File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0307, message 2


Subject: Re: BHA: Identity - another thought....
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2003 13:20:09 +0100


Isn't this precisely the problem you were attributing to using identity and
truth? Is logic without formal rules still logic or is itsomething else
marching udner the wrong semantic flag?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Brown" <Andrew-AT-lubs.leeds.ac.uk>
To: <bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: BHA: Identity - another thought....


> Hi Jamie,
>
> > Thanks, interesting, I would suggest however that as described it is
> > not a dialectical logic but a logic of dialectic since you don't seem
> > to be providing any rules of coherent argument that would be definable
> > as a dialectical logic
>
> Such formal rules would give us a formal not a dialectical logic. One
aspect of
> dialectical logic is to take us away from the view that 'logic' always
equals *formal*
> logic, that to count as 'logic' is to have a list of formally defined
rules. One can list
> general 'laws' (Engels does, for example), and one must provide general
arguments,
> but they are always preliminary, in need of concretion, of content, of
more and more
> specifc grounds, much as you suggest below.
>
>  you seem to be arguing that whilst formal logic
> > has its uses it also has its limits and one of these is that it cannot
> > incorproate all aspects of dialectical thinkingbut is still useful -
>
> This is Hegel's, and all other dialecticians', argument, as I understand
it.
>
> > I'm still not sure about the law of excluded middle though - its a
> > dangerous move to omit this without careful clarification of the
> > grounds under which it is done in given cases.
>
> My near totally ignorant impresson is that, within the domain of the
contemporary
> philosophy discipline, there are a number of caes of logical systems which
deny this
> law. Intuitionist logic is explicit about this (none other than Dummet has
extensively
> explored this logic). There is also many-valued logic. Also fuzzy logic.
Alas I do not
> know any details, accept that they all, of course, have various
justifications for their
> stance.
>
> I suppose both specifc grounds and general grounds of posibility must be
put
> forward.  A general argument one often sees is the suggestion that stasis
is the
> outcome of strict universal adherence to the law of the excluded middle,
and non-
> contradiction. I mention this because of the interesting comparision with
DPF but I
> have never thought through the general arguments. Rather, as I said, I
have worked
> on what I interpret as two specifc and interesting real contradictions,
only.
>
> Perhaps the best grounds are those offered by Lewontin and Levins in their
> 'Dialectical Biologist' book, and elsewhere (also the work of Stephen
Rose). Sean
> Creaven provides a good introductory discussion of their work. They are
revered
> scientists within their fields, with a facility for clear expression to
any interested
> reader.
>
> Another excellent discussion is to be found In Tony Smith's article in
'Historical
> Materialism', issue 4, which Mervyn mentioned some time ago. From here you
could
> go to the broader literature on 'systematic dialectics'.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Andy
>
>
> > Jamie
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Andrew Brown" <Andrew-AT-lubs.leeds.ac.uk>
> > To: <bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu>
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 5:04 PM
> > Subject: Re: BHA: Identity - another thought....
> >
> >
> > > Hello Jamie,
> > >
> > > > Andrew, hi could you just go through what you mean by dialectical
> > > > logic and particularly refuting the law of exlcuded middle?
> > >
> > > I take dialectical logic to be a science of thinking, a theory of
> > > knowledge, and, in a materialist version, this is also a science of
> > > the most abstract objective, material laws (since true thinking
> > > reflects these laws). The content of dialectical logic, the
> > > development or substantiation of the abstract definition I just
> > > gave, cannot therefore be summed up by reference to some or other
> > > formal system. It cannot be summed up in a few words or paragraphs
> > > since its scope is to say the least ambitious! It includes much of
> > > what might be termed 'epistemology' yet it also includes ontology
> > > for reasons I have mentioned. So the main thing to get over is this
> > > vast change in scope relative to a more typical definition of logic.
> > > Still, Engels did a job of summarising some key propositions with
> > > his 'laws of the dialectic' (taken from Hegel, obviously the main
> > > guy when it comes to dialectical logic) but these are easily taken
> > > to be sterile, formal propositions which is the last thing they are.
> > > Sean Creaven discusses Engels very well though I doubt Sean would
> > > agree with the definition of dialectical logic I have suggested
> > > above.
> > >
> > > Amongst the relevant aspects to the discussion we have had is the
> > > point that the law of the excluded middle, loosely the law that a
> > > statement is either true or false but not both, is 'denied' by
> > > dialectical logic. I put 'denied' in scare quotes because it is of
> > > course true that this law is useful and common sense, within many
> > > domains of application, but it does have limits outside of which the
> > > law is not true. Better to say 'sublated' I suppose.
> > >
> > > More generally I take dialectical logic to stress that
> > > contradictions play an important role in real, material development
> > > and in theory development. Such oppositions as thought and being,
> > > universal and particular, identity and difference, their mutual
> > > interpenetration, their very identity and difference spur on the
> > > dialectic.
> > >
> > > But these are all wooly phrases without detailed explication. In my
> > > CR and Marxism chapter I briefly hint at an explanation of the
> > > 'identity-in-opposition' between thought and being developed by
> > > Spinoza (at least given Ilyenkov's admittedly idiosyncratic
> > > interpretation of Spinoza). I set this out in a proper length in my
> > > PhD. Also in the PhD I interpret the so-called 'transformation
> > > problem' within Marxist ecnoomics as the development of the
> > > contradiction between value and use value (hence not a problem at
> > > all).
> > >
> > > So thought / being and value / use value are the two contradictions
> > > I have actually done any work on.
> > >
> > > Ilyenkov's 1977 'Dialectical Logic: Essays in its Theory and
> > > History', Progress, is the major influence on me regarding
> > > dialectical logic. Though I would not profess to fully grasp what
> > > Ilyenkov is on about....
> > >
> > > Best wishes,
> > >
> > > Andy
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > Best, Jamie
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
>
>
>
>
>      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
>
>




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