Date of Graduation

12-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Edward H. Minar

Committee Member

Eric Funkhouser

Second Committee Member

Lynne Spellman

Keywords

Philosophy, religion and theology; Logic, Philosophical theology; Wittgenste

Abstract

This project is an attempt to understand the nature of religious belief through the lens of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophical perspective. Chapter One outlines Wittgenstein’s approach to language and meaning and explores the tension that many contemporary analytic philosophers of religion find in Wittgensteinian approaches to religious belief. Chapter Two addresses concerns Wittgenstein had with Frege’s understanding of logic and the limits of thought and ties it to criticism from Wittgensteinian philosophers about the possibility of making any sense of religious belief. Chapter Three pulls together the concerns of the previous two chapters and attempts to reconcile them. A schematic outline of religious belief is presented and then put into conversation with work done by Iris Murdoch.

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