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Logic and Its Philosophy

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Jan Woleński

This collection of essays examines logic and its philosophy. The author investigates the nature of logic not only by describing its properties but also by showing philosophical applications of logical concepts and structures. He evaluates what logic is and analyzes among other aspects the relations of logic and language, the status of identity, bivalence, proof, truth, constructivism, and metamathematics. With examples concerning the application of logic to philosophy, he also covers semantic loops, the epistemic discourse, the normative discourse, paradoxes, properties of truth, truth-making as well as theology, being and logical determinism. The author concludes with a philosophical reflection on nothingness and its modelling.

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IX. Ens et Verum Convertuntur (Are Being and Truth Convertible)? A Contemporary Perspective

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IXEns et Verum Convertuntur (Are Being and Truth Convertible)? A Contemporary Perspective

The theory of transcendentals was developed by the Schoolmen in the Middle Ages and constituted the central part of scholastic ontology, particularly of Thomas Aquinas.5 According to this theory, transcendentals are the most general concepts. The list of transcendentals varied from author to author, but ens (being), verum (truth) and bonum (goodness) were always included. Unum (one), res (thing) and pulchrum (beauty) were also posited as transcendentals. The concept of being plays a special role among transcendentals, because other concepts are compared to it.6 The basic dependence holding for transcendentals is captured by

   (*) If T and T’ are transcendentals, both are mutually convertible.

Let me note that Duns Scotus proposed a different theory of transcendental concepts (I use the expressions ‘transcendentals’ and ‘transcendental concepts’ interchangeably). He distinguished also the so-called disjunctive transcendentals, such as necessity, possibility and contingency, which do not satisfy (*). Clearly, since being can be either necessary or contingent (merely possible), the concepts of necessity and possibility are not the most general ones.

The scholastic theory of transcendentals is essentially rooted in Aristotle’s ontology. The Stagirite drew a distinction between primary and secondary substances, that is (in Latin terminology), entia per se and entia in alio. These can be divided into ten distinct categories. Disregarding various details related to the content of the Aristotelian ontological doctrine, concerning form and matter or matter and energy, individual substances are the...

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