Review of Metaphysics 35 (3):601-602 (1982)

It is a high merit of this book to emphasize that "philosophy properly speaking is characterized by the kind of logic it employs, for what it employs it assumes, however silently; and what it assumes it presupposes. The logic stands behind the ontology and is, so to speak, metaphysically prior." By "logic" here is meant a species of philosophical logic, concerned in part with "systematic metaphysics" and with "critical ontology." The term "Grand Logic" is due to Peirce, but has been given a more modern reading by George Berry and Hao Wang. Feibleman uses the phrase in the plural to seek out the "common assumptions of the leading western logicians from Aristotle to Quine." However, the only logicians whose work is discussed at any depth are Aristotle, Frege, Whitehead, Russell, and Quine, with only the most casual reference to Ockham, Duns Scotus, Leibniz, De Morgan, Boole, Schröder, Peirce himself, Lesniewski, Carnap, Tarski, and Gödel, all "leading" logicians surely in any suitable list. Also there is total neglect of all recent work in systematic semantics and pragmatics of the very kind that is of the greatest metaphysical relevance. To determine with precision the assumptions common to the work of all of these writers would be a formidable historical as well as analytic task. Nonetheless, the use of modern logic in the detailed formulation of specific metaphysical systems has great promise for the future, as does the criticism of alternative "logics" within the context of specific metaphysical assumptions.--R.M.M.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph198235318
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