The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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Syllogistic reasoning and dialectical thinking

January 25th, 2016 by dimpledbrain

How would you group these items into 2 distinctive groups, e.g. cow, chicken and grass. Which one comes natural to you? i.e. cow and chicken, cow and grass or chicken and grass? (click here for the post).

Syllogistic reasoning is concerned with logic. You’ve probably heard of something like this before:

All men are mortal

Socrates is a man

Therefore Socrates is mortal.

We are able to progress, dispel a lot of myths because of this form of thinking.

Dialectical thinking emphasizes on the relations among events.

Example that I can think of now are:

(1) By not moving, one moves forward.

(2) “Thirty spokes unite in one nave and on that which is non-existent [on the hole in the nave] depends the wheel’s utility. Clay is moulded into a vessel and on that which is non-existent [on its hollowness] depends the vessel’s utility. By cutting out doors and windows we build a house and on that which is non-existent [on the empty space within] depends the house’s utility. Therefore, existence renders actual but non-existence renders useful.”

Can you tell if the following are syllogistic or dialectical?

(1) “Laws are made to instruct the good, and in the hope that there may be no need of them; also to control the bad, whose hardness of heart will not be hindered from crime.”

(2) “The more laws and restrictions there are, the poorer people become. The sharper men’s weapons, the more trouble in the land. The more ingenious and clever men are, the more strange things happen. The more rules and regulations, the more thieves and robbers. Therefore I take no action and people are reformed. I enjoy peace and people become honest. I do nothing and people become rich. I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.”

I pick something related to law from both extremes of the thinking spectrum so that it becomes apparent that one deep dives into the subject and the other discusses the relations among events. Both quotes are from influential thinkers of the past.

If you are thinking which is more superior then you are missing the point entirely. In truth, both are important in different aspects of our lives. I like to think that syllogistic reasoning is important to build the functional aspects of life while dialectical thinking is important to add meaning into [that] life. 

Understanding this difference will save us time so that we know who should we turn to when we want to solve for something. Now to the Secret of the Gods Part 2 and since it involves an intricate web of inter dependencies, we shall without doubt turn to Eastern (for lack of a better word) wisdom.



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