Harrison, Victoria. Philosophy of Religion, Fictionalism, and Religious Diversity
2010, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68(1-3): 43-58.
Added by: Emily Paul
Abstract: Until recently philosophy of religion has been almost exclusively focused upon the analysis of western religious ideas. The central concern of the discipline has been the concept God , as that concept has been understood within Judaeo-Christianity. However, this narrow remit threatens to render philosophy of religion irrelevant today. To avoid this philosophy of religion should become a genuinely multicultural discipline. But how, if at all, can philosophy of religion rise to this challenge? The paper considers fictionalism about religious discourse as a possible methodological standpoint from which to practice a tradition-neutral form of philosophy of religion. However, after examining some of the problems incurred by fictionalism, the paper concludes that fictionalism and religious diversity are uneasy bedfellows; which implies that fictionalism is unlikely to be the best theory to shape the practice of philosophy of religion in a multicultural context.
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Comment: This paper is a great one to include as a further reading in a fictionalism unit, because it goes beyond this topic to examine its compatibility with the desire for a more multicultural philosophy of religion. It also reflects upon the discipline of philosophy of religion as a whole, which would be very interesting for the keener students. Alternatively, this could be used as a primary reading at the end of a course (that has covered fictionalism) to allow students to reflect upon the discipline of philosophy of religion as a whole.