Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Two Logics #1

Two Logics is a book published by Henry B. Veatch in 1969. '[W]e shall not only want to develop the suggestion that in the present day intellectual scene there are two very different and competing types of knowledge -- the more traditional humanistic or philosophical knowledge on the one hand, and the newer-fashioned scientific knowledge on the other -- but in addition, and more specifically, we shall want to try to clarify the nature of the difference between the two "knowledges" in terms of the respective logics that are brought into play as the characteristic means or instruments for effecting each sort of knowledge in turn" (p.21).

Veatch dubs the philosophic logic as 'what logic' and the scientific logic as 'relating logic'. He criticizes the latter as a logic that can't say what anything is. "It must be acknowledged that we are entirely free to legislate just what will go into our concepts and what will not, this freedom of legislation must nowise be thought to extend to the data of experience or what is in the world. Thus, given our concept "planet," the proposition "A planet moves in a circular orbit" is necessarily entailed thereby, and is itself an analytic truth, hence necessary. Nevertheless, when we undertake to apply such a concept to the world and thus to characterize certain of the bodies which we observe in the heavens as being "planets" (in the sense defined, of course), it remains to be seen ... whether the things to which we have applied our concept "planet" are properly so-called or not" (p. 107).

He then proceed to call this 'the fallacy of inverted intentionality', of inverting the Scholastic distinction between first and second intentions. By example, the first intention of men is when it refers to real men in the real world, where as the second intention of men is our linguistic use of it.

There is a good review of the book on Amazon. So I defer to it, except that I will make a couple different comments in my next post.

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