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The Logic of Cultures

Three Structures of Philosophical Thought


Paul Taborsky

This book proposes to identify three long-term structures in causal reasoning – in particular, in terms of the relationship between cause and identity – that appear to be of value in categorizing and organizing various trends in philosophical thought.
Such conceptual schemes involve a host of philosophical dilemmas (such as the problem of relativism), which are examined in the first chapter. A number of naturalistic and transcendental approaches to this problem are also analysed.
In particular, the book attempts to construct a theoretical basis for Foucault’s tripartite classification of epistemological structures in European thought.
The final chapter attempts to buttress the above schema by extending the analysis from cause and identity to growth, change, and stability, critiquing certain ideas of Foucault and Heidegger, as well as examining the contemporary thought of process philosophy and complexity theory.


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2. Paradigms and Causal Structure 55


55 2. Paradigms and Causal Structure The Symbolic System Figure 1: The Symbolic System The Structure of Causality in the Symbolic Paradigm Let us imagine a triangle. At its apex is something that we can label as a cause; at the left foot is something we will call an antecedent; on the right, a consequent. We can image that time flows from left to right along the base, and that the apex is placed or conceived to be at a higher level of being than the two lower vertices. The terms ‘antecedent’ and ‘consequent’ are only meant to sug- gest succession in time, (under a certain Cause, i.e. the organizing node at the apex of the triangle), and so also in a causal relation, and are not meant to imply any logical relations. The antecedent precedes Cause Antecedent (temporal cause) Consequent (temporal effect) Direction of time 56 the consequent in time. As it also does within a certain framework, the framework imposed by the Cause at the apex, there is also instantiated a certain relationship of causality. Thus the antecedent is also called the temporal cause, and the consequent the temporal effect. We can discern two relations of priority here. On the one hand, the consequent follows the antecedent in time. On the other hand, the Cause precedes the antecedent and consequent in the hierarchy of be- ing; it occupies a higher level, and is in causal relation with the two lower vertices. That is, to avoid the risk of...

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