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The Coherence of Theism$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240709

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198240708.001.0001

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The Words of Theology—I Words With Old and New Senses

The Words of Theology—I Words With Old and New Senses

(p.51) 4 The Words of Theology—I Words With Old and New Senses
The Coherence of Theism

Richard Swinburne

Oxford University Press

The words of theology (other than technical terms defined by ordinary words) are either ordinary words with ordinary senses, or ordinary words given analogical sense by weakening the syntactic and semantic rules for their use—i.e. by abandoning some of the normal entailments of the words or by extending the class of paradigm examples to which they apply. Scientists who tell us that protons are both ‘waves’ and ‘particles’ give analogical senses to these terms in just these ways. But, weakening the rules for the use of words makes it more difficult to determine the coherence or incoherence of sentences that contain them.

Keywords:   analogy, coherence, meaning, theology

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