Re: Logic biblical?

From: Jim Beale (
Date: Sat Jun 07 1997 - 07:42:52 EDT

At 7:13 AM -0400 6/7/97, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>>Is there a way this discussion of whether "logic" is a biblical concept
>>or value can be steered in the direction of becoming a discussion about
>>Biblical Greek grammar or exegesis or interpretation?
>Apparently not, Eric. I unleashed it by foolishly violating my own
>principle of avoiding theological issues except when they are inescapably
>at the core of the Greek of a passage under discussion. I deeply regret
>having done so, not because I've abandoned my thinking on the subject, but
>because sides are being drawn in a partisan contention that is theological
>at the core rather than as you describe, about Biblical Greek grammar or
>problems of exegesis or interpretation arising from the Greek text--and
>this is really not the appropriate forum for that contention." My apologies
>to the list.

I personally think that there ought to be room for such things
occasionally, as long as they don't dominate the list. I also
think that mature individuals should be able to disagree without
degenerating into raving lunatics. I certainly learn more from
those with whom I disagree than those with whom I am in substantial
agreement. And even though I disagree with you, Carl, on several
basic issues, I would like you to know that I have _tremendous_
respect for you. I hope that my response has not caused you even
the slightest grief. If so, I apologize!! :-)

If I may be so bold, though, as to attempt to steer the discussion
to something perhaps more pertinent: I wonder what, if any, is the
distinction between logic and grammar? To be sure, though there is
"this grammar" and "that grammar" yet not "this logic" and "that
logic;" is there any distinction between Logic and the universal
grammar (UG)?

Much of the development in modern logic from the time of Leibniz
has stemmed from the desire to formulate a perfect language; one
which is free from the ambiguities of ordinary discourse. But,
as Wittgenstein wrote,

   On the one hand it is clear that every sentence in our
   language 'is in order as it is'. That is to say, we
   are not _striving after_ an ideal, as if our ordinary
   vague sentences had not yet got a quite unexceptionable
   sense, and a perfect language awaited construction by
   us.-- On the other hand it seems clear that where there
   is sense there must be perfect order.-- So there must be
   perfect order even in the vaguest sentence.

   We want to say that there can't be any vagueness in logic.
   The idea now absorbs us, that the ideal _must_ be found
   in reality. Meanwhile we do not as yet see _how_ it occurs
   there, nor do we understand the nature of this "must". We
   think it must be in reality; for we think we already see
   it there.

   The strict and clear rules of the logical structure of
   propositions appear to us as something in the background --
   hidden in the medium of understanding. I already see them
   (even though through a medium): for I understand the
   propositional sign, I use it to say something.
   (_Philosophical Investigations_, I, 98, 101, 102)

I wonder if anyone has thoughts on just what the relation _is_
between logic and grammar?

If this question is O.B. (out of bounds) please let me know! :-)

In Christ,

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