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The Laws of Thought

A Thematic Compilation by Avi Sion

Blog posts : "logic"

19. The Primacy of the Laws


1.     Briefly Put


Aristotle’s laws of thought cannot be understood with a few clichés, but require much study to be fathomed. The laws of thought can be briefly expressed as[1]:

  1. A thing is what it is (the law of identity).
  2. A thing cannot at once be and not-be (the la…

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20. Status of the Laws


1.     Ontological Status of the Laws


Discussion of the laws of thought inevitably arrives at the question: are these ontological or epistemological laws, or both; and if both in what sequence? Furthermore, what is their own ontological status – i.e. where do they ‘reside’, as i…

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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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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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29. Modern Logic


1.     Modern Symbolic Logic


Since the later decades the 19th century, and more and more so throughout the 20th century, “modern symbolic logic” has gradually discarded and displaced “classical formal logic.” What is the essential difference between them? Classical formal logic,…

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