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Title: What Is Called Free Thinking?
Subtitle: Revelation as the Object of Speculative Philosophy
Author(s): TRITTEN, Tyler
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 92    Issue: 1   Date: 2016   
Pages: 57-72
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.92.1.3144371

Abstract :
This essay undermines the notion that to philosophize about or even on the basis of a purportedly revelatory event, i.e. to do, in some respect at least, revealed theology, de facto discounts one from being a 'free thinker'. Instead, the argument is that far from prohibiting freedom of thought, i.e. far from dogmatically holding thought hostage, the object of revelation can operate as a necessary condition of free thinking. This essay does, nevertheless, argue against the coupling of the epithet of free thought with some particular creed or doctrine, atheism included, but while maintaining that free thought cannot be extricated from something simply accepted as a given, i.e. as something simply revealed to thought rather than deduced, derived or generated from the same. More precisely, through the later philosophy of mythology and revelation of F.W.J. Schelling and with allusion to Martin Heidegger’s question, 'What is called thinking?', the idea of free thought as pure reasoning, i.e. as objectless because capable of producing its own subject-matter from itself, is disputed. Free thought is not free because it fails to be beholden to some object outside of itself, but because thinking is liberated or set at play by its object. Revelation, then, which has certainly proven capable of captivating thought as a kind of dogmatism and fetishism, might also prove capable of liberating thought. Thinking, in fact, can only become free by means of proper engagement with an object of revelation or revelatory event.

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