Index of # Posts and Topic: - 1, Introduction to Phenomenology - 2, Phenomenological Tools - 5, Dasein Analytic and Critique of Culture - 7, 8 Neo-Kantians and Eidetic Analysis - 9, Mystic A priori - 10, 11, 12, Phenomenological Reduction of the Aesthetic Life - 15, 16, 17, The Lifeworld - 23, Husserl: Empiricism, Psychologism, Circularity, and Reification - 24, 25, Absolute Consciousness, Sartre -26, 27, Theological Phenomenology, Paul Tillich We now know of the Theological Circle, the Logical Tautology Circle, and now the Phenomenological Circle. I think I see a pattern here! All deductive non-contradictory axiomatic ideological systems are tautological. The essentialist/non-essentialist debate concerning the ultimate foundation of logical necessary is a debate about of the limits of the categories of finitude. Wittgenstein’s famous advice here is, “7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” In addition, the Kantian block has always stood as the limit of Reason long before phenomenology, or Wittgenstein appeared in history. For Kant, the understanding supplies categorical forms (Space and Time) that structure our experience of the sensible world, the thing-as-it-appears, to which human knowledge is limited, while the intelligible thing-in-itself (or noumenal) world is strictly unknowable (epistemologically blocked) to us. Remember Heidegger’s other word for appearance, “Erscheinung,” which means the way in which the thing appears, but is also a mark, or sign of what a thing is. These problems of logical circularity are a mark, or symptom of our finitude running up against the infinite. Theological Phenomenology: “The denial of reason in the classical sense is antihuman because it is antidivine.” --Paul Tillich* · “...every epistemology contains an implicit ontology.”- Paul Tillich ·“Every creative philosopher is a hidden theologian (sometimes even a declared theologian).” – Paul Tillich “A system is a totality made up of consistent, but not of deduced, assertions.” – Paul Tillich *(Quotes found in Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology Vol. I, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963.). Theologian Paul Tillich idealistically explains that, “Phenomenology is a way of pointing to phenomena as they “give themselves,” without the interference of negative or positive prejudices and explanations.” (Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology Vol. I, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963, p. 106. Here after referred to as “ST1.”). However, unlike the positivistic empiricist that creates distance between the object and himself, the theological phenomenologist must have religious intuition that close the distance between himself and the object in focus—this is because the “object” really is not an object at all, but conscious human beings. Tillich perceptively noted that, “Cognitive distance is the presupposition of cognitive union.” (ST1, p. 94.). Yet, he also warned, “The detachment required in honest theological work can destroy the necessary involvement of faith. (ST1, p. 26.). Tillich sees other problems with the phenomenological method. How is it to deal with conflicting interpretations of phenomena? How is the criterion for ‘choosing criterion’ even possible without being circular? The only way for Tillich to answer this question about the choice of a phenomenological example is, “...only if a critical element is introduced into “pure” phenomenology...This is “critical phenomenology,” uniting an intuitive-descriptive element with an existential-critical element. (ST1, p.107.). The biblical theologian’s exegesis is primarily “pneumatic” (Spiritual) or, what we would today call, “existential.”(ST1, p.35.). There is also the problem of epistemological certainty. Certainty is easier in the technical sciences, but theological phenomenology is interested in the existential, or spiritual realm. In this realm our knowledge is incomplete,“...the infinite horizons of thinking cannot supply the basis for any concrete decision with certainty. Except in the technical realm where an existential decision is not involved, one must make decisions on the basis of limited or distorted or incomplete insights.” (ST1, p.35.). Tillich believes all empirical theology will fail because 1.) The object of theology (our ultimate concern as human beings) is not an object of empirical-positivistic science. 2. Empirical theology cannot be tested by scientific standards of verification, but only by embracing a lifetime of participation in a concrete religious reality. Tillich is speaking of a different kind of knowledge other than technical knowledge, means-ends knowledge, or controlling knowledge. He is instead speaking of, “ knowledge [which] is more than a fulfilling: it also transforms and heals: this would be impossible if the knowing subject were only a mirror of the object, remaining in unconquered distance from it.” (ST1, p. 95.). The problem with controlling knowledge is that it,“ ‘objectifies’ not only logically (which is unavoidable) but also ontologically and ethically.” (ST1, p. 97.). Since 1800 there have been extremist efforts to reduce all of philosophy to scientific logic. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s first philosophical work, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921) (free pdf) was written on the assumption that natural language contained within it a hidden calculus. Romanticism, philosophies of life, and existentialism were antithetical schools of thought that attempted to resist this militant movement for total domination by technical reason, or controlling knowledge. Modern science and philosophy use “true” and “false” as “qualities of judgments” and if judgments fail or are successful in describing reality they are assigned values of truth or falsity. “But reality in itself is what it is, and it can neither be true nor false.” (ST1, p. 101.). That reality can be neither true, nor false (this is a function of reason and language), is exactly what Philosopher-Logician, Ludwig Wittgenstein said of the world and ethical values. Wittgenstein was the very first Logical Positivist in whose name the Vienna School of Logical Positivism was founded by the leading scientists of his era. Tillich often uses the term “paradoxical” which means “against the opinion,” (During 1530–40 A.D., formed from the Greek word, paradoxon, from paradoxos, meaning conflicting with expectation; para-, beyond; see para + doxa, opinion) namely, the opinion of finite reason according to Tillich. However, there is refuge from the tyrannical rule of instrumental reason.