In this article the author discusses some main problems and techniques of analytical philosophy as far as they are relevant for philosophical theology. By the latter he understands a discipline in which a doctrine of God and religion is given in a philosophical way, i.e. in which no argument referring to revelation or authority is decisive. He acknowledges that besides this discipline there is room for dogmatic theology to which analytical philosophy can contribute too. In this article he occasionally refers (...) to some of these contributions. By analytical philosophy the author understands a philosophy based upon a logical and linguistic analysis of our language, where analysis is to be understood as the translation of vague and ambiguous statements into clear and distinctive ones. Language is often a misleading factor in our thinking and distracts us from truth. Therefore analysis is necessary. The author points out that analytical philosophy is not to be identified with logical positivism. He proves that an absolute, closed metaphysical system is impossible, although this does not exclude the possibility of making metaphysical statements provided they are not definitive and not incorrigible. He gives an exposition of the theory of language-games. In a language-game we must distinguish between its vocabulary, its rules for making meaningful statements (well formed formulae) and its rules for deciding which statements are true and which not. The latter rules are not present in each language game. A scientific language-game, which also includes the languages of the social and historical sciences, is characterized by a set of principles of ordering, by which a maximum of primitive statements is ordered in the easiest way. Which statements are meaningful and which not and also which statements are primitive vary from language-game to language game. With respect to the revolutionary character of analytical philosophy the author admires the many technical improments it has given, without making the break with the past too great. In § 4 a survey is given of the various attitudes towards the status of theological statements. The author defends their cognitive character. At the end the author deals with some aspects of the proofs of God's existence and introduces some concepts of modal logic into the condition theory of causality, which is also important for other parts of philosophy. (shrink)
(1973). Suppose the Moment in Time had a Decisive Significance…A Critical Logical Analysis of Kierkegaard's Argumentation in the First Chapter of the ‘Philosophical Fragments’. Bijdragen: Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 383-397.
In this article the author shows that we must distinguish between criterion as a characteristic in a definition and as a norm for truth and ethical values. He shows that we must accept a hierarchy of such criteria, But that this hierarchy is not absolute. He also discusses and solves the 'paradox of the publican'.
In this article the author shows Harthorne's important contribution to the revival of modern interest in the proofs of God's existence. He gives a short exposition of Harthorne's philosophy as far as that is relevant to our understanding of the superiority of the neo-classical concept of God (in comparison with classical theories) to face critical questions as to the validity of the ontological argument. The author analyses Harthorne's ontological argument and examines the following points of critique : (i) Existence is (...) not a predicate. (ii) The concept of a perfect being as well as the concept of a greatest number is meaningless. (iii) In the ontological argument the logical type fallacy is committed : Just as the universal ‘humanity’ is not human so ‘perfection’ is not perfect. (iv) In the ontological argument the paradox of the abstractness of the necessary is present. (v) The ontological argument forces us to accept an objectionable Aristotelian essentialism. (vi) The ontological argument jumps incorrectly from a de dicto modality to a de re modality. The author shows that these objections can be answered satisfactorily in Harthorne's neo-classical metaphysics. He discusses further a modal reconstruction of the cosmological argument (of his own) and shows that this establishes an argument for Harthorne's God conception. Finally he asks two critical questions. Hartshorne does not sufficiently acknowledges the fact that there are more than one logical system so that a choice must be made, which brings in an ‘existential’ moment in philosophy. Further he wonders as to whether Harthorne's temporal interpretation of modalities is correct. In an appendix written in English the author discusses modern reconstructions of the ontological and cosmological argument with the help of modern symbolic logic. (shrink)
In this article the author investigates the scientific (wetenschappelijk) character of moral statements. First he gives an analysis of the verb ‘to know’ and its equivalents in Dutch. His conclusion is that the verb to know may be, depending on its context, (i) an epistemic qualificator, (ii) a dispositional verb or (iii) a relational verb. Then he deals with the criteria of a scientific system : evidence, relevance, possibility of prediction, of formalisation and finally the criterion of simplicity. The author (...) shows that the latter criterion is the most fundamental. Various formalized ethical systems are developed in this article. The author shows that ethics fulfills all the criteria of science, except the criterion of the possibility of prediction. In ethics one cannot predict without committing the naturalistic fallacy. The author sees scientific systems as logical empirical ones. He demonstrates that ethics can be considered a scientific system, provided that the logic permitted in the system is strong enough (i.e. that it includes deontic logic) and the experience permitted in the system is wide enough (i.e. that it includes ethical intuition). (shrink)