The Possibility of Discussion: Relativism, Truth and Criticism of Religious Beliefs (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)

The Possibility of Discussion: Relativism, Truth and Criticism of Religious Beliefs (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)

Hugo Strandberg

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 1138259306

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Answering the question 'How is fruitful discussion possible?', this book addresses the central philosophical issue of how reason shall be understood and how it is limited. This study argues that the understanding of discussion according to which it necessarily starts from putative universal norms and rules for argumentation is problematic, among other reasons since such rules are unfruitful in contexts where there are vast disagreements such as religion. Inspired by Wittgensteinian ideas, Strandberg develops instead a new way of understanding discussion, truth and rationality which escapes these problems, and shows how this solution can be used to answer the accusation against Wittgensteinian philosophy for being conservative and resulting in fideism.











es falsch, daß sie ein Orakel befragen und sich nach ihm richten? – Wenn wir dies “falsch” nennen, gehen wir nicht schon von unserm Sprachspiel aus und bekämpfen das ihre? / Und haben wir recht oder unrecht darin, daß wir’s bekämpfen? Man wird freilich unser Vorgehen mit allerlei Schlagworten (slogans) aufstützen. / Wo sich wirklich zwei Prinzipe treffen, die sich nicht mit einander aussöhnen, da erklärt jeder den Andern für einen Narren und Ketzer. / Ich sagte, ich würde den Andern “bekämpfen”,

self-evident that it is possible that we never formulate them for ourselves. However, if we attribute the belief that a cloud is passing before the sun to someone, our interpretation, irrespective of whether we think that the belief is true or false, must rely on some set of such beliefs even if neither we nor the speaker ever formulate these beliefs. Of course, this set of beliefs need not include such scientific beliefs as Davidson mentions in this example. The third example is this: Each time a

words mean in a way which makes it possible for you to distinguish between cases when you go on as before, and cases when you do not go on as before. 58 Davidson, Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, p. 185. 59 Ibid., p. 198. The Objectivity of Truth 105 Davidson on the Objectivity of Truth The distinction between right and wrong, true and false, has appeared repeatedly in our discussion of Davidson. The basic importance of this distinction is that without appreciating it, we cannot be

characterization of truth.99 Davidson’s objection to definitions of truth is rather an objection to attempts to explain truth by trying to find something which truth is the same as and which is clearer and easier to understand, and the problem with such attempts is that truth already is as clear a concept as could be:100 97 Davidson, Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective, p. 139. 98 Davidson, Truth, Language, and History, p. 21. See Aristotle, Metaphysics: Books Γ, Δ and Ε, trans. Christopher

distinguishes between object-language and meta-language when it comes to the definition and use of the concept of truth, which means that the concept of truth cannot be defined in general; Tarski, ‘The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics’: 348–51. One way to counter what Tarski is saying is to say that ‘true’ is not a semantic concept, by referring to how ‘true’ is usually used (see Peter F. Strawson, ‘Truth’, Analysis, 9 (1949): 85), but in that case there is no need for

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