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Maps and Territories

In fallibilism on 09/12/2011 at 2:46 am

For every judgment in a syllogistic chain, the mind seeks to discover a major premiss; the law of the syllogism requires that we seek a premiss for every premiss, a condition for every condition, until we arrive at that which is unconditional. This maxim is a proper one for the purpose of governing the operations of the mind, but it should not be confused with the erroneous supposition that there is in fact a first, unconditioned link in the chain of premisses. For it is one thing to know that every member of an intellectual sequence has a preceding condition, and quite another to maintain that we can comprehend the sequence in its entirety including a first, unconditioned member. (Kołakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, 40)

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