Religious concepts and absolute conceptions of the world

In this essay I discuss several questions related to the manner in which concepts generally, and religious concepts in particular, are formed. Are some concepts necessary in the sense that, considering the physical makeup of the natural world and our own bio-chemical, perceptual, and cognitive natur...

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Published in:International journal for philosophy of religion
Main Author: Ramal, Randy
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2015]
In:International journal for philosophy of religion
Year: 2015, Volume: 77, Issue: 2, Pages: 89-103
Further subjects:B Richard Rorty
B Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 1889-1951
B CONCEPTUALISM
B Religion Philosophy
B Conceptual pluralism
B Concept formation
B Absolute conceptions of the world
B Wittgenstein
B Hilary Putnam
B Religious Thought
B Bernard Williams
B Conceptual relativity
B Philosophy
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:In this essay I discuss several questions related to the manner in which concepts generally, and religious concepts in particular, are formed. Are some concepts necessary in the sense that, considering the physical makeup of the natural world and our own bio-chemical, perceptual, and cognitive nature, these concepts had to emerge by necessity? If we put considerations of divine revelations aside, I ask regarding religious concepts, what would be the proper way of looking at how they came to be formed? What role does causality play in the formation of empirical and religious concepts, if at all? One of my aims in discussing these and other related questions is to revisit Hilary Putnam's justificatory basis for rejecting the intelligibility of speaking of absolute conceptions of the world. Although I support his position on this issue, I show some of the hermeneutical problems in his reliance on Wittgenstein's views concerning language games and worldviews. I also revisit Wittgenstein's own views about concept formation to discuss the similarities and differences between how religious concepts and empirical concepts are formed. My aim here is to show that the idea of an absolute conception of the world rests on confusing the regulative role that concepts play in our lives for a causative role.
ISSN:1572-8684
Contains:Enthalten in: International journal for philosophy of religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s11153-014-9470-5