ICS Calendar Title: Wittgenstein, Language and the Philosophy of Religion

ICS Course Code: ICS 120503/220503 F17

Instructor: Dr. Ron Kuipers

Term and Year: Thursdays, 1:45-4:45 pm, Fall 2017

Last Updated: June 18, 2013

Contents

1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Requirements

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

Wittgenstein’s philosophy continues to generate a great deal of interest, and his name is frequently cited in connection with new developments in theology and the philosophy of religion. Via an exploration of the various accounts of language and meaning he presents in both his early and later work, this course will focus on his thought as it relates to religious belief and commitment in particular. Beginning with the enigmatic Tractatus-Logico Philosophicus, we will examine how Wittgenstein’s understanding of language and meaning developed over the course of his career. In doing so, we will pay special attention to the implications that Wittgenstein’s thoughts about language have for specifically religious uses of language. Beyond this exploration, however, we will also explore the existential motivations of the man, Wittgenstein, himself. What was the character of his peculiar fascination with religion and the religious? What might have prompted him to proclaim that “‘Wisdom is grey.’  Life on the other hand and religion are full of colour.”?

2. Reading Schedule

1: Sept. 14

Introduction

  • “Wittgenstein in Exile,” by James C. Klagge (in class)

2: Sept. 21

    (60 pp.)

The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus I

  • Preface; 1-3; 4.0-4.1212; 4.2-4.2211; 4.5-4.53; 5.6 ff.; 6.3-6.5; 7
  • “The Mystical,” in Clack, pp. 27-48

3: Sept. 28

   (32 new pp.)

The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus II

  • Preface; 1-3; 4.0-4.1212; 4.2-4.2211; 4.5-4.53; 5.6 ff.; 6.3-6.5; 7
  • “The Purpose of Tractarian Nonsense,” Kremer pp. 39-71 (on reserve shelf)

4: Oct. 5

   (61 pp.)

Philosophical Investigations I-1

  • Preface; §§ 1-149 (pp. 1-59)

5: Oct. 12

    (62 pp.)

Philosophical Investigations I-2

  • §§ 150-403 (pp. 59-122)

6: Oct. 19

   (62 pp.)

Philosophical Investigations I-3

  • §§ 404-693 (pp. 122-172)
  • Clack pp. 12-24

 Oct. 23-27

Reading Week - no class

7: Nov. 2

   (69 pp.)

Philosophical Investigations II

  • ix-xiv (pp. 174-232)
  • “Language Games and Fideism,” in Clack pp. 78-89

8. Nov. 9

   (43 pp.)

Stanley Cavell and Ordinary Language Philosophy I

  • “Must We Mean What We Say?,” in Cavell 2002, pp. 1-43

9: Nov. 16

   (46 pp.)

Stanley Cavell and Ordinary Language Philosophy II

  • “Criteria and Judgment” and “Criteria and Skepticism,” in Cavell 1979, pp. 3-49

10: Nov. 23

   (45 pp.)

Remarks on Fraser’s Golden Bough

  • Remarks, pp. 1-18
  • Clack, “Homoeopathic Magic,” pp. 58-65
  • Clack, “The Natural History of Religion,” pp. 116-124

11: Nov. 30

   (58 pp.)

Lectures on Religious Belief

  • Lectures, pp. 53-72
  • Cora Diamond, “Wittgenstein on Religious Belief,” pp. 99-137

12: Dec. 7

   (44 pp.)

On Certainty I

  • §§ 1-349 (pp. 2-45)

13: Dec. 14

   (40 pp.)

On Certainty II

  • §§ 350-676 (pp. 45-90)

3. Course Requirements

Total reading: 1250 pages, including research for paper, of which approximately 40-60 pages per week is required to prepare for class.

In-seminar leadership: 2 presentations introducing and exploring the day’s assigned readings, not to exceed 750 words. The presentation should not attempt exhaustive exegesis, but rather describe the effect the text had on you, what it performed in you, the way it made you think. The presentation will also give thought to the relevance the given text has for any issue in the philosophy of religion. Does it give insight to help us better understand the shape and meaning of religious life and discourse? Finally, the presentation should end by suggesting questions that will help class discussion address philosophical issues raised in the text.

Course paper: One course paper whose theme arises from in-class reading and discussion. Length: Master’s: 3000-5000 words; Doctoral: 5000-7000 words. A substantive outline, including tentative thesis statement (50-100 words), outline, and proposed extra reading is due on Thurs., Nov. 2, 2017. The paper is due on Fri., Jan. 26, 2018.

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

Class participation: 10%; In-Seminar Leadership: 30%; Paper: 60%.

5. Required Readings

Cavell, Stanley. 1979. “Criteria and Judgment” and “Criteria and Skepticism.” In The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 3-48 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD161 .C355 1999]

_____.2002. Must We Mean What We Say? In Must We Mean What We Say: A Book of Essays. Updated Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 1-43. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B945 .C272 M8 2003]

Clack, Brian R. 1999. An Introduction to Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Religion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W564 C56 1999]

Diamond, Cora. 2005. Wittgenstein on Religious Belief: The Gulfs Between Us. In Religion and Wittgenstein’s Legacy. Eds. D.Z.Phillips and Mario Von Der Ruhr. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W564 R44 2004]

Klagge, James C. 2005. Wittgenstein in Exile. In Phillips and Von Der Ruhr. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W564 K55 2011]

Kremer, Michael. 2001. The Purpose of Tractarian Nonsense. In NOÛS 35/1: 39-73 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf]

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1958. Philosophical Investigations. 3rd Ed. Trans. G.E.M. Anscombe. New York: Macmillan. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W563 P53]

_____. 1966. Lectures on Religion. In Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief. Oxford: Blackwell. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W561 B3]

_____. 1969. On Certainty. Ed. G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. Von Wright. Trans. Peter Winch. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [St. Michael's College, Kelly Library: B3376 .W563 O5]

_____. 1971. Remarks on Fraser’s Golden Bough. Ed. Rush Rhees. Nottinghamshire: Brynmill. [Robarts BL310 .F73 W5713 1979; also at OISE and Victoria University’s E.J. Pratt Library. Also included in Philosophical Occasions. Eds. James Klagge and Alfred Nordmann. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1993, available at Crux Books]

_____. 1992. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Trans. C. K. Ogden. London: Routledge. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BC135 .W5 2001]

6. Some Recommended Readings

Arrington, Robert L., et. al., eds. 2001. Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Religion. London: Routledge. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 W5495 2001]

Barrett, Cyril. 1991. Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religious Belief. Oxford: Blackwell. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 B36 1991]

Chatterjee, Ranjit. 2005. Wittgenstein and Judaism: A Triumph of Concealment. New York: Peter Lang. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 C483 2004]

Cavell, Stanley. 1979. The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD161 .C355 1999]

_____. 2002. Must We Mean What We Say? Updated Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B945 .C272 M8 2003]

Crary, Alice, ed. 2007. Wittgenstein and the Moral Life: Essays in Honour of Cora Diamond. Cambridge, MA: MIT. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W564 W56 2007]

Crary, Alice and Rupert Read, eds. 2000. The New Wittgenstein. London: Routledge. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W564 N49 2000]

Davidson, Donald. 2006. A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs. In The Essential Davidson. Oxford, Oxford UP: 251-265. [Robarts B945 .D381 L47 2006; also available at St. Michael’s College/Kelly Library, Victoria University/E.J. Pratt Library, and as an electronic resource via the U of T catalogue]

Diamond, Cora. 1991. The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 D52 1991]

Friedlander, Eli. 2001. Signs of Sense: Reading Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Cambridge, MA: Harvard. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W563 T7333 2001X; also Trinity College/Graham Library]

Glock, Hans-Johann. 1996. A Wittgenstein Dictionary. New York: Blackwell. [Trinity College Library: B3376 .W563 Z83 1996]

Goodman, Russell B. 2002. Wittgenstein and William James. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 G66 2002]

Hart, Hendrik, Ronald A. Kuipers, and Kai Nielsen, eds. 1999. Walking the Tightrope of Faith: Philosophical Conversations about Reason and Religion. Amsterdam & Atlanta: Editions Rodopi. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BL51 .W19 1999]

Kerr, Fergus. 1998. Metaphysics and Magic: Wittgenstein’s Kink. In Post-Secular Philosophy: Between Philosophy and Theology. Ed. Phillip Blond. London: Routledge. [Robarts Library: B56 .P67 1998]

Kuipers, Ronald A. 2002. Critical Faith: Toward a Renewed Understanding of Religious Life and its Public Accountability. Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi. (Cf. pp. 69-81). [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT50 .K84 2002]

Malcolm, Norman. 1993. Wittgenstein: A Religious Point of View? Edited with a Response by Peter Winch. Ithaca, NY: Cornell. [Trinity College Library: B3376 .W564 M245 1994]

McCutcheon, Felicity. 2001. Religion within the Limits of Language Alone: Wittgenstein on Philosophy and Religion. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 M385 2001]

Nielsen, Kai. 1967. The Coherence of Wittgensteinian Fideism. In Philosophy 42 (July 1967). [ICS Library Reserve Shelf]

Nielsen, Kai and Hendrik Hart. 1990. Search for Community in a Withering Tradition: Conversations between a Marxian Atheist and a Calvinian Christian. Lanham MD: University Press of America. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B995 .N543 S42]

Phillips, D.Z. 1970. Faith and Philosophical Enquiry. London: Routledge. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BL51 .P518]

_____. 1976. Religion without Explanation. Oxford: Blackwell. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BL51 .P53]

_____. 1986. Belief, Change, and Forms of Life. London: Macmillan. [Robarts Library: BL51 .P515 1986]

_____. 1993. Wittgenstein and Religion. New York: St. Martin’s Press. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 P465 1993]

Phillips, D.Z., and Mario Von Der Ruhr, eds. 2005. Religion and Wittgenstein’s Legacy. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W564 R44 2004]

Rhees, Rush. 2003. Wittgenstein’s On Certainty: There--Like Our Life. Edited by D.Z. Phillips. Oxford: Blackwell. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W563 U3 2003]

Shields, Philip R. 1993. Logic and Sin in the Writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Robarts Library: B3376 .W564 S524 1993]

Sherry, Patrick. 1977. Religion, Truth, and Language Games. London: Macmillan. [Regis College Library: BL51 .S5226 1977]

Stout, Jeffrey, and Robert MacSwain, eds. 2004. Grammar and Grace: Reformulations of Aquinas and Wittgenstein. London: SCM Press. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B765 .T54 G73 2004]

Van Buren, Paul M. 1972. The Edges of Language: An Essay in the Logic of a Religion. New York: Macmillan. [Robarts Library: BL65 .L2 V35]

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Preliminary studies for the "Philosophical investigations" ; generally known as the Blue and Brown books. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W56 P6]

_____. 1966. Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology, and Religious Belief. Ed. Cyrill Barret. Berkely: University of California Press. [St. Michael's College Library: B3376 .W561 B3]

_____. 1980. Culture and Value. Ed. G.H. Von Wright. Trans. Peter Winch. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Victoria University, Pratt Library: B3376 .W561 W7413 1984]

_____. 1981. Zettel. Edited by G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. Von Wright. Trans. G.E.M. Anscombe. Oxford: Blackwell. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3376 .W561 A6 2007]

You should also know about the following journal issue on “Wittgensteinianism and Religion.” Faith and Philosophy 18/4 (October 2001) [Available digitally through the U of T catalogue]


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