Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Free Radical Online - Perigo vs. Nola

Round Two: Perigo Responds

In essence, Dr Nola is refining his original statement, "Logic has nothing to do with reality," to mean: "The validity of the rules of logic has nothing to do with reality," as though there were a difference; as though what logic is is somehow divorced from its methodology. But the nature & methods of logic are part of a unity, not separate, autonomous & even contradictory elements of a duality. Logic, according to Objectivism (following Aristotle), is the art of non-contradictory identification based on the facts of reality. (Yes, I know that Dr Nola will protest that that is simply the definition we have arbitrarily chosen to give it for convenience's sake — I'm ready for that!) Its rules are the procedural methods that permit such non-contradictory identification; they enable that which is identified to be integrated into conclusions that also correspond to reality. Thus they do not, for example, permit true conclusions to be derived "validly" from false premises, as Dr Nola claims. One can play silly games with idiotic premises that do not conform to reality & engineer conclusions that do, to be sure (see Post-Script), but that is mere sophistry; it is not a valid, logical route to those conclusions, & only a schizophrenic or a subjectivist philosophy professor would justify his conclusions by means of such premises.

Logic, in the Objectivist view, does not permit false premises to begin with! It presupposes the accurate identification of facts, which it will then proceed to integrate. (Silly games can be modelled on this procedure only after its reality-based debut.) Its rules indeed allow a false conclusion to be derived from a false premise, but that only underscores the falseness of the premise. Dr Nola is positing a "valid" logic devoid of empirical content, i.e. devoid of facts. Logic is as validly applicable, according to him, to the non-existent ("logical principles apply over an infinite number of possible worlds") as it is to the real world. He thus perpetuates the nonsense known technically as the analytic/synthetic dichotomy which is the very source of the subjectivism of which I accused him — justly, as is now more clear than ever.

But leave it to Robert himself: "As for reality, many things can be meant by this. So give it what meaning you like."

I rest my case.

Lindsay Perigo

PS - Logic according to subjectivist philosophy professors:

* Robert Nola is a dog (false premise #1);

* All dogs are subjectivist philosophy professors (false premise #2 — and very unfair to dogs); therefore:

* Robert Nola is a subjectivist philosophy professor (true conclusion).

This is not logic at all, but an inversion of logical procedures. In order to come up with a silly syllogism like the above, one has first to state a conclusion that one already knows to be true from true premises, then dream up alternative idiotic premises that would have to result in the same conclusion!

PPS - Is the following, from Dr Nola's opening paragraph, a grammatical slip or a philosophical confession: "...despite knowing nothing of my views on the matter, I am ... " ??!!

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