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James and Wittgenstein on religious belief

Paolo Tripodi


The paper suggests that both Wittgenstein in his later period and James in the Varieties of Religious Experience put forward a view of religious belief which is very close to epistemic relativism. This is not to say, however, that they expressly considered the relativist account of religious belief as a philosophical goal to be pursued. In the interpretation proposed in this paper, epistemic relativism is rather a (contingent) by-product of their common attitude towards pluralism and anti-reductionism in philosophy.


William James; Wittgenstein; religious belief; Rorty; epistemic relativism;

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