The boon of the Linguistic Turn and other matters: A reaction to Roman Göttlicher
A B S T R A C T
This essay is a reaction to Roman Göttlicher’s article Communication, Silence and Speech in Christianity (2003). It aims to show that Göttlicher does not provide just cause to deduce the insufficiency of natural language and the superiority of silence, as the article’s concluding passages state. In addition, the article’s indirect criticism of the Linguistic Turn and related appeal for a turn away from language is an unsuitable approach to the context of this philosophical scheme as well as to paragraph 7 of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. I argue that a) in communication, silence cannot be conceived as a sign above natural language because the two are complementary – silence acquires meaning only in relation to verbal response, b) claiming the insufficiency of natural language is a question of religious disposition and is not supported by any linguistic arguments in Göttlicher’s article, c) the Linguistic Turn has actually helped to reveal the role of natural language in our conception of the world, and natural language has become an essential basis for philosophical exploration, and d) Göttlicher’s use of citations from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus is not well-founded, because Wittgenstein addresses problems in describing the world using language, not the sufficiency of language for communication with God.
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Slovo a slovesnost, volume 66 (2005), number 2, pp. 116-128
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