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Full Version: On the Thesis-Hypothesis Distinction
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The Intervention of Mgr. Dupanloup (Part II)

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Before proceeding to discuss Mgr. Dupanloup’s conclusions regarding religious freedom, it will be profitable to inquire into the concepts and the meaning behind the “thesis” and the “hypothesis”.  This is an area that has been subject to much confusion and debate since the concept has been introduced – especially as it has been applied to the topic of relations between Church and State.  In order to adequately discuss this matter we will need to borrow some concepts from Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics.

Mgr. Dupanloup identifies the “thesis” as a kind of “absolute” ideal in the abstract order or in the realm of “theory” and speculative ideas.  On the other hand, the “hypothesis” is supposed to represent the “relative” view – that relatively best “application” of universal principles to particular circumstances.  In other words, the thesis-hypothesis is simply the distinction between the absolute and the relative orders.  How do these two distinct orders relate to one another and what are the linkages?  To get a clearer picture of this we will need to broaden the scope and take a wider view of the metaphysical framework.

Coninued here: