To Be and Not to Know, That Is the Question: Reading William Franke’s A Philosophy of the Unsayable

Part of the Palgrave Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion book series (PFPR)


William Franke’s A Philosophy of the Unsayable brings forth a few important themes: he discusses ineffability and the helplessness yet creative power of language to plunge beyond itself. He declares Hegel as the anchor and pivot of apophatic thinking: from Hegelian dialectic negation and absolute self-knowing Franke leads us to an apophatic negation of “open infinity”, “unknowing”, and “kenotic self-emptying”. In her essay, Bhatawadekar relates these themes to a cross-cultural hermeneutic horizon. She ends the essay with her own apophatic aphorisms that raise sincere questions: Is negation truly the key to open all philosophical deadlocks or do we fall into Monty Python’s Argument Clinic? Does negation prevent us from idolizing extremes or can “open infinity” itself be idolized? She also suggests that Franke’s book should inspire us to take apophasis through cross-cultural approaches, in waves of comparative, dialogical, postcolonial, decolonial, and globally self-reflexive dynamics.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hawai’i at MānoaHonoluluUSA

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