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Logic and other nonsense : the case of Anselm and his God

Author: Ermanno Bencivenga
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Logic is often seen as the bedrock of intellectual life. It aims to be straightforward, true, clear. But in this provocative book of post-modern philosophy, Ermanno Bencivenga presents an extended reflection on the subversive nature of logic - logic that is not stable and certain, but deceptive and tortuous. The author uses Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of the eleventh century, as his case study to  Read more...
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Named Person: Anselm, Saint Archbishop of Canterbury; Anselm, Saint.; Anselm, Saint Archbishop of Canterbury; Anselme, ((saint ;; Anselm (von Canterbury)
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Ermanno Bencivenga
ISBN: 0691074275 9780691074276
OCLC Number: 27431487
Description: xii, 132 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Ch. 1. The Program. Transcendental Concerns. Language Tricks. Teaching Rationality --
Ch. 2. The Program Criticized. Inflexible Reason. Fighting for Consistency. The Consistency of What? Logic and Power --
Ch. 3. The Program Revisited. Importunate Questioning. Clues. A Perfect Spy. Damning Reason --
Ch. 4. That, Than Which a Greater Cannot Be Thought. Upper Bounds. Mothers of Invention. The Law of the Jungle --
Appendix 1: The Logic of an Illusion --
Appendix 2: Esoteric Doctrines.
Responsibility: Ermanno Bencivenga.
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Abstract:

Logic is often seen as the bedrock of intellectual life. It aims to be straightforward, true, clear. But in this provocative book of post-modern philosophy, Ermanno Bencivenga presents an extended reflection on the subversive nature of logic - logic that is not stable and certain, but deceptive and tortuous. The author uses Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of the eleventh century, as his case study to show how human reason can be devious. In Anselm's famous texts, his beliefs are not at stake, he is sure of them - he seeks only to understand his faith, not to prove it. But by looking at Anselm's writings as a whole, Bencivenga argues that they undermine Anselm's own interpretation. Not only can reason be more effective than force in fighting the unorthodox, but it can also be a subtle way of undermining orthodoxy. Bencivenga demonstrates how reason plays different roles at the different levels of Anselm's project. For its authoritarian subject, reason imposes a limit on its rebellious character. For its subversive subject, reason opens up an infinite arena for experimentation whose end will never be reached. Ultimately, Logic and Other Nonsense asks hard questions about the nature of philosophy in Anselm's world, as well as our own.

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