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Analytic Philosophy of Religion by James F. Harris (auth.)

By James F. Harris (auth.)

When Gene lengthy, editor of Kluwer's instruction manual of up to date Philosophy of faith sequence, first invited me to write down the quantity on Analytic Philosophy of faith, I approved with nice enthusiasm. My basically reason behind 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 through the daunting significance 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 stumbled on that I had loads of learn to do to be convinced that I had thought of all the significant contributions to many of the discussions, concerns, and of faith. As I learn a growing number of difficulties came upon inside analytic philosophy books and articles, i spotted that I had rushed right into a territory already good trodden through the angels. i'm significantly inspired through the sophistication and subtlety of philosophical argument that symbolize the several debates in modern analytic philosophy of faith. This quantity covers an enormous quantity of fabric. i've got endeavored to supply the fairest attainable examining of other authors, and, in circumstances the place I comprise my very own serious reviews and boost my very own positions, i've got endeavored to supply the most powerful attainable interpretations of the positions I criticize.

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While some might dispute whether the methodology is objective and neutral and others might dispute whether it is profitable, analytic philosophers have pursued such a course of inquiry, which has resulted in a body of challenging and compelling literature addressing a core of fundamental problems and issues. The inquiry, debate, and criticism concerning this body of literature and this core of problems and issues comprises contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. II. The Problem of Religious Language With the rise of analytic philosophy in the early part of the twentieth century and its emphasis upon linguistic analysis, it should not be surprising that a significant crisis developed by midcentury among both philosophers and theologians concerning religious language.

Eye meets eye"; astonishment; an odd word is uttered. ,,26 In such situations, Ramsey says, a discernment is made. " Such situations require a special language to distinguish them from the ordinary, and since religious situations invoke such odd discernments, they require their own special language and logic, which will be characteristically different from the language and logic of science or any straightforward empirical statements. Thus, in the example of the High Court, the use of personal first names, or nicknames, is appropriate to the highly personal situation where a continued use of the standard or normal descriptions of "the Judge" or "the accused" would not be.

11 One major criticism against Flew's use of falsification as a criterion of meaning has been raised by Alvin Plantinga. 12 Plantinga understands Flew to be presenting an argument for the claim that one way to understand an assertion is to understand what is incompatible with that assertion. Part of the argument appears to be Flew's claim that anything that would count against the assertion must be a part of the meaning of the negation of that assertion. If, in fact, Flew intends this claim to be a premise in an argument to prove his general claim that in order to assert something a statement must deny something, then Plantinga has quite rightly raised objections against this premise of the argument.

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