Clashing Symbols by Peter Kreeft

Feature

Clashing Symbols

The Loss of Aristotelian Logic & the Social, Moral & Sexual Consequences
by Peter Kreeft

When I started teaching logic, in 1962, most of the textbooks taught traditional Aristotelian logic rather than the (then still fairly new) "symbolic logic," also called "mathematical logic" or "propositional calculus." Forty years later, there are only two full-length texts of traditional Aristotelian logic in print. One of them is my own recently published logic textbook, Socratic Logic (St. Augustine's Press), from which much of the middle part of this article is taken. All the other logic texts, over 500 of them, teach symbolic logic, or else informal logic (rhetoric).

By the 1970s, most of the English-speaking philosophical establishment had cast in its lot with "analytic philosophy" and the symbolic logic that was its methodological complement. I still vividly remember the reaction of outrage, fear, and loathing that came from that establishment when Henry Veatch published his attack on the new logic (The Two Logics). The book was a bit verbose, bombastic, and intemperate, but it possessed the three most important (and most rare) qualities any book of philosophy should have: it was interesting, it was rational, and it was right. That's why the establishment "went postal." People will forgive you for being wrong, but they will never forgive you for being right.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:



more on philosophy from the online archives

32.3—May/June 2019

Theodicies & Messy Desks

on the Infinite Problem of Goods & Evil by Hugh Hunter

29.5—Sept/Oct 2016

The True Atheist Myth

on Past & Present Atheism & the Invention of Happiness by Jordan Bissell

21.6—July/August 2008

The European Disunion

Benedict XVI on the Crisis of Faith & Reason by Samuel Gregg

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

23.1—January/February 2010

The Audacity of the State

It’s Bent on Bringing Down the House on the Family & the Church by Douglas Farrow

34.1—January/February 2021

Jeremiah Revisited

Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher by Hans Boersma

25.4—July/August 2012

All the Lonely People

The Corrosive & Far-Reaching Fallout of the Sexual Revolution by Anthony Esolen

00