The Transcendental Approach in Philosophical Theology

Dissertation, Yale University (1989)

Some theologians have attempted to demonstrate the reality of God by arguing that a priori knowledge or faith in God is a necessary condition of the possibility of empirical knowledge or human scientific and moral activity. This strategy of argument may be considered the use of a transcendental approach in philosophical theology. ;The philosopher Immanuel Kant is arguably the originator of the transcendental approach in philosophy with his project in the Critique of Pure Reason. I examine some features of Kant's transcendental approach and note some important distinctions in functions of argument. Using these distinctions, I describe and evaluate the transcendental philosophical arguments for the reality of God used by two theologians who employ a transcendental strategy of argument: Karl Rahner and Schubert Ogden. I present specific objections to both of their arguments and make some suggestions about the most promising use of such a transcendental approach in philosophical theology
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