By Zaine Ridling

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Additional resources for Anselm and the Logic of Illusion

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Our lord, our Archbishop returns. And when the Archbishop returns Our doubts are dispelled. Let us therefore rejoice. INFLEXIBLE REASON So far, the game of rationality has been represented as a harmless, entertaining one. A game with rules, of course not a free-for-all sort of anarchistic outburst but a disciplined, serious, painstaking pursuit of an elusive prize, of an absconding insight into the reality of things. Still a game, though; nothing is to be earned here except pleasure and peace of mind, no conceivable function performed 51 Ridling: Anselm and the Logic of Illusion except keeping the monks busy with other than devilish thoughts and intents.

Still, this is only a game; your obsession is no evidence that its point has grown larger, or indeed that it has grown a point at all. It is only evidence that something that has no point (except, again, to provide you with much-needed relaxation) has gotten out of hand and acquired control over all sorts of other things that have a point. Similarly, Anselm came dangerously close to emotional, and possibly moral, bankruptcy here, and good for him (and possibly us) that miraculous intervention got him out of trouble.

This pedagogical dimension of the search for better words has not escaped contemporary logicians – in practice if not always in theory. Dana Scott (1973) acknowledges that β€œ[h]ow one teaches the knack of uncovering [hidden] assumptions is another question and a serious one” (244). , 245). No subject in philosophy, and few subjects anywhere, are treated through more examples and exercises than this one. The conceptual content of an introductory logic course could be spelled out in a couple of pages; the rest of what happens in class and out of it is practice: the painstaking quest for hidden assumptions in arguments found in newspapers (try the letters to the editor first), paraphrase of ordinary English into artificial jargons, and construction of truth tables, trees, derivations, sequents, or whatever.

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