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I like the notion of philosophy as a journey of man' self-consciousness.
Maybe you would like it even more if you knew what it meant; but then again, probably not. It is probably the fact that it doesn't mean anything much that intrigues you. Your interest in something seems to be inversely proportional to its meaningfulness. Now there's an equation you can mull on!
Well, we both agree, I think, on the importance of looking at the logic of man's thinking/perception. It seems quite natural (doesn't it?) for us to investigate the tools of investigation.
I like the notion of philosophy as a journey of man' self-consciousness. He or she finds that much of his experience is shaped by his or her mind. It reminds me of wearing a pair of sunglasses without realizing it. Pretty brilliant for Kant to make us so aware of these "glasses" and to describe them so well.
And would you not say that it was a sheer work of genius for Hegel to take off the glasses? High flying and absurd, but nevertheless brilliant.
Well, you are a fan of logic, yes? That is thinking about thinking, see? And maybe you don't like Kant, but certainly Hume investigated the way our minds work. And that is what I mean by self-consciousness. Wittgenstein examined the notion of the self in the TLP, and it's a brilliantly concise demolition of all sorts of confusion. Hell, the clarification of thought is a form of self-consciousness. We get a clearer notion thereby of what we are thinking.
I don't recall Wittgenstein discussing the nature of the self very much in TLP. In any case, Wittgenstein thought that his discussions in Philosophical Investigations superceded any discussion in TLP. So do I.
The study of logic is thinking about thinking. Logic is the science of how we ought to think. There is a big difference. Kant is fine. Hume may have thought he was being a psychologist, but in those days, the distinction between psychology and philosophy had not been drawn.
Look again, if you are curious. He talks about the self in the metaphysical sense, as apart from the psychological sense, as the limit of the world.
I don't agree with you on the second point, though he may have been ambivalent. I've read that he liked the idea of both published together.
And even if he himself preferred the Investigations, or thought they superseded the TLP, that doesn't mean his opinion on the matter is more important than mine or yours. That's the beauty of a text: it exists outside of a person. I respect your personal preference, but I currently prefer the TLP. Pound for pound, it's one of the greatest books I know of.
---------- Post added 05-25-2010 at 07:13 PM ----------
I can't completely agree with you on logic. I see it as a study of the structure of thought. But yes, the "science of how we ought to think" is also valid, and for many the preferred conception of logic.
Generally, philosophy and psychology have dangerously similar subject matter. Both are so fundamental. Wittgenstein tries to distance them in the TLP, but did he really succeed? If philosophy is the clarification of thought, and thought is a central aspect of the human psyche, we have some overlap to deal with....
Whatever overlap there is can be examined and eliminated. Philosophers are not psychologists.
There are two aspects of logic. 1. The science of how we ought to think. 2. The study of of that science. Just as there is physics, and the philosophy of physics.
In principle, I agree. But this is a difficult ideal.
---------- Post added 05-25-2010 at 07:24 PM ----------
I sympathize with that, but I'm fascinated by "transcendental logical." Hence my interest in the nature of abstraction, in bits, in the hardwired aspects of such, etc.
I was reading Frege last night and was happy to find that he shared my fascination with the intuition of unity. Now perhaps you would call this psychology, but would you call Frege a psychologist?
I neither think Frege had anything psychological in mind, nor do I think he was a psychologist. Frege was in the very forefront of those who defended logic against being psychologized. He was very insistent on a strong distinction between logic and psychology.
I'm not denying that, but his investigation of the unity concept has a Kantian feel. I'm still reading the book, but he seems to build arithmetic from a small core of this intuition. I don't know if you are interested in the foundations of mathematics, but I think it's a great subject. Are numbers built-in to the mind? Are they abstracted from objects? I say both, but more of the first. We abstract number from the unity automatically projected on objects...and this why objects are objects, because they are viewed as finite unities.
Is this psychology or logic? And what is the most general form of a proposition, as mentioned by Wittgenstein? Is formal logic arbitrary, or is it a formalization of the way we humans think?
On a light note, I have a professor who says, "Ya wanna be a philosopher that people still talk about 500 years from now? Ask questions that a five year old would ask."
I have no idea what you mean by formal logic being arbitrary.
I don't know if it has been said yet, but I think that a good sense of humor is a required trait for a good philosopher. Since many philosopher seemed to lack a sense of humor, that could suggest that there have been many philosophers, but not many good philosophers.
Aristotle held there were four general forms of a proposition:
All S is P (Universal affirmative) (All dogs are mammals).
No S is P (Universal Negative) (No dogs are mammals).
Some S is P (Particular affirmative) (Some dogs are mammals).
Some S is not P ( Particular negative) (Some dogs are not mammals).
Russell pointed out that Aristotle missed relational propositions like, X is identical with Y which are not of the subject/predicate form. For example, like, All creatures with livers are identical with creatures with lungs.
I have no idea what you mean by formal logic being arbitrary. You don't think that we can simply decide on whim that if p implies q, and p is true, that q won't be true, do you? Logic structures not the way we think, for that would be psychology. But how we ought to think. That is why Peirce called logic a "normative science".
So I would avoid sweeping statements about the nature of formal logic. .
Ah, the ridiculousness of us all, that we see so often only other human beings as ridiculous.
I personally was exposed to formal logic before any other aspect of philosophy. And I personally have used a sort of formal logic in the programming of computers. Formal logic is comparable to a very basic form of mathematics. There's nothing to it. It's nothing but tautologies, except where variables are not yet defined. I 'm thinking of algorithms here. Anyone who has programmed computers will know what I am talking about.
If-then statements, etc.
Formalism is just not significant except as it connects to application and intuition. We can play with quaternions all day, and the formalism of quaternions is beautiful. But they were invented by a man who considered himself a physicist first and a mathematician second. I look at formal logic like that. I'm a philosopher first and a player with tautologies second. I fear that we are aesthetically dazzled by these formalisms, which are admittedly artistic, until we forget to ask what they are based on. A strict formalist might say "nothing!" But I cannot agree with that position.
Does any of this mean that people who know nothing about formal logic, and who preach about it, are not ridiculous. People who program computers need know no more about logic than a carpenter. Programming and formal logic have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Anyone who believes they do shows he knows nothing about formal logic.
Or that they have not programmed computers. As I said already, my first exposure to philosophy was formal logic. No, I don't obsess over it, precisely because it is so obvious and intuitive that there's not much there, except for what this intuitiveness implies. Try not to be so rude. It doesn't make you more persuasive. And you aren't going to learn anything from interactions with others if your only role is the person-who-knows-everything-already. Have you programmed computers, by the way?