Analytic Philosophy of Religion (Handbook of Contemporary by James F. Harris

By James F. Harris

Whilst Gene lengthy, editor of Kluwer's instruction manual of latest Philosophy of faith sequence, first invited me to jot down the quantity on Analytic Philosophy of faith, I approved with nice enthusiasm. My in basic terms cause of that enthusiasm now could be that i used to be more youthful and extra naive on the time. quickly after beginning paintings at the quantity, my enthusiasm used to be dampened via the daunting importance of the duty. i started as a sprinter and quick settled into the speed of a long-distance runner. even if I thought of myself good learn within the topic, I quickly found that I had loads of learn to do to be convinced that I had thought of the entire significant contributions to a number of the discussions, matters, and of faith. As I learn progressively more difficulties stumbled on inside of analytic philosophy books and articles, i noticed that I had rushed right into a territory already good trodden by way of the angels. i'm enormously inspired by means of the sophistication and subtlety of philosophical argument that represent different debates in modern analytic philosophy of faith. This quantity covers an unlimited quantity of fabric. i've got endeavored to supply the fairest attainable interpreting of alternative authors, and, in situations the place I comprise my very own severe reviews and improve my very own positions, i've got endeavored to supply the most powerful attainable interpretations of the positions I criticize.

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Santoni (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968). 30 ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY OF REUGION utterances are cognitively meaningful is at the very core of the problem of religious language. Pursuing the issue of the cognitive meaningfulness of religious language leads directly into the question of the proper criterion for assessing cognitive meaningfulness. " Logical positivism flourished briefly and then faded (see Chapter I). However, the spirit of positivism and the lingering, fundamental question about the cognitive meaningfulness of religious statements did not fade away so quickly or easily.

The continued dominance of the scientific method and the glaring differences between the scientific method and the many ways of forming and explaining religious belief invited the continued comparison of the statements of science and religious language. One of the most compelling variations upon the early positivists' emphasis on verification and empirical meaning has proven to be the notion of falsification introduced by Antony Flew. Flew's falsifiability criterion of meaning for religious statements is an attempt to take Popper's falsifiability test for scientific claims and apply it within the philosophy of religion.

THE PROBLEM OF RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE 31 FLEW AND FALSIFICATION Although the grand program of positivism proved to be a failed enterprise, its influence was (and continues to be) significant. The positivists could never agree on a formulation of the verification criterion of meaning that would do what they wanted it to do;5 however, the notion of verification never completely faded away and continued as an undercurrent of analytic philosophy. The continued dominance of the scientific method and the glaring differences between the scientific method and the many ways of forming and explaining religious belief invited the continued comparison of the statements of science and religious language.

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