Location

University of Windsor

Document Type

Paper

Start Date

3-6-2009 9:00 AM

End Date

6-6-2009 5:00 PM

Abstract

The simplest statement of the relationship between consensus and dissensus is that arguments are supposed to begin in dissensus and end in consensus. This essay introduces a third state for argumentation, learned ignorance. Nicolas of Cusa’s De Docta Ignorantia (1440) lays out both a case and a logic for argumentation that is not designed to end in a clear conclusion. Instead, the arguer pursues a matter up to an inconclusive point, and ends there, satisfied with the results. The underlying logic of this view is centered on the “coincidence of opposites,” which requires rejection of the usual logical principle that A and not-A cannot both be true.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Christian Kock, Commentary on Hample

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Christian Kock, Commentary on Hample (June 2009)

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Jun 3rd, 9:00 AM Jun 6th, 5:00 PM

Consensus, Dissensus, and a Third Way, Learned Ignorance

University of Windsor

The simplest statement of the relationship between consensus and dissensus is that arguments are supposed to begin in dissensus and end in consensus. This essay introduces a third state for argumentation, learned ignorance. Nicolas of Cusa’s De Docta Ignorantia (1440) lays out both a case and a logic for argumentation that is not designed to end in a clear conclusion. Instead, the arguer pursues a matter up to an inconclusive point, and ends there, satisfied with the results. The underlying logic of this view is centered on the “coincidence of opposites,” which requires rejection of the usual logical principle that A and not-A cannot both be true.