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THE DEFENCE OF THE MYSTERIES OF THE TRINITY AND THE INCARNATION: AN EXAMPLE OF LEIBNIZ'S 'OTHER' REASON

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Abstract:

In this paper I will discuss certain aspects of Leibniz's theory and practice of 'soft reasoning' as exemplified by his defence of two central mysteries of the Christian revelation: the Trinity and the Incarnation. By theory and practice of 'soft' or 'broad' reasoning, I mean the development of rational strategies which can successefully be applied to the many areas of human understanding which escape strict demonstration, that is, the 'hard' or 'narrow' reasoning typical of mathematical argumentation. These strategies disclose an 'other' reason, i.e. a complementary set of arguments and methods developed by Leibniz in order to deal with crucial issues such as the 'weighting' of probabilities and truths of fact. I will argue that one of the most compelling examples of the importance and fertility of Leibniz's 'other' reason is provided by his solution to the problems posed by the unique epistemological status of theological mysteries.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09608780110045317

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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