Toward a Presuppositionless Philosophy

Where to start?

How could one say, through language, language’s justification, which is to say, the supposition that language is itself apt for asserting that things are justified, true, logical, etc., is one that itself must be justified, and because it cannot do such a thing in a non-circular and infinitely regressive manner, as in its very employment, language supposes that it is apt for asserting its own justification. But, there are two suppositions in this latter statement which goes to the very beginning of all theoretical activity (especially, theoretical inquiry itself): 1. propositions need to be justified and 2. logic and reason’s validity. It supposes the former by positing that language’s inherent claim to it having an apt ability for asserting justification requires justification. So, we must answer why propositions must be justified. It supposes the latter because the argument itself points out language’s unjustified status through inference, and thus by way of reasoning, and also, therefore, through logic (and it is also through logic because logical deduction is the fundamental operation of the argument). But, that the argument supposes that propositions must be justified is again a logical deduction. So, then, the argument supposes that logical deduction is justified, valid, true, logical, etc., etc. But, does this not suppose that logical deduction must be any of those things? I would say, we must ask “Why must logical deduction be any of those things? For what purpose?” Ultimately, this then supposes that truth holds primacy over untruth, logic over illogic, justified over unjustified, and so on. But, again, this is a logical deduction arrived through reason and deduction. Therefore, the predicament that we are in is one of logic and reason, and that our predicament is one of reason is only the case because our predicament is one of logic. Therefore, the logocentric predicament, the predicament of having to justify logic through logic, comes into a clear view.

Now, could one not say that “sfjklsad asdfolnaksdf sadflkadfkj” holds the justification for logic, language, etc., because logic’s status as logical (i.e., non-circular and not infinitely regressive) does not have to come through logical means, for to suppose it must come through logical means is to suppose logic once more? To this, I’d say that if illogic is what we operate under, if I can say anything and anything can follow from it, or that I could derive conclusion seven from premise fifty-six if we are to speak about this in terms of syllogisms, then we have arrived at a new place. Now, of course, this is itself a logical conclusion, but if logic does not need to be logical as illogic is our rule, then the logocentric predicament does not matter. Where do we go from here then? That illogic is now that with theoretical primacy may or may not be the case — outside of logic, and thus logical binaries, whatever is now governing all propositions and their statuses is not identifiable precisely because identity is of logic.

Now, non-logical thinking can simply be expressed as “Everything follows from everything.” That any set of premises can lead to any set of conclusions is the fundamental proposition of non-logical thinking which we have just identified. At the highest of skepticism, the skeptic uses logic to destroy itself, and then propel itself to a new dimension in which the skeptic becomes something completely other to what is logically possible. Now, some argue that the skeptic loses any coherence in a debate with that person who holds logic as that which has primacy. This in no way refutes what the skeptic is putting forward. It is just an arbitrary appeal to pragmatism, coherence, etc. The thing that directly goes against non-logical pluralism, as I will call it, is the law of Minimal Non-Contradiction, which is not the same as the Law of Non-Contradiction. The Law of Non-Contradiction puts forward that there are no statements that are both true and false. The law of Minimal Non-Contradiction puts forward that there is at least one statement that is not both true and false. If the law of Minimal Non-Contradiction is the case then non-logical pluralism is not. Therefore, only a single proposition that is not both true and false must be proven for the law of Minimal Non-Contradiction to be the case. I argue that this single proposition is found in Robert Hanna’s notion of the theoretical primitive whose justificatory conditions are that it is itself — analyticity pokes its sweet face out here — which is to say the justificatory conditions of the theoretical primitive is that it is presupposed by everything. One may say I am supposing analyticity, but if analyticity supposes the theoretical primitive then this is not the case. In this sense, what I am describing is all post hoc. Now, by post hoc, I am not talking about the informal fallacy, rather, I mean simply that what we are describing is taking place after the theoretical primitive is presupposed. Analyticity is not the conditions for the presupposition of the theoretical primitive, but rather something extricated post hoc from the presupposition of the theoretical primitive. So, I cannot, here, be said to be supposing the Law of Identity. The Law of Identity is post hoc derived from the presupposition of the theoretical primitive. The presupposition of the theoretical primitive has taken place because theoretical inquiry is currently taking place. Now, one may argue that this supposes that theoretical inquiry is taking place and that we need to prove that there is something rather than nothing. So, in order to not fall into the error of presupposing something (other than the theoretical primitive), let me clarify: if the presupposition of the theoretical primitive has taken place then it is the case. Whether or not it is something, nothing, or a “thing” beyond that does not matter. If the theoretical primitive is presupposed, then it is the case. Now, because it is the nature of the theoretical primitive to be presupposed, could we not just say it has been presupposed? Well, yes it has been presupposed, but what we are supposing is not just the theoretical primitive, but specifically what the theoretical primitive is. By this I mean, the justificatory conditions of the theoretical primitive are always the case for even non-logical pluralism presupposes the theoretical primitive, but we have yet to go over what the theoretical primitive is, e.g., pure general logic as I have argued in the past. We have justified the theoretical primitive by presupposing it and its justification, but we have not explained the theoretical primitive. The question then becomes “What is the theoretical primitive?” Before we address this question, I will say that non-logical pluralism could say “sdafis adads jdjadi” and then conclude that it does not presuppose the theoretical primitive, but a justified denial of the theoretical primitive would only then be the theoretical primitive in that if, for example, pure general logic is the theoretical primitive but then the non-logical pluralist says “sdafis adads jdjadi” then it has been revealed that pure general logic was never the theoretical primitive, for “sdafis adads jdjadi” did not presuppose pure general logic. One may argue that what I have just said does not properly address the latter proposition of the non-logical pluralist, and they are quite right. Let’s then, for a moment, return to contradiction. Contradiction is precisely what the non-logical pluralist system is. Non-contradiction is both accepted and denied by the system of non-logical pluralism. One could argue, though, that the system of non-logical pluralism defeats itself, because it is not limited, and anything (any set of conclusions) follows from anything (any set of premises). Could one not argue that it contains the argument that refutes it in that there are no restrictions on what can be concluded. I am not talking about that non-logical inference which concludes “Non-logical pluralism is wrong” as that would be welcomed by non-logical pluralism. Rather, I am talking about that non-logical inference which concludes the actual defeater for non-logical pluralism. Now, because non-logical pluralism can have anything concluded, it therefore concludes everything possible and impossible (and even those conclusions beyond these latter two categories) because it is not limited. Could we not then say that we know a priori that non-logical pluralism refutes itself not in the sense of contradicting itself, but in the sense that it has the capacity to infer that conclusion which is its defeater? Can we not say that this capacity to infer that conclusion which is its defeater is not just a capacity but its actually concluded in that we can say a priori that we do not have know what the defeater is but just that it can be done and therefore is done because anything can be inferred from anything? Can we not say that this defeating inference is inferred? The non-logical pluralist is in a predicament, then, because its affirmation or rejection of the defeator does not defeat the defeater as the defeater has already defeated them before they can either affirm or reject it. The non-logical pluralist could object that this is a logical conclusion, but again, we can appeal to non-logical inferential plurality: the argument which is the defeater for your argument is possible to be extricated from your system and there is the case a priori. To this, the non-logical pluralist could say that they can therefore also infer the defeater for the defeater. This will lead to a process of infinite regression of defeater defeating defeater. The necessarily infinite nature of non-logical pluralism only attests to the fact that it has no limits. But, again, this lack of limits is what cause non-logical pluralism to not be tenable in that it therefore contains no contradictions and therefore it doesn’t contain itself either, for it no limits to contain things. This latter argument seems much weaker than the former argument against non-logical pluralism. Must we find a third argument? It seems so… Ultimately, the only extremely strong proposition we can make against non-logical pluralism is the proposition that the logocentric predicament isn’t a problem for logic but its proof. This, again, necessitates the explanation of the theoretical primitive. But, also, I feel that there are other presuppostions, I feel that we can roll this whole thing back another layer.

We will see.


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Evan Jack

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish. - Georges Bataille