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By William Franke

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

In six cohesive essays, Franke explores basic points of unsayability. within the first and 3rd essays, his philosophical argument is carried via with acute recognition to modes of unsayability which are printed most sensible through literary works, quite via negativities of poetic language within the oeuvres of Paul Celan and Edmond Jabès. Franke engages in severe dialogue of apophatic currents of philosophy either historical and smooth, targeting Hegel and French post-Hegelianism in his moment essay and on Neoplatonism in his fourth essay. He treats Neoplatonic apophatics specifically as present in Damascius and as illuminated through postmodern notion, fairly Jean-Luc Nancy’s deconstruction of Christianity. within the final essays, Franke treats the stress among modern techniques 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 specific concept of unsayability, that is educated by means of his long-standing engagement with significant representatives of apophatic idea within the Western tradition.

"William Franke is an articulate spokesman for what can't be stated not just as regards to glossy eu poetry but in addition 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 reports, collage of Virginia

"By now, it should appear that there might be not more to claim approximately not-saying. Apophatic language and damaging theology were accused of meaninglessness, nihilism, or even ill-concealed ontologies. during this gorgeous and astonishing publication, William Franke not just deftly undoes those criticisms yet exhibits that apophasis underlies and surprisingly grounds all language and notion, 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 assert, and extra that's either significant and important." —Karmen MacKendrick, Le Moyne College
"William Franke is an eminent pupil in comparative literature, who's schooled in philosophy and faith. he's well-known as probably the most artistic modern thinkers operating on the double intersection of philosophy and literature and philosophy and theology. A Philosophy of the Unsayable exhibits an highbrow clutch of a dizzying array of discourses and sheds actual mild on all thinkers who're discussed." —Cyril O'Regan, Huisking Professor of Theology, college of Notre Dame

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It forgets or ignores that the “concrete” and “real” that can be said are, after all, linguistic abstractions in comparison with what unsayably is there, concretely and really, before all linguistic delimitations. And both Wittgenstein and Benjamin 28 P hilosoph y and literature eventually abandon the tight logic, analogous to Hegel’s, of their early writings for more open-ended outlooks on a reality that cannot be comprehended. They thus preserve their apophatic insight from being buried by their penchant for the perfection of the system.

The self-reflexive (and thereby also self-negating) powers of language are crucial to this capability of discourse to project infinitely beyond itself. The reflexiveness characteristic of human self-consciousness in ­language—which arguably defines the threshold of the human vis-à-vis other forms of conscious life—is what makes possible the operations of ­totalization and singularization. Both of these linguistic functions lead by means of self-negation toward transcendence of the definable—of all conceptual definition and verbal determination.

The human capacity, for instance, to sacrifice and renounce the self and its immediate, or even just determinate, satisfactions, in order to in- In the Hollow of Pan’s Pipe 29 vest unconditional care and commitment in something or someone, surpasses the limits of the finite and definable. Such behavior, not for the sake of any calculable gain or realizable objective, depends on the strange, ­incomprehensible human faculty of conceiving something indefinable, something that cannot be said. Such is the ability that is manifest mysteriously, for example, in what is called love.

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