The problem of truth. Aristotle, Kant

The purpose of this work is to study one of the fundamental problems in philosophy, reflected in the work of almost any philosopher. The problem of the truth of knowledge, the criteria of truth has long been interested in prominent minds.

Without a solution to the problem for itself, not a single field of knowledge has managed and does not do now, be it a science based on axiomatics, once and for all, or on a continuously changing and refined basis. Views on this problem are constantly changing. New concepts of understanding and learning about the world were proposed and refined.

The paper attempts to review and compare the views of Aristotle and Kant as the most prominent representatives of the tree of the non-Greek and German classical schools. And then are excerpts from the works of Vl. Solovyov and a comparative analysis. One way or another, the world is known by man and is transformed depending on the depth and quality of the knowledge obtained. Here we are inevitably faced with the question: is our knowledge of the world true, corresponding to our conclusions from very limited experience? Let us try to look at man and humanity from the position of the possibility of transferring knowledge to each other, the ability of a person to explore the phenomenon and draw conclusions.

By the ability to transfer knowledge, we understand a certain set of elementary actions that express certain transmitting thoughts, interpretation of these elementary actions by the recipient, and creating sufficiently close thoughts and images with the transmitting subject, that is, communication of subjects is possible only in “human” actions, in terms of invented by man (limited by feelings). Interpretation of individual thoughts in a “universal” language (oral, written, and so on) leads to loss and inaccuracy of sensations. Thus, for understanding and understanding the world and its place in it, a person needs constant improvement, expansion and refinement of public terms – 4 (meaning not only scientific terms, but also art). So, initially the person can explore the world around, but only the “reflected”, interpreted in human consciousness, in human terms and concepts.

Therefore, to expand our knowledge of the world, it is necessary to expand, deepen and refine the terms and concepts used by man. The process of mental activity is learned through the same speculative process, and as a result carries a minimum of information about the person himself. Mankind has repeatedly attempted to research and systematize the emergence of new concepts, using only the “intuitive” abilities to comprehend the new. Expansion of concepts is possible only in the course of research into the process of their origin. The more clearly a person will see himself, the deeper will be the knowledge of the laws of thinking, the brighter and more diverse will the surrounding world seem.

Chapter 1. Aristotle 

The outstanding thinker of antiquity, Aristotle, is generally recognized as the “father of logic”. Summarizing the methods of knowledge of science and philosophy of 6-4 c. at. BC, classifying and describing them, Aristotle created the doctrine of forms of thinking comprehending truth, that is, logic. In the future, in the historical development, the logical doctrine of Aristotle became the source of numerous schools and directions; philosophers and scientists of different epochs sought to adapt it to their interests and tasks, to use it for various research purposes.

The word “logic”, and even more so the expression “formal logic” in Aristotle does not occur. In him we find such use of words as “logical seillologism”, “logical reasoning”, “logical problems”, but not the word “logic”. Aristotle first singled out and investigated the forms of logical thinking, transferring them to the study of special science, which we now call logic.

The first to study the research methods and make them the subject of philosophical reflection were Socrates and Plato. The logic and dialectics of Aristotle are the product of their critical processing and development. For both ancient Greek philosophers, the dialectic was understood as an organon of knowledge of things through their essence (“ideas” in Plato).

Dialectics, as Plato understood it, is the knowledge of things based on their ideas and the means of knowing the ideas themselves.

The highest idea, to which, according to Plato, all ideas were reduced, and accordingly all knowledge, is the idea of ​​”good.”

“A cognizable thing,” writes the philosopher, “can be cognized only because of good; it gives them being and essence, although the good itself is not the essence, it is beyond the essence, exceeding its value and strength.” In reality, this idea is “the cause of all that is right and beautiful,” and in the field of knowledge, the cause of “truth and mind.”

For knowledge to be true, according to Aristotle, it must not only be a concept of an object. In addition, the very subject of knowledge can be not transient, not changeable, not current being, but only being imperishable, being. Such cognition is possible, although individual objects, in which only the eternal essence exists, are always only transient, fluid objects. And such knowledge can only be knowledge of the “form.” This form of each object is eternal: it does not arise and does not perish. In Aristotle, truth is seen as the highest form of being. Man, comprehending the truth, approaches the perfect being.

But there are many difficulties on this path.

“It is difficult to investigate truth in one respect, it is easy in another. This is evident from the fact that no one is able to achieve it properly, but not everyone suffers complete failure, and everyone says something one by one, however, adds little or nothing to the truth , but when it all adds up, a noticeable amount is obtained.

… It is also true that philosophy is called knowledge of truth. In fact, the goal of speculative knowledge is truth, and the goal of knowledge relating to activity is the case: after all, people are active even when they consider things, what they are, and they do not examine things, but the thing in its relation to something even now . But we do not know the truth without knowing the reason. And of all things, this or that property has one due to which the same property is inherent in others; the most true is that for later is the reason for its truth. Therefore, the beginnings of everything that exists must be the most true: after all, they are not true at times, and the reason for their being is not something else, but on the contrary, they are the reason for the existence of everything else; so to what extent is every thing involved in being, in such a truth. ”

As for being as truth and non-being as false, in some cases, if they bind (connected in practice), there is true, but if there is no such binding, then it is false, and in other cases, if there is one, if it really exists. it is only in this way; if it does not exist in this way, and the truth here is to think this being, and there is no false here, as there is no error here, but only ignorance. ”

Thus, we see how the problem of truth was treated in ancient Greek philosophy. In particular, what is the sound of this problem acquired from Aristotle. It should be noted that the starting point for the study of truth, he has a position on the need to rely on the eternal being. The human mind is regarded as a tool for realizing the truth, in the search for which it is only necessary to rely on the formal laws of logic.

Chapter 2. Kant

“In the works of Kant of the critical period, problems of the theory of knowledge, ethics, and questions about expediency in nature were considered as interrelated and interdependent.

This, above all, relates to the formulation of epistemological problems that have found their completion, according to Kant’s concept, in aesthetics.

… In analyzing the process of cognition, Kant emphasized conceptual thinking (“thinking is knowledge through concepts”), indicating that, in addition to contemplation, there is only one way of knowing, namely knowledge through concepts, not intuitive, but discursive. In the Critique of Pure Mind, Kant answered the question about what truth is as follows: truth is possible only in the form of an object, that is, as the correspondence of reason (the very form of universality and necessity) and feeling (the empirical diversity of sensations forms of time and space).

Objectivity was understood as a rule the arrangement of sensations in space and in time, which encompasses the use of pure reason (categories) and with which subjective connections of perceptions become objective and universal. “(See [7], pp. 50-51) Kant he distinguished and separated contemplation and reason, assigning everyone a certain role in the cognitive process. However, he constantly emphasized their interconnection: “Without sensuality, no object would be given to us, and without reason no one could think. Thoughts without content are empty, contemplation without concepts are blind. Therefore, it is equally necessary to make your knowledge sensual (that is, when you connect an object to them in contemplation), and to comprehend your contemplation by reason, that is, to bring them under concepts. These two abilities cannot function as each other.

Reason cannot contemplate anything, and feelings cannot think anything. Only from their connection can knowledge arise. “(See [6], Vol. 3, p. 154-155) Kant argues that his logic is a continuation of the logical thought that existed before him.” The current logic, “Kant writes, comes from Aristotelian Analytics.

This philosopher can be considered the father of logic. He described it as an organon and divided it into analytics and dialectics. His interpretation is very scholastic and boils down to the development of the most common concepts underlying logic, which, however, has no use, except for the fact that this is where the notation of various actions of reason comes from, since it reduces almost everything to empty subtleties.

However, since the time of Aristotle, logic has not been much enriched in content, and this is impossible because of its nature.

It can improve in terms of accuracy, certainty and clarity. There are only a few sciences that have reached such a steady state that they no longer change.

Logic belongs to those … Aristotle did not miss a single moment of reason, and in this respect we are only more precise, more methodical and accurate. “But Kant’s formal logic cannot be considered a continuation and development of Aristotle’s logic. Kant’s logic is a collection of purely formal rules that serve only to reconcile thoughts. Kant’s logic cannot be a method of achieving objective truth, an instrument for finding new results.

In the works of Kant, an attempt is made to look at the process of knowledge not from the outside, but from within a person. Shows the limited ability of human knowledge.

The perfection of knowledge is communicated by the mind, attributing to objects what it takes from itself. Reason in the broad sense of the word means the self-activity of the subject, which includes both a priori forms of reason (category) and a priori ideas produced by the mind in the narrow sense of the word. A priori forms of sensual contemplation and reason, different from experience, tell the reliability of the knowledge gained in experience. ”

This is a new position in comparison with the views of both rationalists and empiricists. So, if Kant’s predecessors set the problem of the origin of knowledge in the form of a dilemma (knowledge is a product of experience, and knowledge is produced by reason), then Kant solved it like this: scientific knowledge arises from experience through a priori forms of contemplation and reason.

Along with concrete scientific knowledge, it was necessary to explain the uniqueness of philosophical knowledge. Such a task was not set by the predecessors of Kant. Kant proposed the following: philosophical knowledge goes beyond experience, if the answer gives the phenomena that make up the content of concrete scientific knowledge, then philosophical knowledge refers to things in themselves, such as soul, freedom, God. This knowledge, which leaves the sphere of experience, cannot pretend to authenticity. It is the subject of faith and is necessary only for practical activities. In relation to things in itself, Kant saw the originality of philosophical knowledge. And since this knowledge cannot pretend to authenticity, then philosophy, as a branch of knowledge, needs to be transformed. She – 12 can not be a science of being, but should be a science of knowledge, about the limits of mind, about its ability to a priori knowledge.

Unlike its predecessors, Kant believes the apriority of not only the activity of the intellect, but also of the senses. This is a priori contemplation. With the help of a priori contemplation, only phenomena can be cognized, but not things in themselves. The “thing in itself” remains unrecognized by us, although it is in itself and valid. By thinking about things themselves, the mind induces incompleteness of experience. Within experience, knowledge can expand to infinity. But no matter how much it expands, we will never know things on their own. In this respect, experience is imperfect. ”

Kant distinguishes the following types of knowledge:

1) that originated from experience,

2) that which originated from a general rule that was once borrowed from experience.

The latter are a priori, pure knowledge.” From a priori knowledge, he explained Kant-, pure knowledge is called, to which nothing empirical is added at all. ”

The nature of Kant’s theory of knowledge determined his view on the subject of logic, on the basic forms and laws of thinking. According to Kant, the subject of logic are subjective forms of thinking, divorced from material, objective reality. Justifying this position, Kant wrote in his work “Logic” the following: “Logic is the science of the mind not in matter, but in form, the science” a priori “of the necessary laws of thought, and not for specific objects, but for all objects in general; but not about the subjective use, that is, not about the use of empirical (psychological) principles, not about how the mind thinks, but about the objective use, that is, about using according to the principles of “a priori”, about how he should think ” . Developing this idea further, Kant, in the preface to the “Critique of Pure Reason”, wrote: “The boundaries of logic are absolutely determined by the fact that it is a science that spells out in detail and strictly proves only the formal rules of all thinking (regardless of whether it has or empirical, regardless of its origin or object, as well as whether it encounters random or natural obstacles in our spirit).

Logic owes its successes only to the limitations of its task, which gives it the right and even obliges it to distract from all the objects of knowledge and the differences between them; in it, therefore, the mind deals only with itself and its forms “.

The main features of the Kantian interpretation of the subject of formal, or general, logic are:

1) General logic is the basis of all other sciences.

2) General logic cannot be the logic of truth, an organon, that is, an instrument of knowledge of truth.

3) It is the canon of reason and reason, that is, a set of principles that teach “correct, that is, consonant with itself, the use of reason.” At the same time, Kant emphasized that general logic serves not for expansion, but only for “discussing and correcting” knowledge, being the logic of testing, the logic of the sequence of thoughts. In it we deal only with the form, and not with the “matter” of knowledge.

4) The principles of general logic, that is, the correctness of the connection of thoughts, are the formal criteria of truth.

It is characteristic of general Kantian logic that it does not borrow anything from psychology. The laws of general logic are, according to Kant, negative, or formal, criteria true. Since general logic gives formal truth, Kant calls it analytics.

But Kant has another, namely, transcendental logic.

Characteristic features of Kant’s transcendental logic are as follows:

1) If general logic abstracts from the question of the origin of knowledge and considers only the logical form in relation to knowledge to each other, that is, the form of thinking in general, then transcendental logic must also investigate the origin of our knowledge of objects.

2) The department of transcendental logic, called analytics, is, as Kant says, the “logic of truth”.

3) One of the tasks of transcendental logic is the union of form and “matter”, that is, the content of knowledge.

The basis of transcendental logic Kant puts “the idea of ​​the science of pure knowledge, originating from reason and reason, knowledge, through which objects are thought quite a priori. Such science, which determines the origin, volume and objective value of such knowledge, should be called transcendental logic, because it deals exclusively with the laws of reason and reason, but only insofar as they relate a priori to subjects, as opposed to general logic, which deals with empirical knowledge, and pure knowledge of reason”.



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