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Monday, April 25, 2011

0170: The Event of Easter

Entry 0170: The Event of Easter

"The resurrection of Christ is an event which, while it surpasses history, nevertheless happens at a precise moment in history and leaves an indelible mark upon it. The light which dazzled the guards keeping watch over Jesus’ tomb has traversed time and space.

"Easter morning brings us news that is ancient yet ever new: Christ is risen!

"Right down to our own time – even in these days of advanced communications technology – the faith of Christians is based on that same news, on the testimony of those sisters and brothers who saw firstly the stone that had been rolled away from the empty tomb and then the mysterious messengers who testified that Jesus, the Crucified, was risen.

"And then Jesus himself, the Lord and Master, living and tangible, appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and finally to all eleven, gathered in the Upper Room (cf. Mk 16:9-14).

"The echo of this event, which issued forth from Jerusalem twenty centuries ago, continues to resound in the Church, deep in whose heart lives the vibrant faith of Mary, Mother of Jesus, the faith of Mary Magdalene and the other women who first discovered the empty tomb, and the faith of Peter and the other Apostles." [1]


[1] Pope Benedict XVI, Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter Sunday, 24 April 2011. Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Monday, April 18, 2011

0169: Remarks on the Principle of Non-Contradiction (III)

Entry 0169: Remarks on the Principle of Non-Contradiction (III)

According to Franklin Perkins, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716) “distinguishes between the explicit grasp of truths of reason or logic and an instinct for logic that everyone possesses. This instinct appears primarily in the avoidance of obvious contradictions. The capacity for reason depends [in part] on this instinctive use of the principle of non-contradiction.” [1]


[1] Franklin Perkins, “Interpreting China,” Chapter 4 in Leibniz and China: a commerce of light, Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 2004, p. 160.

Monday, April 11, 2011

0168: Remarks on the Principle of Non-Contradiction (II)

Entry 0168: Remarks on the Principle of Non-Contradiction (II)

Remarks by Richard I. Aaron:

“We use the principle of non-contradiction or consistency long before we become aware of it and of the important part it plays in our thinking.

“No one does try to think without using consistency or non-contradiction as his guide.

“It is our experience of the world that first disposes us to think in terms of non-contradiction and consistency.

“Our experience of the world affects our minds leaving permanent dispositions which explain our thinking.

“The principle of consistency is not alien to that [the real] world; on the contrary, it is something we have learnt from that world itself.

“Even when, in abstract thinking, we find ourselves most removed from experience, there is still a link with the empirical in so far as non-contradiction is our guide. For in so far as it [thinking] is guided by non-contradiction it is guided by a principle which in the last resort is empirically derived.

“We cannot conceive thinking without the principle; more we cannot conceive any item of experience falsifying it.

“This shows the measure to which our experience of the world has moulded our thought. It shows the strength of the dispositions which our experience of the world has engendered within us.” [1]


[1] Richard I. Aaron, "The Rational and the Empirical," in Contemporary British Philosophy, Third Series, London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1956, pp. 3-20.

Monday, April 4, 2011

0167: Remarks on the Principle of Non-Contradiction (I)

Entry 0167: Remarks on the Principle of Non-Contradiction (I)

Remarks on non-contradiction:

“A knower who violates the principle of non-contradiction cannot be said to know.” [1]

“The [principle] of non-contradiction is presupposed universally in any intelligible content of mind.” [2]

The principle of non-contradiction “is presupposed by every human being in every cognitive act.

“This principle is true of all possible facts, and its truth is presupposed by every cognitive act, from philosophy to science to balancing one’s check book.

“No matter what there is, it is what it is, and it cannot display contradictory characteristics at the same time and in the same respect.

“This applies to all past experience, all present experience, all future experience—and even to things we will never experience.

“If any truth has claim to both fundamentality and absoluteness, it is this.” [3]


[1] John R. Bowlin, Contingency and Fortune in Aquinas' Ethics, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 99.

[2] Robert E. Gahringer, “The Foundation of Necessity in Practical Reason,” International Philosophical Quarterly, 1962, vol. 2, no. 1, pp 25-49.

[3] Tibor R. Machan, Objectivity: Recovering Determinate Reality in Philosophy, Science, and Everyday Life, (Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2004), p. 33.