THE GENERAL THEORY OF INFERENCE AND TERMS
1. THE RULES OF LOGIC
Logic deals with terms and statements, in other words, with certain phenomena of language. Examples of terms: 'table', 'cow', 'atom', 'Tambov', 'negatively charged particle', 'the fact that all even numbers can be divided by two without a remainder', 'moving with a velocity of 10km/hr', etc. Examples of statements: "The electron is charged negatively", "All even numbers can be divided by two without a remainder", "If an electric current is passed through a conductor, a magnetic field is produced around it", etc. By means of special linguistic means (term-producing and statementproducing operators) one can form from one group of terms and statements, new terms and statements. These special means are such words as 'and', 'or', 'not', 'all', 'some', 'if, then', 'which', etc. A study of terms and statements at the same time represents a study of these operators, exactly in the same way as the description of the properties of the latter represents the description of the properties of those terms and statements that contain them. Logic formulates certain rules for manipulating terms and statements, rather than just discovering them in ready-made form in existing linguistic practice. In the linguistic practice of humans, the above rules appear on ah elemental level with all of the associated consequences: vagueness and lack of clarity, variability depending on the specific context, combined with instability, a strong association with the concrete material, their being fragmentary, and so on. Logic takes elemental human habits into consideration with respect to manipulating terms and statements, and continues this inventive activity of mankind. But this continuation is at a professional level, with the necessary rigour and system. Moreover, in many cases of elemental linguistic practice the above rules do not develop in general, and logic has to introduce them literally for the first time. And scientific development does not change this situation in principle. By analogy with the fact that the development of science does not automatically mean the developmen of one or another section of mathematics, it does not automatically produce the corresponding rules of logic. The scientific evolution can only provide a stimulus for the development of logic, and to some extent determine its circle of problems. But the logical rules themselves should be formulated by experts in logic, according to the laws of this profession. An opinion to the effect that logical science tells people about facts that are already known to them in their linguistic and cognitive practice is a prejudice. Logic establishes such rules for terms and statements, which, according to the very method of their formulation, are independent of the specific sphere of linguistic usage, of the particular properties of one or another language as well as of those beings and devices that operate with language. The only difference that is possible here is that certain rules of logic are used in one case and not in others; that sometimes one kind of logical rule is used, and in other situations, a different one, etc. But this difference is as common and trivial as is the difference in the usage of a tablespoon or a synchrotron in other spheres of human activity. There exists a widely spread opinion that logic can be applied as a special research apparatus to the very object field studied by one or another science (to relay-contact networks, to systems of brain cells, etc.) This opinion is also a prejudice. The sphere of application of logic is language and only language. Besides, one can speak of the application of logic here only in a certain metaphorical sense. The study of logic may affect the behavior of humans in certain linguistic situations. Logic can participate in the process of improvement of language. The effect of logic on the existence of mankind as a rule remains unnoticeable for the outside observer and has nothing to do with those sensational 'applications of logic' that were so much talked about during the last decades.
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