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The Laws of Thought

A Thematic Compilation by Avi Sion

Blog posts : "Logic"

21. Misrepresentation of Aristotle


1.     Ups and Downs of Aristotelianism


Aristotle’s three laws of thought are often misrepresented, in the service of some doctrine or other. Often, nowadays, the motive is a desire to defend Buddhist antinomies; some decades ago, the motive might have been to defend Marxist con…

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22. Not on the Geometrical Model


1.     How to Validate Logic?


Since (or insofar as) the “geometrical model” of theory justification involves arbitrary axioms, it is ultimately conventional. If the first principles (“axioms”) of a body of alleged knowledge cannot apparently be justified by experience, but have …

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23. A Poisonous Brew


1.     Truth vs. Proof


Despite its name, the modern theory of knowledge called Intuitionism, developed by L.E.J. Brouwer[1], can be classed as an excessively deductive approach. It was, significantly, originally intended and designed for mathematics, and was thereafter by extrap…

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24. The Game of Oneupmanship


1.     Misleading Symbolism


People who think the law of non-contradiction and/or the law of the excluded middle is/are expendable have simply not sufficiently observed and analyzed the formation of knowledge within themselves. They think it is just a matter of playing with words…

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25. In Buddhist Discourse


1.     Mitigating Clarifications


Opposition by some Western logicians to (one or more of) the laws of thought is mostly naïve symbolic games, without any profound epistemological or ontological reflection; of quite another caliber is the opposition to these laws found in some Bu…

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26. The Laws of Thought in Meditation


1.     Cognitive Virtues


The three laws of thought are commonly considered by many current commentators[1] to be (at best) only relevant to rational discourse, and not relevant at all or even antithetical to meditation and all the more so to its finale of enlightenment. Nothing …

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27. Understanding the Laws of Thought


1.     Adapting the Laws of Thought


Many people regard Aristotle’s three ‘laws of thought’ – the laws of identity, of non-contradiction and of the excluded middle[1] – as rigid prejudices. They think these are just conventions, that some moronic old fellow called Aristot…

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28. Assaults on Logic


1.     Zen’s Anti-logic


Zen logic, as is well known, is no logic, but a sort of anti-logic, an antithesis of logic[1]. It thrives on paradox and even contradiction, at least apparent if not real. A major feature of Zen logic, though this may not be distinctive to Buddhist or e…

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About infinite regression and circularity.

Infinite regression and circularity (petitio principii, begging the question) are critique techniques often used in logic and philosophy. This means they are fundamental.

Why, then, are they not counted as ‘laws of thought’? Probably simply because th…

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