Das «Vielleicht» als Grundirritation für den Gottesgedanken

In: Communio. Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift, 3/2023, 309-324.


The adverb “maybe” rarely occurs in the writings of philosophers, because it does not correspond to the classical criteria of rationality such as coherence, internal consistency and non-contradiction. However, if one wants to uncover the hermeneutic valence of this adverb, it is possible to identify three forms of philosophical “maybe”: a “conjectural”, an “amphibological” and an “interpretative maybe”. These three forms have in fact often been adopted to approach precisely that which surpasses reason, be it absolute Being or God. The thesis of the article is that behind the philosophical thinking of God there is always an absolute presupposition or epistemic pre-decision, i.e. an “interpretative maybe”, whether adopted in its “positive” or “negative” form. It remains hidden behind the argumentative structure, but govern the form of enquiry and make it possible in the first place. After Nietzsche and with Heidegger the “interpretative maybe” becomes even more radical (“gefährliches Vielleicht”), but in its ultimate significance it shows its essence: it corresponds to an idea of reason inseparable from freedom, i.e. a hermeneutic reason, the only one capable of recognizing or reject the truth-potential of religion.

Keywords: Philosophical hermeneutic – God – Being – truth – possibility – maybe – conjecture – interpretation – freedom. 

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