Chapter

The Analogical Structure of Language about God

W. NORRIS CLARKE, S.J.

in The Philosophical Approach to God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227198
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237166 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823227198.003.0006
The Analogical Structure of Language about God

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This chapter explores the problem of whether people can say anything more about God than just that He is the ultimate Source of all. This is also the exact problem which St. Thomas and the medievals treated under the “names of God,” which for St. Thomas involves the analogical structure of all our meaningful language about God. There has been an ongoing argument as to whether language about God can be meaningful at all, and if so how this is justified. There are many intellectual people who deny that the language of God can be meaningful and these include positivists, empiricists, and some types of analytic philosophers. They refuse to even discuss arguments for the existence of God because they believe that all meaningful language about the real world is drawn from a matrix of human experience. Although many are confused, the chapter concludes that it is enough to know that God is supreme on the scale values, and for this reason eminently and uniquely worthy of people's unqualified worship, love, hope, and desire for union with Him.

Keywords: God; Source of all; St. Thomas Aquinas; human experience; names of God; language of God; worship; love; hope

Chapter.  6016 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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