ArgLab • Seminar

Intensive PhD Seminar in Epistemology of Religion

With Professor Vicente Sanfélix Vidarte (University of Valencia)

Course Description

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said: “I am not a religious man, but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view”. However, one might argue that there is no epistemology of religion in Wittgenstein’s writings, if epistemology of religion is understood in the usual way: as a detailed discussion of the validity of arguments in favour of belief in God. Is it possible to dissolve this apparent paradox? Yes it is. But to dissolve this paradox one must get to grips with Wittgenstein’s understanding of religion, as well as his idiosyncratic conception of epistemology. In meeting these two requirements one can come to see both why Wittgenstein could not take traditional epistemology seriously and what his particular epistemology of religion was.

Vicente Sanfélix Vidarte was born in Valencia (Spain) in 1957. He got his “Licenciatura” (BA) at the University of Valencia (1979) and also got his PhD at the University of Valencia (1983), where he has taught since 1979. His main interests are in epistemology, philosophy of mind and modern and contemporary history of philosophy. He was awarded “Premio extraordinario de licenciatura” and “Premio extraordinario de doctorado” by his University (1980 and 1984 respectively). He has been Chairman of the Academic Society of Philosophy over the years 2005-2009. He is a member of the scientific committees of several nationals and foreign journals and series of philosophy. His publications include Doubt, Ethics and Religion: Wittgenstein and the Counter-Enlightenment, edited with Luigi Perissinotto.

Attendance is free of charge but space is limited and registration is required. To register, please send an email to

This seminar is organized within the framework of the FCT-funded project “Epistemology of Religious Belief: Wittgenstein, Grammar and the Contemporary World” (PTDC/FER-FIL/32203/2017, PI: Nuno Venturinha), hosted by the IFILNOVA.