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Title: Philosophy of language in Greek Patristics
Author: Chernikin, Arseniy (Artyom)
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2004
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Issues of language are of crucial importance to the doctrinal controversies of Classical Patristics. The Fathers, as well as their opponents, show a sustained philosophical interest in the nature of language, words, name, meaning, changes of meaning of expressions, correctness of name, the purity of language, etc. The main attempt of this dissertation is, therefore, to demonstrate that the Patristic view of language was not just an eclectic variant of standard philosophical overviews (Platonic, Stoic, Peripatetic, etc. ), but a thorough and well-conceived treatment of the matter, that should be recognised as an independent theory of language. The linguistic expertise of, for example, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Basil of Caesarea, and Gregory of Nyssa, is inherited from the grammatical, logical, and rhetorical education of their time. But the topics of the discussions and investigations seem to arise naturally and often the question was posed in a substantially new way. The main point is to clarify that: first, in the course of its formation, the Christian theological view of names and language varied, depending on the theological school concerned (e. g. the Alexandrian); secondly, the Patristic comprehension of language is strongly rooted (and therefore can only be explained) in the context of the Christian doctrine of man; therefore, the Patristic theory of language is finally defined as a theological anthropology of language. The four dissertational chapters are set out logically and chronologically, each one conceived as (to some extent) an independent study; an attempt is made to approach each of the writers individually. The dissertation begins with a fresher analysis of the Classical philosophical tradition (the first chapter). Then, the examination shifts to the writings of the Apologists, their Gnostic opponents (the second chapter), the theologians of the Alexandrian School (the third chapter) and, finally, to the famous doctrinal controversy of the fourth century between the Cappadocian Fathers on the one hand, and Aetius and Eunomius on the other (the fourth chapter).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available