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Logic And Enigma

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Chapter Summary

The first principles in Greek philosophy have always been the subject of logical discussion, and yet, as Clement attempts to show, they are also the subject of faith and have always been disguised in enigmas. Dialectical ability was crucial in a world that was fraught with sophistry and heresy. It also furnished Clement with a defence against attacks on philosophy from within the faith. Ferguson states that Clement promised an exposition of the first cause. He cites a passage in which Clement discusses the views of causation according to the Gnostics Basilides and Valentinus. Clement elsewhere mentions the contraries inherent in creation by referring to the opposites of light and dark that proceed from the divine Word. Clement saw logic and dialectic as crucial tools for discerning truth from falsity, but they needed to be distinguished from their use as tools of sophistry and scepticism.

Keywords: Clement; divine Word; enigma; Greek philosophy; scepticism; sophistry



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