EXC 2060 C3-4 - Noncognitivism in the Philosophy of Religion

In Progress
Funding Source
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Project Number
EXC 2060/1
Type of Funding
Third-party funding
  • Description

    Non-cognitivism stands for the thesis that one should view the relevant entities as neither apt for truth nor for justification. In this project the different concepts of non-cognitivism, developed in philosophical meta-ethics, will be drawn upon to analyse religious episodes (i.e. expressions, attitudes or experiences). In doing so a type of religious criticism will be developed that is grounded in philosophy of language, which on the one hand has consequences from the standpoint of philosophy of science regarding the possibilities and boundaries that a scientific understanding of religion has. One can, on the other hand, in this way, gather information on societal debate concerning religion or on how religiously motivated normative discussions are argumentatively structured. Beside the thesis that religious episodes ought to be non-cognitivisticly understood it will be argued, secondly, that their primary function lies in constituting the practical identity of human persons in the shape of existential value attitudes. As such these fundamental value orientations are constitutive for the respective personalities of these people. In them, thirdly, the basic human experience of finiteness is expressed. This finiteness shows itself in the limitations (of theoretical and practical abilities) and in the neediness or vulnerability of their corporal existence. It is also fundamental to the human condition to know of this temporal limitation. Religious practices are to be understood, such the fourth of this project's evidence goals, as institutional forms, with the help of which humans can cooperatively, on the basis of their genuinely social nature (as acting beings), realise their being persons.
  • Persons