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Chapter 2 - On logic and dialectic

from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA, VOLUME 2

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2015

Adrian Del Caro
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee
Christopher Janaway
Affiliation:
University of Southampton
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Summary

§22

Every general truth is related to the special ones as gold is to silver, insofar as one can convert it into a considerable number of special truths that result from it, like a gold coin into small change. For example, that the entire life of plants is a deoxidation process, whereas an animal's is a process of oxidation; or that wherever an electric current circulates, a magnetic one immediately arises that cuts through it perpendicularly; or ‘no animal that does not breathe through a lung has a voice’ or ‘every fossilized animal belongs to an extinct species’; or ‘no egg laying animal has a diaphragm’ – these are general truths from which very many individual ones can be derived in order to use them for explaining phenomena that occur or even for anticipating them before they appear. The general truths are just as valuable in matters of morals and psychology; how golden is every general rule here too, every sentence of the kind, indeed, every proverb! For they are the quintessence of thousands of occurrences that repeat themselves each day and are illustrated by them through exemplification.

§23

An analytic judgement is merely a concept pulled apart; a synthetic judgement on the other hand is the formation of a new concept from two already present in different form in the intellect. But the combination of these must then be brought about and grounded by some kind of intuition; according to whether the latter is empirical or purely a priori, the judgement stemming from it will be synthetic a posteriori or a priori.

Every analytic judgement contains a tautology and every judgement without any tautology is synthetic. From this it follows that in communicating, analytic judgements are only to be used under the condition that the one who is addressed does not know the concept of the subject so completely, or have it as present to mind as the one who is speaking. – Furthermore, the synthetic nature of geometric propositions can be proven by the fact that they contain no tautology; this is not so apparent in arithmetic propositions, and yet it is the case.

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Schopenhauer: Parerga and Paralipomena
Short Philosophical Essays
, pp. 23 - 33
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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