Interested in Language
But this objection to barbarity does not mean that capital punishment- or rather, judicial homicide-should not go on. The illicit jump we find here, on the threshold of the inquiry, is characteristic of the abolitionists and must be disallowed at every points.
1. the illicit jump. What does it mean?
2. inquiry. What does it mean?
not a teacher
The passage is from an essay "In Favor of Capital Punishment" by J. Barzun (1962). He's referring to a book by Arthur Koestler, "Hanged By The Neck".
Barzun is addressing Koestler's argument that the methods for capital punishment are barbaric and therefore capital punishment itself should be banned.
By "illicit jump", I feel that Barzun means Koestler is making an "unjustifiable conclusion". Because, he says, it would be possible to devise "a painless, sudden and dignified death" and thereby, presumably, remove the argument of "barbarity".
I think that by "on the threshold of the inquiry", Barzun means "at the beginning of this investigation of the topic".
Last edited by JMurray; 02-Jul-2013 at 07:18. Reason: clarification
Victor, please note that a better title would have been 'The illicit jump'.
Extract from the Posting Guidelines:
'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'
Thank you. It helps me get the point.
This essay is selected in a textbook used by senior-year students of English major in China.