. In this paper, I show that Winch's own philosopical doctrine makes room for the possibility of instrumental pluralism, the notion that different societies may possess different criteria of instrumental rationality. Judged in terms of a native criterion, the instrumental use of magic and religion may be rationaL.|
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