The Realism/Anti-Realism Debate in Religion

Philosophy Compass 3 (1):254-272 (2008)
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This paper sets out issues in the realist/antirealist debate in philosophy of religion. These include the existence of God and the meaning of prayer. The paper describes motivations for antirealism in religion such as the recognition of conflicting religious claims and a desire for tolerance. It explores instrumentalism and reductionism as possible antirealist strategies. Parallels between the debate in religion and the corresponding debate in philosophy of science are used to inform the discussion in the religious sphere. Shared aspects of science and religion feature in a pragmatic argument suggesting that the advantages of realism outweigh those of antirealism for religion



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References found in this work

The logical basis of metaphysics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The scientific image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Critique of pure reason.Immanuel Kant - 2007 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late modern philosophy: essential readings with commentary. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 449-451.
A realist conception of truth.William P. Alston - 1996 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.

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