Dr. Jonathan Kenigson, FRSA
I wish to make several clarifying remarks regarding my recent submission to the Manhattan Herald. These remarks are furnished in no particular order and represent my best attempt at analysis of the academic discourse surrounding the piece. In the interest of civility and decency, I choose to have each critique remain anonymous and answer each as succinctly and honestly as possible.
In the first instance, it should be noted that the venue chosen for the publication of the article is indeed the Manhattan Herald. It is consequently no accident that I reference “New York” parents in the article. Readers from other cities would do well to consider that a bespoke article cannot be written for each particular city of interest. Furthermore, the universities referenced in the publication are located in New York. I nowhere mention nor imply that the same argument would not apply to other contexts or other cities. Because I am unaware of each reader’s particular city or context, I would find it foolhardy to assume that my analysis is universally applicable. It is the reader’s responsibility to interpret the context of a given publication in light of their own geographic and economic circumstances.
In the second instance, I do assert that the Aristotelian tradition is present within past and current scientific discourse. I should not be taken to imply by this statement that scientific articles and books explicitly cite Scholastic philosophers with great frequency. Rather, I am more subtly stating that Syllogistic discourse is not incompatible with the empiricism of the modern sciences. There have been many tragedies composed after Othello, and not all are due to that work merely by merit of being composed after it. There have also been many narratives in which the hero lives fully and triumphantly after his trials. It would be foolhardy to assert that both classes of literature are contradictory in a propositional sense. These books may merely be elucidating disparate aspects of the tragic experience or the vicissitudes of fortune. My goal in the production of the Manhattan Herald piece is not to delve deeply into Scholastic philosophy. It is merely to assert that the germ of empirical scientific methods can be found in the Aristotelian corpus if one is sufficiently careful to disentangle them from the archaic parlance of the original Greek. This is a herculean task more suited to linguists than mathematicians.
Finally, I attribute Divinity to the Neoplatonic One. This is not a mistake, although I shall be more careful in further submissions to assert that the One bears little resemblance to the God of the Abrahamic religions as expounded by (say) Calvin, Erasmus, or Augustine. I am unsure to what extent a corresponding similitude exists with respect to non-Christian religious traditions, and am concurrently unsure why it should be considered necessary to reference sources from other religious backgrounds in the piece. My work is devoted to the Quadrivium as it was practiced in Medieval Europe and might be practiced today. It is difficult to say why a panoramic analysis of global religious history should necessarily be present in such a piece. If this is the case, it should be made plain that every piece devoted to every historical topic should render mention to every possible philosophical contribution made in every possible language throughout time. Otherwise, it would suffer from the same shortcoming, and should be correspondingly rejected. This stance is impossible, impractical, and frankly, absurd. The few readers who do level this critique are perfectly correct in the assertion that contributions to the understanding of the history of diverse scientific traditions should be explored via appropriately detached scholarly means. However, this sort of argument falls very far short of convincing me that I have the moral imperative to do so in an article devoted explicitly to Western philosophical discourse. I do not concede the point, but invite further discussion regarding it.