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Wittgensteinian Perspectives (Sub Specie Aeternitatis)

Emyr Vaughan Thomas
Religious Studies
Vol. 31, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 329-340
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20019755
Page Count: 12
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Wittgensteinian Perspectives (Sub Specie Aeternitatis)
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Abstract

This paper criticizes some Wittgensteinian philosophers' adoption of Wittgenstein's idea of the view sub specie aeternitatis as independence of the world to seek to illuminate the character of self-renouncing religious belief. The form of absence of self that accompanies the view sub specie aeternitatis is neither inherently self-renouncing nor intrinsic to a self-renouncing response to the world. Extrapolating Wittgenstein's idea in an attempt to clarify the nature of religious belief is of limited use to descriptive philosophers since it oversimplifies the character and forms of self-renunciation found in religious life.

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