Hi again Catholic Catholic,
I'm interested in what would be the correct rules for thinking.
Thank you for your question!
I think it is really wonderful that you want to know this! ;) I would hope that this would be true of everyone!
The answer to your question, of necessity, requires a certain amount of technical language, for which I apologize in advance.
By the same token, I will try to familiarize you with only a tiny fraction of the basics.
Therefore, I will try to be as brief and as lucid as possible.
, or more correctly, the laws
, for correct thinking ascertain the Truth of a subject with absolute objective scientific certitude.
As a result, these rules
, which are properly used by the intellect (one of the powers of the immortal Soul), or human mind, enable the mind to correctly function with order, ease, and without error (i.e. with absolute scientific certitude), when one masters these said rules
After a person has done this, the person is then able to expound one's thoughts orderly, clearly, systematically, and logically.
Although I do not have a brief list of these rules
, nevertheless, they can be found, usually within their respective explanations, in various sources.
Historically, in the Roman Catholic Church, these laws
of correct thinking are to be found in books that are written on what is called the philosophia perennis
) which, after the 13th Century, came to be known as Scholastic Philosophy
, a.k.a. the Philosophy of the Schoolmen
, e.g. Saint Thomas Aquinas.Scholastic Philosophy
has moved down through the centuries to our own day, often obscured, often ignored, often, and for long time periods, despised as outmoded by those who knew, and continue today to know, little or nothing of its doctrines,not to mention its very compelling evidence.Scholastic Philosophy
has a number of what are called departments
, or if you prefer, branches
of Scholastic Philosophy
which has to do with the laws
, for correct thinking is called Epistemology
To be complete, Epistemology
is also known as: 1) Major Logic; 2) Material Logic; and, 3) Criteriology).
The science of Epistemology
, by whatever name it is called, has to do with the trustworthiness of human knowledge. Since this is concerned with the mind and its knowing, it is in the Department of Logic
Here is where the nature and classification of Truth is to be found. Here is where Truth and certitude, the various doctrines on certitude, the sources of certitude, plus scientific certitude and its acquisition are investigated and learned.
For the record, some of the other departments
of Scholastic Philosophy
include: 1) Cosmology; 2) Psychology; 3) Theodicy/Natural Theology; 4) Ethics/Moral Philosophy.
Anyone who might be interested in reading about Scholastic Philosophy
might find the book by Cardinal Mercier to be helpful? It is called A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy
. Both volumes one and two are available for free in a pdf file format on the following contents page (simply scroll down the page to find them) at:http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=CARDINAL%20MERCIER
By the way, this particular source has lots of Roman Catholic Books in its archives - all free, and most in pdf file format.
I have found it interesting how some authors prefer Scholastic Philosophy
to what some might want to call Augustinianism
which some Philosophers style neo-Platonism
This is found to be the case with one well-respected Roman Catholic source which explains why Saint “Thomas Aquinas was a necessary corrective to Augustine. He is less great, less original, and, above all, less animated; but the calm didactics of his intellectualism enable him to castigate Augustine’s exaggerations with rigorous criticism, to impart exactitude and precision to his terms -- in one word, to prepare a dictionary with which the African Doctor may be read without danger” (The Catholic Encyclopedia
, Volume II, Teaching of St. Augustine of Hippo, I. His Function as a Doctor of the Church, (4) The character of his genius.)
As you can gather from the above, concerning the laws of correct thinking
, it is not just a matter of listing them, but, more importantly, of understanding the mentality in which and by which they are stated, explained, and taught. In other words, these laws of correct thinking
are really basic concepts of the Truth which are proven by scientific certitude
IF you are looking for something that is reasonably short and simple
you might find it almost as profitable (maybe even more so
), to review a few basics about fallacies
? Fallacies are those things which are false as opposed to those things which are True.
Personally, I have found that a basic knowledge of fallacies
has helped me greatly in the past. They are, in some respects, much easier for some people (like me
) to understand than the more complicated laws
of correct thinking!
As a courtesy to you, rather than not give you any details at all about any of these things, which would certainly be frustrating to say the least (I know it would be this way for me, anyway :help:), it seems both wise and prudent to present to you a brief list of at least some of them, even if some of the language tends to be somewhat technical.
But, not to worry, ;) I am not going to go into any details explaining them. Rather, you might find the book by Cardinal Mercier doing a much more reasonable job explaining some of them? There are also other books on this subject by other authors from the early to middle 1900's.
For example: IF you prefer something about as simple and as easy to read as possible, you might want to contact used book dealers and ask for the book by Right Rev. Msgr. Paul J. Glenn, Ph.D., S.T.D.: “An Introduction to Philosophy” (1930’s or 1940’s edition) and/or “Epistemology”, also by Right Rev. Msgr. Paul J. Glenn, Ph.D., S.T.D. (1930’s or 1940’s edition).
A one, short paragraph, technical explanation of all fallacies in general is found in Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
, Part I, Question 17, Article 4. The entire Summa Theologica
is available for free at:http://stjamescatholic.org/summa/
Summary of FallaciesFallacies can be summarized as follows:I. Fallacies arising from language (Fallacies of Diction).Fallacies of DictionAristotle listed six Fallacies of Diction which he called
3) Composition or Compounding;
4) Division or Dividing;
6) A Figure of Speech.II. Fallacies arising from some other source (Extradictional Fallacies).A. Purely Logical FallaciesB. Semi-logical Fallacies
1. Fallacy of Accident
2. Confusion of Absolute & Qualified StatementC. Material Fallacies
1. Begging the Question.
2. Irrelevant Conclusion/Missing the Point/Ignoring the Issue
3. Argumentum Ad Hominem
(Argument to the Man/Person)
4. Argumentum Ad Populum
(Argument to the People)
5. Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam
(Argument to Ignorance)
6. Argumentum Ad Verecundiam
(Argument to Authority)
7. Argumentum Ad Baculum
(Argument to Force)
8. False Cause
9. Complexity of Questions/Many QuestionsIII. Fallacies of InductionIV. Fallacies of Observation
1. Fallacies of Non-Observation
2. Fallacies of Mal-Observation
a) Optical IllusionsV. Fallacies of Generalization
1. Illicit Generalization
2. False Analogy
I hope that the above data has not been too overwhelming?
Likewise, I hope this this information, IF you have not already been familiar with it, will open an exciting new door to ascertaining the Truth of a subject with absolute objective scientific certitude.
So also, I would hope that the data, even though in an outline format, of fallacies will be of a great help to you in the future. I suspect most people already know what the fallacy of the Argumentum Ad Hominem
(Argument to the Man/Person) is all about?
Personally, I find it very interesting, but at the same time very disturbing, when I hear all kinds of politicians, especially during political debates on TV, whether for the U.S. Presidency, the U.S. Congress, etc., using psychobabble, as well as fallacies, to try to deceive voters by evading the real issues, evading telling the Truth, or victimizing voters with other deceptive methods of what is only superficial propaganda which sounds good, but is not good and sound!
Your patience and fortitude have brought you to the conclusion of what I hope and pray has been an answer which has tried to point you in the correct direction of where to go for more information on this very important subject while, at the same time, trying to familiarize you with just a few of the basics involved.
I wish you well IF you decide to continue to explore this very interesting science!
Personally, in my humble opinion, it is sad that high school students are not given a class which teaches them (suitable for their level of learning capabilities) what the laws of correct thinking
are as well as what some of the more frequently used fallacies are.
IF this was done, perhaps there would be more peace in the world, with much fewer arguments, because Truth has really nothing to do with a person's personal opinions about anything, but rather focuses only on the Truth of a subject with absolute objective scientific certitude! Likewise, maybe politicians would suddenly stop victimizing voters who know when and what fallacies these slick-talking politicians are trying to use to deceive the voters? Maybe this would force at least some politicians to be totally honest with voters by telling them the Truth, not what the politicians think the voters want to hear?
Thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to read this!
God Bless You!
A Catholic Catholic