Political liberalism, analytical philosophy of religion and the forgetting of history

Book chapter


Insole, Christopher J.. (2016). Political liberalism, analytical philosophy of religion and the forgetting of history. In In Harris, Harriet A. and Insole, Christopher J. (Ed.). Faith and philosophical analysis the impact of analytical philosophy on the philosophy of religion pp. 158-170 Routledge.
AuthorsInsole, Christopher J.
EditorsHarris, Harriet A. and Insole, Christopher J.
Abstract

[Extract] The distinction between analytical and non-analytical approaches to philosophy of religion has a place in the ‘ordinary language’ of universities, albeit sometimes a less than honourable one in marking opposing and hostile tribes. Against this, a good case can be made that the distinction buckles upon serious investigation, revealing that positions assumed to characterize Continental approaches can be found in analytical thinkers, and vice versa. In this chapter I will attempt to show both the difficulty and the possibility of an analytical/non-analytical distinction. First of all, I will acknowledge the difficulty of drawing the distinction too substantially, which is to say in terms of substantial philosophical doctrines. I will concede that it is very hard to find a philosophical position in Continental philosophy which has not been, or could not be, expressed by an analytical thinker. I will go on to suggest that the difference is more at the level of a methodological commitment to what analytical philosophers call ‘clarity’. ‘Clarity’, I will show, is supposed to enable any individual reader who is clever enough to see that what is being argued is so, whatever their attachments to history, society or tradition. I will argue that this studied and deliberate bracketing of history in the interest of transparency to the individual can be traced back to the shared origins of analytical philosophy and political liberalism, using the writings of John Locke to make this connection. I conclude that this structurally similar forgetting of history, shared by political liberalism and analytical approaches to philosophy of religion, could be a source of strength and renewal to the discipline, but only if the attendant limitations of the project are understood also.

Page range158-170
Year2016
Book titleFaith and philosophical analysis the impact of analytical philosophy on the philosophy of religion
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationLondon, United Kingdom
New York, NY
SeriesHeythrop studies in contemporary philosophy, religion and theology
ISBN9780754631415
9780754631446
9780754682585
Web address (URL)https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/acu/detail.action?docID=429607
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print28 Aug 2005
Online2016
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Mar 2023
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