The ineffability of God

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (1):25-41 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

I defend an account of God’s ineffability that depends on the distinction between fundamental and non-fundamental truths. I argue that although there are fundamentally true propositions about God, no creature can have them as the object of a propositional attitude, and no sentence can perfectly carve out their structures. Why? Because these propositions have non-enumerable structures. In principle, no creature can fully grasp God’s intrinsic nature, nor can they develop a language that fully describes it. On this account, the ineffability of God is explained in terms of the inability of our language and mental capacities to grasp God as he really is. I will motivate my account by distinguishing it from a rival proposal. According to this rival, there are no fundamentally true propositions about God’s intrinsic nature. I argue that this rival proposal faces problems that my account does not face. And unlike this rival and other accounts of ineffability, my account provides a fitting explanation of why God is ineffable. God is ineffable because the structure of his intrinsic nature is infinite.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,122

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Ineffability: The very concept.Sebastian Gäb - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (5):1-12.
The paradox of ineffability.Gäb Sebastian - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (3):1-12.
Aesthetic Ineffability.Rafael De Clercq - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (8-9):87-97.
On What is Effable.Delia Belleri - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):341-349.
What an Apophaticist Can Know.David Efird & David Worsley - 2017 - Philosophy and Theology 29 (2):205-219.
Notes on subtlety and ineffability in Pκλ.Yoshihiro Abe - 2005 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 44 (5):619-631.
Bocheński on divine ineffability.Roger Pouivet - 2013 - Studies in East European Thought 65 (1-2):43-51.
Expressives, Majoratives, and Ineffability.Carl David Mildenberger - 2017 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):1-16.
Music, Nature and Ineffability.David E. Cooper - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1257-1266.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-05-27

Downloads
73 (#212,199)

6 months
14 (#131,799)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Omar Fakhri
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Citations of this work

Analytic patristics.Paweł Rojek - forthcoming - Studies in East European Thought:1-34.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Frege’s Puzzle (2nd edition).Nathan U. Salmon - 1986 - Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview Publishing Company.

View all 36 references / Add more references