The Ground of Logic


Logic, as the ancient Philosophers before Aristotle knew and warned, begins in Ontology. If your ontological assumptions aren’t transparent and verified, the Logic will sooner or later buckle.

Logician’s, like Prophets and Politicians, have long cherished the idea of a mystical, divine origin for their calling. But the rules of Logic are not on stone-tablets nor have they fallen from the sky. They are rooted in a set of rarely reviewed, implicit and unstated ontological assumptions. 

The paradigmatic, foundational syllogism: ‘All Men are Mortal; Socrates is a Man; Socrates is Mortal’, begins with the unstated assumption that there ‘is’ an identifiable, stable entity called ‘Socrates’.

The rest of the inference is inevitable.

You can’t spot a Man holding the same pose twice in a lifetime. Take a snapshot of every moment of a Man’s life: no two will be identical.

The atoms in a Man’s body are in constant motion, continuous replenishment, day and night. His skin gets replaced about once every 30 days; his bones about every 6 months. Look in a mirror. Is this the same mug you saw last night? Of course it is: note the fine forehead, the graceful neckline.

Stability, you said? Oh, you mean something inside Socrates…

No, no, you are not thinking, you are just being logical famously quipped Neils Bohr, a founder of Modern Physics, How wonderful that we have [finally] met with a paradox. Now we have some [real] hope of making progress.’

This must be one of the oldest Posts in my dog-eared file box. I need to update it with some of the new non-linear logic that’s making the rounds. I’ll get around to it at some point,