Counter-Statement

Counter-Statement

Counter-Statement

Counter-Statement

Excerpt

Perhaps it should be said, by way of preface, that this book does not set itself up as an "attack." It deals but secondarily and sporadically with refutation. We have chosen to call it Counter-Statement solely because--as regards its basic concerns and tenets--each principle it advocates is matched by an opposite principle flourishing and triumphant today. Heresies and orthodoxies will always be changing places, but whatever the minority view happens to be at any given time, one must consider it as "counter." Hence the title--which will not, we hope, suggest either an eagerness for the fray or a sense of defeat.

There is pamphleteering; there is inquiry. In so far as an age is bent, a writer establishes equilibrium by leaning (leaning either as his age leans, or in the direction opposite to his age)--and this we might call "pamphleteering." A writer will also desire to develop an equilibrium of his own, regardless of external resistances--and this we might call "inquiry." His actual work will probably show an indeterminate wavering between the two positions; he himself will not be sure just when he is inquiring and when pamphleteering. And he may not be wholly satisfied by the thought of doing exclusively either.

We recall a book on diet which, though it gave stern precepts against over-eating, went on to suggest that one should glut himself on occasion lest he become so inept at managing large quantities of food that he risk insulting his host at a banquet. And perhaps by a similar discrepancy, though cherishing the ideal of inquiry (or sober eating), we . . .

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