The Great Riddle: Wittgenstein and Nonsense, Theology and Philosophy

Oxford University Press UK (2015)

Authors
Stephen Mulhall
Oxford University
Abstract
Can we talk meaningfully about God? The theological movement known as Grammatical Thomism affirms that religious language is nonsensical, because the reality of God is beyond our capacity for expression. Stephen Mulhall critically evaluates the claims of this movement to be a legitimate inheritor of Wittgenstein's philosophical methods as well as Aquinas's theological project. The major obstacle to this claim is that Grammatical Thomism makes the nonsensicality of religious language when applied to God a touchstone of Thomist insight, whereas 'nonsense' is standardly taken to be solely a term of criticism in Wittgenstein's work. Mulhall argues that a place can be found in both his early work and his later writings for a more positive role to be assigned to nonsensical utterances--one which depends on exploiting an analogy between religious language and riddles. This allows us to see various ways in which his later work has a perfectionist dimension, and results in a radical reconception of the role of analogous usage in language, and in the relation between philosophy and theology.
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Reprint years 2018
ISBN(s) 9780198755326   9780198801627
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Authority and Revelation

This chapter considers what the relation between philosophy and theology can and should be, given a Grammatical Thomist understanding of religion and the Wittgensteinian understanding of philosophy argued for in the other chapters. This discussion builds in particular upon the view of the ... see more

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Grammatical Thomism.Simon Hewitt - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
Introduction.Filippo Casati, Chris Mortensen & Graham Priest - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Logic 15 (2):28.

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