By Paul O’Grady (auth.)
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Rather than being a general theory of language use, Wittgenstein uses the twin notions of language game and form of life to draw attention in specific instances to how language is actually used and to disabuse one of mythologies or fixed ideas about how it ought to work. To generate a position like ‘Wittgensteinian Fideism’ is too constructive and too much like traditional philosophy to fit well with Wittgenstein’s approach. Nevertheless, Wittgenstein does make certain claims which fit well with such a view.
But in late 1273 something happened to him. He was saying mass and reported to his friend, Reginald, that he had seen something astounding. The pious reading of this is that he had a mystical experience, while the more secular reading is that he had a stroke. Whatever the cause, he fell into ill health and 38 Aquinas’s Philosophy of Religion never wrote again. In the spring of 1274, however, he took to the road one last time to go to Lyons, where a Church council was being held, exactly on the issue of the use of Aristotle.
It follows that theology does not wipe out philosophy. While he holds that it is the case that in certain contexts water gets turned into wine, it does not follow that wine and water coalesce in all contexts – they remain separate, and water is not devalued by not being wine. So it is not alien to Aquinas to allow that philosophy exists distinct from theology. 16 Aquinas’s Philosophy of Religion Again, accepting that Aquinas thinks Sacra Doctrina is superior to philosophy, this does not invalidate or make impossible the philosophical consideration of important issues – even by Aquinas himself.