# On The Implicit

### Abstract

Every theory of doctrinal development makes some appeal to the concept of implicit information. But no theologian or Church historian has bothered to explore this concept philosophically with the contemporary tools for doing so. I refer to tools such as an up-to-date philosophy of language and an up-to-date logic of significance and context. It was to fill this lack that “On the Implicit” was written in the mid-1980s. Although what is said to be implicit in actions and in speech-acts is considered, the bulk of the work is on what can be said to be implicit in propositions. A careful analysis distinguishes “propositions” from mere sentences and discusses two basic semantic levels on which a sentence is interpreted to yield a proposition. Then, what is explicit in a proposition is stated more exactly. Several theories of implicit content are then examined, including the ludicrously misnamed “logical” and “theological” theories. My solution is rounded out with appendices on the implicit in analogies, metaphors, and the prima credibilia.

-W.H. Marshner

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Part I: The Implicit in Practices and Speech-acts  . . . . . . 9
Part II: The Implicit in Propositions  . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Chapter 1: What Counts as a Proposition  . . . . . . . . .23
Chapter 2: A Logical Start  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Chapter 3: A Semantical Start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Chapter 4: Two Theological Divertimenti . . . . . . . . . 57
1. Il Cimento Hermeneutico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57
2. Fuga Scholastica  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
Chapter 5: How to Go On From Here? . . . . . . . . . . . .67
Chapter 6: A Braided Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Strand 1: Counterfactual Connexion . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78
Strand 2: Scripts  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82
Strand 3: Relevance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89
Chapter 7: Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Part III: Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
The Implicit in Living Metaphor . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
The Implicit in Analogies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
How Christianity is Implicit in the Prima Credibilia  . .110