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Do you know all these people who bitch about “don’t be too Cartesian”? They think “Logics” is some kind of beast, some evil force that has absolute and unshakable disrespect for everything they feel. Feyerabend (as always) knows where that comes from. Turns out in Greece Logics only meant “how to speak” and they would learn it pretty much like in Brasil we do learn Portuguese. For them “this is illogic” didn’t mean “you are wrong by the powers of reason”, it just meant “i can’t even understand what you say”. The weird thing was when some guys (who actually did this public speaking thing as a kind of show) started using things that they took from Logics to seemingly prove opinion-independent facts.

The actual argument is something like that:

“If there is Change, than either change to equal or to not equal. If to equal, than no change. But if to not-equal, than different creates equal, which is impossible. So Change is impossible.”

There is a problem in this argument. The problem is not in the discourse itself, which is to say, not in Logics. The problem is in the meta-argument. That is, the choice (“either to equal or to not equal”) is artificial and is not an experience, it is not something anyone actually lived through. Thus the argument creates an illusion of certainty. And it was over-hyped in old Greece.

And by over-hyped i mean BBB level, it was a kind of blockbuster. Everyone wanted to discuss it. So it became a pain in the ass. And other issues in Greek culture became “coloured” by this dispute.

Of course, all of this happened a long time ago, and no one really knows how things turned out to be. This is why some people can get away with, for example, assuming Logics is opposed to “feelings”, an idea that would be, at best, a derogatory accusation against the original argument, but an empty accusation, since no one actually tried to suppress emotions with it at all.

Because of this historical particularity, a lot of mud (post-modern crap) got thrown at this particular fact: Practising language can make us better at thinking. It is not that only logical facts are true (you know), it’s just that logics helps. It is a tool. A tool like many others, but a surprisingly useful one.


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