Wednesday, October 17, 2007


"One can never really give a proof of the reality of anything; reality is not something open to proof, it is something established. It is established just because proof is not enough. It is this characteristic of language, at once indispensable and inadequate, which shows the reality of the external world. Most people hardly ever realize this, because it is rare that the very same [person] thinks and puts [his or her] thought into action." Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace, pp. 72-3

Weil's point, I hope it is clear, is not to question the need for rationality (it is a rationally argued position), but to remind us that neither absolute certainty nor endless scepticism are adequate to what is given to us in the fabric of life: an "isness" which provides the condition of our exploring, and an "excess" which defies our attempts to specify the "is", except through the demands of action and language. And through theological "naming" in the midst of these, it might be added. There are comparisons here with John Macmurray's post-Cartesian, personalist, 'philosophy of action'.

[Picture: (c) g8 'Escaping Reality']

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