An inevitable thought about Language and the Trinity

One thought which I find difficult to formulate as a convincing argument, and yet equally difficult to disregard, concerns the apparent necessity of language’s form, particularly with respect to having exactly three persons (first, second and third person). Consider Chomsky’s convincing proposal of an innate Grammar, which revolutionized the study of linguistics and introduced a rationalist perspective which superseded the ’empirical’ perspective common until his time (though his rationalism is naturalistic). However, if one is inclined to believe, as am I, that modal logic sets the boundaries of what is logically possible, and yet that even modal logic and the conceptual construction of logically possible worlds relies itself on the grammar of language, then one can understand Chomsky’s proposal to entail that language constrains modality in an interesting way. Thus, one might say that the innate grammar which humans have is simply ‘logically necessary’ (and this may not be circular on medieval philosophies of language).

Consider then the fact that language, it seems to me, involves exactly three ‘persons’ (first person ‘I’, second person ‘you’ and third person ‘he/she/it’). It is not possible to have or even imagine a language with a ‘seventh’ person, let alone a ‘fourth’ or any other number (indeed, I am not convinced that a language could possibly have only a single, or else the first two ‘persons’). Notice, then, that the grammar of ‘three persons’ is logically necessary. Moreover, those familiar with the writings of Aquinas will recall his use of this ‘three-person’ grammar to explain the Trinity’s inter-relation in some detail. Therefore, might it not be the case that language itself testifies to it’s metaphysical foundation in God as Trinity?

This is not to be taken too seriously as an argument, of course, but it seems relatively harmless to ponder.


About tylerjourneaux

I am an aspiring Catholic theologian and philosopher, and I have a keen interest in apologetics. I am creating this blog both in order to practice and improve my writing and memory retention as I publish my thoughts, and in order to give evidence of my ability to understand and communicate thoughts on topics pertinent to Theology, Philosophy, philosophical theology, Catholic (Christian) Apologetics, philosophy of religion and textual criticism.
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