Is an incomplete picture necessarily false?, Part 2

Continuing the topic begun in this post, I happened to come across the following:

“It is true that human thinking is externally conditioned, and cannot result in conceptions that are adequate to or exhaustive of the external realities with which they are concerned. If their validity for knowledge depended upon their adequacy we should be unable to conceive of any object whatever, for no object can be conceived in its entirety. The mind is under no delusion here. We are conscious of the partial nature of all our conceptions, and this consciousness is part of the knowledge which is symbolized in our conceptions. Our knowledge, in brief, embraces not only the attributes and relations of things which are included in our conceptions of them, but also the truth that our knowledge even of what is most familiar to us is relative, limited, and inadequate to reality. And when we treat our conceptions as adequate measures of realities, we go contrary to the data supplied by our own consciousness.

It is, therefore, utterly erroneous to maintain that nothing can be known which cannot be fully comprehended within our conceptions. No object of human knowledge is thus comprehended. All realities are known incipiently, but none the less truly; and there is no contradiction between what is comprehended in our conceptions and the larger content of the realities to which they refer. If human conceptions are symbolic – and they are all of such nature – they are not for that reason inconsistent with anything in the realities which they describe, but, when rightly framed, constitute true knowledge so far as they go.”

The Being and Attributes of God, Francis J. Hall, D.D., New York:Longmans, 1918, pp. 35-36.

One thought on “Is an incomplete picture necessarily false?, Part 2

  1. Pingback: Is an incomplete picture necessarily false? | Agellius's Blog

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