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Wittgenstein's Religious Realism With Attitude

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Chapter Summary

Ludwig Wittgenstein is sometimes thought of as a religious non-realist, as one who thinks that that which is called "God" has no existence independent of the human imagination, and is in opposition to the religious realist who thinks that God's existence is independent of the human imagination. This chapter first shows that Cupitt has not gotten Wittgenstein correctly enough. Then, it argues that it is Wittgenstein's wish to dismiss "philosophical academism," such as idealism and philosophical realism. The chapter also shows points of similarity between the position of Wittgenstein on the one hand and John Scottus Eriugena and St. Thomas Aquinas on the other, which then leads to the suggestion that, given such similarities, if Wittgenstein is cast as a religious non-realist, then the aforementioned theologians may as well be cast similarly.

Keywords: Don Cupitt; idealism; Ludwig Wittgenstein; philosophical realism; religious realism



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