File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1999/bhaskar.9907, message 23

Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 11:23:48 +1000
Subject: Re: BHA: logical norms


Good question!!

I will give it a think and try and see if I can come up with an answer.  I
am working through the Archer articles reprinted in _Critical Realism:
Essential Readings (Routledge, 1998), and there may be a clue there
especially in 'Addressing The Cultural System' pp 503-543.

What I interpret your question as meaning is

a) What is a contradiction?
b) what is the relationship between dialectical and analytical thought?

There is a fair bit about on this from the usual standard Marxist sources,
but Bhaskar has a different slant on it all.  Still this is at the heart of
the section and your question goes right to it.

warm regards


At 07:20 20/07/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>Thanks Gary for the inspired review of this section!
>I wondered if you, Gary, or if any others, might have anything further
>helpful to say about the relationship between dialectical thinking and the
>"logical norm of non-contradiction."  I've probably just been reading too
>much straight philosophy recently (a real possibility), but I don't think I
>get it.  
>It seems to me that in Gary's example (thank you Gary!) what is being
>described is a reality in which there are (at a minimum) two different
>things going on, two different, and in some sense opposite, forces at play
>-- one tending in one way, one tending the other way.  
>I don't understand how or why this is a problem for the norm of logical
>non-contradiction.  Why should the rule of p or not-p, in relation to
>propositions, foreclose the identification (no pun intended) of real
>complexity in the world?    
>Perplexed in Toronto,
>[Gary's helpful example:
>>It is only epistemological dialectics that 'typically' violate the logical
>norm >of non-contradiction.  
>>An example would be helpful here.  Alas there is none within the text.  If
>>anyone can supply one I will be grateful. Let me have a very tentative go
>>myself, first.  I have a student friend investigating cultural reproduction
>>with the Vietnamese diaspora here in Brisbane. This community seems to be
>>marked by the successful reproduction of the Vietnamese culture, above all
>>through the mediation of the discourse of anti-communism. However the
>>student is working on the heuristic that at the same time, there are
>>cultural sites which are eroding the reproduction of the master discourse -
>>anti-communism. So the assumption is that it is both raining and not
>>raining. In other words she is proceeding with a logical contradiction as a
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