The Philosophical Apprentice

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” Albert Einstein

Logic New and Old (Update)

William Randolph Brafford has proffered more thoughts on the difference between modern logic and the traditional variety  (See the original post here). He writes that

After some correspondence with philosophically educated friends, I can say that the first question that would pop into a mathematician’s mind — why not simply symbolize Aristotelian logic in a modern form? — is beside the point. The issue is the difference between the interpretations that tend to accompany the systems. They metaphysical concerns of logicians in the time of Aquinas were indeed different from those of many modern logicians, just as Kreeft says. And at a certain level, this is very important. I’m just not convinced that this level is the level of everyday use, or, if it is, then I suspect the effects are so diffuse that we should counteract them, not by rejecting a useful tool, but rather by robust metaphysical arguments and a sort of logical multilingualism.

What I like about this latest post from Brafford is that he offers some resources for further study recommended to him. Brafford writes

But enough rehashing of my own position. What I’d really like to do is point readers to some resources I’ve had recommended to me and found helpful:

  • The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s article on Aristotelian logic is fairly friendly to non-philosophers. (“It is hard to capture in modern English the underlying metaphysical force in Aristotle’s categorical statements.”)
  • Reader “HT,” along with another friend, recommended an essay by Peter Geach called “A History of the Corruptions of Logic,” which is a rollicking good read.
  • Martin Cothran is offering a more in-depth defense of traditional logic in a series of blog posts.
  • There’s an example-laden defense of term logic in Fred Sommers’s introduction to George Englebretsen’s Something to Reckon With, though I’ve only been able to get my hands on an excerpt.

Most of these look really exciting and without a doubt I am going to have to move to a deserted island real soon so I can read them. I especially liked what I read from the George Englebretsen book. You can see the except here.

All of this thinking about logic has me wondering if genus and species in logic have any relation to genus and species in biology? It would seem that traditional logic would support essentialism in biology?


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