Re: [lewiscarroll] Cratylus - keep talking!
- Hi Kate and John,
Completely new topics out of the blue are what lists like this thrive on!
I have only just been reading how the world's leading Nabokov expert got the
inspiration for his latest book from a discussion on the Nabokov-L list.
These kind of discussion-sites are going to be the new centres for
intellectualism, that much is clear. Nothing can rival the diversity or the
speed of exchange. They are huge virtual street-cafes where minds from
anywhere in the world can drop in and exchange views.
So John and Kate - buy your espresso, or lemonade or whatever find a table
and get talking. Even if no one else joins in we all get to read - as do the
casual non--members who drift in to look at the messages and drift out.
Someone may pick up something you say and link it to something they are doing
- and find they have a piece of the jigsaw they never thought they'd find.
This is the beauty of the web.
A site this size gets a lot of hits a day beside its subscribed members so
you have a huge potential audience out there to inform and influence in any
number of ways.
So - keep talking about Cratylus.
- Hi Mike,
Not a lot to say about Craylus at present,
As a previous correspondent accurately said, Cratylus held one corner in a
three cornered debate in one of Plato's dialogues (Hermogenes and Socrates
being the other two participants). The relevance to Carroll is tangential
but possibly significant in helping clear up one of the many historical
misunderstandings about Carroll. KATE HAD THE ACUITY TO SPOT THIS AND DRAW
IT TO MY ATTENTION.
The relevance is this. It has always been assumed that Carroll held opposing
views to Jowett on philosophical and theological issues. As you know I have
always rejected this as a case of attempting to make unpalatable facts fit
the image of Carroll as politically, theologically and philosophically
The Hudson, Taylor, Cohen et al portrait of the Jowett controversy has always
been (Until Cohen did his partial volte-face in 1995) that Carroll supported
Pusey against Jowett. The argument, essentially, was that Carroll MUST have
supported Pusey because a) Pusey, an extremely powerful man, was Carroll's
sponsor and a close colleague of his fathers and, b) Carroll was highly
conservative and High Church anyway.
I say that there is no evidence whatsoever to support this. In fact Carrolls
long and complex squib on 'The New Method of Evaluation as applied to Pi' is
almost wholly directed AGAINST Pusey and Penrhyn. Jowett is presented as the
unfortunate victim of ' a new scale of notation' (i.e. ballot rigging by
Penhryn) on the one hand and a 'reductio ad absurdum' (by the Puseyites) on
The whole squib has little do do with Jowett's theology - though it is clear
that Carroll would have held SOME reservations about SOME of Jowett's
rhetoric in his essays - but mainly because of Jowett's attempts to
oversimplify complex issues (which is precisely what I am being guilty of
Interestingly, If I had made ANY of this public prior to Cohen's and
Karoline's biographies, I would have been judged a candidate for Royal
Bethlem! Fortunately, today, not even the most die hard St Lewis supporter
can ignore the fact that Lewis has been grievously misrepresented.