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Paper Information

Journal:   PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION RESEARCH (NAMAH-I HIKMAT)   SPRING-SUMMER 2005 , Volume 3 , Number 5; Page(s) 69 To 104.
 
Paper: 

WITTGENSTEIN: MEANING, USAGE, AND RELIGIOUS BELIEF

 
 
Author(s):  MAHDAVINEZHAD MOHAMMAD HOSSEIN*
 
* 
 
Abstract: 

In his second phase of philosophical life, Wittgenstein held that different language games emanate from different forms of life, and every form of life has its own language. He came to this conclusion by considering the use of words toward knowing their meanings, and emphasizing the diversity of language usage and the multiplicity of language games. Religious discourse is an independent language game with a unique language engraved on a form of life, and has its own principles and logic. Therefore, religious concepts and propositions gain meaning in the language game of religion, and religious language is understandable just for those who share one and the same form of religious life.
According to Wittgenstein, using language in expressing religious beliefs is not similar to using it in showing facts at all. Religious belief is using an image. It is a firm and unshakable obligation which regulates the whole life of an individual and is not based on arguments or evidence. Thus it is neither supported nor harmed by science and philosophy.
Elucidating the nature of language in the philosophical thought of Wittgenstein, explaining the concept of "forms of life" and "language games", and showing the role of philosophy in this regard, the present article emphasizes the meaning of religious belief and its incomparability with other beliefs, thus emphasizing the uniqueness of religious language, and the independence of religious discourse through the language game of religion. It also introduces some philosophical foundations of Wittgensteinian fideism.

 
Keyword(s): LANGUAGE, USE, MEANING, LANGUAGE GAME (OF RELIGION), FORM OF LIFE (RELIGIOUS), RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE, RELIGIOUS BELIEF, RELIGIOUS, LANGUAGE, WITTGENSTEIN
 
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