For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Dialectic vs.Technocracy
Higher Reasoning from Ancient Greek Rationalism to Modern German Idealism
  • Tommi Juhani Hanhijarvi
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Dialectic vs.Technocracy. Higher Reasoning from Ancient Greek Rationalism to Modern German Idealism
Sound Bite

Which is superior, human thinking or Artificial Intelligence? Prof. Tommi Hanhijarvi (Humboldt Univ.) blows away the technocrats by showing that our freedom, morality, the concept of justice, art and enlightenment all require a higher, more speculative faculty that only the human mind can provide.

The book opens up the ideas of the Greek Rationalists (Plato, Aristotle) and the German Idealists (Kant, Hegel), and shows us how the dialectic approach to reasoning can bring clarity where mechanistic argumentation and technology come up short.


About the Author

Tommi Juhani Hanhijärvi holds a PhD in Philosophy from Berlin’s Humboldt University and has an M.A. in Philosophy and History. He has taught at the university and secondary school levels and has published several books in English focusing on Socrates, Logic and related subjects. Tommi is also a pseudonymous fiction author.

About the Book

In the later nineteenth century logic became a rigorous discipline in eliminating the need of human interpretations or intuitions (primarily due to Frege). This is why logic is now so widely automated.

Dr. Hahnijärvi sets out the...

In the later nineteenth century logic became a rigorous discipline in eliminating the need of human interpretations or intuitions (primarily due to Frege). This is why logic is now so widely automated.

Dr. Hahnijärvi sets out the framework for a historical review of dialectics. In his Introduction he provides the overall setting for the book, borrowing heavily from Marcuse but introducing several formal examples of both AI and dialectics that are not familiar from Marcuse’s texts.

The next chapter examines Plato. This ancient Greek philosopher was not the first dialectician but he was the first comparatively systematic one, unifying strands from predecessors like Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Parmenides, and Socrates.

It was not normal in the Greece of his day to say that men and women, and the rich as well as slaves, or both youths and adults, were to exemplify the same virtues (aretai), for rather the Greeks normally said that, e.g., slaves and women had other obligations and different rights. But Plato’s idealization of virtue led him to require equal results from all. In general, the bottom line is that perfectionistic thought rules the roost: we are not simply to conform mechanically to whatever laws or conventions there happen to be. Nothing less than perfect consistency suffices, and the examined life consists of a search for a utopia of this kind.

Next comes Aristotle, Plato’s student, who was officially a critic of his teacher’s dialectic; in practice also Aristotle erected his first principles by relying on dialectics alone. Once Aristotle had his first principles, he was content to dwell mostly on topics of a lower order. He introduces his logical categories and produces the first logical system in history.

In Chapter 4, we examine the work of Immanuel Kant. Kant was the father of German Idealism and Romanticism because he transported Plato’s cosmic Ideas into the human mind.

Finally, Dr. Hahnijärvi introduces Hegel, the major German Idealist after Kant. He was the least inhibited dialectician, but to some readers he is also the most inspiring. Hegel formulates what he calls a "logic" but its meaning is dialectical. Hegel is the major German Idealist after Kant. He is the least inhibited dialectician, but at least to some readers he will also be the most inspiring. He formulates what he calls a “logic” but its meaning is dialectical. In Hegel’s logic all but the most complete examples of justice are contradictory, because they are in part unjust. However justice is not all he has in mind, and he uses a vast variety of examples for his dialectics. These he draws from the world’s arts, religions, and philosophies as well as morals and politics.

Tommi unravels the specialized language and thought processes that make each of these thinkers great, and he shows what we can learn by pondering the issues they examine.


More Information

Excerpt from the Introduction

After Bach, musicologists have been busy trying to explain his know-how, and my musicologist friend tells me that this is so even today. They can hear from Bach’s work that there is more to map. More things fit together than has hitherto been explained.

But all the great dialecticians are like Bach! Each is another genius, another intuitive creator who spins out coherent patterns which he never names or defines. On this comparison I am the...

Excerpt from the Introduction

After Bach, musicologists have been busy trying to explain his know-how, and my musicologist friend tells me that this is so even today. They can hear from Bach’s work that there is more to map. More things fit together than has hitherto been explained.

But all the great dialecticians are like Bach! Each is another genius, another intuitive creator who spins out coherent patterns which he never names or defines. On this comparison I am the ‘musicologist’ who runs after the heroes and tries to keep up, explaining their magic away and imparting their skills to the people.

 


Pages 212
Year: 2022
BISAC: PHI011000 PHILOSOPHY / Logic
BISAC: PHI042000 PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Idealism
BISAC: PHI032000 PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Rationalism
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-500-3
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-501-0
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-502-7

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