A Reassessment of Our Task Pertaining to the Logocentric Predicament
After going through Kant, Fichte, and Schelling, as well as, having conversations about Wittgenstein with Kurt, I feel that how the logocentric predicament is to be tackled must be reassessed. In the face of new reflections, it must be understood that Wittgenstein does not have a solution to the logocentric predicament. That inferences exist a priori is not necessarily the issue, though it seems that the very assertion of this in regards to the nature of inference only ends up (infinitely) begging the question. As I said to Jojo last night, the issue is making propositions about almost “pre-propositional” states of affairs. The issue doesn’t even seem to be circularity here (though it is). Rather, seemingly the issue is (and it may be) that there is an element of impossibility here. Not in the sense of modal logic but in the sense of it being inconceivable that propositions have a certain nature that is universal or understood without inference or inferential understanding or something like that. If logic is something just contained within propositions like Kurt and Wittgenstein say it is, then the logocentric predicament is NOT talking about the logocentric predicament. What is being done by the Wittgensteinians is nothing other than one of the most fallacious moves I have seen: “Change what we are talking about, and act like we’ve addressed the issues of what we were talking about.” This is their movement. Logic as the necessary relation of consequence, which is the cause of the issue in the first place, still exists whether or not we call it logic, it still exists whether or not the Wittgensteinians consider logic to be truth-apt. Here is the issue: Wittgenstein does not solve the logocentric predicament because, even if his reframing of logic was “correct,” he reframing of logic makes it impossible to do so. Kurt has admitted to me that logic cannot have validity, nor can it not have validity, because it isn’t truth-apt nor can it even have a status of truth-aptness. With Wittgenstein, two issues arise: the circularity of the nature of inference and the supremacy of illogic. With Wittgenstein, if logic isn’t valid or true, or anything like that, if it does not have legislated standards (and it cannot, for if it does then the predicament appears again, though it is always there, the Wittgensteinians just cannot see it), then it cannot be superior to illogic, or anything like that. The illogician would be just as correct as the logician, and we have returned to what is either agnosticism or practically trivialism. In this sense, Wittgenstein leads us only to nonsense (and not in the Wittgensteinian sense).
After going through Fichte et al., I have realized that the goal we have is nothing but the justification of the use of inference. The justification of the principles of identity and noncontradiction obviously must accompany the justification of the use of inference. In a certain sense, both principles are internal to logic in that they are what differentiates it from illogic. Now, those principles (plus maybe the principle of sufficient reason) in conjunction with modus ponens (just deduction in general) are what make logic fully functional. A justification of those principles without modus ponens and vice versa is therefore meaningless. In a certain sense, the justification of those principles, at least in regards to Fichte’s idea of the F/Act, would entail the justification of modus ponens, but we have realized the untenability of the Fichtean position. Thus, we must find nothing more than the justification of the use of deduction. After we do that, we must again figure out how to solve the problem of alternatives. Furthermore, our answer to the justification of the use of deduction, because we won’t be saying that logic is justified ex nihilo, must serve as the basis of a greater theory of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, for it it cannot serve as a basis of such, then philosophy will be only that which the solution is, and nothing more. Therefore, it seems intuitively correct that there will be much to gleam from our solution, but if it is not the case, we mustn’t complain and adhere to dogmas, for we will finally have found a stable base of belief. After that, we must critique this supposedly stable basis as much as we can and then defend it as much as we can. If it still stands after that, then we will assume it as our position and develop from it, but we mustn’t stop raising objections constantly (and warding them off through thoughtful rebuttal as well). Let us go forward!
Our epistemic principles are finite in number; like the inhabitants of a small hamlet, they cannot take in each other’s epistemic laundry more than a few times without creating a circle. Faced with this problem we cannot simply suspend belief, for this would mean suspending all beliefs, and that is not only practically unfeasible but also self-defeating.
— Timothy McGrew and Lydia McGrew, Internalism and Epistemology: The Architecture of Reason, p. 126
Professor Timothy McGrew is quite correct that “deduction cannot be ‘credentialed’ by a derivation of its reliability from any independently certifiable source of beliefs; even God could not do better than an epistemically circular justification of deduction” (Internalism and Epistemology, p. 127). Presuppositionalism fails. This whole idea of grounding being the same as justification is without, ironically, basis or grounding in such (it may be the case that ontological instantiation within my neo-Fichteanism suffers from the same issue).
McGrew argues, “When one is actually grasping the corresponding conditional of modus ponens or the law of excluded middle, as understood classically, one can see clearly and distinctly, by Lockean intuition, that these are and must be true and that one is justified in believing them” (Internalism and Epistemology, p. 137). If we can apply this to the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and sufficient reason as well as have the modus ponens and the law of excluded middle then we will have solved the logocentric predicament through Lockean intuition. It seems the case that we can apply McGrew’s solution in that all we must do is grasp these three aforementioned laws. But, this begs the question of why does Lockean intuition justifies these laws? And it further makes us question the existence of the subject and specifically a subject that has the perceptual faculties for such an act, and we suppose a praxeology (a theory of action), a theory of action, therefore too. But, again, if Lockean intuition does actually work and its metaphysical or rather more specifically ontological and onitcal presuppositions are justified, then we will be able to move on from the logocentric predicament to the problem of alternatives and establish the normativity of logic through logic which is not at all circular in that we are not supposing it to be normative, rather we only use logic which is what we have come to prove. In regards to the problem of alternatives, the easiest or rather fastest way to our complete and total victory is to argue that the principle of non-contradiction is both descriptive (as we will have proven through Lockean intuition) as well as prescriptive, i.e., the law of non-contradiction will be both a descriptive principle that applies to all propositions, inference making, and argumentation and a prescriptive or rather normative/moral principle that applies to all propositions, inference making, and argumentation. So, we would be saying that not only would a contradiction make something incorrect in the sense of being false but it would also be incorrect in the sense of being bad. So, when the Nietzschean asks us, “Why not rather untruth?” We can say, “Because of logic!” Then, when the Nietzschean asks us, “Why not rather illogic?” We can say, “Because you ought to be logic, i.e., you ought to not put forward illogical propositions which is identical to saying that one ought not put forward contradictions!” The Nietzschean, at this point, could only ask, “Why should, i.e., why ought I do what I should, i.e., what I ought to do?” And we can then show how the Nietzschean has failed, for the statement “You ought to do what you ought to do” is an analytic statement with “what” serving as a quasi-copula. And obviously, analytic statements are justified and true through apprehension of them through Lockean intuition. This is the outline. There are three steps: 1. Show how Lockean intuition solves the logocentric predicament 2. Go over the presuppositions of Lockean intuition and demonstrate their truth or something like that 3. Prove that the law of non-contradiction is also a moral law. If we can take the first two of these steps, then philosophy will have a somewhat stable foundation (hence our [meta-]foundationalism), but if we can talk all three then philosophy will have a completely stable foundation.
We will do this all in another essay!
- Theists will agree with us about direct acquaintance and non-inferenital justification in that they believe they have divine revelation. But, we could argue (this follows from what Erik and I talked about over the phone) that all entity’s that have direct acquaintance with something has understanding of it, but they are only justified in believing in it if they use a logical connective. For example, if I say I understand that God has revealed himself to me, then we could just chill with that, but in doing so we would only have a tautology, and nothing more. Therefore, one must say, I have direct acquaintance with the fact that God has revealed himself to me, therefore I know God exists. The non-inferential justification of inference making and the laws of logic is contained in the direct acquaintance with and thus understanding of what the logical connective “therefore” does (not what it is supposed to do; people will argue that the goal of “therefore” is to be the expression of inference making but this is a strawman that is only put forward with the intent to obfuscate the debate), and what it is does is express an inference being made. [elaborate on this] — — ultimately, what is demonstrated is that to move beyond tautology one must employ the laws of logic, therefore meaning the laws of logic are the basis of all synthetic knowledge (as analytic statements are what we are directly acquainted with) — — knowledge of the existence of God is synthetic, therefore we can deny the existence of God through logical critique, or, on the other hand, prove the existence of God through logical deduction.
- Respond to this: https://pushingtheantithesis.blogspot.com/2021/06/against-autonomy-response-to-david.html
- The objection this article makes that argues that direct acquitance is an action therefore implying time obviously supposes a theory of action, an idea of moving from state or another. Furthermore, the objection that David supposes the uniformity of perceptual experiences refers to there being different states of affairs (hence the possibility of the destruction of uniformity arises), but again does this not suppose temporality, or, rather, that time is always instantiated outside the mind — — it seems that if we can use post facto explanation in regards to a idealist theory of time, we can solve this issue
- He then argues that “perceptions without prior concepts are unintelligible” and David therefore supposes a certain structure of the mind (such as Kant and Rand do) and therefore theory of the mind.
- He also says that David supposes his own existence (this is the most pressing presupposition we have to address, maybe use the Hegelian subject self-causation thing)
- Respond to the egocentric predicament (internalism may contain a preemptive response)
- Any justification of logic is going to have to be non-inferential
- Let’s note that a solution to the logocentric predicament (and getting past this whole problem of deduction) will save rationalist philosophy completely (assuming we don’t appeal to experience for our solution, but as we have gone over in the past, any attempt that appeals to experience will not be able to solve it)
- It seems that a combination of internalism, foundationalism, theories of non-inferential justification, and rationalism will all be employed in order to solve the logocentric predicament
- The possible parody arguments coming out of our internalist solution to the logocentric predicament can be addressed through logic without circularity being the case, as parody arguments aren’t giving actual objections to the framework being proposed, rather parody arguments are trying to test the faith of the proposer in their proposed framework (do note that since we are without faith but rather reason in our belief and knowing, then we will not be susceptible to such arguments)
- Internalism as a refutation to Bataille’s theory of nonknowledge? (The final refutation of Bataille — -I’ve come full circle!)
- Don’t fall into this dogma of “I am reasonably justified in believing in x” because that would beg the question of reason’s validity, which is a whole mess that doesn’t need to be entered into
- Are action-based solutions actually solutions when compared to theory-based solutions; Fichte, for example, gives an action-based solution the issue of proving the principles of identity and non-contradiction; for more on the idea of action-based solutions, see A Priori Skepticism, Conventionalism and Contextualism by Sherif Mohamed Gamal Salem