A Confusion of the Spheres: Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein on Philosophy and Religion

ISBN : 9780199581962

Genia Schonbaumsfeld
224 Pages
138 x 215 mm
Pub date
Mar 2010
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Cursory allusions to the relation between Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein are common in the philosophical literature, but there has been little in the way of serious and comprehensive commentary on the relationship of their ideas. Genia Schonbaumsfeld closes this gap and offers new readings of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's conceptions of philosophy and religious belief. Chapter one documents Kierkegaard's influence on Wittgenstein, while chapters two and three provide trenchant criticisms of two prominent attempts to compare the two thinkers, D. Z. Phillips and James Conant. In chapter four, Schonbaumsfeld develops Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's concerted criticisms of the 'spaceship view' of religion and defends it against the common charges of 'fideism' and 'irrationalism'. As well as contributing to contemporary debate about how to read Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's work, A Confusion of the Spheres addresses issues which not only concern scholars of Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard, but anyone interested in the philosophy of religion, or the ethical aspects of philosophical practice as such.


1. Kierkegaard's Influence on Wittgenstein's Thought
2. The Point of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Authorship
3. Sense and Ineffabilia - Kierkegaard and the Tractatus
4. A Confusion of the Spheres - Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Conception of Religious Belief

About the author: 

Genia Schonbaumsfeld is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

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