Wittgenstein, Language-Games, and Religion

Archana Barua


In this article, I have made an attempt at understanding Wittgenstein's religious
viewpoint in the light of his use of the game analogy and its relatedness to forms of
life. There are some misconceptions regarding proper significance of the game analogy
and its relatedness to forms of life which are much discussed by many eminent
philosophers, and I am indebted to their scholarly discussions on this controversial
aspect of Wittgenstein's philosophy which has special implications in philosophy of
religion. I am interested to know how the game analogy should be understood in the
right perspective. My second contention is to understand meaning and significance of
the religious dimension of life in the light of Wittgenstein's deeper reflections on
the meaningfulness of different forms of talks and conversations and to understand
how language works in the ordinary discourse as well as in religious discourse. How
to understand the significance of the statement that the mystical, the ethical and
the religious dimensions of talks refer to things that can not be put into words,
though they make themselves manifest. In what sense meaning of religious language is
related to human life and behaviour? What sort of logical connections would make them
into religious beliefs? I would like to make an attempt at understanding the
significance of human language as a form of life or as an activity related to our
life and culture which in turn would help me in understanding religion in the light
of Wittgenstein's philosophy of language.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; language game; religion; life; moral; mystical

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