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Truth and Meaning in George Lindbeck's "The Nature of Doctrine"

Jay Wesley Richards
Religious Studies
Vol. 33, No. 1 (Mar., 1997), pp. 33-53
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20008070
Page Count: 21
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Truth and Meaning in George Lindbeck's "The Nature of Doctrine"
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Abstract

In this essay I analyse and criticize George Lindbeck's treatment of truth and meaning in his book "The Nature of Doctrine." On truth, his theory is riddled with conceptual problems, fails as an adequate theoretical description of our pretheoretic intuition of truth, and is finally parasitic on this intuition. On meaning, his reduction of meaning (and sometimes truth) to use or usefulness leads him to an incorrect categorization of doctrines as (essentially) performative utterances and second-order, non-assertive discourse, rather than as propositional attitude statements. Finally, I suggest the inadequacy of his treatment of truth and meaning redounds to the failure of his theory of religion and doctrine as a whole.

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