SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2021
Not that it would have helped: Aristotle is generally viewed as the founder of western world logic.
Given the way our discourse currently works, this behavior would be widely viewed as one elitist's sneering attempt to curtail our personal freedoms.
Today, one man's logic is another man's buzzkill! At any rate, the leading authority on the topic tells us this:
With the Prior Analytics, Aristotle is credited with the earliest study of formal logic, and his conception of it was the dominant form of Western logic until 19th-century advances in mathematical logic. Kant stated in the Critique of Pure Reason that with Aristotle logic reached its completion.
According to that same authority, "Aristotelian logic" is also known as term logic, traditional logic or syllogistic logic. Kant notwithstanding, that 19th-century "mathematical logic" moved off in some different directions:
Mathematical logic, also called formal logic, is a subfield of mathematics exploring the applications of formal logic to mathematics. It bears close connections to metamathematics, the foundations of mathematics, philosophy, and theoretical computer science. The unifying themes in mathematical logic include the study of the expressive power of formal systems and the deductive power of formal proof systems.
Mathematical logic is often divided into the fields of set theory, model theory, recursion theory, and proof theory. These areas share basic results on logic, particularly first-order logic...
Since its inception, mathematical logic has both contributed to, and has been motivated by, the study of foundations of mathematics. This study began in the late 19th century with the development of axiomatic frameworks for geometry, arithmetic, and analysis. In the early 20th century it was shaped by David Hilbert's program to prove the consistency of foundational theories. Results of Kurt Gödel, Gerhard Gentzen, and others provided partial resolution to the program, and clarified the issues involved in proving consistency. Work in set theory showed that almost all ordinary mathematics can be formalized in terms of sets, although there are some theorems that cannot be proven in common axiom systems for set theory. Contemporary work in the foundations of mathematics often focuses on establishing which parts of mathematics can be formalized in particular formal systems (as in reverse mathematics) rather than trying to find theories in which all of mathematics can be developed.
If you don't understand any of that, neither does anyone else! To a large extent, that's our key point.
At any rate, you can call it term logic or syllogistic logic. After that, you can call it mathematical, formal or philosophical logic.
One thing you really can't call it is everyday or daily logic. That's the kind of logic Jonathan Chait provides in this post for New York magazine.
According to Chait's essay, if you criticize a bunch of people who are all member of some demographic group, that doesn't mean that you hate, or even are criticizing, everyone else in that group.
You may not be criticizing anyone else in that group! No really—that's what Chait says!
That may seem absurdly clear on its face, but given the way our discourse works, there is no inference so plainly illogical that it won't be widely adopted and loudly advanced by one of our warring tribes. For that reason, Chait undertook the Sisyphean task of stating the blindingly obvious.
You can't really call it Aristotelian logic. You can't really call it mathematical logic. We would call it "daily logic," and over the course of the past forty years, we've noticed the silence of the logicians when the society has needed a dose of this invaluable tonic.
Remember when the pundits argued, night after night, about Newt Gingrich's Medicare proposal? We do!
Would the proposal "cut" Medicare, or would it merely slow the rate at which the program would grow? We needed logicians to straighten that out. Their silence was widely observed.
Remember when creative paraphrase was applied every time Candidate Gore opened his mouth? We do!
We needed someone to come forward to outline the logic of sensible paraphrase. Once again, total silence!
Anthropologists say it wouldn't have done any good if the logicians had intervened in our everyday discourse. In the end, that isn't the problem, they say.
The so-called "silence of the logicians" has been obvious and quite widespread, these despondent scholars all say. But no, it wouldn't have helped in the end if our cosseted logicians had stepped up to perform daily service.
In the end, that isn't the nature of the problem, disconsolate anthropologists tell us. Then they shamble back into their caves, within which loud moaning is heard.
Jonathan Chait stepped up to the plate and spelled out some everyday logic. Whatever you may want to call them, our varied logicians just haven't.
We even watched Greg Gutfeld last night. Good God but that program was bad!