William O 94 Posted January 12, 2019 Report Share Posted January 12, 2019 (edited) I seem to recall that Rand rejected modern formal logic in favor of Aristotelian logic, which is the system of logic that you might find explained in Aristotle's Organon or H. W. B. Joseph's An Introduction to Logic. However, I am having trouble finding specific sources that confirm this memory, and I don't know what Rand's reasons would have been for taking this position. So, did Ayn Rand reject modern formal logic in favor of Aristotle's logic? If so, why? Edited January 12, 2019 by William O I accidentally left out a word. Quote Link to post Share on other sites
Boydstun 218 Posted January 12, 2019 Report Share Posted January 12, 2019 William, I link below a good book of modern formal logic. (The author has another book on mathematical logic, which is beyond this much logic.) I learned a lot from it, and he has some neat historical notes at the ends of chapters. This logic is not a rejection of Aristotelian logic (leaving aside A’s modal logic, which is a further area, beyond what we’d think of as standard formal logic, and beyond the scope of this textbook), certainly not whole cloth, though it assimilates advances in deductive logic attained in the late 19^{th} and early 20^{th} century. I’m not aware of anything Rand wrote decrying modern formal logic itself. She probably never took up mastery of the contents of the textbook I link here. I’d think she would have taken issue, however, with common philosophies of logic with then-current views on the ways in which logic is situated with our understanding of the world. I’m thinking of the various views on logic expressed by Dewey or Nagel or Wittgenstein (in his later phase). When I look into the Index of The Letters of Ayn Rand, I find no entry for logic, only for basis of logic. The basis of logic in her philosophy (and I concur in this view) and setting the nature and use of logic in serious sensitivity to that basis was a part of Nathaniel Branden’s lectures in those days The Basic Principles of Objectivism and later in Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Beyond those, I incline to take issue, springing from Rand’s view of the nature of logic, with a couple of ways in which inference is treated in standard modern logic texts. But this is no wholesale rejection of formal modern logic, the contested friction points are actually old, and there are contemporary experts on both sides. https://books.google.com/books/about/Methods_of_Logic.html?id=liHivlUYWcUC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false William O 1 Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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