Pure Logic

Logic ahead of its time?

Pure Logic can not always be used because of its denial by the masses. The dangers of introducing something which could economically or politically devastate a country is often a barrier. While the conclusion makes complete sense, its introduction as an invention or logical theory may in some instances be rejected because of bias. Hence we have in the past seen men who ideas were considered radical, yet with a proper applications of logic were perfectly workable. One just has to look at a man called CHARLES BABBAGE and discover logic applied in the wrong time period can a cause for dismissal or mockery of ones idea. Charles was the inventor of the modern day computer.”… Born December 26, 1791 in Teignmouth, Devonshire UK, Died 1871, London; Known to some as the “Father of Computing” for his contributions to the basic design of the computer through his Analytical machine…”(1) One of Charges Babbage’s favorite writers was fellow philosopher William Whewell. He is noted for being the inventor of the word “Scientist” .

William Whewell and John Stuart Mill often debated on the substance of what was logical. “…Whewell claimed to be seeking a “middle way” between pure rationalism and ultra-empiricism. Whewell believed that gaining knowledge requires attention to both ideal and empirical elements, to ideas as well as sensations. These ideas, which he called “Fundamental Ideas,” are “supplied by the mind itself” – they are not (as Mill and Herschel protested) merely received from our observations of the world. Whewell explained that the Fundamental Ideas are “not a consequence of experience, but a result of the particular constitution and activity of the mind, which is independent of all experience in its origin, though constantly combined with experience in its exercise”(2)

The fundamental idea to John Stuart Mill left undefined ideas on the rubbish heap of history. “…Whatever is known to us by consciousness, is known beyond possibility of question. What one sees or feels, whether bodily or mentally, one cannot but be sure that one sees or feels. No science is required for the purpose of establishing such truths; no rules of art can render our knowledge of them more certain than it is in itself. There is no logic for this portion of our knowledge…” (3) So one can argue that logic itself can be misplaced if given before its time as in the case of CHARLES BABBAGE, or perceived as illogical if one group of philosophers deny its truth;, as in the cases of Empirical thought versus metaphysical thoughts.

(1)< http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Babbage.html>

(2)< http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whewell/>

(3)< http://www.la.utexas.edu/research/poltheory/mill/sol/sol.int.html#intp03>