[Milton-L] help interpret a line

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Mon Jan 26 09:22:46 EST 2004


Then here is where we disagree! And I am glad to see it. J

On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:00:25 -0500 milton-l at koko.richmond.edu wrote:
> I don't think Satan has a bad argument. Rather the opposite, which I
> think is one of the brilliant facets of Milton's epic here. No doubt I'm
> writing too casually about "specious" logic. The argument is bad not
> because the logic doesn't work (though I'd still say that there are some
> dodgy premises here), but because it invites certain conclusions about
> logic and its self-sufficiency that interact with one's experience of
> interiority and emotion in such a way as to lull the conscience to
> sleep.
> 
> Gardner Campbell
> Mary Washington College
> 
> >>> jfleming at sfu.ca 01/26/04 10:05 AM >>>
> I must say I remain somewhat uncomfortable with the suggestion, voiced
> on this thread by Gardner but widely approved both here and elsewhere,
> that in the passage under consideration M is demonstrating "the limits
> of reason." I am uncomfortable with this view because the people who
> hold it always seem to pair it with the claim that Satan has a bad
> argument (which I think is in fact the case, for the very simple reason
> that he uses false premises). But how can M be demonstrating the limits
> of reason by representing a bad argument? Doesn't that strategy, rather,
> demonstrate the sovereignty of reason?
> 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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------------------------
Dr. James Dougal Fleming,
Assistant Professor of English,
Simon Fraser University,
(604) 291-4713

Laissez parler les faits.


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