Knowing the transcendent : analogous properties and speaking about God.

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In this dissertation I defend an account of analogous predication that resolves a tension within classical theism between divine transcendence and knowledge of God. In chapter one I explain the tension and sketch a theory of meaning. On the one hand, if God is truly transcendent, then it seems that creatures cannot tell us anything about God. On the other hand, if we are really able to attain demonstrated, true knowledge of God from creatures, then it seems God is not truly transcendent. In chapters two and three I defend an account of analogous properties and conditions preventing univocity and equivocity in terms of Lewisian naturalness and through interacting with Aquinas. I argue in chapter two that any property possessed across primary ontological categories or ways of being is an analogous or merely disjunctive property. In chapter four I identify two kinds of analogous unity that prevent a non-univocal property from being a merely disjunctive property. In chapter four I survey varieties of analogous unity through discussion with historical treatments of analogy, focusing on the non-univocal resemblance, proportional unity. Finally, in chapter five, I bring the previous chapters to bear on the original tension of the dissertation. First I argue that analogous properties are able to ground meaning in such a way that demonstrations that provide us with positive knowledge of God do not equivocate. Second I argue that analogous properties also preserve a robust account of divine transcendence.

Philosophy of religion. Analogy.