Friday, February 19, 2016

Another Review of Brad Gregory

Rather late in the game, a new review of Brad Gregory's Unintended Reformation has appeared, here, by Michael Horton.

He is quite dismissive of the Scotus Myth, even mentioning the names of scholars that actually know things about Scotus (!!!).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Semi-technological determinism is the more probable view. Not to sound exactly like Marshall McLuhan or Nietzsche, but consider the following as a primary narrative:

There is a distinction between material and formal literacy. To be materially literate is to understand the elements of language as they are given through certain signs. To be formally literate is to be able to think about texts theoretically and thus to bind the elements together via concepts/categories and systems thereof. Let us say that signs refer to concepts and concepts are either treated theoretically or referred directly to facts (concrete particulars). Formal education does not produce natural formal literacy, but only an artificial formal literacy which we may call conventional literacy. Besides this, all men are materially literate as all men are constantly trying to interpret signs in one way or another, but only to some (varying among diverse persons) degree are they formally literate. Conventional literacy by itself is a kind of accidental binding of the elements which is evaluated primarily on some practical criterion. Now, let us say that most men only obtain to to a low degree of formal literacy by nature, yet the the social and cultural existence of formal education ensures the existence of one conventional literacy for the generality of men. Let us say that the spread of literacy and the gradual (and at certain points revolutionary) replacement of a clerisy with a technical/technology-wielding class has produced this late modern culture. As theory is subordinated to external practice, the old 'philosophical' or speculative way of thinking is aped and suppressed by something quite different. Popular literacy and materialistic acquisitiveness go hand in hand.

From this standpoint (and especially with the addition of political history), the Scotus narrative seems a bit silly.