Monday, 24 October 2016

Aristotle's Logic II

See here.

Aquinas was limited not by Aristotelean logic but by the application of that logic to a single timeline. (Aristotle's logic is simply everyone's logic as formulated by Aristotle, not a specific set of rules invented by Aristotle.) In the Time Patrol scenario, a time traveler can:

remember that it was recorded that Socrates died in 399 BC;
experience, then remember, his own prevention of Socrates' death in 399 BC.

Prima facie, he is contradicting Aristotle's logic but there is more than one way to apply that logic to the time traveler's experience, as we have seen here. In the Time Patrol scenario, we must get used to discussing the relationships between timelines before addressing the question of whether, or in what sense, alternative timelines exist. We might say that the first timeline remembered by the time traveler simply does not exist but this is counterintuitive and is not the only way to formulate the issue.

No one can consistently say that, in a single timeline, Socrates both died and did not die in 399 BC.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Your first comment about how St. Thomas Aquinas was limited to using logic in a SINGLE timeline interested me. How and what might he have thought of science fiction, esp. that branch of SF devoted to alternate worlds/time traveling?

I am sure Medieval Europeans had some idea or awareness of FICTIONS but I'm not sure how clearly they distinguished it from allegorical/didactic literature. I THINK "fiction" as we understand that term only began to clearly take form in the AD 1300's. Perhaps in the works of Boccaccio and Chaucer.

I don't include Dante's DIVINE COMEDY as fiction because he insisted both in and out of that poem (e.g., his letter to Can Grande della Scala) that it was based on a genuine vision of the after world.