Saturday, February 15, 2014

Gregory on the failure to fish

"One might decide to suspend judgment about a given intellectual issue in disputeand indeed prudence often dictated the advisability of such a coursefor the sake of preserving concord in accordance with Christian caritas, for example, so that all that needed weighing could be weighed.  But neither prudence nor the suspension of judgment nor the yearning for civility could get round the principle of noncontradiction:  although two contrary claims might both be false, even the everlasting suspension of judgment could not make them both true."

     Brad S. Gregory, The unintended Reformation:  how a religious revolution secularized society (Cambridge and London:  The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012), 326.
     The principle of noncontradiction figures largely in this book.
     Yet (since Gregory makes this appeal to the principle of noncontradiction in the context of a discussion of the (far from necessarily contradictory) tension between the humanist and the scholastic approaches to learning) surely the humanists were not better at a determination of the precise sense in which one was or was not faced with contradiction than scholastics like Aquinas!

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