|By Rick Dikeman [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0]|
via Wikimedia Commons
Of course, all of the above is not of ultimate consequence when considering Hartshorne’s thought, and might merely serve to distract from his work or augment the enjoyment of it. Well, that’s definitely not true, because it has also served to preview a future series I will write here at DET! In this series I will write several “Hartshorne 101” posts to introduce his thought to any readers who aren’t familiar with it and to help me process (ha!) what I’m reading and why I’m resonating with it. But for now I want end to this announcement of my intentions by returning to the issue of Hartshorne’s tone.
In setting up his book The Logic of Perfection he admits that one could criticize the book for being “excessively polemical,” noting that one could observe this tendency in “almost any chapter.” (xi) However, he counteracts the notion that this serves no valid purpose. As he puts it, “Since the theories I reject are often deeply entrenched majority opinions, it seems unlikely that moderately expressed objections, unspiced with occasional argumenta ad hominem, will even be noticed.” (ibid) More important than the question of who doesn’t like their (theological and philosophical) food to be a bit spicy, here Hartshorne reveals that he sees himself as a bit of a loner who is trying to win while playing one on five. In upcoming posts I will explain some of the fundamental building blocks of his thought, which will hopefully illuminate what he believed he was fighting against and how he tried to win. Tune in!