A philosophy of the unsayable by William Franke

By William Franke

In A Philosophy of the Unsayable, William Franke argues that the stumble upon with what exceeds speech has develop into the the most important philosophical factor of our time. He proposes an unique philosophy pivoting on research of the bounds of language. The ebook additionally bargains readings of literary texts as poetically appearing the philosophical rules it expounds. Franke engages with philosophical theologies and philosophies of faith within the debate over unfavourable theology and indicates how apophaticism infiltrates the considering even of these who try and deny or delimit it.

In six cohesive essays, Franke explores primary facets of unsayability. within the first and 3rd essays, his philosophical argument is carried via with acute consciousness to modes of unsayability which are published top via literary works, quite by means of negativities of poetic language within the oeuvres of Paul Celan and Edmond Jabès. Franke engages in severe dialogue of apophatic currents of philosophy either old and glossy, concentrating on Hegel and French post-Hegelianism in his moment essay and on Neoplatonism in his fourth essay. He treats Neoplatonic apophatics specially as present in Damascius and as illuminated by means of postmodern proposal, fairly Jean-Luc Nancy’s deconstruction of Christianity. within the final essays, Franke treats the stress among modern methods to philosophy of religion—Radical Orthodoxy and notably secular or Death-of-God theologies. A Philosophy of the Unsayable will curiosity students and scholars of philosophy, literature, faith, and the arts. This ebook develops Franke's particular conception of unsayability, that's knowledgeable via his long-standing engagement with significant representatives of apophatic notion within the Western tradition.

"William Franke is an articulate spokesman for what can't be acknowledged not just with reference to glossy ecu poetry but additionally with recognize to modern theology. A Philosophy of the Unsayable is crucial interpreting for everybody operating in faith and literature and in smooth theology."
Kevin Hart, Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian reviews, collage of Virginia

"By now, it can look that there might be not more to assert approximately not-saying. Apophatic language and detrimental theology were accused of meaninglessness, nihilism, or even ill-concealed ontologies. during this wonderful and staggering publication, William Franke not just deftly undoes those criticisms yet indicates that apophasis underlies and unusually grounds all language and idea, even of these very discourses that the majority vigorously reject it. A Philosophy of the Unsayable demonstrates with attractiveness that there's certainly extra to claim, and extra that's either significant and important." —Karmen MacKendrick, Le Moyne College
"William Franke is an eminent student in comparative literature, who's schooled in philosophy and faith. he's famous as essentially the most inventive modern thinkers operating on the double intersection of philosophy and literature and philosophy and theology. A Philosophy of the Unsayable exhibits an highbrow snatch of a dizzying array of discourses and sheds genuine mild on all thinkers who're discussed." —Cyril O'Regan, Huisking Professor of Theology, college of Notre Dame

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They thus preserve their apophatic insight from being buried by their penchant for the perfection of the system. Apophatic thinking sacrifices system in order to let the infinite be undetermined and wholly other to every definition in discourse and every construction of consciousness. We understand always only on the basis of what we do not understand. Knowing arises as a reflexive wave of illumination within a sea of unknowing. The alternative, Hegelian way is to make the concrete and articulated Idea the intrinsic ground for every reality and every idea, including that of the infinite.

The essential poem, like the essence of anything and everything, so far exceeds words and concepts (including the concept of essence) as to be nothing at all in their terms. It has become increasingly evident in our time that this intellectual operation and movement of negation continue down the path of reflection broken open not quite two millennia ago by Neoplatonic thought. 11 Radical heterogeneity, as emphasized particularly by numerous authors writing in French, like Michel de Certeau,12 shows up in relief against this traditional background of Neoplatonic thinking, which recognized the One as irreducibly other with respect to all thinking and being and conceived of it similarly, in terms of the limits of language, as the Ineffable.

It is pointed up by ruptures in language—Bataille’s “déchirements”—as the realization within language of some life or movement that strives beyond it. I have been speaking somewhat like Gregory of Nyssa, with his notion, called epektasis, of the soul or consciousness being drawn endlessly beyond itself toward an unrealizable infinity and even of an open-ended, 32 P hilosoph y and literature self-transcending totality of meaning. Yet in recent, postmodern apophasis (with precedents already, for example, in the sixteenth-century Sefardic Kabbalah of Moses Cordovero and Isaac Luria), the tendency has been to emphasize the breaking and shattering of all meanings as that which opens language to intimations of what lies beyond its possibilities of saying.

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