By James F. Harris (auth.)
When Gene lengthy, editor of Kluwer's guide of latest Philosophy of faith sequence, first invited me to put in writing the quantity on Analytic Philosophy of faith, I authorised with nice enthusiasm. My in simple terms reason for 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 was once dampened by way of the daunting significance of the duty. i started as a sprinter and quick settled into the velocity of a long-distance runner. even though I thought of myself good learn within the topic, I quickly chanced on that I had loads of learn to do to be convinced that I had thought of the entire significant contributions to some of the discussions, concerns, and of faith. As I learn an increasing number of difficulties discovered inside of analytic philosophy books and articles, i spotted that I had rushed right into a territory already good trodden by means of the angels. i'm drastically inspired through the sophistication and subtlety of philosophical argument that represent the several debates in modern analytic philosophy of faith. This quantity covers an enormous volume of fabric. i've got endeavored to supply the fairest attainable interpreting of alternative authors, and, in instances the place I comprise my very own serious reviews and improve my very own positions, i've got endeavored to supply the most powerful attainable interpretations of the positions I criticize.
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They electrify it. They patrol with bloodhounds. (For they remember how H. G. ) But no shrieks ever suggest that some intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry. Yet still the Believer is not convinced. " At last the Skeptic despairs, "But what remains of your original assertion? "? 5 See Carl Hempel, "Problems and Changes in the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning," in Semantics and the Philosophy of Language, edited by Leonard linsky (Urbana: University of illinois Press, 1952).
88ff. 30 31 THE PROBLEM OF RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE 41 important point. In the example of the use of nicknames in the High Court, ordinary experience provides the backdrop for the use of nicknames that makes their use meaningful. There may well be something odd about the use of such informal nicknames in a formal, courtroom setting; however, there is nothing logically odd about the language itself. In the case of the use of models and qualifiers to talk about God, ordinary usage does not provide us with the backdrop to understand either the selection of the models or the effect of the qualification that takes place.
28 THE PROBLEM OF RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE 29 true or false. Consequently, much of the attention during this period was focused upon issues concerning "the cognitive meaningfulness" of religious language and the impact of these issues upon claims concerning religious knowledge. It appears that religious language has to be cognitively meaningful in order to have epistemic content or value. The problem of religious language and the problem of religious knowledge came to be regarded as inextricably interwoven,3 and a reprioritizing of issues and problems within the philosophy of religion occurred - the result of which was that the analysis of religious language came to be regarded as basic and fundamental to the myriad of other issues and problems.
Analytic Philosophy of Religion by James F. Harris (auth.)