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Neither Angel nor Beast by Francis X.J. Coleman

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11

AN INNOCENT ASTONISHED

The fundamental trope, or structural turn, behind the first ten letters is the timeless one of the ‘naïf,’ the provincial of good heart and adequate intelligence, earnestly trying to find out whether what is being said is actually true. The assumption behind the image of the innocent provincial is that presuppositionless thought is possible, that is, one can just think about some matter without having any special axe to grind, any cause to uphold except to be ‘un honnête homme’ – which for the seventeenth century meant ‘an upright, forthright, good man.’ An ‘innocent abroad.’ a ‘traveller.’ someone who ‘had lost his way.’ a son ‘in search of his father’ – the variations played upon the theme of the ‘naïf’ questioning ...

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