Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ezekiel Bulver: one more time

[Do you remember Ezekiel Bulver? C.S. Lewis never got around to writing his full biography, but what he does tell us is very insightful. Ezekiel Bulver assures us that "refutation is no necessary part of argument.  Assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet."  I just discovered one further snippit that I should've given when we went over the readings on Bulver -- kind of a fitting conclusion. So if you don't remember, here's what we previously read:
Why Ezekiel Bulver assumes "You're wrong" (Part 1)
The problem with Ezekiel Bulver's discovery that "You're wrong" (Part 2)
Why Ezekiel Bulver must be proven wrong (Part 3)
And now the final piece.]John-Baird-See

But our thoughts can only be accepted as a genuine insight under certain conditions. All beliefs have causes but a distinction must be drawn between (1) ordinary causes and (2) a special kind of cause called 'a reason.' Causes are mindless events which can produce other results than belief. Bulverism tries to show that the other man has causes and not reasons and that we have reasons and not causes. A belief which can be accounted for entirely in terms of causes is worthless.

C.S. Lewis, "'Bulverism,'" in God in the Dock (Eerdmans: 1970) 275.

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