Saturday, January 14, 2012

Proudhonian consistency

I was amused to find that Proudhon's first published article in 1839 begins with the following:
"Is a universal alphabet possible?

"If it is possible, is it practicable in the study and common usage of language?

"Yes, a universal alphabet is possible, and I believe that possibility is demonstrated by the work that I am about to analyze.

"No, that universal alphabet is not practicable and never will be, outside of some phonological comparisons and some literal connections. As the last proposition is a sort of negation of the preceding one, I must engage in some clarifications on the subject, before passing to the appreciation of the Methodical Alphabet proposed by Mr. Ackermann."
It looks like he had an appreciation of contradiction as a rhetorical tool, right from the very start.

1 comment:

BerserkRL said...

It looks like he had an appreciation of contradiction as a rhetorical tool, right from the very start.

Indeed he did.

But no, he did not.