HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 22 no. 2 (2021)


Raymundo R. Pavo



The principle of overlap of classes holds that when two entities interface, the effect is a blurring of boundaries between conceptual territories. In this paper, this question is in order: Is Folk Catholicism an instance of overlap of classes? If Folk Catholicism is not construed as such, these fallacies – using Robin George Collingwood’s perspective in his An Essay on Philosophical Method (1933), may unfold: the fallacy of precarious margins, the fallacy of identified coincidents, and the fallacy of false disjunction. The first fallacy holds that the ‘Folk’ in Folk Catholicism has no contribution to how ‘Catholicism’ unfolds. The second fallacy maintains that the extensions of both ‘Folk’ and ‘Catholicism’ are clearly delineated. The third fallacy underscores that Folk and Catholicism are mutually exclusive terms. When such fallacies are accepted, this paper holds that Folk Catholicism as a construct may be a contradiction of terms on what it means to be Folk and Catholic. This is the illogical consequence given that the truth of what it means to be folk necessitates the falsity of what it means to be Catholic and vice-versa. However, when recognized from the lens of the overlap, Folk Catholicism is construed as a term that evolves and is historically conditioned.