De betekenis Van de analytische filosofie voor de wijsgerige theologie

Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 29 (4):734 - 770 (1967)
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In this article the author discusses some main problems and techniques of analytical philosophy as far as they are relevant for philosophical theology. By the latter he understands a discipline in which a doctrine of God and religion is given in a philosophical way, i.e. in which no argument referring to revelation or authority is decisive. He acknowledges that besides this discipline there is room for dogmatic theology to which analytical philosophy can contribute too. In this article he occasionally refers to some of these contributions. By analytical philosophy the author understands a philosophy based upon a logical and linguistic analysis of our language, where analysis is to be understood as the translation of vague and ambiguous statements into clear and distinctive ones. Language is often a misleading factor in our thinking and distracts us from truth. Therefore analysis is necessary. The author points out that analytical philosophy is not to be identified with logical positivism. He proves that an absolute, closed metaphysical system is impossible, although this does not exclude the possibility of making metaphysical statements provided they are not definitive and not incorrigible. He gives an exposition of the theory of language-games. In a language-game we must distinguish between its vocabulary, its rules for making meaningful statements (well formed formulae) and its rules for deciding which statements are true and which not. The latter rules are not present in each language game. A scientific language-game, which also includes the languages of the social and historical sciences, is characterized by a set of principles of ordering, by which a maximum of primitive statements is ordered in the easiest way. Which statements are meaningful and which not and also which statements are primitive vary from language-game to language game. With respect to the revolutionary character of analytical philosophy the author admires the many technical improments it has given, without making the break with the past too great. In § 4 a survey is given of the various attitudes towards the status of theological statements. The author defends their cognitive character. At the end the author deals with some aspects of the proofs of God's existence and introduces some concepts of modal logic into the condition theory of causality, which is also important for other parts of philosophy



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Some notes on language and theology.J. Verhaar - 1969 - Bijdragen 30 (1):39-65.

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