[Milton-L] both because they're his and because they're just

Matthew Jordan matthewjorda at gmail.com
Thu Apr 10 17:55:25 EDT 2014


At least as construed by Hans Blumenberg, in The Legitimacy of the Modern
Age, the intellectual assault on Aristotelianism was primarily informed by
a sense that any sense of "absolute" Reason was an unwarranted restriction
on God's absolute power. However, since such a God was fundamentally
"unknowable" in "rational" terms, and was at an infinite conceptual
distance from his Creation, he was, as Goldman had it of Jansenism's deity,
a "hidden God" - or, as Blumenberg puts it, a "deus absconditus" - and
"pragmatically speaking, a deus absconditus is as good as dead." This is
the context Blumenberg adduces as necessary to understanding Descartes'
extraordinary thought-experiment (what if I'm being deliberately fooled
about everything I think I know?)

Re. Fish: my view is that he gets PL *exactly* wrong, which is a
considerable achievement. Fish's PL is, in Hegelese, the "determinate
negation" of Milton's. Fish describes PL as a "continual assault on the
reader's self-esteem," and continually uses Richard Baxter as theological
warrant for such a reading. Baxter recurrently inveighed against the sin of
"self-esteem," whereas Milton has Raphael commend "self-esteem" to Adam, in
the second-ever printed favourable use of the term (the first was also
Milton, in An Apology, a quarter-century previously). These facts are
intimately related to Baxter's Calvinism, and Milton's "Arminianism"....

Best, Matt


On 10 April 2014 22:24, Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM
<cbartonphd1 at verizon.net>wrote:

>  And so said Stanley Fish--long before the rest of us, Carl.
>
>  *From:* JCarl Bellinger <dionhalic at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:38 PM
> *To:* John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] both because they're his and because they're
> just
>
> «being utter'd with those native colours and graces of speech, as true
> eloquence the daughter of vertue can best bestow upon her mothers praises,
> would so incite, and in a manner, charme the multitude into the love of
> that which is really good, »
> It seems the author of PL have a dog in this hunt which this discussion
> ought to track down. Has
> Milton in some ways constructed the literary fabric of the poem (from
> which we are quoting) so as to -subliminally- effect changes in our
> feelings or thoughts or desires? All the while we're kept busy with
> dazzling image & puzzling argument, we're being systematically hit below
> the belt of conscious discourse & admiration.
> -Carl
>
> ------------------------------
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