An essay of logical pragmatism




Everywhere truth and value have always constituted the final aim of creative efforts of human intelligence.


H. F. Amiel once wrote: "we should have the truth by our side; this is the secret of eloquence and virtue this is the moral authority. It is the highest maxim of art and life". The whole history of human knowledge and the complete evolution of science are the evidences of this tormenting obsession for truth. But, metaphorically speaking, if the truth is often considered as the error the overcame, we find that the history of science is also full of errors that did not overcome, being signs of the knowledge failure and reason's confusion of the confusion of the reason in their attempts to comprehend the world. The scientific truth is not a fact but a result built upon numberless attempts and errors. In his well-known "Science and Hypothesis", Poincaré pointed out that "for a superficial observer, the scientific truth is beyond any doubt; the logic of science is infallible and, if sometimes scientist are wrong, this is because they ignore its rules". Otherwise they would not be wrong.


If truth and value are difficult to tell one from the other, even in some cognitive fields considered as scientific models, the difficulties increase in other fields, where the distinctions are subject to ambiguity and covered with uncertainties; the methods do not always make us sure of getting the results, and the confirmation of the solutions is not at all definitive and it does not take the most adequate forms to be transmittable to the posterity.


We are surprised to see that the results of the spiritual culture - science, truth and its values - are not easily received, they are often confronted with serious obstacles of receptiveness, which makes their operability not be able to manifest itself with all its strength, that strength given by the novelty and the deepness of a scientific discovery or a cultural innovation. Huge energies, sometimes bigger than those determined by the discoveries themselves, have been wasted in order to impose those values and to make sure they go through.


Knowing this tempted us to try to outline an explicative model of receptivity that has as intuition the determination of those potential factors which favor the receptivity, the assumption and the progress of spiritual values. Our explicative model tries to answer the question: which are the factors or reasons that make certain creations or spiritual values impose them easily and determine real "fashions" within the culture of a period of time or within a historical space, while other ones impose themselves with some difficulty, with efforts and against obstacles sometimes inconceivably big? This because the common sense can easily find that there are creations that impose themselves more easily or are better received, and there are others which encounter an obvious resistance; common sense can also tell that between the creations of sensibly equivalent values, one is preffered to another and so on. Our presupposition is that these different options are conditioned and the spectrum of these conditions or factors constitutes the so called matrix of receptivity which we intend to construct.


Therefore which are the constitutive elements of a matrix of receptivity? First, there is the amplitude; the ideatic comprehension and the problematical actuality a creation, a value or a personality bring to the receptor. These qualities determine a certain dia-logical tension, materialized in the wish to contact such values. Great ideas, profound ideas, nowadays ones - whose greatness profoundness and actuality make us reflect - impose themselves more easily over the adversities or conjunctural misunderstandings. Genuine value does not care about superficiality of the others!


The systems of thinking, the spiritual creations often impose themselves through the theoretical and practical consequences they have on the cognitive field they belong to. If a certain idea, lounged into the world, "revolutionizes" the field in which it is integrated, surely it will draw attention on itself, it will generate enough discussion, even contradictory ones, but these last ones are more favorable to the reception. Remarkable, leading idea is that one which knocks at the gates - even the well locked ones - of receptiveness and the more extended this idea is, the bigger the chances are. That series of spiritual values is perceived, recovered and assumed more easily which is in concordance with the receptor's proper values, his/her way of thinking or writing. It is about a natural integration in the same "experience of thinking" of the concordant facts, of the values that confirm an idea, an intellectual status quo or a personal research. When a value opposes to an existent order of values, already established, all the chances are there that it encounters resistance, and it often happens that it is not taken into account. Beyond some kind of a "project standing still" and of a resistance to changes - which have their psychological explanations - we talk here also of attachment to certain values that determine a resistance to the penetration of others. The reception of a theoretical construction depends on its clarity, accessibility, operability and its beauty. Between two or more theoretical constructions reached about the same cognitive results, that one which is the clearest, the most accessible and operative and which is elaborated in a spiritually inciting way will be the one to be preferred, assumed and used. This satisfies that "axiom" according to which human mind is made to achieve "maximum of results with a minimum of effort"! The receptivity to a certain idea depends on the cultural mentality of a certain epoch, of a communitarian atmosphere or of a certain scientific community. If a certain culture, a certain epoch or a certain scientific community have assumed certain values which are used and promoted, it is very difficult to try to assimilate a value opposed to those promoted. There are enough examples of "intolerance" between values that are founded on such differences. A cultural space "is fond of" its values and protects them with strictness, a scientific community make sure that its points of view become the most widespread, and so on. Perhaps, it would be interesting to say some things about the role of fashion in the circulation of values. There is a certain tendency which people, cultures and epochs are subject to, to act under the sign of that "theory of imitation", an inclination for being in resonance with what is made in other cultural media (usually recognized as bearer of the new in some field). Fashion can create favorable terms for imposing a certain value, but it accepts - in most cases - the compromise. Fashion is under the sign of the temporality while the genuine value should be eternal. A value that imposes itself through the agency of the fashion also is subject to a negative trend.


These several factors outline - in our opinion - an explicative model of the receptiveness of values. This model applied to a case study: the reception of the logicity in the Romanian tradition. There is a common, classic essence of the logical problems - and this is what we call logicity - and we pay attention to its reception of the logicity in the Romanian tradition - trying to understand the factors, the tendencies and the amplitude of the obtained results. What do we find following this way of decoding? We find different experiences of thinking which are the fruit of different influences, ways of reception and ideatic disponibilities. In Maiorescu's case we meet an experience of the initiatory thinking concerning the logicity, a "contact reception" through which the Romanian culture is confronted with the European classical values of logics. This experience of thinking is influenced by the clarity and accessibility of logicity values but also by the Romanian mentality in this field or by Maiorescu's assumption in the field of logics. In Petrovici's case we face an experience of critical thinking over logicity, determined by the result which certain logical issues can generate, by the confrontation with the authorities of this field (Drobisch, Mill) - and by the novelty which certain issues can determine in Romanian logics. The situation changes in Petre Botezatu's case. We have here a new experience, the experience of a constructive thinking, determined by the profoundness and the actuality of a certain trend in research, an experience determined by the amplitude and diversity of a problem, by the imperative of some novel solutions or of an unorthodox interpretation, or again an experience determined by the necessity to systematize logicity. In a special situation is the last "experience of thinking" to which we apply our proposed theoretical model: that of Nae Ionescu. It is integrated to a new order which we can call: the experience of a founding tanking on logicity. The logical issues are perceived and assumed within their traditional limits - as a founding object, as a reality the dia-logical relations is performed in connection with. A certain conception, a certain point of view can be "the text" and "the pretext" for the development of a founding thought. The founding thinking works by questioning, it reaches all that seems to be under the sign of the authority, analyzes, explains, brings arguments and reassembles the "whole" of the logical being to reveal - to those who do not know yet - how new is possible!