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CANCELLED LTF Lecture with Jesse Mulder: Aristotle, Hegel, and Rödl on how the law of non-contradiction leads to contradictions

Thursday 16 April 2020
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

The Leiden Theoretical Philosophy Colloquium Series is pleased to announce a lecture by

Jesse Mulder


Aristotle, Hegel, and Rödl on how the law of non-contradiction leads to contradictions



Aristotle famously argued that saying anything at all commits one to the law of non-contradiction. Aiming to deny that law amounts to giving up on the possibility of saying anything at all, and thus "such a man ... is no better than a vegetable". Non-contradiction thus seems fundamental to Aristotle's philosophy. On the other hand, Hegel famously argued that the principle of contradiction, "all things are in themselves contradictory", expresses the "truth and essence of things". So it seems no two philosophers could be further apart than Aristotle and Hegel when it comes to contradictions. Yet, interestingly, Rödl, in his recent book Self-Consciousness and Objectivity, on the one hand underwrites without any qualification Aristotle's claim that the law of non-contradiction is absolutely fundamental, yet ends his book with what he calls its "speculative high point": that empirical knowledge and absolute knowledge are both identical and different. Moreover, a closer look at Hegel's road leading up to his "principle of contradiction" shows that this principle is in fact developed out of Aristotle's principle of non-contradiction. – Is there any truth in this baffling emergence of contradictions out of the principle of non-contradiction? Or is it merely a peculiarity of queer absolute idealists like Hegel and Rödl?

All are welcome!

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