Lecture 34

A second illustration may serve to bring into still sharper focus the relation of scientific knowledge to naive experience. Imagine a modern coffee shop so enclosed within a glass wall that we who are without can see and hear what is going on inside without being detected. Inside, life is going on as is usual in such a coffee shop. But let us suppose that we have lined up around the outside of the glass wall a group of scientists (scientific in the sense of Wissenschaft) intent on observing the life within. Let us say that among them are a physicist, a biologist, a logician, a linguist, a student of social life, an economist and a student of aesthetics. All these scientists observe the same life-situations: some people inside are standing at the counter ordering; others are sitting at tables alone or in groups, the latter engaged in quiet or animated conversation.

Each of these scientists observing is first of all a man and each experiences happenings in their integral wholeness. There are such things as: persons, things, acts, events, relations, institutions which we experience whole, or integrally as an integer, a whole. Each of these wholes have a complex internal function which has to be implicitly experienced. They have a whole structure, an undifferentiated whole, that we experience them in everyday life differentiation is embedded in it. The psychical is diferent from the logical and so on, it is grounded in an internal structure. Implicitly seen in the undifferentiated whole. It is a highly complex internal structure – the physical can be set apart from organic etc, experienced as distinct aspects of the whole.

But out of this whole situation, which each scientist experiences, the physicist, for example, abstracts only those ‘figures’ that tell something about mass, motion, force, etc., such as the work involved in lifting a cup of coffee from the tabletop to the mouth against the pull of gravity. Other than figures of this kind he utterly ignores, or brackets, as physicist, he ‘abstracts’ the physical. At the same time that our physicist is doing this the biologist watches for such things as the return of ‘life’ to the exhausted body, digestion, etc, he looks for the ‘biotic’. He ignores the physical and other ‘figures’ the other scientists are raptly observing.

What is the difference between ‘biotic’ and biological’? Biological has logos in it and in these combinations it means theory about the biotic. It is part of the modern mind that we have no access to the real world and so biotic and biological become identical. ‘Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’, according to evolutionary theory the development of the higher out of the lower is repeated in the genesis of individuals. At certain stages we looked like a fish and bird and so on, our foetal development recapitulates the evolutionary notion of the development of the phylum, it was consider a basic principle of biology at one time. This is a biological statement and theaken to be a biological fact. But because some men have accepted this as the principle asis it doesn’t mena that it is the structure of living beings. That is why important to distinguish biological (theory) from biotic (reality). If don’t distinguish, look at the confusion.

For example, photosynthesis is biotic, but theories about it are biological; same as sociological and social, psychological and psychical, ontological and ontic. Most believe we can’t know the structure of reality, that is why most now talk about models. If it works we go along with it, if it doesn’t we come up with another model – the structure of reality is unknowable! Yet, there is a law structure that is knowable and revelatory. Our ontology will be incomplete – important that we are on the right track.

Back to the coffee shop. The biologists is looking for the vital functions. Funtions of another sort than the physical functions or ‘figures’. Heart beat, pulse and so on.

The logician listens for logical ‘figures’ of implication in the often enthymemic reasoning of everyday life.

An enthymeme is an interesting word. The science of logic, Aristotle is regarded as the father of lodic theorising, to systematically develop logical theory. Logic theory reduced to the theory of the syllogism. The structure of the syllogism is present in all human reasoning, one lawful structure. What is syllogistic structure?

All men are mortals
Socrates is a man
Socrates is mortal

This is the ideal form of a syllogism. Three sentences, or propositions. One rule is that there must be three and only three propositions. Three terms: man, mortal, Socrates. The premises, or grounds, are the first two propositions for the conclusion. The major premise, the minor premise, conclusion. If these two are true I can go further and say this. It is co-terminus.

The middle term: ‘men’, it occurs in the two premises. Mortal and Socrates only occur once.

All Y is Z
All X is Y
All X is Z

Aristotle reduced all human reasoning to this.
The logicism is looking for enthymenic, an enthymene comes form two Greek words, in and heart, the inner man. In everyday life we don’t say all three terms of a syllogism. Eg ‘I wouldn’t associate with those people down the street, they are communists’. This is part of a syllogism:

All communists are persons not be be associated with (major premise)
The people down the street are communists (minor premise)
The people down the street are not to be associated with (conclusion)

The major premise is presupposed. It was not expresses, an enthymene is what is a really a syllogostic argument, where one of the three statements has not been expressed. It could be the major or minor premise that has not been expressed (first order and second order, respectively). if the conclusion is not expressed it is an enthymene of the third order.

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