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Wittgenstein's Language Games

6. Wittgensteinian Fideism

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In this module, we assess Wittgensteinian fideism, focusing in particular on (i) Wittgenstein’s move against scientism, dismissive atheism, and superstition (ii) whether the attribution of fideism to Wittgenstein misrepresents his idea of religion, by isolating religion from other language and forms of life (iii) the immunity of religion from certain kinds of criticism (iv) questions that can be posed to religion (v) Wittgenstein’s commentary on religion and philosophy in Culture and Value.


In this course Dr Rupert Read (University of East Anglia) explores Wittgenstein’s language games, with special reference to religious language and belief. In the first module, we introduce language games in the context of Wittgenstein’s philosophical method. In the second module, we examine the ways in which language games cast light on the nature of religious utterances. In the third module, we look at the nature of religious belief and practices. In the fourth module, we review some objections to language games and possible responses to these objections, before turning to the role of analogy in the fifth module. In the sixth module, we evaluate whether the position of ‘Wittgensteinian fideism’ holds true to Wittgenstein’s philosophical worldview, including his attitude to language games and religious belief.


Dr Rupert Read is an associate professor of philosophy at UEA. His research interests are in the philosophy of language, Wittgenstein, Kuhn, philosophy of Literature and film, philosophy of psychology, and eco-philosophy. He is an expert on Ludwig Wittgenstein, and has published numerous books on the application of his thought to a range of topics. His recent publications include Wittgenstein's Liberatory Philosophy and Beyond the Tractatus Wars: A New Wittgensteinian Debate

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Read, R. (2022, May 06). Wittgenstein's Language Games - Wittgensteinian Fideism [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Read, Rupert. "Wittgenstein's Language Games – Wittgensteinian Fideism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 06 May 2022,