Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The (W)right Reference

With a tip o' the hat to Kevin Bush, who maintains the N.T. Wright page, here is an answer to the question posed on an earlier installment of the N.T. Wright interview:

Bishop Tom said:
...in America at the moment, you still have this hassle about Darwin, about whether you believe in Darwin or not, and I want to say ‘there are serious problems with Darwin,’ (you should look at Wittgenstein’s critique of Darwin, very interesting).

But the exact reference in Wittgenstein was left uncited in the interview, and I was unable to find any obvious target of this citation by scanning card catalogs. Kevin, on the other hand, went straight to the source and reports this:
(Bishop Tom replied to Kevin, saying:) ref is L Wittgenstein, Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief, ed. Cyril Barrett, U Cal Press, no date, pp 26f. His basic point is that people either agreed or disagreed with Darwin not because evidence was produced but because the thing just seemed certain... 'This shows how you can be persuaded of a certain thing. In the end you forget entirely every question of verification, you are just sure it must have been like that.'

So there you have it. Many thanks, Kevin!



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