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Towards Scientific Metaphysics, Volume 1

In the Circle of the Scientific Metaphysics of Zygmunt Zawirski. Development and Comments on Zawirski’s Concepts and their Philosophical Context


Krzysztof Śleziński

The book presents results from research conducted by Zygmunt Zawirski on the theory of knowledge, quantum mechanics, logic, ontology and metaphysics.

The works undertaken in the field of logic, methodology and philosophy of science, and in particular the philosophy of nature and natural science testify to a solid preparation for the fundamental task of developing contemporary scientific philosophy. The emerging mathematical natural science did not have those possibilities which emerged in the 20th Century and which Zygmunt Zawirski (1882-1948) used. In the development of scientific metaphysics, he took into account both the achievements of modern logic, mathematics and physics. Zawirski builds scientific metaphysics by referring to empiricism, broadly understood experience. Modern metaphysics should meet high standards of precision and uniqueness, which is why Zawirski attempts to apply the axiomatic method to both the analysis of the theory of physics and the scientific metaphysics.

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Part Three: Selected works of Zygmunt Zawirski


1 The significance of many-valued logic for epistemology and its connection with the probability calculus221

Many-valued logic is the outcome of the research work done by the Polish philosopher Jan Łukasiewicz and the American Emil Post, who independently and almost simultaneously (the first in 1920–1922, the second in 1921) made this bold generalization of bivalent logic. Neither of them, however, defined the relation of this new logic to the probability calculus, and therefore its meaning for cognition was somewhat unclear. It was only the German logician Hans Reichenbach who attempted to solve the problem of probability in connection with the logic in which the “true-false” disjunction is replaced by a continuous scale of new logical values. However, the way in which Łukasiewicz, Post and Reichenbach understand this new logic is not the same, and therefore we need to learn more about these differences before considering the meaning of the new logic for human cognition.

In 1920, Łukasiewicz first developed a three-valued logic222 in which the third logical value, called the possibility, is so understood that its ←119 | 120→denial gives again the possibility. Logical values, false, possibility and truth, are most often marked with the symbols 0, ½ and 1. The implication (i.e. the combination of two sentences with the conjunction: if, then) is defined for the new logical value in such a way that it assumes a value of 1 when the values of both the predecessor and the successor are equal to...

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