File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0307, message 6


Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2003 23:06:22 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: Identity - another thought....


For what it's worth, in DPF it seems logic = formal logic and
dialectic = rather a species of (transcendental) *argument* (when it 
doesn't have the wider meaning of the overall process of reason or 
rational directionality or the pulse of freedom in human history). 
Formal logic has, but has only, a vital role to play in dialectic as 
argument, and doubtless in the overall process too. There's no 
'dialectical logic' as such.

Mervyn

Jamie Morgan <jamie-AT-morganj58.fsnet.co.uk> writes
>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 ---
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>     --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---




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