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Re: [ontolog-forum] What is logic?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Patrick Durusau <patrick@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 13:18:06 -0500
Message-id: <45F1A4DE.5020308@xxxxxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

John F. Sowa wrote:
<snip>    (02)

>PD> ... in the Septuagint (translation of the Hebrew Bible
> > into Greek), which dates to fairly close to that time
> > period, logos was used to translate dabar, or 'word' as it
> > is loosely translated into English. Logos has a fairly wide
> > range of meanings depending upon the writer, time period, etc.
>Unlike the other gospels, which were originally written in Aramaic,
>John wrote directly in Greek, and he used the same words -- logos,
>panta, and gignomai -- as in fragment #1 by Heraclitus:
>    "all things (panta) come into being (gignomai) according
>    to this logos"
Yes, but modern readers of the Hebrew Bible seize upon words and give 
them a contemporary meaning. More obviously removed in terms of time and 
place but I think the assumption you are making is unwarranted. There is 
too little evidence other than common usage to support the argument you 
are making. It may well be true but then it may well be false as well.    (03)

Noting that I am neither troubled nor encouraged whether any historical 
figure did or did not hold some particular position. It may be helpful 
to know what others have explored before but their conclusions are just 
that, their conclusions. We may well examine the same evidence and reach 
different conclusions.    (04)

>The big distinction that Heraclitus made was between the ever
>changing "physis" (nature) and the eternal "logos".  This
>distinction was critical for both Plato and Aristotle, even
>though there were many differences in detail.
>But the critical point for Heraclitus and Plato is that the
>logos consists of the eternal forms as opposed to the ever
>changing physis.  Aristotle acknowledged the distinction,
>but he treated the logos as descriptive, rather than creative.
>That is close to the modern notion, and I don't want to get
>into debates about whether Heraclitus, Plato, or John had
>different points of view on that question.
Sorry, still missing why, even assuming 'the eternal "logos"', you claim 
that has some relationship to logic. What does the eternal have to do 
with logic?    (05)

>PD> ... if we define logic as broadly as John suggests, then it
> > becomes as vacuous as "Semantic" is in current usage.
>Absolutely not.  Notice the critical terms "precise" and "truth".
>Notations that are not precise or capable of being made precise
>are not a version of logic.  And representations that do not
>or cannot make any assertions about the truth or falsity of what
>they represent are not logic.
Err, ok, is there some universal notion of "precise" and "truth" that I 
have missed along the way? I suspect both of those are as hotly debated 
as many of the other terms that have been discussed in this forum.    (06)

>As an example, Peirce made the point that a portrait is not
>an assertion.  But the combination of the portrait together
>with a label that identifies the person portrayed would be
>an assertion that could be judged true or false.  Therefore,
>that combination would qualify as a notation for logic.
Excellent example of how "assertion" depends upon your point of view. I 
can certainly image a portrait being an assertion. I happen to have a 
reproduction of the Last Judgment scene hanging over my desk and I don't 
remember which figure in Hell it is but it was one of the cardinals from 
the time. He asked the Pope to force  Michelangelo to change the 
painting. To which the Pope Paul III is said to have replied that even 
he could not pardon someone in Hell. Rather difficult to say whether the 
placement in Hell was a true or false assertion.    (07)

Hope you are looking forward to a great weekend!    (08)

Patrick    (09)

Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005    (010)

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!     (011)

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