The Mystic and the Ineffable

Akademiker Verlag (2008)
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Mysticism and the sciences have traditionally been theoretical enemies, and the closer that philosophy allies itself with the sciences, the greater the philosophical tendency has been to attack mysticism as a possible avenue towards the acquisition of knowledge and/or understanding. Science and modern philosophy generally aim for epistemic disclosure of their contents, and, conversely, mysticism either aims at the restriction of esoteric knowledge, or claims such knowledge to be non-transferable. Thus the mystic is typically seen by analytic philosophers as a variety of 'private language' speaker, although the plausibility of such a position is seemingly foreclosed by Wittgenstein's work in the Philosophical Investigations. Yorke re-examines Wittgenstein's conclusion on the matter of private language, and argues that so-called 'ineffable' mystical experiences, far from being a 'beetle in a box', can play a viable role in our public language-games, via renewed efforts at articulation.
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