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Disrupted cognition as an alternative solution to Heidegger’s ontotheological challenge: F. H. Bradley and John Duns Scotus

Ledsham, Cal (2014) Disrupted cognition as an alternative solution to Heidegger’s ontotheological challenge: F. H. Bradley and John Duns Scotus. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, 74 (4). pp. 310-328. ISSN 2169-2327


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Heidegger accuses ontotheologies of reducing God to a mere object of intelligibility, and thereby falsifying them, and in doing so distracting attention from or forgetting the ground of Being as unconcealment in the Lichtung. Conventional theistic responses to Heidegger's ontotheological challenges proceed by offering (typically) analogy, speech-act theorising (e.g. praise) or negative theology as solutions. Yet these conventional solutions, however suitable as responses to Heidegger's Die ontotheologische Verfassung der Metaphysik (1957) version of the ontotheological problem, still fall foul of Heidegger's more profound characterisation of ontotheology in his treatise Seinsgeschichtliche Bestimmung des Nihilismus (1946). Therein Heidegger characterises ontotheology as a metaphysics that posits a first-causal ground of Being combining together an essentia (and ontology) and an existentia (a that-ness). This paper presents an alternative family of metaphysical schemes that instead develop their metaphysical ‘theology’ in a non-naive epistemological context, and indeed maintain that God (or the metaphysical Absolute) cannot be cognised by us because we cannot reconcile the whatness and the that-ness of God in one coherent thought. God is thus unintelligible, and though able to be signified, cannot be reduced thereby to an object of cognition, and is not posited at the expense of considering the ground of Being as the encounter in Lichtung with Being. The two examples of such disrupted cognition accounts of a non-ontheological metaphysics are from the medieval Franciscan John Duns Scotus and the British Idealist Francis Herbert Bradley. The paper ends with a discussion of the characteristic 'disrupted cognition' as a movement between two concepts that are unreconcilable within thought, without being contradictories or contraries, and explores the differences between theological and philosophical employments of 'disrupted cognition'.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Martin Heidegger, John Duns Scotus, Francis Herbert Bradley, ontotheology, paradox, theological epistemology
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220210 History of Philosophy
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220309 Metaphysics
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - Philosophy
C - Systematic Theology
College/Association with University of Divinity: CTC: Catholic Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Cal Ledsham
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 02:33
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2016 04:42
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1729

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