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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

How Many Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin?

I'm listening to some lectures by Professor Thomas Williams of The University of South Florida, on medieval philosophy. In regards to the question in this posts' title, he notes:

1) No one has ever discovered this actual question in any medieval text; and
2) When angels were discussed in medieval philosophy, they were used in the same way as modern philosophers employ zombies and brains-in-vats. (That is not to say medieval philosophers did not believe in angels!)

2 comments:

  1. Even supposing that people did discuss the question, I'm not sure why that would be such a bad thing. People today will spend countless hours arguing over whether Chewbacca or Spock would win in a fight, etc. Idle conversation can be entertaining, and is going to come in any civilization where people have more than a minimal amount of leisure. And the angels question is at least more elevated than many of the idle questions were argue about today.

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  2. What is there to discuss? The correct answer is π. Obviously.

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