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William Franke
Vanderbilt University
  1. A Philosophy of the Unsayable.William Franke - 2014 - University of Notre Dame Press.
    In _A Philosophy of the Unsayable_, William Franke argues that the encounter with what exceeds speech has become the crucial philosophical issue of our time. He proposes an original philosophy pivoting on analysis of the limits of language. The book also offers readings of literary texts as poetically performing the philosophical principles it expounds. Franke engages with philosophical theologies and philosophies of religion in the debate over negative theology and shows how apophaticism infiltrates the thinking even of those who attempt (...)
     
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  2.  80
    Apophasis and the Turn of Philosophy to Religion: From Neoplatonic Negative Theology to Postmodern Negation of Theology.William Franke - 2006 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 60 (1-3):61-76.
    This essay represents part of an effort to rewrite the history metaphysics in terms of what philosophy never said, nor could say. It works from the Neoplatonic commentary tradition on Plato's Parmenides as the matrix for a distinctively apophatic thinking that takes the truth of metaphysical doctrines as something other than anything that can be logically articulated. It focuses on Damascius in the 5—6th century AD as the culmination of this tradition in the ancient world and emphasizes that Neoplatonism represents (...)
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  3.  26
    Apophasis as the Common Root of Radically Secular and Radically Orthodox Theologies.William Franke - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (1):57-76.
    On the one hand, we find secularized approaches to theology stemming from the Death of God movement of the 1960s, particularly as pursued by North American religious thinkers such as Thomas J.J. Altizer, Mark C. Taylor, Charles Winquist, Carl Raschke, Robert Scharlemann, and others, who stress that the possibilities for theological discourse are fundamentally altered by the new conditions of our contemporary world. Our world today, in their view, is constituted wholly on a plane of immanence, to such an extent (...)
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  4.  14
    Apophatic Paths: Modern and Contemporary Poetics and Aesthetics of Nothing.William Franke - 2012 - Angelaki 17 (3):7-16.
  5. Virgil, History, and Prophecy.William Franke - 2005 - Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):73-88.
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  6. Varieties and Valences of Unsayability.William Franke - 2005 - Philosophy and Literature 29 (2):489-497.
    Examples of unsayability of the most disparate sorts are cited from literature (Shakespeare, Melville, James, Aeschylus, and others) in order to suggest the uncircumscribable diversity of motives for unsayability. The question is whether they all have anything in common. When something cannot be said because of politeness or obscenity or deceit or strategy, does this have anything to do with the metaphysical motives for unsayability? These things are not per se unsayable but only conditionally so, under certain circumstances. The problem (...)
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  7.  27
    All or Nothing? Nature in Chinese Thought and the Apophatic Occident.William Franke - 2014 - Comparative Philosophy 5 (2).
    This paper develops an interpretation of nature in classical Chinese culture through dialogue with the work of François Jullien. I understand nature negatively as precisely what never appears as such nor ever can be exactly apprehended and defined. For perception and expression entail inevitably human mediation and cultural transmission by semiotic and hermeneutic means that distort and occult the natural in the full depth of its alterity. My claim is that the largely negative approach to nature that Jullien finds in (...)
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  8.  9
    Poetry and Apocalypse: Theological Disclosures of Poetic Language.William Franke - 2008 - Stanford University Press.
    In _Poetry and Apocalypse_, Franke seeks to find the premises for dialogue between cultures, especially religious fundamentalisms—including Islamic fundamentalism—and modern Western secularism. He argues that in order to be genuinely open, dialogue needs to accept possibilities such as religious apocalypse in ways that can be best understood through the experience of poetry. Franke reads Christian epic and prophetic tradition as a secularization of religious revelation that preserves an understanding of the essentially apocalyptic character of truth and its disclosure in history. (...)
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  9. Dante's Inferno as Poetic Revelation of Prophetic Truth.William Franke - 2009 - Philosophy and Literature 33 (2):pp. 252-266.
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  10.  56
    Metaphor and the Making of Sense: The Contemporary Metaphor Renaissance.William Franke - 2000 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 33 (2):137-153.
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  11.  32
    The Place of the Proper Name in the Topographies of the Paradiso.William Franke - 2012 - Speculum 87 (4):1089-1124.
    There is an obvious paradox in any attempt to map the topography of Paradise, for Paradise, theologians assure us, is outside of space as well as time. Yet mapping Paradise is what Dante's poem, the Paradiso, attempts to do. For the two preceding realms of the afterlife, hell and purgatory, Dante provides numerous finely articulated descriptions of rigorously ordered regions. And again for Paradise, the variegated states of the souls making up the spiritual order of the realm are expressed very (...)
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  12.  40
    Involved Knowing: On the Poetic Epistemology of the Humanities.William Franke - 2011 - The European Legacy 16 (4):447 - 467.
    The humanities represent a type of knowledge distinct from, and yet encompassing, scientific knowledge. Drawing on philosophical hermeneutics in the tradition of the Geisteswissenschaften, as well as on the Latin rhetorical tradition and on Greek paideia, this essay presents humanities knowledge as "involved knowing." Science, in principle, abstracts from the subjective, psychological conditions of knowing, including its emotional and willful determinants, as introducing personal biases, and it attempts also to neutralize historical and cultural contingencies. Humanities knowledge, in contrast, focuses attention (...)
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  13.  16
    Nothingness and the Aspiration to Universality in the Poetic ‘Making’ of Sense: An Essay in Comparative East–West Poetics.William Franke - 2016 - Asian Philosophy 26 (3):241-264.
    ABSTRACTAs a contribution to comparative East-West poetics, this essay descries a common resource of Western and classical Chinese literatures in certain “apophatic” modes of thought and discourse that are oriented to what cannot be said, to what is manifest only in and through a certain evasion and defiance of all efforts to verbalize and conceptualize it. This argument is developed in critical counterpoint with the work of interpreting Chinese classical poetry and thought by the French philosopher and sinologist François Jullien. (...)
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  14.  29
    Dante's Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Prophetic Voice and Vision in the Malebolge (Inferno XVIII–XXIII).William Franke - 2012 - Philosophy and Literature 36 (1):111-121.
    By exposing itself as fiction, Dante’s poetry becomes true. Especially the Malebolge stages a relentless self-critique by Dante of his prophetic voice and the presumption of a human poet who imitates divine prophecy through merely human counterfeits. This self-deconstruction opens the poem to being informed from above and beyond itself by an authority not its own: divine grace can work the revelation of truth directly within interpretive acts of readers focused on the “doctrine hiding beneath the veil of the strange (...)
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  15.  38
    Apocalypse and the Breaking-Open of Dialogue: A Negatively Theological Perspective.William Franke - 2000 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 47 (2):65-86.
  16.  25
    Equivocations of “Metaphysics”.William Franke - 2008 - Philosophy and Theology 20 (1/2):29-52.
    Western intellectual tradition is brought to focus through the lens of Dante’s Comedia around the idea of the identity of being and intellect. All reality is dependent on God as pure Being, pure actuality of self-awareness (“thought thinking itself ”); everything else is or,equivalently, has form by its participation in this Being which is Intellect. The human soul can experience itself as divine by realizing this identity of Being with Intellect through its own being refined to pure intellect and form. (...)
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  17.  12
    Passage Through Hell: Modernist Descents, Medieval Underworlds.David L. Pike.William Franke - 1999 - Speculum 74 (3):808-811.
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  18.  12
    Acknowledging Unknowing: Stanley Cavell and the Philosophical Criticism of Literature.William Franke - 2015 - Philosophy and Literature 39 (1):248-258.
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  19.  12
    Professional Dantology and the Human Significance of Dante Studies.William Franke - 2014 - Diacritics 42 (4):54-71.
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  20.  4
    Marco Maggi, Walter Benjamin e Dante: Una costellazione nello spazio delle immagini. Rome: Donzelli, 2017. Paper. Pp. 175. €19. ISBN: 978-88-6843-608-7. [REVIEW]William Franke - 2018 - Speculum 93 (3):873-874.
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  21.  9
    On Doing the Truth in Time: The Aeneid's Invention of Poetic Prophecy.William Franke - 2011 - Arion 19 (1):53-63.
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  22.  8
    Of the Ineffable: Aporetics of the Notion of an Absolute Principle.William Franke - 2004 - Arion 12 (1):19-40.
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  23.  5
    Augustine’s Confessions and the Transcendental Ground of Consciousness, or How Literary Narrative Becomes Prophetic Revelation.William Franke - 2014 - Philosophy and Literature 38 (1):204-222.
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  24. Warren Ginsberg, Dante's Aesthetics of Being. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1999. Pp. Xv, 175. $42.50. [REVIEW]William Franke - 2001 - Speculum 76 (3):727-729.
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  25. Hermeneutics, Historicity, and Poetry as Theological Revelation in Dante's Divine Comedy.William Franke - 2007 - In Jan Lloyd Jones (ed.), Art and Time. Australian Scholarly Publishing. pp. 39.
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  26. On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and the Arts: Volume 1: Classic Formulations.William Franke (ed.) - 2007 - University of Notre Dame Press.
    “Any writer worth his salt knows that what cannot be spoken is ultimately the thing worth speaking about; yet most often this humbling awareness is unsaid or covered up. There are some who have made it their business, however, to court failure and acknowledge defeat, to explore the impasse of words before silence. William Franke has created an anthology of such explorations, undertaken in poetry and prose, that stretches from Plato to the present. Whether the subject of discourse is All (...)
     
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  27. On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and the Arts: Volume 2: Modern and Contemporary Transformations.William Franke (ed.) - 2007 - University of Notre Dame Press.
    “Any writer worth his salt knows that what cannot be spoken is ultimately the thing worth speaking about; yet most often this humbling awareness is unsaid or covered up. There are some who have made it their business, however, to court failure and acknowledge defeat, to explore the impasse of words before silence. William Franke has created an anthology of such explorations, undertaken in poetry and prose, that stretches from Plato to the present. Whether the subject of discourse is All (...)
     
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  28.  49
    On the Poetic Truth That is Higher Than History: Porphyry and the Philosophical Criticism of Literature.William Franke - 2010 - International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):415-430.
    Porphyry‘s “On the Cave of the Nymphs” inaugurates a style of philosophicoallegorical interpretation of literary texts that flourished in antiquity and finds analogues in criticism down to the present. It is distinguished by its use of literary interpretation to think through speculative problems of philosophy and theology. Although it became suspect in terms of Enlightenment philological principles prescribing interpretation of the text “on its own terms,” this kind of criticism reveals the originally philosophical motives and purpose of literary criticism and (...)
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