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Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
http://forums.avemariaradio.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=169723
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Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:03 am ]
Post subject:  Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

So we have heard "seldom affirm, never deny, always distinguish"

there are a bunch of varying bastardized Latin versions, but of those that are actual Latin, the oldest I can find is

Raro affirma, saepe nega, distingue frequenter

It is the "often deny" part I find interesting. I found this is a book on logic by a Jesuit, from 1871. It makes sense in context, and is called a well known maxim!

What is the original origin and version?

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

"Never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish" - St Thomas Aquinas.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Widely attributed to him, yes. Do you have a primary source?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

I've got it back to 1673. Still looking.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Saepe nega; concede parum; distingue frequenter, from 1770. It does have a lot of variations in wording.

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Widely attributed to him, yes. Do you have a primary source?

Your google is as good as mine.

Author:  Speed Racer [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Widely attributed to him, yes. Do you have a primary source?

Your google is as good as mine.

You're dealing with an expert fake saint quote debunker. :fyi:

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I've got it back to 1673. Still looking.

Your google is better than mine.

Do you think it is something Aquinas would have said, a guiding principle he followed, even if he was not the originator of that exact phrase?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

It's often described as a "Scholastic axiom" (or principle), and St. Thomas is regarded as the greatest of the Scholastics. He often does work this way.

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Yeah, shortly after posting I founded in in Leibniz hand written notes (or rather a printed collection). But, interestingly, the modern variation ( "never deny etc" doesn't seem as old, earliest of that variant seems to be 1926. I am as much interested by the startling difference in counsel as actual origin.

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

It is not- as such- in any extant Aquinas. But as a paraphrase, who knows?

Author:  Closet Catholic [ Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Widely attributed to him, yes. Do you have a primary source?

Your google is as good as mine.
That's not how it works. If you make a claim, you have to back it up. Do you write 'google it' in your essay footnotes?

Author:  theJack [ Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Yeah, shortly after posting I founded in in Leibniz hand written notes (or rather a printed collection). But, interestingly, the modern variation ( "never deny etc" doesn't seem as old, earliest of that variant seems to be 1926. I am as much interested by the startling difference in counsel as actual origin.

You're working way too hard and going about it all wrong. Just do it the old fashioned way instead: forge a document with the phrase. You can do either a new document wholesale and put Thomas' name up top or, more commonly, create a manuscript of another work and interpolate the phrase somewhere that it kind of sort of might make sense. Problem solved. :mrgreen:

Author:  forumjunkie [ Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

I've seen the quote on a Facebook Meme that had St. Thomas' picture on it. So, that's pretty strong evidence. :fyi:

FJ

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc

Q.E.D.

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