G.H.clark and transmission of information

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Pht

Puritan Board Freshman
Not sure if this strictly belongs here, but this seems to be where most of this stuff is centered. If this kind of question belongs elsewhere, than maybe this thread can be moved?

Yes, I have used the forum search to poke about on what I'm about to ask, but haven't found a really applicable reply - and yes, I do know about the trinity foundation site; but nothing is coming to mind on the topic.

I'm interested from any of those who are personally familiar with clark's (and I guess "or" robbins) works how they address the issue of information and how it is transmitted.

I think more specifically, (and I agree that at least some knowledge must be innate, but I don't know how much!) the question is, how do we (at least appear) to gain knowledge from, say, reading books? Are we really inputting knowledge, or are we triggering knowledge that's already there? Yes, I realize that langauge is a Gift from God; that's not the real issue here.

Also, I am more interested in what the (clarkian? Or whatever it's called hereabouts) position has to say on the issue; I want to really understand what he/they have to say on the issue and am less interested atm in arguing one way or another about it. (kind of silly for me to want to argue over a position I don't understand!)

anyways, rambling asides, thanks for your time, to anyone who might reply. :confused:
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Joel, I've asked this question of Clarkians and the consistent answer I've gotten is that God uses the occasion of, say, reading the Bible, to impose knowledge upon a person. That is, when you read, the Holy Spirit imposes knowledge upon your intellect such that there wasn't actually a transfer of information from your seeing the page in front of you to having the knowledge.

My problem with this kind of occasionalism (and I may not have stated the case in the fairest way) is that it looks an awful lot like the Neo-Orthodox/Barthian view of Scripture, where Scripture is the occasion for revelation. The other trouble is that it leads to doubt because I make mistakes in my interpretation of Scripture all the time: how do I know when the Spirit has imposed knowledge and when He hasn't?
 

Pht

Puritan Board Freshman
I'll continue poking the issue; I find it very interesting.

Unfortunately, I don't have a job atm, so buying clark's books is just ... out. :|

On barth; Haven't really studied him (yet. Urgh, so much to read, so little time!). From what I've heard of barth, though, I think he probably did more to hurt christianity than protect it from liberalism.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
As far as I can tell Clark and his followers make a linguistic distinction, without realizing it of course, between what is knowledge and with what isn't knowledge. As a person who likes the later Wittgenstien a lot all I see is a disagreement over the meaning of a word. But people who say they "know" that there is say a car in there driveway by simply looking out the window at it are making perfect sense, they are just using the word "know" in a different sense than the Clarkian would. Clark adopted a basiclly Augustinian view that the senses don't give "knowledge" at all, but merely kindle the intellect to work, and it is the intellect which gains or posses knowledge.
Clark's grand mistake was that he was stuck in a basically enlightenment/modernistic mindset that was preoccupied with this sort of foundationalist thinking. The sorts of questions he found to be in need of answering some or many contemporary thinkers don't. Why would a women who correctly guesses a person's charector or a gamblier who seems to always get it right not be said to have some sort of knoledge just because he or she can't point to some empirical, rational, or scriptual foundation for it. Van Til was not preoccupied with how we get beleifs, or knowledge, but only with the rough or ideal system, or web, of beleifs that result from that.
 
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