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On 1/16/2013 2:22 PM, Nancy Gish wrote:
> To quote an equally brilliant poet, Wallace Stevens, "There are many 
> truths, but they are not part of a Truth."

     As I said, if you take a moment, under the principles advanced in 
Eliot's explanation, and carefully work out the consequences as applied 
to Wallace's statement, I think you'll see the contradiction in 
Wallace's statement. It's not particularly hidden.

   BTW, if we are to question Eliot because his explanation is an 
assertion, not a proof, how do you arrive at the idea that Wallace is an 
equally brilliant poet? It would not have occurred to me.

  Thanks,
  Ken A
> The question I have tried to raise is who can really know TRUTH and be 
> certain they have it. Even if Eliot is right about permanent truth, 
> and one can take that as a worthy basis for the sake of argument, who 
> is to say, and on what basis, that his version of it was or is the 
> only right one. Tell it to any Muslim, Jew, Hindu, agnostic, or 
> atheist. It is not the possibility of truth that  is at issue for me 
> but the intractable problem of establishing any one belief as, in 
> fact, TRUTH. No one, so far as I know, has ever resolved that, 
> including those, like Descartes, who thought he had an infallible 
> formula. Eliot's method is reiterated assertion; it is not--since 
> there is none--a proof.
> Nancy
>
> >>> Ken Armstrong 01/16/13 12:26 PM >>>
>
> I had the pleasure of being sent off to the library recently to look 
> up some references to Bonamy Dobree and thought it might be worth 
> sharing part of a letter from TSE that Dobree quotes in his essay on 
> Eliot in Allen Tate's _T S Eliot: The Man and His Work_:
>
>  "I think there is some misprision on your Part about my Truth. I 
> would not wish to make truth a function of the will. On the contrary, 
> I mean that if there is no fixed truth there is no fixed object for 
> the will to tend to. If truth is always changing then there is nothing 
> to do but to sit down and watch the pictures. Any distinctions one 
> makes are more or less arbitrary. I should say that it was at any rate 
> essential for Religion that we should have the conception of an 
> immutable object or Reality the knowledge of which shall be the final 
> object of that will; and there can be no permanent reality if there is 
> no permanent truth. I am of course quite ready to admit that human 
> apprehension of truth varies changes and perhaps develops, but that is 
> a property of human imperfection rather than of truth."
>
> Can't help but think that "to sit down and watch the pictures" is a 
> nice, if not allusion to, image of Plato's cave. At any rate it was 
> probably pre-television. Eliot goes on to say:
>
> "You cannot conceive of truth at all, the word has no meaning, except 
> by conceiving of it as something permanent. And that is really assumed 
> even by those who deny it. For you cannot even say it changes except 
> in reference to something which does not change; the idea of change is 
> impossible without the idea of permanence."
>
>  I think that for those given to this kind of understanding, the 
> similarity in kind will be apparent to the relation of "absolute 
> meaning" to meaning "not exhausted by any explanation."  In truth, if 
> one takes the time to work out the consequences,  it is only an object 
> of knowledge with absolute meaning that can have meaning not exhausted 
> by any explanation. I realize that this could be taken by those who 
> are not given to the kind of explanation of truth Eliot pronounces 
> above as a sleight of hand. I'd only say that it's not, if taken on 
> its own terms.
>
> Ken A
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