International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 157–163 | Cite as

Mikel Burley (ed.): Wittgenstein, religion, and ethics

Bloomsbury, London, 2018, 288 pp. $102.60 (hb)
  • Randy RamalEmail author
Book Review

This recent edition on the relevance of Wittgenstein’s philosophy for religion and ethics brings together eleven, very engaging authors who discuss a variety of topics in these areas with considerable depth and expertise. I center my review around six topics that I find to be of interest and significance, and although there is a lot to agree with in the discussions of these topics, there is also a lot to disagree with. My overall judgment is that this volume makes an excellent contribution to the fields of philosophy of religion, Wittgenstein studies, and philosophical ethics, but those hoping to find applications for Wittgenstein’s philosophy in practical ethics, which is sorely lacking in the scholarship on Wittgenstein, will have to wait for a different book. This is not a critique of this volume, but only an observation concerning its philosophical orientation.

The first two chapters are mainly concerned with the extent to which Wittgenstein’s personal biography can be used to shed...



Wittgenstein’s works

  1. LC—Lecturers and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology, and Religious Belief, edited by Cyril (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972).Google Scholar
  2. CV—Culture and Value, edited by G. H. von Wright and Heikk Nyman, translated by Peter Winch (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  3. TLP—Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, translated by C. K, Ogden, with an introduction by Bertrand Russell (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1922).Google Scholar
  4. PI—Philosophical Investigations, 3rd edition, translated by G. E. M. Anscombe (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1973).Google Scholar

Other works

  1. Monk, R. (1990). The Duty of Genius. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarClaremontUSA

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