LOGIC AS THE SCIENCE OF THE PURE CONCEPT - by Benedetto CROCE
In this magnum opus Croce sets forth in detail his view of Logic as 'Science of the Pure Concept'. His ever lucid exposition clarifies even the most complex of ideas. A work deeply influenced by Kantian Idealism.
"By means of the pure concept, all problems concerning the life of the spirit are illuminated; without it, we cannot understand anything." Benedetto Croce
A New Logic: Though most famous for his æsthetic theories and approaches to the philosophy of history, this volume provides the backbone of Croce's system entitled 'The Philosophy of Spirit'. With his new Logic he sweeps aside the paths of error of traditional 'formal' logic, providing the foundations for a logic of the future, one that will take account of life, one that connects with reality and is of greater extent than those laid forth by Aristotle, Bacon and Mill. Firmly based in the epistemology of Kant's 'Critique', Croce's 'Logic' pursues the idea of the pure concept in many new areas. Of particular interest to students of English Language Philosophy will be his remarks on Language in relation to Logic:
A Brief Extract: "The history of Logic depends very closely upon the history of the Philosophy of language, or of Æsthetics, understood as the philosophy of language and of expression in general. Every discovery concerning language throws new light upon the function of thought, which, surpassing language, employs it as an instrument, and therefore unites itself with language both negatively and positively. It belongs to the progress of the Philosophy of language, not less than to that of Logic, to have determined in a more exact manner the relations between thought and expression, as also to have dissipated or begun the dissipation of empirical and formalist Logic. This Logic, deluding itself with the belief that it was analysing thought, presents a series of mutilated and empty linguistic forms."
Features of this Edition: Introductory Essay "Benedetto Croce" by Edouard d'Araille; Select Bibliography of works by and about Benedetto Croce; Translator's Preface by Douglas Ainslie (of great interest in understanding some of the challenges of translating this work); Original 'Advertisement' to this work by Benedetto Croce; Preface to the Third Italian Edition of the Logic (by Croce); Also includes Complete Textual Annotations and a Photograph of Croce.
A Longer Extract: "Another presupposition is often introduced by logicians: that of language; since it seems clear that, if man does not speak, he does not think. This presupposition also we accept, adding to it, however, a corollary, together with certain elucidations. The elucidations are: in the first place, that language must be taken in its genuine and complete reality; that is to say, it must not be arbitrarily restricted to certain of its manifestations such as the vocal and articulate; nor be changed and falsified into a body of abstractions, such as the classes of Grammar or the words of the Vocabulary, conceived as these are in the fashion of a machine, which man sets in motion when he speaks. And, in the second place, by language is to be understood, not the whole body of discourses, taken all together and in confusion, into which (as will be seen in its place) logical elements enter; but only that determinate aspect of these discourses, in virtue of which they are properly called language. A deep-rooted error, which springs directly from the failure to make this distinction, is that of believing language to be constituted of logical elements; adducing as a proof of this that even in the smallest discourse are to be found the words this, that, to be, to do, and the like, that is, logical concepts. But these concepts are by no means really to be found in every expression; and, even where they are to be found, the possibility of extracting them is no proof that they exhaust language".
A most rewarding work for those who have the perseverance to follow Croce's multi-staged argumentation about the Mind and Human Logic.