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Encyclopedia of sacred theology - pagina 111

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Encyclopedia of sacred theology - pagina 111

its principles ...

2 minuten leestijd

Chap.

§40.

I]

LANGUAGE

87

But language by itself would only accomplisli this task within the bounds of a very limited circle and for a brief period of time, if it had not received the means of perpetuating itself in writing and in printing.

only the written and printed of distance

Not the spoken but word surmounts the difficulty

between places and times.

No doubt language

possessed in tradition a means by which

it could pass on from mouth to mouth, and from age to age especiall}^ in the fixed tradition of song but this was ever extremely defective. Carving or painting on stone, wood, or canvas was undoubtedly a more enduring form but the full, rich content of what the human consciousness had grasped, experienced and thought out could only be made oecumenic and perpetual with any degree of accuracy and completeness, when wondrous writing provided the means by which ;

;

;

to objectify the content of the consciousness outside of self

and to

fix

This writing naturally began with the repre-

it.

sentation and only gradually learned to reproduce concep-

by the indication of sounds. Thus image and word were ever more sharply distinguished, till at length with civilized nations the hieroglyi^hic language of images and the sound-indicating language of words have become two. And no finer and higher development than this is conceivable. The two actions of our consciousness, that of observing the elements and of thinking out their relations, which at first w^ere commingled in their reproduction, are now clearly distinguished, and while art is bent upon an tions

ever-completer reproduction of our representations, writing and printing offer us an entirely sufficient means for the reproduction of our conceptions.

But even guage for lar.

this does not exhibit the highest function of lan-

human

life

in general

Language does not derive

the fact that sentations

it

and its

for science in particu-

highest significance from

enables us to retain and to collect the repre-

and conceptions

of our consciousness; nor yet from the fact that in this way it serves as the means of communication between the consciousness of one and the consciousness of another but much more from the fact that ;

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van zaterdag 1 januari 1898

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 708 Pagina's

Encyclopedia of sacred theology - pagina 111

Bekijk de hele uitgave van zaterdag 1 januari 1898

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 708 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken