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RELS 377 (1)
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Department
Religious Studies
Course
RELS 377
Professor
Tinu Ruparell
Semester
Winter

Description
- theory vs method o theory: knowledge o method: the presuppositions underneath the models o the presuppositions that one uses to derive the models o they are rooted in various forms of knowledge (example: empiricial- observable facts, or a priori- non observable facts) o empirical: measurable weight of the chair, a priori is that chairs have legs o empirical forms of knowledge develop into empirical methods o philosophy is not as much tied with an empirical basis - half the course on research (both getting and reflecting on the questions we even ask) and also on th final research paper due ontheb 28 - 10-12 pages proposal is due on Jan 17 religions as aiding towards a vision of human flourishing science was first called natural philosophy Donald Davidson - looking at and trying to understand an alien civilization - “Radical Translation” - 1) normativity o we must first assume some rationality- some principle of normativity - 2) holism o how what one says/does relies on their context - 3) charity o donation- according to our understanding- we must impose our own presuppositions to try to understand them o we must assume they are kinda like us o we have no justification at all though to believe that they are like us, but if we didn’t impose this then we wouldn’t have even the beginnings of understanding religio- latin- to bind through an oath reified – a child reifies a stuffed animal into an animated being ungirded animism-polytheism-henotheism-pantheism-panenthsim-monotheism-agnosticism- atheism-scientism? Bifurcate How to write an essay - an “assay” of the mind - Bacon: dispersed meditations - Hermeneutics- greek for message- hermes is the messenger- thus it is the study of interpretation/understanding - Derrida- trapped in cycle of making text and having to reinterpret - AnA= an uncritisizable essay! Think of all rebuttles and talk about them - “so what” question- answer it in essay - present essay like a legal case- premises and conclusion orthodoxy vs orthopraxy axioms for Marx and Durkheim both see religion at level of society not individual (opposed to first three) First three - individualist - primitivist Durkheim - religion answers societal need - religion not about belief in supernatural - the sacred as special, forbidden, set aside, holy - desecrate means to de-sac(red) - totem as most simple form of religion - metaphors are dialectic- a semantic unit- bring two ideas together in a way in which creates a sort of tension- like Freud’s “men are wolves” – brought into tension through the metaphor - we use this dialectic to learn- cognitive dissonance has to be resolved by linking to something you know - a symbol is the same thing as a metaphor- instead of two ideas though it is an idea with a physical thing- they follow the dialectic- bring logos into tension with the bios- totems are symbols - tension is the locus of meaning - symbols like totems are this tension- a metaphorical stand in for the society o is the thin
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