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A Confusion of the SpheresKierkegaard and Wittgenstein on Philosophy and Religion$
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Genia Schönbaumsfeld

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199229826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199229826.001.0001

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A Confusion of the Spheres—Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Conception of Religious Belief

A Confusion of the Spheres—Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Conception of Religious Belief

Chapter:
(p.156) 4 A Confusion of the Spheres—Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Conception of Religious Belief
Source:
A Confusion of the Spheres
Author(s):

Genia Schönbaumsfeld (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199229826.003.0005

This chapter offers an explication and defence of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's critique of the traditional philosophical conception of religion — the view that the proposition ‘God exists’ is a pseudo-scientific hypothesis to be investigated either empirically or metaphysically. Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein are shown to challenge the idea that as regards religious faith only two options are possible — either adherence to a set of metaphysical beliefs (with certain ways of acting following from these beliefs) or passionate commitment to a ‘doctrineless’ form of life. Their alternative conception is defended against the charges of ‘fideism’ and ‘irrationalism’.

Keywords:   God, internal and external, understanding of religious language, Kai Nielsen, Swinburne

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