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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 15, Issue 1, 2003

Terrance W. Klein
Pages 143-163
DOI: 10.5840/philtheol20031519

The Forge of Language

Far from being left mute by the linguistic turn in philosophy, Transcendental Thomism is uniquely capable of profitable dialogue with it, as exemplified in this juxtaposition of the work of Karl Rahner and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The key insight of Transcendental Thomism is not to concentrate upon the affirmations which our concepts might produce about God, but rather the recognition that language itself, the ability to grasp even the provisional essence in a known object, is only possible because that object reveals itself against an infinite horizon. Conversely, Wittgenstein’s insight that meaning is not a rider to language but rather a function of language helps to explain the necessity of categorical revelation in the thought of Rahner.

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