Re: [christian-philosophy] Origen, "Commentary on John" II.4
- Greetings Alex (and All), and thank you for inviting me to share my
over-determined and obfuscatory thoughts on the matter at hand -- i.e.,
on Origen and Absolute Truth ...
On Fri, 30 Nov 2001 05:40:01 +0100 Aleksandar Katanovic
> What is the goal of interpreting truth than to grasp its truth?Possibly to describe the conditions and, originarily, the moment in which
the possibility of grasping truth first becomes a possibility -- an
originary or primordial possibility ... not quite as violent as
Heraclitus' polemos, nor as unassuming as Plato's "good beyond being,"
but something in between, perhaps, a principle of harmony that is yet
situated outside the music, like a conductor ...
> What I find as problematic with the text is that it is not clear inan more
> what sense is 'truth' understood. In analytic tradition, truth is a
> semantic feature of sentences in language. For Heidegger, 'truth' has
> extended meaning related to something genuine.Ah! now Alex, you have opened the Pandora's box containing the hydra-like
difference(s) separating analytic from Continental philosophy. Where
shall I begin? ...
Heidegger, in his Introduction to Metaphysics (a somewhat controversial,
perhaps even taboo text, considering the circumstances in which it was
written and presented, but valuable nonetheless) explains quite admirably
and adequately how philosophy has become confused with the strictures of
grammar, and hence, of logic. The major error, according to Heidegger,
is philosophy's self-subjugation to its own offshoot of logic, if you
will ... Speculations on grammar and the logical structure of language
first began with Plato, in the Sophist; but philosophy itself had already
begun long before that, with Anaximander's primordial and convulsive
response to the unfolding of existence by way of the apeiron, the
"from-out-of-which ..." And Heraclitus, who declared "war" (polemos) to
be the "father of all," and Empedocles, who sought the harmony of Love
and Strife ... Yes, this primal reply to the openness of existence
before its source was poetic, descriptive, reactionary, even -- but not
logical! Logic only came later, after the initial Dionysian revel of the
Pre-Socratics passed over into a sober accounting and 'rendering
practical' of Thought. Once thinking was brought under the sway of
practical, ethical concerns, was the initial openness of philosophy to
the self-presentation of Truth stifled and forced into the wholly
contingent structure of logic and grammar -- a structure which, itself,
owes its very existence to the radical and rupturous thinking of the
early philosophers. And here we are, now, 2500 years later, still going
to great lengths to avoid the rupture, to cling to beings over-against
Being, and to avoid the epochal question of "What is Truth?" -- i.e.,
So there you have, in a nutshell, Heidegger's argument against
enslavement to logic and modern science, which only serves to blind us to
Being's self-showing, and to turn our gaze toward the contingent, the
'seeming,' the inauthentic, etc. ...
> We can haveRight, and that is the problem -- always "some truth," and never Truth.
> interpretation of our observations, but what we try to realize with
> interpretations is to grasp some truth.
> I do not find anything objectionable as a semantic-realist in ourTo paraphrase St. Athanasius: when we approximate truth we are
> about approximating Truth.
endeavoring to replace or imitate, through our own efforts, that which
can only reach us from God, and through the Logos.
> Well, what do you mean by the term 'Universal Truth'. Do you meanI understand "Universal Truth" as the possibility of all possibility, the
> some set
> of true beliefs about our world? Or mathematical true statements? Or
> principles of logic? Or something else?
openness of Being to beings, and vice-versa. The apparent fact that we
are only able to 'grasp' this openness in the form of a fleeting moment,
a flash of insight, an aesthetic rapture, etc., does not, and should not,
detract from its originary value. With logic we build systems; with the
originary moment we are given the ability to produce such systems.
Truly, Truth is es gibt, the gift, that which gives ...
A nice Christmas meditation, wouldn't you say?
St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology
Septuagint Translation Project: http://www.lxx.org
Email. proteus28@... Fax. 1 810 454 1893
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Yes, Ulrich, I have most of VT's works on paper, and the CD Rom of all his
I find that John Frame is a good expositor of VT. I agree more with VT than
Clark, but Clark did have a few good ideas. I find VT to be much much more
difficult to understand than Clark. I believe that Clark tries to simplify
much, i.e., thinking that he can understand and explain all of Scripture,
"content" of God's thought on any subject coincides exactly with the content
our thought. I agree with VT that all of God's revelation to us is
analogical. Frame has
a very good "solution" to the conflict between the two, IMHO, as given in
"VT, An Analysis of His Thought."
----- Original Message -----
From: "ULRICHPUN7" <ulrichpun7@...>
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 7:26 PM
Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Origen, "Commentary on John" II.4
> I greatly prefer Van Til to Clark on Method . Have you read Van Til David
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: drm <drmorphias@...>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Monday, November 26, 2001 10:39 PM
> Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Origen, "Commentary on John" II.4
> > Edward, although I don't agree with Clark on some things
> > I do agree on the fact EVERYONE has presuppositions,
> > whether they know it or not. And My presupposition is
> > Scripture. That is, I take as my axioms for my system
> > of knowledge the entire Bible. Hence I know what
> > Truth is, for what it is is stated in the Bible.
> > david.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Edward Moore" <proteus28@...>
> > To: <email@example.com>
> > Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2001 11:56 PM
> > Subject: [christian-philosophy] Origen, "Commentary on John" II.4
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Origen, Commentary on John (Book II. ch. 4, excerpt):
> > >
> > > Any one will confess that there is only one truth; it could never be
> > > in this case that there is one truth of God, and another of the
> > > and another of man,--it lies ill the nature of things that the truth
> > > about anything is one. Now, if truth be one, it is clear that the
> > > preparation of it and its demonstration, which is wisdom, must in
> > > be conceived as one, since what is regarded as wisdom cannot justly
> > > that title where truth, which is one, is absent from its grasp. But if
> > > truth is one and wisdom one, then Reason (Logos) also, which announces
> > > truth and makes truth simple and manifest to those who are fitted to
> > > receive it, will be one.
> > >
> > > [The complete text of this treatise is available at
> > > http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/101502.htm%5d
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > COMMENTARY:
> > >
> > > Origen makes quite a presupposition in this passage, when he states
> > > "[a]ny one will confess that there is only one truth"; for we know
> > > in our present pluralistic society, truth is -- on those rare
> > > when it is actually spoken of -- treated as something in the
> > > and at the mercy of the individual thinker, who interprets 'truth' on
> > > basis of his or her place or role in a given socio-cultural context.
> > > Contemporary thinkers, cultural theorists (as they are often called)
> > > speak only of "truth-values," or "interpretative gestures" in and by
> > > which something approximating Truth (in Origen's sense) is brought to
> > > attention.
> > >
> > > I would like to ask a question now, and I hope for a response: In what
> > > way are we justified -- as Christians in a secular world -- to make
> > > claim that Universal Truth exists? According to Heidegger, the
> > > par excellence of/that is Philosophy is "why are there beings at all
> > > instead of nothing?" (Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics,
> > > 1935). As Christians, are we not obliged to recognize the contingency
> > > presupposition of this question -- i.e., that Truth really and truly
> > > exists -- and to recognize (in our turn) and formulate, on the basis
> > > Faith, the even more fundamental 'counter question' of: what is the
> > > (hoped for) Truth in light of which we ask all questions in the first
> > > place?
> > >
> > >
> > > ~ Edward Moore
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