Category: Dialectic

Aporia

A state of questionableness, or perplexity that approaches from the basis of unknowability.  A style of dialogue that utilizes this inventive style is ‘aporetic’. We derive a way of talking…

A state of questionableness, or perplexity that approaches from the basis of unknowability.  A style of dialogue that utilizes this inventive style is ‘aporetic’.

We derive a way of talking about what we don’t know.

An example:

St. Augustine in On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: An Unfinished Book 1.1

Praemittitur regula fidei in Scripturis tractandis.

De obscuris naturalium rerum, quae omnipotente Deo artifice facta sentimus, non affirmando, sed quaerendo tractandum est; in Libris maxime quos nobis divina commendat auctoritas, in quibus temeritas asserendae incertae dubiaeque opinionis, difficile sacrilegii crimen evitat: ea tamen quaerendi dubitatio catholicae fidei metas non debet excedere. Et quoniam multi haeretici ad suam sententiam, quae praeter fidem est catholicae disciplinae, expositionem Scripturarum divinarum trahere consueverunt; ante tractationem huius libri catholica fides breviter explicanda est.

(It is not by way of assertion, but by way of inquiry that we have to treat the hidden matters concerning natural things which we know were made by God, their almighty maker.  Especially in the books that the authority of God has commended to us, rashness in asserting an uncertain and doubtful opinion scarcely escapes the charge of sacrilege.  Still, doubt in inquiry ought not exceed the bounds of the Catholic faith.  Since many heretics try to twist the exposition of the divine Scriptures to their own opinion which stands apart from the faith of the Catholic discipline, we must first briefly explain the Catholic faith before dealing with this book.)

 

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