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 Post subject: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:03 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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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?

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:15 pm 
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"Never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish" - St Thomas Aquinas.


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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:19 pm 
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Widely attributed to him, yes. Do you have a primary source?

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:58 pm 
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I've got it back to 1673. Still looking.

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:03 pm 
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Saepe nega; concede parum; distingue frequenter, from 1770. It does have a lot of variations in wording.

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:31 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Widely attributed to him, yes. Do you have a primary source?

Your google is as good as mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:35 pm 
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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:

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:35 pm 
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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?


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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:38 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:53 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:54 am 
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It is not- as such- in any extant Aquinas. But as a paraphrase, who knows?

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:43 am 
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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?

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:34 am 
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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:

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:24 am 
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I've seen the quote on a Facebook Meme that had St. Thomas' picture on it. So, that's pretty strong evidence. :fyi:

FJ

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 Post subject: Re: Origin of maxim, seldom affirm etc
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:35 am 
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Q.E.D.

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