42 Chapter 3
PLATO AND ARISTOTLE
They run away from time, finding it in the end pointless, sand running
through our fingers. In short, Reason concludes to an ineradicable and
fundamental pessimism about time, a pessimism that myth and liturgy
can but confirm, and perhaps assuage.
We are almost at the point where we can begin to see what
Covenantal Theology is about -- and why it is a book solely for
children, if children of all ages. Recall, though, that everything in this
book is not philosophical, but illustrative. If you want actual
arguments, read Covenantal Theology itself. What I need to do is to
build up a rough picture of a paradigm that has had many
representations, in order to contrast to that paradigm Covenantal
We're almost there, but first, it is time to ride roughshod over a
second classic representation of the paradigm, given by Aristotle. His
approach to the paradigm was fundamentally different from Plato's,
and fundamentally more optimistic than his -- at first glance.
Aristotle said, what if we were not Ones? What if we were
sentences instead? In other words, the universe is not made up of Ones
in free motion, but of Implications, which is to say, sentences -- for
sentences represent not Ones in motion, but a composite relation,
consisting of a subject and a predicate:
All men are mortal.
Aristotle never actually said we were like sentences. However,
what he said about sentences can be related to what he said about us.
So, saying that everything, ourselves included, is like a sentence, is not
a completely unfair way to ride roughshod over Aristotle.
Thus we can fairly note that, in sentences, the relation between
subject and predicate is built in, not something extra added from the
'outside.' For Aristotle, sentences are a rejection, maybe even a
refutation, of Ones in motion, which can not have any inherent
relationship. Reality comes in sentences, so the relation of subject and
predicate is built in to the nature of reality. This is a far more
optimistic picture than Plato's.
Since reality comes in sentences, in subjects that are inherently
related to predicates, then all sentences are themselves like little
subjects and predicates, and have inherent relationships, relationships
to each other that are built in, 'natural,' 'logical,' necessary:
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Socrates is mortal.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.