Of Course


In the passage from Alexander Baumgarten that I quoted earlier today, the author asserted "it is entirely evident that...." In my youth I accepted such statements, but over time I've found them more and more irksome, since I think they are merely a substitute for reasoned argument. The lazy thinker (and writer) says that "of course", "certainly", "obviously", "evidently", "indubitably" his position is correct and that of his opponent is wrongheaded; the clear thinker and writer never uses such lazy phrases. (I must admit that I sometimes use the word "naturally"; but I think that some things are indeed natural, whereas nothing is obvious.)

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