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Logical Positivism and Theology1

Abstract

The subject of this paper is the relation of Logical Positivism to Theology. By “Logical Positivism” I mean the doctrine originated by Dr. Wittgenstein and expounded more at length by Professors Carnap, Schlick, and other members of the Viennese Circle (Wiener Kreis) in the periodical called Erkenntnis. The clearest account of it in English is that given by Mr. R. B. Braithwaite in the volume called Cambridge University Studies.

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page 313 note 1 A paper read at University College, Aberystwyth, and at Exeter College, Oxford, in May 1934.

page 320 note 1 “S professes to state F” = S is true if F is the case.

page 323 note 1 I take it that such statements are always complex, as Mr. Russell holds. “The Bogy Man is black” = “there is a being of such and such a description; there is only one such being; and he is black.”

page 328 note 1 This definition was suggested to me by Mr. Gilbert Ryle.

page 329 note 1 By a “nonsense predicate” I mean a predicate such that any statement in which it occurs must be nonsensical.

page 331 note 1 This is the line of argument followed by Mr. Malcolm Grant in his ingenious and stimulating book A New Theory of God and Survival.

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Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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