The metaphysical basis of this dichotomy is the premise that a violation of the laws of nature would not involve a contradiction. The analytic-synthetic dichotomy holds that a “necessarily” true proposition cannot be factual, while a factual proposition cannot be “necessarily” true. (For a discussion of this issue, see Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.) All truths, as I have said, are the product of a logical identification of the facts of experience. On this view, the concept (the term) means only those characteristics initially decreed to be “essential.” The other characteristics of the subsumed concretes bear no necessary connection to the “essential” characteristics, and are excluded from the concept’s meaning. of liquid, at 15.56°C. They are not true in “all possible worlds.” Since its denial is not self-contradictory, the opposite of any synthetic truth is at least imaginable or conceivable. The Objectivist theory of concepts undercuts the theory of the analytic-synthetic dichotomy at its root. . Used by arrangement with Plume, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. “Those questions,” he replies, “aren’t fruitful.”). . “Man” means a certain type of entity, a rational animal, including all the characteristics of this entity (anatomical, physiological, psychological, etc., as well as the relations of these characteristics to those other entities) — all the characteristics already known, and all those ever to be discovered. Just as a concept cannot mean existents apart from their identity, so it cannot mean identity apart from that which exists. Implicit in this dichotomy is the view that logic is a subjective game, a method of manipulating arbitrary symbols, not a method of acquiring knowledge. And further: On a rational view of definitions, a definition organizes and condenses — and thus helps one to retain — a wealth of knowledge about the characteristics of a concept’s units. u/Jamesshrugged. Observe the inversion propounded by this argument: a proposition can qualify as a factual empirical truth only if man is able to evade the facts of experience and arbitrarily to invent a set of impossible circumstances that contradict these facts; but a truth whose opposite is beyond man’s power of invention, is regarded as independent of and irrelevant to the nature of reality, i.e., as an arbitrary product of human “convention.”. The latter viewpoint is fundamental to every version of the analytic-synthetic dichotomy. Three in particular are prevalent today: logical truth vs. factual truth; the logically possible vs. the empirically possible; and the a priori vs. the a posteriori. [to the present level], the concept ‘man’ has not changed: it refers to the same kind of entities. Posted by. Extension and intension are thus intimately related, but they refer to objects in different ways — extension to a listing of the individuals who fall within its quantitative scope, intension to the qualities or characteristics of the individuals.” (Lionel Ruby, Logic: An introduction.). For the nominalists, it represents a subjective human decree, independent of the facts of reality. 4) The fact/value distinction also depends on the analytic/synthetic distinction, and the notion that this distinction encompasses all possible types of statements. The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy - Leonard Peikoff. The theory of the analytic-synthetic dichotomy presents men with the following choice: If your statement is proved, it says nothing about that which exists; if it is about existents, it cannot be proved. (a) Consider the following pairs of true propositions: ii) 2 qts. The difference is only this: for the traditional philosophers, necessity is a metaphysical phenomenon, grasped by an act of intuition; for the conventionalists, it is a product of man’s subjective choices. Certain phenomena, however, although logically possible, are contrary to the “contingent” laws of nature that men discover by experience; these phenomena are “empirically” — but not “logically” — impossible. The analytic/synthetic dichotomy, on the other hand, guides one's thinking such that it's overly narrow-minded, thereby missing details from the peripheral context. ), two — “rationality” and “animality” — constitute the entire meaning of the concept “man.” All the rest, it is held, are outside the concepts meaning. To plant a dichotomy at the base of human knowledge — to claim that there are opposite methods of validation and opposite types of truth — is a procedure without grounds for justification. This problem has throughout the history of philosophy been regarded as a problem of metaphysics, but Objectivism asserts that its proper resolution lies in epistemology. . Accordingly, synthetic truths are held to be “factual,” as opposed to “logical” or “tautological” in character. If it is demonstrated by logical argument, it represents a subjective convention; if it asserts a fact, logic cannot establish it. Man can rearrange the materials that exist in reality, but he cannot violate their identity; he cannot escape the laws of nature. As I have said, knowledge cannot be acquired by experience apart from logic, nor by logic apart from experience. Contributions to ARI in the United States are tax-exempt to the extent provided by law. In the latter case, the truth of the proposition is immune to any imaginable change in experience and, therefore, is independent of experience, i.e., is a priori. In fact, neither of these alleged types of meaning is metaphysically or epistemologically possible. “It is crucially important to grasp the fact that a concept is an ‘open-end’ classification which includes the yet-to-be-discovered characteristics of a given group of existents. Thus, it is false to assert that “A man has three eyes,” or that “Ice sinks in water” — but, it is said, these assertions are not self-contradictory. To form a concept, one mentally isolates a group of concretes (of distinct perceptual units), on the basis of observed similarities which distinguish them from all other known concretes (similarity is “the relationship between two or more existents which possess the same characteristic(s), but in different measure or degree”); then, by a process of omitting the particular measurements of these concretes, one integrates them into a single new mental unit: the concept, which subsumes all concretes of this kind (a potentially unlimited number). 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