From act to act: Gadamer and Augustine on the verbum interius

Dugger, Marlana (2017) From act to act: Gadamer and Augustine on the verbum interius. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis investigates Gadamer’s statement that Trinitarian theology relieves western thought from the forgetfulness of language that arguably began when Plato’s Cratylus depicted words as signs that represent truth and continued with logical positivism, which severed the word from history and culture. I will show that the new dimension that Trinitarian thought offers hermeneutics is the inner word as a movement from act to act, rather than potency to act. In the Trinitarian relation, the Word proceeds not after the Father understands, but proceeds simultaneously with the act of divine intellection, such that there is no divine understanding without divine saying. A movement from potency to act, as one finds in Platonism, would suggest that a concept is formed in an immediate sense and then we speak the word. This would mean that we can see the thing without the word and thus thought would not be historical but a pure act of intellection, divisible from language and history. I argue with Gadamer that the Trinitarian notion of the inner word as a procession from act to act has awakened hermeneutics to the way in which all thought is historical, in showing us that we always already understand what we speak.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13075
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-91).
Keywords: Augustine
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 6 November 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Gadamer, Hans-Georg, 1900-2002; Hermeneutics; Trinity

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