The God Whereof We Speak

Abstract
D. Z. Phillips holds that we cannot ask a general philosophical question about the existence of God because we discover what it means for God to exist only from within particular linguistic contexts, especially those of prayer and worship. This raises the suspicion that God’s existence therefore depends on a particular language-use, as does the existence of cultural objects like prices or the equator. The article suggests that Phillips’s position overlooks the peculiar status of other persons in our discourse, and the part they play in establishing a basic sense of “existence.” Closer consideration of this aspect of our language-use can take us beyond the limits of Phillips’s approach, and reopen the question of God’s existence in a strong sense
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