Epistemology and Logic

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 208)


The aim of this chapter is to provide a background for my earlier analysis of scientific laws and of scientific explanation. Till now I was operating in the framework of the philosophy of science. Now I will show that the issue of scientific laws and of scientific explanation is but a moment of a broader epistemic setting, requiring analysis in the framework of the theory of knowledge (epistemology). Frege’s understanding of the concept of sense (Sinn) suggests itself as a convenient starting point here. By analyzing it I show that it has an epistemic character, and that epistemic character (along with its development) is the ultimate subject matter of philosophy. Philosophy, understood here a synthesis of a newly comprehended ontology, epistemology, and logic, should analyze thinking by means of philosophical categories and set as its target the creation of a system of philosophical categories.


Analytic Philosophy Special Science Human Thinking Language Expression Objective Content 
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  1. 1.
    Frege claims “In the case of thinking it is not really ideas that are connected, but things, properties, concepts, relations” (1906a, 174).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Frege used the term “realm of reference” (“Reich der Bedeutung”) in (1919, 255).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Especially in chapter nineteen in (1981a) and in chapter three in (1981b).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    concept“ is here understood as equivalent in meaning to Frege’s ”sense.“Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    I. Hacking uses the term “lonely ego” to characterize such an approach to human beings (1975, 57 ). On this se also S. Ellenbogen’s (1997).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    In such a case it would not be conscious reflection,but only reflection,e.g., as in the case of the image of a ring embedded in wax.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    On the emergence of the cognitive forms of thought in the ontogenesis of man see Piaget (1981); Piaget and Inhelder (1970). On their origin in the phylogenesis of man see Luria (1976), especially chapter one dealing with the sociohistorical formation of mind.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The general characteristics of logical categories are outlined by V. S. Stepin as follows ( 1985, 98): Any form of human cognition (every-day cognition, or science, or artistic appropriation of the world) in each epoch is realized in correspondence with the historically created categorial structures fixing the determinations of being, which were discovered by the previous development of cognition and practice. These categories “determine the ultimately general scheme of understanding and transformation” of reality. They (1985, 101–108) appear as the basic structures of human consciousness. They are universal because any object can become the subject matter of action… Categories become, develop and function in the culture as a unified system of wholeness. Such a system appears as a generalized model of man’s world, which is transmitted in the culture and is assimilated by individuals in the process of socialization…. By transmitting the accumulated social experience, passing it from generation to generation, the categories of culture ensure the reproduction of a certain kind of social life and of a certain type of human individual. They appear as, in a certain way, deep programs (structures) which predetermine the interlocking, reproduction and variation of the whole manifold of concrete forms and types of behavior and action, characterizing a certain type of social organization.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    This contradicts Hegel’s own claim in the Encyclopaedia Logic,when he wrote, correctly in my view, that the content of human thinking initially does not appear in the form of idea, but in the form of feeling, intuition, and representation (1840a, §2, 4; 1991, 25; 1959, 4).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The inclusion of PS into the scheme of the reproduction cycle of cognition enables us to understand anew the third book the “Notion,” of Hegel’s Science of Logic,where the “action of logic” changes into the “logic of action.” Instead of Hegel’s theory of the self-movement of notion it is necessary to provide a cluster of philosophical categories theoretically grasping the thought-forms by means of which human beings transform in mind reality in accordance with the aims, wants and values.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    I do not reconstruct in this book that type of reproduction cycle which is “centered” around the empirical (phenomenological) type of scientific law.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Comenius UniversitySlovak Republic

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