How then are we to understand Revelation in its relation to thought? Belief in Revelation is belief that ‘God has spoken’. What does this mean? Or rather, what is it to believe it, if to believe involves something more than assent to a factual proposition? Just as to apprehend God’s Holiness is to repent (‘Now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes’); so belief in a divine Revelation seems to involve something like a repentance in the sphere of the intellect. Certainly it cannot be meant that we, with an unbroken intellect, are somehow privileged to talk about God. Talking about God is one of the things which the Bible hardly permits us to do. When Zechariah says, ‘Be silent all flesh before the Lord’, this is not wholly different from Wittgenstein’s ‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent’. What Wittgenstein seems not to believe is that God has spoken. But what is it to believe this? –Mystery and Philosophy
–or so sang Croweded House. The department here at AU is hosting a conference, “Color and Philosophy”. Today is the second and final day.
Wittgenstein writes that “colors spur us to philosophize”. That seems right. I reckon it is, in part, because colors are strangely phenomenologically mobile. They seem to move from being ‘in’ us to ‘out there’ and back again. They seem now existentially dependent upon me, and now existentially dependent upon the object they color; now wholly intimate with me, now wholly indifferent to me. How can something be such that what it is–say, what it is essentially–is revealed completely even to a more or less casual glance (how can color be, to use Johnston’s term, “revelatory”) and still be something that I know only as a perceiver, as receptive? Is color that, well, shallow? And if it is, how can something so shallow, even infinitely shallow, find a place among the deep dark densities of the outer world?