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Wittgenstein: A Religious Point of View? / Edition 1

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Overview

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said to a friend, "I am not a religious man: but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view." This puzzling, but intriguing remark is the focus of Norman Malcolm's essay, which forms the centerpiece of this three-part work. Malcolm first draws together a large and illuminating collection of remarks made by Wittgenstein at various stages of his life and in many different contexts that express his attitude toward religion. He discusses some of the ways in which Wittgenstein was drawn to religious modes of thinking and speculates concerning the barriers which kept him from full religious commitment. With great vigor he discusses what be considers the most important features of Wittgenstein's philosophical work and the nature of and reasons for the changes which took place in his thinking between Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigation. He concludes by offering four analogies between Wittgenstein's philosophical methods and his religions attitudes generally. Peter Winch, who opens the volume with an introduction that places Malcolm's essay in the context of his other writings, concludes with a substantial critique of the proposed analogies and suggests an alternative reading of the "spiritual" dimension in Wittgenstein's inquiries.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The final philosophical work by Malcolm (1911-90), a distinguished philosopher at Cornell until his retirement, draws together remarks made by the German philosopher throughout his life and in many different contexts that illuminate his attitude toward religion. Paul Winch (philosophy, U. of Illinois) introduces and critiques the essay. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801482663
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 1,382,844
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
A Religious Man? 7
The Search for Explanation 24
The Essence of Language 40
Underlying Mechanisms 48
Failed Explanations 58
The Limit of Explanation 74
Four Analogies 84
Bibliography 93
Discussion of Malcolm's Essay 95
Index 137
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