By Humphrey Palmer (auth.)
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Extra info for Analogy: A Study of Qualification and Argument in Theology
Continent = 1 temperate; 2 mainland. contingent = 1 accidental; 2 part of an army. contract = 1 agreement; 2 make or become smaller. Making these four entries into eight would actually reduce the information they contain, for there are important links between the two senses in each word. A clear path of meaning can be traced from one to the other, by means of a number of usages which fall between. The senses of a word often resemble a continuum, for between any two however close it seems always possible - if we are ready for nice distinctions - to interpolate a third.
Nonsensicalism seems a fair name for this theory. 23 On another view, also mentioned above, there is a special sense but it has to be perceived by individuals and cannot be publicly defined. This makes theology quite mysterious, so we may call it Mysticalism. 24 It is against Mysticalism that the Humpty Dumpty story really tells. Until he explains his usage Alice has - and can have - no idea what he intends. Suppose he had refused to explain, and just left her to catch up. If she ever did, her new understanding of glory and impenetrability would be evident, to herself or to others, only from her being able to explain.
E. mathematically, then how are we to take it? Can we not explain in other and proper terms the point that this mathematical comparison was supposed to illustrate? An analogy that leads only to denials looks a bit too theological! 17 It is sometimes possible to say how things are in a quite general way without claiming to know in any detail how they will be in particular. And such a statement can have its uses for those whose 42 THE THEOR Y IN OUTLINE interest is theoretical. Take for instance Aristotle's suggestion that virtue is a sort of mean or average.