Missing the entire point: Wittgenstein and religion

Religious Studies 37 (2):161-175 (2001)
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Abstract

In this paper I contrast some widespread ideas about what Wittgenstein said about religious belief with statements Wittgenstein made about his purposes and method in doing philosophy, in order to argue that he did not hold the views commonly attributed to him. These allegedly Wittgensteinian doctrines in fact essentialize religion in a very un-Wittgensteinian way. A truly Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion can only be a personal process, and there can be no part in it for generalized hypotheses or conclusions about religion in general. Why is it that in this case I seem to be missing the entire point?1.

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Duncan Richter
Virginia Military Institute

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