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Coleridge and Scepticism$
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Ben Brice

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290253.001.0001

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(p.201) Conclusion
Coleridge and Scepticism

Ben Brice

Oxford University Press

The book concludes with a discussion of Coleridge's, Sonnet: To Nature. In this poem, Coleridge artfully blends the two possibilities that either he is writing on to nature — and perhaps defacing it in his attempts to provide an adequate verbal equivalent — or that he is faithfully copying the prior, incarnate language of God that he has discovered in the very fabric of nature (an ontic logos). It is argued that this blending of the separable notions of ‘writing on’ and ‘reading from’ the language of nature is consonant with the logos doctrine, which finds in human words a fallen, finite echo of the divine word of God in creation. However, Coleridge is also alert to the possibility that his claimed discovery of the language of God in nature may be only a projected ‘phantasy’ of his own earnest wish to find it there.

Keywords:   Sonnet: To Nature, incarnate language, fabric of nature, logos doctrine, fallen, God

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