Non-Aristotelian logic

From Academic Kids

The term non-Aristotelian logic, sometimes shortened to null-A, is used for any system of logic which uses three or more values to render relatively 'subjective' conclusions from inductive logic, rather than relying strictly on the binary, deductive reasoning widely accepted as yielding more 'objective' results and capable of providing 'scientific proof'. The null-A concept is complementary to Aristotle's system of two-valued, true/false logic, i.e., "A is either B, or it is not B."

The concept of non-Aristotelian logic compares with non-monotonic logic, a relativistic system whereby the truth or falsity of every statement can be ascertained, but the determination is not immutable. The concept also has similarities to common interpretations of the theory of Bayesian probability, which hypothesizes that probabilities can best describe degrees of belief attributable to competing propositions.

Use in science fiction

The concept of non-Aristotelian logic was used by A. E. van Vogt as the central theme in his The World of Null-A novels, based on his interest in Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics, stories tinged by van Vogt's reflections upon revelations that came to light of police state conditions enforced by totalitarian regimes after World War II.

van Vogt's portrayals of General Semantics in sci-fi stories (wherein heroic characters struggled against incrementally stemwinding tactics used by minions of authoritarian entities), was somewhat different from its originator's, as Korzybski developed and described General Semantics not as a 'logic', but as a non-Aristotelian system of evaluation. On the other hand, van Vogt also depicted General Semantics as a method of evaluation used to analyze the reasoning of others. Protagonists in van Vogt's science fiction novels typically used null-A reasoning in almost dream-like settings to outwit villains who relied almost exclusively upon decision-tree, algorithmic reasoning, akin to the use of Aristotelian logic.

See also

Some developers of non-Aristotelian logics

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