God in the act of reference: A conceptual analysis of reference and reality and its consequences for the debate on religious realism and nonrealism
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
The dissertation addresses the problem of reference actualised in religiousrealism's claim that religious nonrealism is religiously inadequate since init "God" does not refer to a God existing independently of human conceptualisations. The study aims to show that the referential argument against religious nonrealism is not necessarily successful once the existential and referential presumptions of the argument are critically examined. To that end a gradual distinction between conceptualisations with lower and higher dependencies on physical characteristics is introduced to account for how we conceptualise our surroundings and why we consider something to be real or not. Further, Donnellan's referential-attributive distinction is understood in the light of the dissolution of the strict division between semantics and pragmatics, and is used for suggesting a view on the referent as constituted by the speaker's directive intentions as manifested and interpreted in the context of utterance. From ordinary language use, including contexts such as children's make-believe play, it is shown that both physically existing and so called non-existing objects are constituted as referents with higher or lower dependencies on physical characteristics and as having various conceptual relations and functions. It is finally argued that such a pragmatic analysis of what constitutes the referent to "God" can account for why God in a religious context can be considered to be real without additionally asserting God's metaphysical and independent existence.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 253 p.
Religion, reference, realism, nonrealism, Cupitt, reality, play, make-believe, pragmatics, God, Donnellan, Bezuidenhout
Research subject Studies In Faiths and Ideologies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-786ISBN: 99-3237270-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-786DiVA: diva2:170216
2000-05-19, Regnellsalen, Regnellianum, Slottsgränd 3, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15