Wittgenstein and Contemporary Belief-Credence Dualism

In Wittgenstein and the Epistemology of Religion. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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This paper examines religious epistemics in relationship to recent defenses of belief-credence dualism among analytic Christian philosophers, connecting what is most plausible and appealing in this proposal to Wittgenstein’s thought on the nature of religious praxis and affectively-engaged language-use. How close or far is Wittgenstein’s thought about faith to the analytic Christian philosophers’ thesis that “beliefs and credences are two epistemic tools used for different purposes”? While I find B-C dualism appealing for multiple reasons, the paper goes on to raise critical concerns about the manner in which it has been applied to the epistemology of religious belief. I argue that this application is at odds with some of Wittgenstein’s best insights, and that it presents a promising but comparatively unbalanced account of religious epistemics.

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Guy Axtell
Radford University


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