April 5, 2011

Quote of the Day: Confuting and Convincing

I think that as the proper end of our conference ought to be supposed the discovery and defence of truth, so truth may be justified, not only by persuading its adversaries, but, where that cannot be done, by shewing them to be unreasonable. Arguments, therefore, which carry light have their effect, even against an opponent who shuts his eyes, because they shew him to be obstinate and prejudiced. (Berkeley, Alciphron 4.2)
This thought comes back at the end of the book, where Dion observes, "how unaccountable it [is] that men so easy to confute should yet be so difficult to convince" (7.26).

As Jessop writes in his introduction to Alciphron, "From this one work there could be made an anthology of epigrams" (p. 3).

Posted by Kenny at April 5, 2011 9:08 PM
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