“If it is possible, is it practicable in the study and common usage of language?
“Yes, a universal alphabet is possible, and I believe that possibility is demonstrated by the work that I am about to analyze.
“No, that universal alphabet is not practicable and never will be, outside of some phonological comparisons and some literal connections. As the last proposition is a sort of negation of the preceding one, I must engage in some clarifications on the subject, before passing to the appreciation of the Methodical Alphabet proposed by Mr. Ackermann.”
I was amused to find that Proudhon’s first published article in 1839 begins with the following:
It looks like he had an appreciation of contradiction as a rhetorical tool, right from the very start.