Zaine Ridling's Anselm and the Logic of Illusion PDF

By Zaine Ridling

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41 In the process, it is crucial to avoid isolation and to listen to others: each of us can help his fellow humans deal with their blind spots. See III 123-24 E106, III 1777 E17576, IV 119, IV 120, IV 139, IV 169, and IV 205. But note a problem with this strategy, which emerges at III 270 e301: Anselm had urged Fulk to accept the bishopric of Beauvais, largely because he was worried about giving too much weight to his own concerns in the presence of a general consensus, but now he has come to the conclusion that he was right and the general consensus wrong.

This arises from an imperfection of language, from which even the symbolic language of mathematical analysis is not altogether free; even there combinations of symbols can occur that seem to mean something but (at least so far) do not mean anything. And in (1897a, 239) Frege notes: “[M]ost logicians, misled by language, take the words ‘some numbers’ in the sentence ‘some numbers are prime numbers’ together, and treat their meaning as a logical subject of which the property of being a prime number is predicated, just as it is predicated of say the number 2 in the sentence ‘two is a prime number”’ (compare it with Anselm’s search for the proper analysis of “I ought to be loved by you”).

This form of advice is the most efficient one. 44 Ridling: Anselm and the Logic of Illusion Keeping in mind that this operation of liberating oneself from discomfort and confusion and opacity is not going to be easy: The present volume, at any rate, is written by one who does not look upon the subject as an amusement. He will endeavor to make the doctrine present an exterior as little odious as possible, to correspond with its inward divine beauty, and to harmonize with the deep happiness the study brings.

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Anselm and the Logic of Illusion by Zaine Ridling


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