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WITTGENSTEIN ON FAITH, RATIONALITY AND THE PASSIONS

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Abstract

This short article discusses three erroneous interpretations of Wittgenstein's few remarks on the relation between religion, reason and the passions: (1) that the role he allots to pictures in religious discourse commits him to a certain form of expressivism; (2) that the heart and the intellect are essentially opposed in the context of faith; and (3) (in what is thought to be a Kierkegaardian vein) that the passionate heat of faith stands in simple opposition to the doctrinal chill of wisdom. In each case, these misinterpretations result from a failure to appreciate the depth and consistency of his commitment to a conception of the believing human being in which heart, mind, body and soul are fundamentally integrated.

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