Russell B. Goodman
When William James uses one of his schemes, such as tough- and tender-minded (in Pragmatism) or the once- and twice-born (in Varieties of Religious Experience), he is more interested in what these terms can do in confronting certain problems or conceptualizing a subject than in how they all fit together. This chapter considers James’s pragmatic and pluralistic use of language from some perspectives offered by the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who used different schemes in different essays, and whose thought is part of James’s intellectual formation. I pay particular attention to anticipations of James’s scheme of the tough- and tender-minded in Emerson’s “Nominalist and Realist” and “Montaigne, or the Skeptic.” The last section of the chapter considers ways in which James’s scheme of the tough- and tender-minded is designed to make room for religion in his pragmatist pictures.
William P. Alston
Many philosophers and theologians have protested against the concentration of philosophers on religious statements to the neglect of other religious uses of language. Their complaint can be briefly summed up as follows. The heart of religion is found in talk to God in prayer, worship, and liturgy. Talk about God is a secondary phenomenon that gets its religious significance by its dependence on the former. The valid concerns of philosophers with statements about God can be pursued while recognizing their connections with the rest of religion. Instead of speaking of predicates of religious statements, one could speak of religious concepts. Because predicates express concepts, problems about the meaning of the former are translatable into problems about the content of the latter.
D. Z. Phillips
The twentieth century saw a revolution in philosophy. The philosophical giant in that revolution was Ludwig Wittgenstein. P. M. S. Hacker writes: “Wittgenstein's influence dominated philosophy from the 1920s until the mid 1970s. He was the prime figure behind both the Vienna Circle and the Cambridge school of analysis, and the major influence upon Oxford analytic philosophy in the quarter of a century after the Second World War”. Yet, the influence of Wittgenstein on the philosophy of religion, even during this period, was never dominant. Neither is it dominant today, although Wittgensteinianism is one of the main movements in the subject. One of the reasons stems from the influence of logical positivism, which held that all religious and theological propositions to be meaningless. People wrongly associated Wittgenstein with this view. He, by contrast, respected religious belief as a deep tendency in human beings, but, in his early views, struggled with the issue of how its sense is to be understood.