Wittgenstein, Frazer and Religion

Front Cover
In the first full-length analysis of Wittgenstein's Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, Brian R. Clack presents a fresh and innovative interpretation of Wittgenstein's conception of religion. While previous commentators have tended to sideline the Remarks on Frazer, Clack shows how the key to Wittgenstein's thought on religion lies in these remarks on primitive magico-religious observances. This book shows that Wittgenstein neither embraces expressivism, as it is generally assumed, nor straightforwardly denies instrumentalism. Focusing instead on Wittgenstein's suggestion that magic is somehow akin to metaphysics, a view of ritual as the spontaneous expression of human beings (conceived as "ceremonial animals") is presented.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (1999)

BRIAN R. CLACK is Tutor in Philosophy at St. Clare's International College, Oxford. He received his PhD from London University in 1994, and is, with Beverly Clack, the author of An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (forthcoming).

Bibliographic information