The Ground of Logic

 

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. 

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.

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 [See: ‘Cratylus‘].

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. Your eyes move four times a second even if you don’t sense it. Yet the world does not move with it, does not shift four times a second.

Look in a mirror. Is this the same mug you saw last night? Of course it is: note the fine forehead, the graceful neckline [See: ‘I am my Body!‘].

Stability, you said? Oh, you mean something inside Socrates…I get you [See: ‘The Little Fellow’].