Abstract This essay discusses the paradox of the N?g?rjunian negation as presented in his Vigrahavy?vartani. In Part One it is argued that as the Naiy?yika remarks, N?g?rjuna's speech act ?No proposition has its own intrinsic thesis? seemingly contradicts his famous claim that he has no negation whatsoever. In Parts Two and Three I consider the traditional as well as modem responses to this paradox and offer my own. I argue that N?g?rjuna's speech act does not generate a paradox for two (...) reasons: (a) the equivalence thesis of the kind??P = ?P is obviously false; and (b) since N?g?rjuna's speech act is situated in the dialogical/conversational universe of discourse as opposed to the argumentative/systematic universe of discourse, the teaching of the non?intrinsic thesis of all statements that it purports, holds for all statements in its class, including itself. Lastly, it is argued that even though the N?g?rjunian speech act is not a negation situated in the argumentative universe of discourse, it serves both philosophical and soteriological purposes. (shrink)
It is a curious fact that the much maligned ontological argument to prove the existence of God has in recent times enjoyed a revival of interest to which even Karl Barth, the arch-enemy of natural theology has contributed; but since the revival of interest has appared in a wide diversity of intellectual contexts, both philosophical and theological, the revival is itself almost as problematic as the argument itself.
Professor N. G. L. Hammond has of late published some of his thoughts on the activities of Philip II in 347 and 346 B.C. In addition he has treated aspects of Philip's earlier involvement in Thessalian, Thracian, and Phokian affairs. In the process he has in many instances disagreed with a number of current findings. Among those challenged are some of mine. Healthy scholarly debate is always desirable, and in this f spirit I should welcome an opportunity to contest Professor (...) Hammond's views on several points, the most important being the basic factor of methodology and the interpretation of various factual details. (shrink)
In a recent article ‘The Problem of Natural Theology’, Professor N. H. G. Robinson has considered the requirements of a ‘genuinely empirical natural theology’. For the first section of it, a very clear sorting-out of recent debates on the ontological argument, I have nothing but admiration. It ends with the question: ‘Granted that if we think of God we must think of him as necessarily existing, why must we think of God at all?’, followed by the comment: ‘We seem thrown, (...) without any prospect of rest, between apriorism and [Barthian] empiricism’. Robinson is rightly dissatisfied with that situation, and in his second section he raises the question whether there cannot be an approach to God which the debates on the ontological arguments have overlooked and which may be properly called an ‘empirical’ one, free from Barthian presuppositions. He finds what seems to be such an approach in Professor E. L. Mascall's Existence and Analogy but concludes that it is in fact after all a form of ‘rationalism’. In the third section he criticises Professor T. F. Torrance's defence of Barth's position in a way which seems to me most satisfactory, and in the fourth he makes his own positive proposals. With these I am in substantial agreement. It is only his account of Mascall's position, in particular at the end of his second section, which seems to call for critical comment. (shrink)
In recent years the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein have received much attention from philosophers in general and especially from philosophers interested in religion; and there is no doubt that Wittgenstein's legacy of thought is both highly suggestive and highly problematical. It seems likely, however, that the vogue which Wittgenstein now enjoys owes not a little to his peculiar place in the development of modern philosophy and, in particular, of that empiricist tradition in philosophy which stems from what has been called (...) the revolution in philosophy in the early decades of the present century. (shrink)
In his book on Karl Barth Professor T. F. Torrance spoke at one point of ‘the great watershed of modern theology’. ‘There are,’ he wrote, 1 ‘two basic issues here. On the one hand, it is the very substance of the Christian faith that is at stake, and on the other hand, it is the fundamental nature of scientific method, in its critical and methodological renunciation of prior understanding, that is at stake. This is the great watershed of modern theology: (...) either we take the one way or the other – there is no third alter native… one must go either in the direction taken by Barth or in the direction taken by Bultmann.’. (shrink)
In his article ‘Professor Bartley's Theory of Rationality and Religious Belief’ Mr W. D. Hudson has brought considerable clarification to the rather confused situation occasioned by Professor W. W. Bartley's book The Retreat to Commitment and its subsequent discussion; but the process can, I think, be carried still further.