“We have to give up the principle that no statement about the world can be both true and false. We have to allow that there are such things,” said Jc Beall, the O'Neill Family Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
Beall specializes in non-classical logic, an area of philosophy that considers alternative logical rules that can explain phenomena that don’t fit traditional logic. His book, The Contradictory Christ, uses non-standard logic to examine Christian doctrines such as the Incarnation, which states that Christ was both fully human and fully divine. Beall notes that trying to make this doctrine fit classical logic results in heresy.
“Once you try to get around it, you're losing the truth; you should accept the contradiction,” he said. “Just because the standard story of logic applies in many cases, doesn't mean that that's all you need for all true theories, let alone something as important and radical as the Incarnation.”
Beall values the exceptional intellectual curiosity of the faculty and graduate students in the Notre Dame Department of Philosophy, and appreciates that they want to hear new ideas.
“They want to push the limits, so you can bring up very strange things, and as long as you are precise and clear and you present arguments for it, the philosophers here are just going to welcome it,” he said. “And they'll probably object fiercely and say why it's wrong, but they're still going to welcome it.”
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