On the great usefulness of logic
The Maverick fires off a broadside today against the usefulness of logic.
If by 'pulling in our horns' and confining ourselves to problems of language and logic we were able to attain sure and incontrovertible results, then there might well be justification for setting metaphysics aside and working on problems amenable to solution. But if it turns out that logical, linguistic, phenomenological, epistemological and all other such preliminary inquiries arrive at results that are also widely and vigorously contested, then the advantage of 'pulling in our horns' is lost and we may as well concentrate on the questions that really matter, which are most assuredly not questions of logic and language — fascinating as these may be.Against, I cite the venerable Ockham in his prologue to the Summa , as well as my humbly intended summary of the Summa. As Ockham, following the blessed Augustine, rightly asserts, the study of logic (and semantics) "resolves all doubts, dissolves and penetrates all the difficulties of Scripture, as the distinguished teacher Augustine testifies". "The gateway to wisdom is open to no one not educated in logic". For
It often happens that younger students of theology and other faculties overlay their study with subtleties, before they have much experience in logic, and through this fall into difficulties that are inexplicable to them - difficulties which are nonetheless little or nothing to others - and slip into manifold errors…So if Maverick has a pipe, as I believe he does, he knows what to put in it.