What is tautological bias

Kurt Walter Zeidler

The reality of reason
(Formal, empirical and rational justification)

first published in: L. Nagl, R. Langthaler (Hrsg.), System der Philosophie? Ceremony for Hans-Dieter Klein, Fft / M 2000, pp. 241-252.

The view that philosophy has to explain the reasonableness of the real is nowadays not considered a self-evident presupposition, but rather an ideological prejudice and an 'idealistic' aberration of thought. Anyone who claims under today's - under 'post-idealistic' or 'post-metaphysical' - conditions that the "method of philosophy" has "no other content than to explain the rationality of the real for every thing",(1) therefore runs straight against the wall of a tacit consent behind which the spokesmen of contemporary philosophy have agreed that the one with the terms reason and reality connected system, totality and unconditional claims is not a topic of the current philosophical discussion. The unanimity with which this claim is placed under suspicion of ideology and senselessness is, as it were, the sacrament through which contemporary thinking assures itself of its actuality, and since this actuality is its sanctuary, every attempt to explain the rationality of the real is considered a sacrilege. who is to be punished with icy silence or scornful laughter.
At best polite The silence with which the philosophical present reacts to every attempt to revive previous claims to system, totality and unconditionality is based on motifs that are just as different as the manifold and sometimes quite contradicting tendencies that lead to the phenomenon of philosophical 'modernity'. unite. Common self-characterizations such as anthropological turn, linguistic turn or post-metaphysical thinking, therefore only shed light on partial aspects of the phenomenon. If one does not get involved in lengthy investigations of these partial aspects and does not want to persuade in the sense of the so-called 'post-modernity' to already see the proprium of contemporary philosophy in its heterogeneous appearance, one will find the reason for the prevailing distrust of reason It may also be expected that this question alone will be perceived as inappropriate, since a prejudice in favor of reason is apparently betrayed as soon as one asks not about reasons, but about the reason for the present defaitism of reason. An unjustified prejudice in favor of reason betrayed the question of the reason for defeatism of reason only if it was not posed in principle, i.e. if one assumed that the question of the reason for distrust of reason should be answered without at the same time the competence of reason and to question the possibility of a reasonable (rational) justification. Since one traditionally understands the competence of reason to be the ability to reasonably justify, the question of the reason for the present defeatism of reason must now be formulated precisely: it is to ask about the reason for the omnipresent doubts about the possibility of rational justifications.

The question is initially not difficult to answer, namely purely historically, because as far as and whenever the distrust of reason is articulated in an argumentatively comprehensible way, it falls back on three arguments that have been used since antiquity against the possibility of a rational justification become: accordingly every attempt at a rational justification either leads to a infinite rationale or in one logical circle or in one dogmatic break the justification procedure. However, the evaluation of these three arguments of justification skepticism confronts us with a difficult problem, since their evaluation depends on our concept of justification. If we understand under justification the formal logical justification of statements by other statements or the empirical justification of determinations by other determinations, then the justification trilemma is irrefutable, since every statement or factual statement itself requires justification. An empirically or formally logically motivated criticism which accuses the skeptic of justification of having to give empirical reasons on which his skepticism is based or that he has to adhere to rules of logic in order to be able to rely on reasons at all, therefore aims at nothing. Your allegations do not affect the justification skeptic because they are based on conditions that the skeptic in no way denies. If the justification skeptic asserts that every attempt at a rational justification results either in an infinite regress or in a logical circle or in a dogmatic termination of the justification procedure, then he does not claim that it does not presuppose any rules of the logic of the logic and is not based on any empirical reasons. Rather, the justification skeptic asserts that mere empirical and mere formal logical presuppositions do not provide any rational justification. This assertion is tautological and therefore cannot be refuted, but has to be overcome with regard to its presupposition, which says that justification is only as either formal logic justification of statements through other statements or as empirical justification is to be understood from determinations by other determinations. By virtue of this presupposition, the skepticism of justification negates the concept of a from the outset rational justification - and thus proves to be far more insightful than most of his critics. Most of his critics also share his assumption; They too hold on to the fact that there are formal logical reasons on the one hand and empirical reasons on the other, but they do not recognize that they are less saving the concept of a rational justification than negating it if they only negate the alternative formal logic or empirical justification hold tight. On the other hand, the skeptic of justification consequently adheres to the negation of the possibility of rational justification, decided by virtue of this alternative, in that he asserts - perhaps not his own understanding, but according to the matter - that there are no rules for the connection of logic and empiricism that are tautological Break through the idle logic of logic (infinite regress or logical circle) and overcome the mere facticity of empirical findings (termination of the justification process).

The question of the reason for the present defeatism of reason and for the omnipresent doubts about the possibility of rational justifications has thus brought us back to the starting point of our considerations: by confronting us with the problem of the apparently so problem-free distinction between formal-logical and empirical justification, it has us returned to the question of the relationship between reason and reality. With this question is the problem of the Kantian critique of reason and the transcendental logic addressed, which as the "logic of truth" asks about the conditions of the possibility of the object-relation of knowledge, while the formal or general logic "Of all the content of knowledge, i.e. abstracted from all relation of the same to the object, and considered "only the logical form in the relation of the cognitions to one another" (KrV A 55 / B 79). In our so overly historically educated age, there is, however, the danger that one only understands the reference historically. As Hans-Dieter Klein has shown in the 'Investigations on the Critique of Reason' with his reflections on the 'Method of Philosophy', which are primarily based on Aristotle,(2) And as is evident not least from the arguments of skepticism that have been known from time immemorial, in this context it is not a matter of referring to one or the other classics of philosophical literature or of reviving a certain philosophical tradition, but of the possibility of Philosophy itself: it's simply about that Ask how reason as real, i.e. can be thought of as reality-knowing reason.

Mere historical reminiscences do little to answer this question, as the stuck distinction between either formal or empirical justification stands in the way. Even the memory of Kant, who so resolutely problematizes this distinction with his question about the possibility of synthetic judgments a priori, does not provide an immediate answer to our question about the reality of reason; for Kant clearly conceived his Transcendental Logic as the logic of object determination by orienting it to the doctrine of judgment and thus moving the logical form of object determination into the center of his theory. Since his main focus was on the theory of object determination, however, Kant failed to develop the principle-theoretical dimension of the doctrine of judgment with the required degree of detail. He neglected the theory of principles in favor of the theory of object determination and therefore did not adequately explain the extent to which the doctrine of judgment is to be understood as the doctrine of the "functions of unity in judgments" (KrV A 69 / B 94), i.e. as a theory of synthesis, and thus to the theory of categories becomes.(3) This neglect of the theory of principles is the reason why Kant's Transcendental Logic has been judged time and again in terms of the representational-theoretical presuppositions which it questions and which is therefore misunderstood as a meta-empirical theory of consciousness or the sciences. In the absence of a theoretical clarification, it remains uncertain what the theory of object determination is based on. So the suspicion could arise that their determinations are not based on a fundamental logical Analysis of the conditions of the possibility of object knowledge, but from psychological or scientific theory or other meta-empirical investigations of factual knowledge gains.

While the most important proponents of transcendental philosophy - above all Fichte and Hegel - encountered this suspicion early on and contributed fundamentals to the theory of principles and synthesis that they missed in Kant, unfortunately many others have confirmed this suspicion. Instead of the logical synthesis, which guarantees the systematic connection between the theory of judgment and categories, they tried to fix the categories to the empirical subject or to language and to other cultural and scientific objectivations of the mind, so that philosophy could be hidden for them in psychology or in Linguistics or the theory of culture and science transformed. This disintegration of post-Kantian philosophy into individual scientific research programs demonstrates, as it were, with the empirical fact that one must not limit transcendental logic to the theory of object determination. Without an elaborated theory of principles and theory of synthesis, it is in danger of degenerating into a positivistic logic of science. This means that transcendental logic, as transcendental analytics, must not limit itself to examining the conditions of the possibility of object knowledge. It can only live up to its own claim if it is explicitly presented as a theory of rational justification identifies and realizes the concept of logic in its full scope by making logic the doctrine of the reality of reason raises.

The demands that must be made on transcendental logic in the name of the universal claim of reason and logic direct our reflections from the transcendental analytics to the transcendental dialectic. Kant did not conceive of this second part of the transcendental logic as a categorical-logical theory of object determination. Rather, in contrast to analytics, he wants it to be understood not as the logic of truth, but as the "logic of appearances", since he sees the Transcendental Dialectic as a critique of the dialectical appearance which arises when we apply the logical principles of object knowledge developed in analytics "beyond the limits of experience" in order to reach a supposed knowledge of supersensible objects beyond these limits (KrV A 63 / B 87f.) Criticism of a metaphysics that pretends to have knowledge of such supersensible objects is therefore contained in the part of the Critique of Pure Reason which is entitled “Transcendental Dialectic.” The Transcendental Dialectic, however, does not only have this critical-prohibitive meaning. It gains positive meaning insofar as the dialectical appearance does not result solely from the fact that one exceeds the limits of possible experience and the principles of object knowledge become the most general principles of thought (reason). expandedbut that one can apply these principles of reason in a meta-physical way objectified. Since the dialectical semblance arises from it, “that the subjective Condition of thinking for the knowledge of the Object is held "(KrV A 396; cf. A 297 / B 353; Prolegomena, § 55), the Transcendental Dialectic allows principles to be thought that are not directly principles of object knowledge, but those of thinking itself. It allows reasonto think principles that are not objectively defining or (as Kant says) constitutive Function, but a purely synthetic or regulative Function. By distinguishing between constitutive principles of understanding and regulative principles of reason, Kant himself shows that transcendental logic is not restricted to the categorical theory of object determination and opens up the prospect of a comprehensive theory of the logical. Since he understands the Transcendental Dialectic under the aspect of his criticism of contemporary school metaphysics primarily as the logic of appearances and makes its regulative (positive-dialectical) function recognizable only with regard to the theory of object determination developed in the Transcendental Analytics (cf. KrV A 643f ./B 671f., A 679f./B 707f.), But unfortunately Kant only incompletely elaborated on the theory of the logical. It is true that he holds out the prospect of a comprehensive theory of logic when, at the beginning of the Transcendental Dialectic, he exposes reason as the "ability of principles" that "in conclusion, bring the great variety of knowledge of the understanding to the smallest number of principles (general conditions) and thereby seek to bring about the highest unity of the same "(KrV A 305 / B 361), but Kant only developed the connection between the theory of principles and the theory of synthesis referred to as the" highest unity "to the extent necessary to show the errors of a metaphysics, which argues within the boundaries of the representation-theoretical sign model and the 'highest unity' therefore not as logical Synthesis, rather than meta-physical object understand. The question of how the three ideas of reason (soul, world and God) each as an object featured Synthesis in an undisguised way as a logical synthesis thought can be, but unfortunately Kant did not ask and therefore did not answer explicitly.

The answer to this question - this much can be inferred from Kant's remarks - can be found in the doctrine of inference. As long as the reason of the conclusion is only served, In order to get from the scattered and conditioned knowledge of the understanding to the 'highest unity' and the 'unconditioned', the connection between the conclusion and the synthesis achievements of reason remains undeclared. In Kantian logic, therefore, the mediation achieved through inference remains just as external to the conclusion as in formal logic. Conventional formal logic also values ​​the conclusion as a logical form of mediation and justification, but it only knows how to make use of this form if what is to be mediated or justified is already given in the premises. The inference doctrine of formal logic is therefore limited to the doctrine of deductive inference, which in the conclusion repeats and summarizes what has already been established in its premises. Formal logic, which only knows this tautological form of logical justification, unintentionally confirms the objections that skepticism raises against the feasibility of a sufficient rational justification. It confirms these objections because, as a formal science, it is a doctrine of the structures of the knowledge results already available in the form of statements, but not a doctrine of the conditions of the possibility of knowledge. Since transcendental logic claims to be precisely this doctrine of the conditions of the possibility of knowledge, it cannot restrict itself to the deductive conception of the inference doctrine.Rather, its task is to clarify the conditions of the possibility of deductive inference and thus to develop a transcendentally relevant inference theory that overcomes skepticism of justification as a logical ultimate justification theory.

The task specifies the demands that are to be made on transcendental logic in the name of the universal claim of reason. It makes it clear that the transcendental question, in contrast to conventional logics, methodologies and theories of science, which express the universal claim of the logical method with the stereotypical and futile demand for an induction logic, is not a search for an inductive complement to deductive logic is limited. The logic of truth does not ask for an inductive addition or a quasi-inductive extension of the deduction, but for the conditions of the possibility of inference. This transcendental-logical question is less answered than it is disguised by the common understanding of the relationship between deduction and induction: one understands deduction as the subsumption of a particular under a general and induction as an inference from the particular to the general, and therefore means that induction is as To understand the justification of the 'universal proposition' presupposed in the deduction. The induction understood in this way is, however, not a justification, but only the reversal of the subsumption relationship between presupposition and conclusion. Since it does not clarify the subsumption relationship, it cannot justify it, but at most presuppose it. Induction can therefore never, by its own means, infer the general presupposed in the deduction. If it is left to its own devices, then it inevitably leads to the infinite justification. If, on the other hand, it makes use of the subsumption ratio, then induction and deduction together again form a deductive inference which, as an 'inductive' conclusion, only reveals what its 'deductive' presupposition had already asserted, so that the tautological relationship between the premises and the Conclusion of the deductive conclusion to the circular justification relationship of mutually presupposing prerequisites and conclusions, which the justification skepticism criticizes as a logical circle in the deduction.

If one follows the common conception of the relationship between deduction and induction, then the alternative of logical circle and infinite justification is inevitable. It is, however, inevitable not because the question of the conditions of the possibility of inference was asked, but rather because the question was avoided from the outset by defining the inference as a relationship between the general and the particular, or between the assumption and the conclusion, without any clarity about the conditions of the possibility of this relationship. The memory of the American Kantian Charles S. Peirce, who placed the question "how synthetic thinking is possible" at the center of his philosophy and the answer to this "central question of philosophy" (CP 5.348 ; see CP 2.690) in a final doctrine that is not limited to the interplay of deduction and induction. In doing so, Peirce followed the usual syllogistic and induction logic requirements: he started from the traditional scheme of Aristotelian-scholastic logic, according to which the syllogism consists of a general premise (major premise), a less general premise (minor premise) and the conclusion and initially stated that induction is to be defined on the basis of this scheme "as the conclusion from the less general (minor) premise and the conclusion on the general (major) premise." In contrast to the theorists of induction, who break off the logical investigation at this point, Peirce observed, however, "that, if so, there should still be some form of inference which inferred from the more general premise and the conclusion to the less general one."(4) With this third form of inference, which he referred to as "Hypothesis" and in later writings as "Retroduction" or "Abduction", Peirce made a logical discovery which gives an answer to the transcendental-logical question about the conditions of the possibility of inference.(5) However, Peirce has not succeeded in interpreting his discovery in a clear, transcendental manner, because he does not clearly distinguish between the logical and methodological meaning of the three conclusions and, in his explanations, constantly confuses philosophical and psychological and ontological arguments. Not only the literature on Peirce, but also his own writings, testify to the difficulty of grasping a dimension of logic that goes beyond the problem horizon of the usual understanding of logic and is therefore not generally recognized as a logical topic, but only as an epistemological or psychological or metaphysical marginal and consequential problem of logic is dealt with.

One therefore approaches the understanding of the "hypothesis" in the shortest possible way if one follows Peirce in his formal-logical argumentation and the Deduction understands as the conclusion of a 'rule' (major proposition) and a 'case' (minor proposition) to a 'result' (conclusion) which induction as the conclusion of the case and result on the rule and the Hypothesis or Abduction as the conclusion of rule and result on a case (cf. CP 5.276, 2.623, 2.712). The question about the conditions of the possibility of inference can therefore be answered in such a way that the deduction, in addition to the induction, which from 'result' (conclusion) and 'case' (minor premise) concludes to the 'rule' presupposed in the major premise of the deductive inference, Yet another synthesizing method is required which determines the case for the rule and the result to which the rule can be applied. In other words: the subsumption of a particular under a general presupposes not only the inductive development of the general, but also the conceptual definition of the particular, which is to be subsumed as a special case under the general rule. This formulation clarifies the fundamental meaning of the abductive inference: as a logical procedure that opens up the case to the rule and thus the applicability of the rule, abduction is the logical process of concept formation.

As a logical procedure for the application of rules and the formation of concepts, the abductive conclusion gives the answer to two questions to which conventional logic not only finds no answer, but which it does not even dare to ask, because the prejudice of representation theory forbids both questions. If one considers sign and object to be the two poles of a linear relationship and therefore presupposes, in the sense of an ontological understanding of logic, that judgments relate to facts or that this presupposition is declared logically irrelevant in the sense of a purely formalistic and linguistic understanding of logic, then the questions are how Rules can be applied at all and observations can be conceptually identified at all, no logical meaning. Both questions then at best designate the outermost limit of any logical investigation. While a logic and linguistic analysis that understands the relationship between language and the world as a linear two-digit relationship evades both questions and leads straight to the rationale of the metalanguages, the abduction with the answer to both questions now gives us a transcendentally relevant inference and ultimate justification theory to the Hand that overcomes skepticism of justification with the representation-theoretic symbol model. The abduction provides us with a transcendentally relevant inference, because it allows us to think of the conclusion no longer as a tautological connection of given premises (deduction) or as an approximate empirical procedure for the establishment of rules (induction), but as a purely logical synthesis; because while deduction and induction split the logical synthesis into the two separate aspects of a purely formal and a purely empirical justification, abduction mediates both aspects of validity,(6) by performing the conceptual identification of the object and thereby supplying deduction with its logical objects and induction with its empirical concepts. The abduction is therefore neither to be understood as a deductive derivation mechanism nor as an inductive approximation method, rather it accomplishes the transcendental synthesis of the manifold, which Kant ascribes to the pure understanding or to the 'originally-synthetic unity of apperception' (KrV B § 16), which one however has repeatedly ascribed to the empirical mind and the empirical subjects of knowledge, because the logical character of the original synthesis (the brokerage service of reason) remains unexplained by Kant.

If, nevertheless, the objection is to be expected that in truth it is not the abductive conclusion, but the real, cognitive subjects that mediate thought and perception, then this popular objection only proves a lack of understanding of the philosophical problem, rather than biological, psychological or other explanations any phenomena of knowledge are the subject of philosophical investigation. Philosophy does not look for empirical explanations, but demands clarification about the conditions that must be met in order for anything to be known at all. This in the strict sense transcendental Conditions must therefore not be merely empirical reasons or merely conventionally accepted rules. Rather, they must ultimately be self-justifying reasons or the most general rules for establishing rules. The philosophical question about the conditions of the possibility of knowledge in general therefore receives its ultimately binding answer in the end. It is answered by the doctrine of inference because the three inferences form the self-regulating logical unit as which the ultimate justification or the rule of all rules must be thought of; for, as we have already been able to establish, the establishment of every rule requires precisely the three syntheses that the deductive, inductive and abductive inference accomplishes: deduction executed the rule, induction formulated the rule, by anticipating its possible uses, and the abduction identified the respective application.

Even though we can interpret the three conclusions as the most general rules for establishing a rule, this does not yet clarify to what extent the inference theory is to be understood as a logical theory of ultimate justification that overcomes skepticism of justification. With regard to the self-regulating unity of the three inferences, the justification skeptic will object that this unity is only the cumbersome disguise of a simple logical circle. The objection is of great importance because it allows us to put in the brightest light the difference between formal and empirical arguments on the one hand and philosophical reasoning on the other. When the skeptic objects that three inferences that mutually prove their premises form a circular reasoning, he argues first in the sense of ordinary formal logic: he only takes into account the result of the logical synthesis and therefore understands the connection of the three inferences as something found Aggregate of any statements, the logical consistency of which has to be checked. After this examination has shown that the statements are in a formal-logically consistent connection, he argues as a critic of formal logic and complains that a formal-logically consistent connection of statements is necessarily circular and thus epistemologically sterile. If one points out to the skeptic that he is basing his epistemological criticism on a formal-logical analysis that only describes the external structure of the connection between the three conclusions, but does not take into account the logical functions that form this connection, then this reference will not be too confusing . The skeptic will now analyze the individual forms of inference and find that induction and abduction are not conclusions that are valid in terms of formal logic. Then he will again argue as an epistemologist and state that induction is only the syllogistic description for the infinite regress, since no matter how large a number of successful rule applications, it is not possible to infer the general validity of the rule, and he will further establish that the Abduction is not a conclusion at all, but a mere arbitrary stipulation that adds the appropriate application examples to the presupposed rules and results. The justification skeptic will consequently see himself less refuted by the conclusive theory of ultimate justification than he will see himself most brilliantly confirmed.

The skeptic can only see himself confirmed, however, because he does not think his thoughts together: he does not notice that the deficits in justification that he uncovered result from his own empirical and formalistic assumptions. Skepticism alternates between the correspondence theoretical truth conception of empiricism, which only wants to admit empirically given reasons, and the coherence theoretical truth conception of logical formalism, which understands by logic only a doctrine of the structures of given statements or knowledge results without noticing that it is itself both times caught in the representation-theoretic symbol model: namely, he is looking for one in both cases Given even if he's after establish seeks. Since he seeks his reasons in a given, he can understandably only find them in one empirically given or one logically presupposed or one arbitrarily set suspect, although he must always find that none of these reasons offer the basis sought. Skepticism must draw the conclusion from this that every attempt at a rational justification in one infinite regress or one logical circle or one dogmatic assertion ends. Philosophical thinking, on the other hand, which does not cling to given reasons and therefore understands logic not only as a specifically formal scientific doctrine of the structures of the results of knowledge, but as a doctrine of the conditions of the possibility of knowledge, recognizes the three isolated and theirs in the skepticistic reasoning trilemma Isolation negates moments of the triune inference, which combines the correspondence-theoretical and the coherence-theoretical aspect of the concept of truth or the two isolated aspects of either a purely empirical or a purely formal justification and therefore the ultimate justification of all knowledge and thus also the form of Reason and reality is.

1. H.-D. Klein, Reason and Reality, Vol. 1, Investigations on the Critique of Reason, Vienna-Munich 1973, p. 307.

2. H.-D. Klein, Reason and Reality, Vol. 1, Investigations on the Critique of Reason, Vienna-Munich 1973, pp. 264ff.

3. Thus Kant speaks of the original-synthetic unit of apperceptionwhich is the "highest point", "at which one must attach all use of the mind, even the whole logic, and according to it, the transcendental philosophy" (KrV B 134, note), but it does not have this original logical synthesis more precisely determined.

4. Quoted from: Karl Otto Apel, Der Denkweg by Charles S. Peirce, Frankfurt / Main 1975, p. 80.

5. As Peirce himself emphasized, this discovery is by no means a singular idea. Those who do not allow themselves to be blinded by prejudices from the history of philosophy and logic, will rather find that the fundamental insight into the syllogistic and triadic form of knowledge has already been formulated or at least hinted at in various places. Not only Kant - who implicitly formulates this insight in his doctrine of ideas and maxims - and Hegel, to whom we owe the most detailed and most penetrating transcendental-logical interpretation of the inference doctrine, but also Plato and Aristotle already gained this insight, and from it above all that formal logic developed.

See K. W. Zeidler, Outline of the Transcendental Logic, Cuxhaven-Dartford 21997, §§ 26-31.

6. This mediation service only allows it in a logically and critically relevant sense of Validity or truth to speak, because it allows the empirically isolated aspects of the current theories of truth Applicable (Correspondence theory), the formal right (Coherence theory) and the intersubjective Applicable (Consensus theory) as the three moments of the concept of truth.