Review of: K. Twardowski, Logik. Wiener Logikkolleg 1894/95, ed. by A. Betti and V. Raspa, De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston 2016.
The edition of this text can be seen as a decisive contribution for a better understanding of Twardowski’s philosophy, giving access for the first time to his texts on logic.
leading to a a new appraisal of Twardowski’s thought considered for itself, and not in relation to other thinkers or schools. Furthermore, since Twardowski has published too little about the topics handled in his lectures, this edition might be considered as an essential part of his thought.
a new appraisal of Twardowski’s philosophy considered for itself, and not in relation to other thinkers or schools. Furthermore, since Twardowski has published very little on logic, this edition contributes to shape an essential part of his thought.
The Logik has a central place in Twardowski‘s thought, also considering the year in which it was written.
The Logik is a sort of textbook, which collects the lectures given by the Polish philosopher at the University of Vienna from October 1894 to March 1895.
In 1884 Twardowski published his habilitation treatise, Zur Lehre vom Inhalt ind Gegenstand der Vorstellungen, which qualified him as a university lecturer.
As the editors point out in their preface, in this work Twardowski clarifies from a logical standpoint the concepts of presentation and judgements, which in Zur Lehre were basically analyzed from a psychological point of view.
The Logik connects Twardowski’s works in German language to his first writings in Polish of the so called „Lemberg Period“
The interplay of logic and psychology belongs to the Zeitgeist at that time.
As well known, Zur Lehre influenced Husserl and Meinong, as well as members of the Lwów–Warsaw school
As stated in the editors’ introduction, this edition aims at a new appraisal of Twardowski’s philosophy considered for itself, and not in relation to other thinkers or schools. Furthermore, since Twardowski has published too little about the topics treated in these lectures, this edition might be considered as an essential part of his thought.
Although Twardowski’s logic is in some ways outdated,
1. concept of logic
Twardowski sees a strong connection between logic and psychology
Logic is the theory of the correct judgement, a practical discipline. A „Kunst“, as Brentano stated, a techne in contrast to the science (Wissenschaft, episteme), which aims at a certain practical purpose, such as defining rules for our understanding. Logic is not sufficient to obtain cognitions; it rather contributes - as much as grammar - to avoid a series of mistakes. Twardowski also deals with the question of the relationship between language and thought, since using the natural language might lead to misunderstandings and inadequate classifications.
Still, for Twardowski (in contrast to Frege), logic has not to do with linguistic forms, but rather with mental phenomena, which are defined (following Brentano) as non-extensive and perceived as a unity through inner experience, with an immanent object or content.
In his Zur Lehre, Twardowski aimed at drawing a sharp distinction between the object represented, and the content of the representation itself. This thesis is further analysed in the paragraphs §8-11 of Logik, dedicated to the psychology of representing and judging.
Since logic is concerned with judgments, the question of their truth and validity is central.
In Logik, Twardowski also analyses the question of axioms, their origins and logical status, while he does not diffusely tackle any ontological issues concerning, for instance, the structure of object and content. Nor he is concerned with other mereological questions. He deals only very shortly on the question of the object of the judgement: while identifying a specific object for judgements, he takes distance from Brentano’s theory, giving origin to the concept of state of affairs (Sachverhalt; Objektiv in Meinong).
2. Connection between Logik and other works by Twardowski
– Development of a new theory of judgment
While rejecting Brentano’s theory of representations without an object, Twardowski formulates a new theory of intentionality, which accepts non-existent objects as authentic reference of representation.
The object of judgments is a „Verhältnis“ (relation), which can subsist even when its constituents do not exist. Such a „relation“ might be conceived as a „state of affair“ [Sachverhalt], whose constituents are related in a non-mereological way
Judgement is truth-bearer
Even false judgments have an object (p. xxvii)
Brentano reduced any judgement to existential judgement.
Twardowski rather distinguishes between existential judgements and relational judgments [Beziehungsurteile]. These might involve relation of identity, similarity, difference, necessity, causality, inherence, part-whole
Both classes maintain the function of recognizing or rejecting something. In contrast with Meinong, Twardoswki does not claim that there different modes of existence: „there are bad fellows“ is the same as „bad fellows exist“
– Theory of concepts and general representations
3. The Logik also clarifies Twardowski’s position in the history of logic, in particular in connection to Bolzano and the Polish School.
– T. and Bolzano
Though Bolzano has been seldom mentioned in Twardoswki’s Logik, he has significantly influenced this work. In particular, it is apparent the influence on Twardowski of Bolzano’s first two volumes of the Wissenschaftslehre.
– T. and the Polish School
The idea of truth as correspondence constitutes one of the most apparent influences of Twardowski on the Polish School.
T. is influenced by Anton Marty’s positions, – one of the most orthodox members of the Brentano’s School. But as opposed to him, Twardowski sees a contingent relation of association between language and thought.
The text is divided into two parts: the first is dedicated to the „theory of representing and judging“, the second to the examination of our cognitions.
In the first part Twardowski analyses
To define a discipline also means to understand what kind of problems we are going to deal with, and to circumscribe the kind of object that specifically concerns it.
According to Twardowski, logic is a practical discipline. The theory of musical composition is a paradigmatic example of a practical discipline, which is unified by a peculiar purpose, such as - in the case of music composition - the expression in an aesthetic and effective way of a certain musical thinking. (p. 8)
So, what is the purpose of logic? Logic aims at creating rules for our understanding.
We might deduce from mediate cognitions but, in the end, at the extremity of the deductive process we must find an immediate cognition. Where we can find it, it is not a question that logic can answer.
Example of immediate knowledge: the principle of non-contradiction; the geometric principle, for which two parallel lines never intersecate; the principle of long-distance effect.
Mediate and immediate cognitions are given in that psychological phenomenon, which we define as „judgment“, whose main characteristics is to be true or false. In this sense, logic is a branch of philosophy: it is the theory of correct judging, and truth is a property of psychological phenomena.
Logic is close to grammar, which aims at correct speaking.
Logic has twofold tasks: it aims at examining and detecting correct judgments.
Thinking is not the same as speaking (p.19): a mute person can think. For Twardowski, logic has to treat thoughts as independently as possible from language, though between thinking and speaking there is a close connection.
Following Brentano, Twardowski sharply distinguishes between psychological and physical phenomena. Representations [Vorstellungen] occur whenever something is present at the consciousness (Vergegenwärtigung von etwas).
How does judgment distinguish itself from representation? Evidently through the criteria of truth and falsehood. A judgement is the recognition (Anerkennung) or the rejection (Verwerfung) of an object. The judging act is not a mere connection of representations.
(Judgment and representation are processes which can hardly be further analyzed.)
A judgement is necessarily composed by three elements: Anerkennung and Verwerfung; content [Inhalt]; object [Gegenstand]. The content of a judgement might be not only the existence of an the object, but also its non-existence as well as its subsistence (Bestehen/ Vorhandensein) (p. 34)
Twardowski wonders whether there are higher genera and lower species among representations.
As claimed in Zur Lehre, (cfr. ) the highest genus is the object„etwas“, „Gegenstand“: „whatever we represent, is something. God, Immortality, number 1000, institute, white colour, vice, earnings, simultaneity, relation of superimposition and subordination“ (p. 78).
„Gegenstand“, whatever can be represented.
Whatever with the representation of „nothing“? Is it a something, though it actually means the opposite?
„nothing is eternal“
Only the „nihil privativum“ of the Scholastics can be represented: a hole, a shortage (such as a shortage of bread).
„Nothing“ is a synchategoremathic expression, which has a meaning only within a negative statement. Any statement that contains „nothing“ can be translated in an equivalent negative proposition: „I represent nothing = I don’t represent at all“; „I eat nothing = I don’t eat at all“
That means, that „something“ is the highest genus, and that everything that exists or that can even just represented, is something. But also a round square or a golden mountain is „something“, that is it is object of a representation iven if it does not exist. This „something“ is the ens of the Scholastics, the most universal (universalissimus) concept.
Judgements differentiate according to their act. A judgement can be of a positive or of a negative quality: it can be „recognition (Anerkennung), rejection (Verwerfung), assertion, denial, affirmation, negation“
The negative concept are to be deduced from negative judgements, and not vice versa (p. 89)
Twardowski rejects the possibility of indeterminate (unbestimmte) judgements
Negation cannot be deduced from affirmation.
While examining judgements, Twardowski is also interested in the epistemic questions about certainty and probability.
Twardowski’s theory of truth proves itself to be particularly interesting. In what does the truth or falsehood of a judgement consist? Aristoteles, in his Metaphysics, defined truth of a judgment as its concordance to real things; Scholastics talked about adaequatio rei et intellectus; the logic of Port-Royal claimed that truth is the conformity to reality.
These definitions are not free from all difficulties, – according to Twardowski. In particular, Aristoteles’ definition of truth cannot hold any more, since we modify his theory of judgement: in contrast with Aristoteles’ position, a judgement is not a connection or a separation of representation, but rather a recognition or a rejection of a simple or complex object. For instance, how exactly are we supposed to understand the aristotelian accordance of the object to a judgement, when we utter for instance that „there are not any dragons“? We should better interpret this accordance as similarity, such as the one between a copy and its original, a person and her portrait.
un’espressione sincategorematica, che non ha significato autonomo, e che può essere tradotta come parte di
una proposizione negativa. Per esempio, la proposizione ‘niente è eterno’ può essere trasformata in ‘non c’è qualcosa di
eterno’, eliminando così la forma sostantivale ‘niente’.
ens rationis (a golden mountain) and nihil negativum (a round square)
Twardowski identifies three kinds of non-existent objects: the object „nothing“ and „nobody“; contradictory objects, such as the round square; objects we cannot find in the world, like golden mountains (ens rationis)
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