Peter van Elswyk
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
A conviction had by many Christians over many centuries is that natural language is inadequate for describing God. This is the doctrine of divine ineffability. Apophaticism understands divine ineffability as it being justified or proper to negate statements that describe God. This paper develops and defends a version of apophaticism in which the negation involved is metalinguistic. The interest of this metalinguistic apophaticism is two-fold. First, it provides a philosophical model of historical apophaticisms that shows their rational coherence. Second, metalinguistic apophaticism enables a minimal understanding of ineffability that is independently plausible given its minor commitments.
Keywords apophaticism  metalinguistic negation  religious language  ineffability
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Hedged Assertion.Matthew A. Benton & Peter Van Elswyk - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 245-263.
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