Betwixt and Amidst: Mixed Genres of Sophia

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


What emerges from these responses to A Philosophy of the Unsayable as the major issue that is raised but left unresolved Franke translates as the question of the universalism of apophasis as a way or a path of thinking. This issue is raised particularly under the rubric of “philosophy.” Philosophy, since its inception in Greece, with the discovery of the Logos by Heraclitus and Parmenides (not to mention by Thales and Anaximander), has had a vocation to universality, to unveiling truths that are true for all humans. This vocation, Franke suggests, is passed on to apophatic thinking as a result of certain limits on the ability of philosophy as such to deliver on this promise. Philosophy in the deepest sense must answer to a call to being infinitely self-critical and even to divesting itself of itself in order to attain to the truly universal. Franke contends that it does that precisely by turning apophatic. The truly universal is not what can be said but what is aimed at and intended in saying and in relinquishing the claim of any particular word or discourse or philosophy or theology, or any other logos, for that matter, to be the (whole) truth. Since words and discourse are differential and based on opposition, they always tend to delimit the truth that they have intuited, and thereby also to falsify it.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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