Karl Jaspers' account of truth as a way into the discussion of theological truth-claims

Sophia 44 (1):77-90 (2005)
Abstract
This paper presents Karl Jaspers understanding of truth as communication as a framework for reflecting on the nature of truth-claims in Christian theology. Jaspers argues that the fact that we communicate with each other in several different modes implies that the criteria of truth in our discourse must vary in these different modes. In developing this view he distinguishes between four modes of communication: the mode of presenting and defending vital personal interests, the mode of common understanding of the observable world, the mode of developing and operating with ideas of unifying spiritual wholeness, and the mode of authentic personal identity. The formation of this framework draws heavily on Kant. His discussion of the spiritual ideas for example clearly links with Kant regulative ideas of reason. Yet where Kant seems to limit thwese ideas to three: the self, the world and God, Jaspers seems to offer a more open and indefinite view. This becomes important for making a comparison between his account of truth and an account which could accommodate claims of the Christian thelogians.
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DOI 10.1007/BF02780483
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