• javi2541997
    1.7k
    I have recently read a paper about Aristotle’s logic and “first principles” or as he named these: “principia prima”. If you are interested, you can read it here: The Arch of Aristotelian Logic

    Our attempt to justify our beliefs logically by giving reasons results in the "regress of reasons." Since any reason can be further challenged, the regress of reasons threatens to be an infinite regress. However, since this is impossible, there must be reasons for which there do not need to be further reasons: Reasons which do not need to be proven. By definition, these are "first principles" (ἀρχαί, principia prima) or "the first principles of demonstration" (principia prima demonstrationis).

    The "Problem of First Principles" arises when we ask Why such reasons would not need to be proven. Aristotle's answer was that first principles do not need to be proven because they are self-evident, i.e. they are known to be true simply by understanding them.
    Aristotle thinks that knowledge begins with experience. We get to first principles through induction.

    OK. Exactly, in this point, there are other philosophers who proposed a solution to the “first principles” such as Kant’s perspective:
    synthetic a priori propositions are first principles of demonstration but are not self-evident.

    I start this OP because it makes me wonder about two questions:

    A) Which are the “first principles” Aristotle is referring to?
    B) If they are not need to be proven... their premises are universal affirmative? (According to Aristotle's syllogisms)
  • Gnomon
    2.5k
    A) Which are the “first principles” Aristotle is referring to?
    B) If they are not need to be proven... their premises are universal affirmative? (According to Aristotle's syllogisms)
    javi2541997
    I think you have put your finger on a sore-point of Philosophy & Science : the necessity to take some "facts" for granted without empirical proof. The only evidence to support such unproven premises (axioms) is logical consistency. But, even that assumption is based on the presumption that the human mind and the real world are inherently logical, hence share a firm foundation. I suppose Aristotle's Universal Principles are the metaphysical analog of physical atoms : not reducible to anything more fundamental. First Principles are simply labels for First Causes : the cornerstone of all practical knowledge. Example : the distinction between Substance (matter) and Essence (form ; qualities).

    However, some fundamental premises are themselves subject to disproof, by stumbling across an exception to the rule. For example, physicists rejoiced when the long quest for the Democratean Atom seemed to be fulfilled in the 1800s, when Dalton & Thompson inferred that they had found the smallest possible piece of matter. Yet, no sooner had Rutherford produced his plum-pudding models, it was replaced by the planetary model of Bohr, introducing even smaller bits of stuff. Unfortunately, their dissecting & reductive methods soon hit a softer underlying layer of reality, which we now label, not as compact lumps of stuff, but as extended Fields of potential. Therefore, the 21st century foundation of the material world, now seems to be somewhat fuzzy & mushy, acausal & non-classical. Yet the operations of those amorphous immaterial mathematical fields have proven to have a perverse holistic logic of its own, as proven by the real-world success of "weird" Quantum Theory*1.

    Apparently, Aristotle's First Principles were presumed "self-evident", based on his self-confidence in his own reasoning ability. But quantum scientists are no longer so self-assured, regarding their ability to make sense of the evidence available for the fuzzy logic of the sub-atomic realm of reality. It even calls into question our long-held assumptions about the linear logic of the Universe. Maybe our time-honored First Principles should be considered as local rules-of-thumb for taking the measure of the immense universe. :smile:


    *1. Famously, physicist Feynman advised his bewildered students to avoid the trap of trying to make philosophical sense of quantum non-mechanics. Instead, "just shut-up and calculate".
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    First of all, thank you for taking part in my thread. Appreciated it.

    First Principles are simply labels for First Causes : the cornerstone of all practical knowledge. Example : the distinction between Substance (matter) and Essence (form ; qualities).Gnomon

    I understand it now! Both labels have always been a classical debate among all philosophical schools or doctrines.
    I think is important to bring here some thoughts of John Locke -as an example- about "primary" and "secondary" qualities:
    These I call original or primary Qualities of Body, which I think we may observe to produce simple Ideas in us, viz. Solidity, Extension, Figure, Motion, or Rest, and Number. Such Qualities, which in truth are nothing in the Objects themselves, but Powers to produce various Sensations in us by their primary Qualities, i.e. by the Bulk, Figure, Texture, and Motion of their insensible parts, as Colours, Sounds, Tasts, etc. These I call secondary Qualities. [An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book II, Chapter VIII]

    Apparently, Aristotle's First Principles were presumed "self-evident", based on his self-confidence in his own reasoning ability. But quantum scientists are no longer so self-assured, regarding their ability to make sense of the evidenceGnomon

    That's true.

    Nevertheless, I think Aristotle's principles of logic are still important in some ways. After thousands of years the system of reasoning by syllogisms can help us. I understand that is a very basic pattern if we compare it with the complexity we currently live in. But the "essence" :grin: keeps flourishing!
  • Fooloso4
    3.3k
    Aristotle thinks that knowledge begins with experience. We get to first principles through induction.javi2541997

    The term translated as 'induction' is epagoge.

    It means "coming face-to-face with" something, and it belongs not to the dianoia, by which we make connections and figure things out, but to the nous, the contemplative intellect. [Joe Sachs,The Battle of the Gods and the Giants,12]

    It is not something worked out by reason (dianoia) but something the intellect (nous) sees.
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    It is not something worked out by reason (dianoia) but something the intellect (nous) sees.Fooloso4

    :up: I see and understand yout point and argument. But I think I have made a mistake because I didn't quote all the phrase you were referring to. The quote ends in this way: (and I think it probably fits in your arguments and point of view)

    But there is no certainty to the generalizations of induction. The "Problem of Induction" is the question How we know when we have examined enough individual cases to make an inductive generalization. Usually we can't know.

    Then, I think here is when (nous) appears. Probably we can know thanks to how the intellect sees.
  • Moliere
    2.1k
    A) Which are the “first principles” Aristotle is referring to?javi2541997

    link

    Part 1

    "THERE is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes
    which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not
    the same as any of the so-called special sciences; for none of these
    others treats universally of being as being. They cut off a part of
    being and investigate the attribute of this part; this is what the
    mathematical sciences for instance do. Now since we are seeking the
    first principles and the highest causes, clearly there must be some
    thing to which these belong in virtue of its own nature. If then those
    who sought the elements of existing things were seeking these same
    principles, it is necessary that the elements must be elements of
    being not by accident but just because it is being. Therefore it is
    of being as being that we also must grasp the first causes...."

    In part 2:

    "...And there are as many parts of philosophy as there are kinds of substance, so that there must necessarily be among them a first philosophy and one which follows this. For being falls immediately into genera; for which reason the sciences too will correspond to these genera. For the philosopher is like the mathematician, as that word is used; for mathematics also has parts, and there is a first and a second science and other successive ones within the sphere of mathematics."

    "Now since it is the work of one science to investigate opposites, and plurality is opposed to unity-and it belongs to one science to investigate the negation and the privation because in both cases we are really investigating the one thing of which the negation or the privation is a negation or privation (for we either say simply that that thing is not present, or that it is not present in some particular class; in the latter case difference is present over and above what is implied in negation; for negation means just the absence of the thing in question, while in privation there is also employed an underlying nature of which the privation is asserted):-in view of all these facts, the contraries of the concepts we named above, the other and the dissimilar and the unequal, and everything else which is derived either from these or from plurality and unity, must fall within the province of the science above named."
    — Aristotle, Metaphysics Book IV



    Part1

    WE are seeking the principles and the causes of the things that are, and obviously of them qua being. For, while there is a cause of health and of good condition, and the objects of mathematics have first principles and elements and causes, and in general every science which is ratiocinative or at all involves reasoning deals with causes and principles, more or less precise, all these sciences mark off some particular being-some genus, and inquire into this, but not into being simply nor qua being, nor do they offer any discussion of the essence of the things of which they treat; but starting from the essence-some making it plain to the senses, others assuming it as a hypothesis-they then demonstrate, more or less cogently, the essential attributes of the genus with which they deal. It is obvious, therefore, that such an induction yields no demonstration of substance or of the essence, but some other way of exhibiting it. And similarly the sciences omit the question whether the genus with which they deal exists or does not exist, because it belongs to the same kind of thinking to show what it is and that it is.

    "And since natural science, like other sciences, is in fact about one class of being, i.e. to that sort of substance which has the principle of its movement and rest present in itself, evidently it is neither practical nor productive. For in the case of things made the principle is in the maker-it is either reason or art or some faculty, while in the case of things done it is in the doer-viz. will, for that which is done and that which is willed are the same. Therefore, if all thought is either practical or productive or theoretical, physics must be a theoretical science, but it will theorize about such being as admits of being moved, and about substance-as-defined for the most part only as not separable from matter. Now, we must not fail to notice the mode of being of the essence and of its definition, for, without this, inquiry is but idle. Of things defined, i.e. of 'whats', some are like 'snub', and some like 'concave'. And these differ because 'snub' is bound up with matter (for what is snub is a concave nose), while concavity is independent of perceptible matter. If then all natural things are a analogous to the snub in their nature; e.g. nose, eye, face, flesh, bone, and, in general, animal; leaf, root, bark, and, in general, plant (for none of these can be defined without reference to movement-they always have matter), it is clear how we must seek and define the 'what' in the case of natural objects, and also that it belongs to the student of nature to study even soul in a certain sense, i.e. so much of it as is not independent of matter.

    "That physics, then, is a theoretical science, is plain from these considerations. Mathematics also, however, is theoretical; but whether its objects are immovable and separable from matter, is not at present clear; still, it is clear that some mathematical theorems consider them qua immovable and qua separable from matter. But if there is something which is eternal and immovable and separable, clearly the knowledge of it belongs to a theoretical science,-not, however, to physics (for physics deals with certain movable things) nor to mathematics, but to a science prior to both. For physics deals with things which exist separately but are not immovable, and some parts of mathematics deal with things which are immovable but presumably do not exist separately, but as embodied in matter; while the first science deals with things which both exist separately and are immovable. Now all causes must be eternal, but especially these; for they are the causes that operate on so much of the divine as appears to us. There must, then, be three theoretical philosophies, mathematics, physics, and what we may call theology, since it is obvious that if the divine is present anywhere, it is present in things of this sort. And the highest science must deal with the highest genus. Thus, while the theoretical sciences are more to be desired than the other sciences, this is more to be desired than the other theoretical sciences. For one might raise the question whether first philosophy is universal, or deals with one genus, i.e. some one kind of being; for not even the mathematical sciences are all alike in this respect,-geometry and astronomy deal with a certain particular kind of thing, while universal mathematics applies alike to all. We answer that if there is no substance other than those which are formed by nature, natural science will be the first science; but if there is an immovable substance, the science of this must be prior and must be first philosophy, and universal in this way, because it is first. And it will belong to this to consider being qua being-both what it is and the attributes which belong to it qua being.
    — Aristotle, Metaphysics VI

    Part 1
    "REGARDING this kind of substance, what we have said must be taken as sufficient. All philosophers make the first principles contraries: as in natural things, so also in the case of unchangeable substances. But since there cannot be anything prior to the first principle of all things, the principle cannot be the principle and yet be an attribute of something else. To suggest this is like saying that the white is a first principle, not qua anything else but qua white, but yet that it is predicable of a subject, i.e. that its being white presupposes its being something else; this is absurd, for then that subject will be prior. But all things which are generated from their contraries involve an underlying subject; a subject, then, must be present in the case of contraries, if anywhere. All contraries, then, are always predicable of a subject, and none can exist apart, but just as appearances suggest that there is nothing contrary to substance, argument confirms this. No contrary, then, is the first principle of all things in the full sense; the first principle is something different.
    — Aristotle, Metaphysics XIV

    I'm just pulling quotes from The Metaphysics which mention first principles and first philosophy, because that's what I thought was referred to by Aristotle as "the first principles"

    I imagine the unmoved mover would probably count -- but notice in these examples (and in the text surrounding the quotations) what Aristotle does to refute first proposed first principles, like atoms or water/earth/fire/air or the One or Contraries, to get a better notion of what he means by "first principles". They seem to be at the top of the species-genus chain, and somehow explain how everything is made of or comes from some primary thing, and if we take it in conjunction with the logic, then I think it'd be fair to say it was be a Subject, and not a Predicate.
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    I'm just pulling quotes from The Metaphysics which mention first principles and first philosophy, because that's what I thought was referred to be Aristotle as "the first principles"Moliere

    Completely agree and you are, of course, on the right path because the paper I have read was referring and quoting to The Metaphysics. So, I appreciated all the big quotes you shared with us. The paper I used is not that complete and drafted.

    then I think it'd be fair to say it was be a Subject, and not a Predicate.Moliere

    :100: :up:

    They seem to be at the top of the species-genus chain, and somehow explain how everything is made of or comes from some primary thing,Moliere

    This is why, I guess, we can treat it as universal affirmative premises inside Aristotle's syllogisms. Or as @Gnomon previously said: The only evidence to support such unproven premises (axioms) is logical consistency.
  • Moliere
    2.1k
    Completely agree and you are, of course, on the right path because the paper I have read was referring and quoting to The Metaphysics. So, I appreciated all the big quotes you shared with us. The paper I used is not that complete and drafted.javi2541997

    Heh, these are pretty hastily pulled, I'll admit -- so this is more at the idea-bouncing phase than carefully pulled quotes, just to give a little context. And the last time I read Aristotle in real depth was over 10 years ago. I did, however, check the physics and the prior analytics for "first principles" as well, just out of curiosity, and didn't find as much that seemed to grab me as relevant.
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    . I did, however, check the physics and the prior analytics for "first principles" as well, just out of curiosity, and didn't find as much that seemed to grab me as relevant.Moliere

    No worries! It is a very opened and beautiful debate because "first principles" is a very general term and it leads us to wonder what does really means when we try to specify it. So, I even thinks it can take hours this debate.
    Aristotle was a clever man when he wrote about these fundamental principles because after centuries we still debating.

    And the last time I read Aristotle in real depth was over 10 years ago.Moliere

    In my case, it was over 4 years and was Nichomachean Ethics! It brings me back good memories :100:
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    All contraries, then, are always predicable of a subject, and none can exist apart, but just as appearances suggest that there is nothing contrary to substance, argument confirms this. No contrary, then, is the first principle of all things in the full sense; the first principle is something different. — Aristotle, Metaphysics XIV

    :fire:

    The specific quote I am looking for! Fantastic. This explains everything. Aristotle brought a very important axiom to develop logic.
  • Moliere
    2.1k
    I'm not sure I understand. I took that to mean he's rejecting any solution to the question which proposes contraries, like the-Many/the-One, rather than proposing a first principle here.

    I'd hesitate to put it in the terms of "axioms" though. And even logic, because this is dealing with questions of first philosophy rather than reasoning what statement necessarily follows from premises, by necessity.

    He's using logic here, of course, and perhaps the first principle would fit the form you're talking about -- a universal affirmation.

    I'm not sure how I'd parse the god of the philosophers thinking the universe into the logical form, though -- and it wouldn't be a syllogism, I don't think either, because you'd actually construct syllogisms that terminate in the first principles, right?

    But then with the examples that he's using, he just names things proposed as fundamental -- and as I understand the system, God thinking the universe and himself into existence is the unmoved mover, and would seem to count, right? But that's not exactly a universal affirmation, ala the logic.

    It's a metaphysical proposition about the nature of reality and how everything relates back to something fundamental that predicates it all.
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    What I tried to say is that I interpret Aristotle's logic is based on basic principles or "principia primia". Thus, axioms so logical and basic that do not need to be proven. Then, they are universal affirmative premises which help us to elaborate syllogisms and thus, logic itself. As we put some examples previously such as "substance" and "essence" that these are necessary true.

    God thinking the universe and himself into existence is the unmoved mover, and would seem to count, right? But that's not exactly a universal affirmation, ala the logic.Moliere

    Yes, I see your point. I am agree.

    It's a metaphysical proposition about the nature of reality and how everything relates back to something fundamental that predicates it all.Moliere

    Exactly. This is what I was looking for. I mean, what we should consider as "fundamental" which predicates it all?
  • Gnomon
    2.5k
    Nevertheless, I think Aristotle's principles of logic are still important in some ways.javi2541997
    Yes. If we couldn't agree on some universally applicable First Principles (starting point for reasoning), Philosophy & Science would be a political contest of whose personal opinions should rule. Most of Aristotle's principles have held-up to skeptical scrutiny over the years. But, logical reasoning from abstract principles can still be questionable. For example, even if you accept a particular axiom, as the first of a series of logical causes & effects, you could still go wrong.

    That's because of the skeptical distinction between "relations of ideas" and "matters of fact". David Hume noted that there is no "logical necessity" between a cause and its effect. He said that our intuition of logical cause & effect is basically a "habit of thought". Hence, one experimental outcome doesn't prove anything. So, scientists can't accept a single result as typical, until it has been repeatedly replicated. Nevertheless, reasoning from First Principles is a stubborn, and useful, habit.

    Kant said he was "awakened from his dogmatic slumber" by Hume's skepticism. So, he tried to find a way to justify our intuitive "habit of thought" by means other than endless inconclusive experiments & observations. Yet, he was forced to conclude that we can't know anything about the world with absolute certainty. We can only know our own minds. Even our sensory Perceptions are filtered through our metaphysical Conceptions. Hence, it is only "knowledge of causation itself that is a priori (i.e. knowable prior to experience)"*1. We seem to be born with a mental template of metaphysical Logic and physical Cause & Effect, which we refine over time by adding confirming experiences.

    Yet we must always be on the lookout for the exception that proves the rule : miracles are rare & usually based on trust in someone else's experience. So, who do you trust : Aristotle or Augustine? :joke:



    *1. Reference : Philosophy Now Magazine, June/July 2022
  • Moliere
    2.1k
    what we should consider as "fundamental" which predicates it all?javi2541997

    I think the question is a bit foolish and undecidable. There is no fundament or ultimate principle that all knowledge can be derived from. Knowledge is hard won, slow, painful, and limited. In order to be able to derive such a principle, and be certain that it is true, we would have to be able to check all knowledge -- be omniscient. Otherwise, you just fall into metaphor and traps of reason (as we blabber-apes tend to)
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    :up:

    [ ... ] If they are not need to be proven... their premises are universal affirmative? (According to Aristotle's syllogisms)javi2541997
    Undecidable (à la problem of the criterion). What matters is (Peirce, Wittgenstein et al might say) "Aristotle's first principles" work ... until they don't, just like other "first principles" in domains other than logic (vide S. Haack's foundherentism as critique and alternative to foundationalism of "first principles").
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    Thanks for the answer :up: very complete and informative. I am learning a lot in this thread!

    So, who do you trust : Aristotle or Augustine? :joke:Gnomon

    Aristotle! I trust whatever comes from logic and metaphysics not from faith! But I respect every point of view and beliefs. Everyone is free to trust more one than the other!
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    I think the question is a bit foolish and undecidableMoliere

    I think there are not "foolish" question when someone is asking with aim of learning...
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    "Aristotle's first principles" work ... until they don't, just like other "first principles" in domains other than logic (vide S. Haack's foundherentism as critique and alternative to foundationalism of "first principles").180 Proof

    Thanks for sharing, 180! :up:

    That's true it can happen a scenario where Aristotle's "first principles" don't work. In this context, the paper I read yesterday, shows diverse solutions according to different philosophers., for example: The Rationalists, such as Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz: Self-evidence breaks down as a solution to the Problem of First Principles because there is no way to resolve disputes about whether something is self-evident or not.
    Hume sharpened the Problem of Induction by noting that no generalizations whatsoever are logically justified. The Empiricist tradition thus culminated in Skepticism, Hume's conclusion that knowledge in the traditional sense does not exist.
    Finally, Karl Popper resolves the regress of reasons, at least for scientific method, by substituting falsification for verification
  • Moliere
    2.1k
    I think there are not "foolish" question when someone is asking with aim of learning...javi2541997

    True, you're right.

    I should say it is a foolish question to believe you can have an answer to.

    The desire to know, and intellectual curiosity, are good things!

    But it is possible for human beings to want to know something that they are unable to know.

    I think that questions asking after ultimate foundations are like that.
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    The desire to know, and intellectual curiosity, are good things!Moliere

    Absolutely, you are right! :flower:

    But it is possible for human beings to want to know something that they are unable to know.Moliere

    This is one of the most humanistic acts or “virtues” we have inherited in ourselves. Interesting, doesn’t it? The desire of searching for complex answers that are unable to know. This is why philosophy is based on tricky questions.
    For example: why the “first principles” do not need to be proven? Is very complex itself. So I guess this is the trick of the OP: there is not necessary to answer, but at the same time we want to “know” about because we sapiens sapiens love to go further of basic explanations and thoughts! :eyes:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    there must be reasons for which there do not need to be further reasons: Reasons which do not need to be proven.javi2541997

    Most perceptive!

    The force is strong with this one. — Master Yoda

    Allow me to assist you as best as I can.

    Act I

    (Your) Conclusion: There are statements that are true sans proof.

    (Your) premises: ?

    Act II

    What are these statements?
  • javi2541997
    1.7k


    Interesting trick indeed. So, according to your puzzle if I am able to find out which are the premises, then I would be able to find out what is the meaning of “principia prima”
    The fact here is not use premises as a tool of logic but trying to understand it previously! :eyes:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    That's how I made sense of your position that there hasta be true statements that need no proof!

    Have you read Gödel's incompeletenss theorems? It might come in handy. The Gödel sentence G is true but, here's where it gets interesting, unprovable. For the moment ignore the constraint in a/the given axiomatic system, it kinda kills the vibe if you catch my drift. Trust a genius to take the fun outta living!
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    Yes! I have read some of Gödel’s works. But the language the Germans use in philosophy makes it even harder:rofl:

    The Gödel sentence G is true but, here's where it gets interesting, unprovableAgent Smith

    :flower: interesting. The paper I have read yesterday quoted Kant. Specifically: “synthetic a priori propositions are first principles of demonstration but are not self-evident”
    I guess with different terms or propositions they tend to end up in the same path.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    I believe this :point: What makes an observation true or false will be helpful!

    Synthetic a priori?

    Never had the time nor the brains to dig deeper into Kant's ideas.
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    Thank you for sharing it with me, Smith :100:

    Never had the time nor the brains to dig deeper into Kant's ideas.Agent Smith

    Agreed. It could take some years of our lives to do so! :grin:

    What makes an observation true or false will be helpful!
    I just read it and I find the following lines so interesting:

    This quote from @Banno is very helpful to keep going further forward on this topic!

    "Photosynthesis is what takes place in plants" is true only if photosynthesis is what takes place in plants.

    And generally, "P" (note the quote marks) will be true only if P. This is called a T-sentence. T-statements set out the general form of all true sentences. Although T-sentences appear uninformative, they make a few things clear. For example, for "P" to be true nothing further is needed than that P. Including being observed.

    In logical form,

    "P" is true IFF P

    That is, "Photosynthesis is what takes place in plants" will be true regardless of whether or not it is observed to be true.
  • Pie
    553
    That's true it can happen a scenario where Aristotle's "first principles" don't work. In this context, the paper I read yesterday, shows diverse solutions according to different philosophers., for example:javi2541997

    Nice summary/narration. On this topic, I like to think of a community trying to rationally settle what they ought to believe. The issue seems to be what they'll use for premises. I think they'll only let one another get away with choosing (relatively) uncontroversial statements. In my vision, their logic is not going to be as exact and reliable as a proof in mathematics, and they also don't have to take any particular relatively uncontroversial statements as definitely true. They'll just generally establish more complex and doubtful claims by working from those that are less so, without need perfect certainty about any claim but certainty sufficient for practical purposes ( from murder trials to bridgebuilding.)
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    I like to think of a community trying to rationally settle what they ought to believe.Pie

    Well yes, it is a good way to watch this topic. I think most of the philosophers since Aristotle era tried to debate or explain the big problem of logic. Because we the humans, as rational beings, tend to go further than simplistic emotions. But There can be a problem: the infinite doubt of our possibilities. This is why I personally think Aristotle was a very clever thinker because he proposed that there are, at least, basic patterns that are true just for basic rationalism. I have tried (wrongly) search what these principia primae are about because I was so lost when I published the OP yesterday.
    Nevertheless, the answers from the other mates are pretty drafted and they help me to get a more clear interpretation.

    They'll just generally establish more complex and doubtful claims by working from those that are less so,Pie

    Interesting because I have felt the same thought too. But I think this issue is morbe related to philosophy of language. The limits of understanding all the philosophical doctrines about logic depends on the art of language too. When I read Gödel or Kant it makes me feel a very complex situation because they express themselves in their works with a very complex language.
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    Logic is grammar (Witty). If you haven't already, read the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus with Aristotle's "first principles" in mind. Not an easy read but not as tedious as Kant or as abstract as Gödel.
  • Sam26
    2.1k
    Reason (inference or a proof) has its limits. Not every premise in a chain of reason can be proven. At some point you just choose an ending, if not, then you would never conclude anything. Moreover, some premises can be known by other means, such as testimony, experience, or linguistic training. Dr. Bitar (a former friend) says, "Inference or proof is parasitic; it requires knowledge by other means which it can then use to extend what is known."
  • Gnomon
    2.5k
    ↪javi2541997
    I believe this :point: What makes an observation true or false will be helpful!
    Synthetic a priori?
    Agent Smith
    True & False are opinions, not facts. They don't exist apart from human minds. That's why Kant labeled them "synthetic" (artificial instead of natural). But, all animals have an interest in determining which appearances are Real (true & natural) from which are Unreal (artifacts of mind).

    For instance, the appearance of tall grass may, or may not, indicate edibles for ruminants. There could be a tiger lining-up its stripes with grassy shadows. But fawns don't need to know that "fact" from personal experience. So, most prey animals are jumpy, because they were programmed -- a priori by evolutionary education -- to err on the safe side, and be prepared to run, if the grass moves when the wind is not blowing.

    Homo Sapiens have inherited that habit of synthesizing physical percepts into meta-physical concepts, to mentally compare true grass with fake grass (a thought experiment). But humans have expanded that analytical talent to include complex meta-physical concepts in their appearance-vs-actual scrutiny. But out there in harsh Reality there is only "is" or "ain't". True is only "true" in Ideality.

    So, philosophers invented new words to differentiate non-physical noumena (ideas, beliefs, opinions) from physical phenomena (facts, percepts, sensations). Those abstract logical categories all distill-down to True vs False. But, it's seldom that black & white. Anyway, since noumena are not empirical (known by physical evidence) they exist only in the abstract realm of Logic & Reason. Which Kant assumed was inherent in the human mind, not learned from experience. Yet, "a priori" could be interpreted as "from creation" or "from evolution". So, which belief is true, and which false? :cool:

    Kant and Evolution :
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/problem-of-animal-generation-in-early-modern-philosophy/kant-and-evolution/DF6CE471233694FEC1A8B45AABBA8EB9
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