#
Are first principles or the axioms of logic (such as identity, non-contradiction) provable? If not, then isn't just an intuitive assumption that they are true? Is it possible for example, to prove that a 4-sided triangle or a married bachelor cannot exist? Or must we stop at the point where we say "No, it is a contradiction" and end there with only the assumption that contradictions are the "end point" of our needing to support their non-existence or impossibility?

In any "complete" logical system, such as standard first-order predicate logic with identity, you can prove any logical truth. So you can prove the law of identity and the law of noncontradiction in such systems, because those laws are logical truths in those systems. But I don't think that answers the question you're really asking: Can we prove (for example) the law of noncontradiction using premises and inferences that are even more basic , even more trustworthy than the law of noncontradiction itself? No, or at least I can't see how we could. In that sense, then, the law of noncontradiction is bedrock. Pragmatically, we can explain the law of noncontradiction in terms of related notions such as inconsistency and impossibility, but I don't think we thereby "support" the law of noncontradiction by invoking something more basic than it.

- Log in to post comments