C) Religious language as a language game


Religious language as meaningful to people who participate in the same language game

  • Wittgenstein's works: 'Tractatus logico-philosophicus' and 'philosophical investifations'
  • Wittgenstein said we can only talk/ write about things that we can experience
  • Statements have no real meaning if the words do not have a clear connection with things we experience in the world around us
  • W influenced logical positivism, especially in Tractatus when he said 'whereof one cannot speak, thereon one must be silent'
  • In 'philosophical investigations', he realised there is language whose meaning is not found in picturing objects in the world
  • Language can be non-cognitive; function is not to give information that is true/ false
  • Language games theory: all language is a game or 'form of life' and all games have rules
  • Words for each game can only be used in that context
  • Realised that many of the problems of religious language are caused by not understanding that the religious language game is for believers- it has meaning as it has use in the religious language game

Non-cognitive form of language provides meaning to participants within a language game 

  • W used the example of a soul- asking for proof shows misunderstanding as 'soul' is not part of the 'physical object' language game
  • A language game…




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