oh, just shut up about Aristotle already

May 15th, 2010 § 0 comments

Final post on the Scholastics — and this one will be short, because doing it properly would require enough research to lose myself in a library for a week. I’m very big on the defensibility of reasoning by analogy, in partial (prob. exaggerated, tbh) opposition to a Popperian understanding of science by development of hypotheses in a vacuum. The scholastic idea of analogy is a very limited and specific one, intertwined with the theology of man created in the image of god, and they’re sceptical of metaphor in general.

Again there’s an ancient Indian parallel to be drawn here, and again I’m too wooly-minded to make the case. But here is an article giving the basics of Nyaya ogic, and the classic example is easy enough to follow:


There is fire on a hill (called Pratijna, required to be proved)
Because there is smoke there (called Hetu, reason)
Wherever there is fire, there is smoke (called Udaharana, i.e. example)
There is smoke on the hill (called Upanaya, reaffirmation)
Therefore there is fire on the hill (called Nigamana, conclusion)

In brief: analogy good, mmkay?
And so to bed

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