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Document Details :

Title: Analogie en Disclosures - Analogy and Disclosures
Subtitle: Over religieuze taal - On Religious Language
Author(s): DE PATER, Wim A.
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 56    Issue: 3   Date: 1995   
Pages: 242-256
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.56.3.2002447

Abstract :
There is a dilemma for all God-talk: either the predicates retain their familiar connotation (or meaning, or use), but then they are unsuitable for God; or they measure up to God, but then we no longer know what they mean. As a way out of the dilemma (anthropomorphism or agnosticism) tradition has appealed to analogy. For Aristotle analogy is what is later called proportionality, i.e. a similarity between relations. It is shown that this analogy, by itself, cannot solve the problem. Aristotle, however, has another ontologico-semantic device, namely 'to be or to be named from one or towards one' (ab uno, ad unum), which looks more promising. This is the later so called analogy of proportion or of attribution. Thus an accident, f.i. a quality, is called 'being' from the substance, the primary being, because it is directed towards the substance and depends on it. For Thomas this is the kind of analogy that makes God-talk possible. It implies a twofold dynamic: the three ways of Dionysius (in which negativity plays an important role) and the strategy of seeing creatures as traces of or pointers towards God. I.T. Ramsey's theory of qualified models leading to a disclosure makes this dynamic more explicit. Far from being old-fashioned, the theories of analogy and of qualified models have everything to do with what J.-F. Lyotard sees as the concern of both avant-garde art and postmodern philosophy: to make allusions to the Sublime, to point towards the Transcendent, which as transcending the observable cannot be represented.