[Milton-L] help interpret a line

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Wed Jan 21 16:05:36 EST 2004



On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 11:43:09 -0500 milton-l at koko.richmond.edu wrote:
> But Satan isn't "trying to examine the consistency between underlying
> principles and instances of their application."  
But Satan is, in fact, claiming that that is what he is doing. Neither is this inconsistent with your account of his ulterior intention:

He's trying to persuade
> someone to do something that she already believes to be illegal, immoral
> and extremely dangerous.  
Sure. And he is trying to persuade her through a logical examination of the consistency, which he claims in this case to find wanting, between an underlying principle (fear of God, its ground and significance) and an instance of its application (not eating from the tree). 

I don't understand this argument:
Since he's not using physical force, surely
> it's reasonable to look for verbal trickery in this situation.
It is, as you point out, obvious that Satan is trying to persuade Eve to do something that she is disinclined to do. In speech-act terms, his speech is perlocutionary. But if every act of persuasion involved, by definition, "verbal trickery," then you and I and St. Paul and Cicero and a whole lot of other fine folk would be in a bad way. No? J

> 
> Beth Bradburn
> 
> jfleming at sfu.ca wrote:
> 
> > Is there really anything "poisoned" or "Satanic" about the logic of "your
> fear itself of death removes the fear"? Granted, "bad logic" is the sort of
> thing that we think we are supposed to say about the sorts of things that
> Satan says; but isn't that rather reductive and convenient? It seems to me
> that "your fear itself of death removes the fear" is the kind of enthymeme
> that we quite often employ when trying to examine the consistency between
> underlying principles and instances of their application. > > J.D. Fleming
> > > ------------------------ > > Dr. James Dougal Fleming, > Assistant
> Professor of English, > Simon Fraser University,
> > (604) 291-4713
> >
> > Laissez parler les faits.
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> >
> >
> 
> 
> 
> 
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------------------------
Dr. James Dougal Fleming,
Assistant Professor of English,
Simon Fraser University,
(604) 291-4713

Laissez parler les faits.


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