Logic is commonly associated with the idea of truth, whatever it is. People are apt to think that following some formal prescriptions can produce (prove) something beyond doubt, requiring no other substantiation. However attractive, this thought encounters serious objections at closer examination. That is why some people even tried to avoid the very mentioning of truth, restricting consideration to mere formal correctness (logical positivism). Still, a true philosopher will certainly make an attempt to cope with this difficult problem, taking the risk of discovering its utter intractability.

As already mentioned, logic has to do with regularity and social acceptance of behavior. Obviously, the aspect of regularity is related to proof, while the connotation of common acceptance is intuitively closer to sociality. That is, both formal deduction and truth belong to the hierarchy of logic, to its different levels. This implies a possibly non-trivial interrelationship between the two; in particular, proof does not necessarily produce truth, as well as truth does not always need to be formally right.

Since logic is an attribute of conscious activity, it is natural to correlate its levels with the levels of activity. The hierarchy of activity, like any other hierarchy, can present itself in different ways (hierarchical structures, positions of hierarchy). Thus, in the scheme of general psychology, each activity unfolds itself in a sequence of actions, while each action assumes a sequence of operations. Consciousness is associated with the level of action, while the levels of operation and activity correspond to the two kinds of the unconscious, the subconscious and the superconscious. The relation of an action to the possible operations constitutes its meaning, while the relation of the same action to the encompassing activity gives it sense. That is, any conscious action is meaningful and has sense.

Similarly, in logic, we can admit that any logical act must be formally correct (an analog of meaning) and pursuit some truth (a kind of sense). The idea of truth is thus related to the completeness of the hierarchy of activity, to consciousness (or, rather, to its highest level, reason).

Thus the practical nature of logic is reestablished once again. Logicians can be satisfied with the objective necessity of formal operation, while scientists can be reassured of their seeking for truth rather than formal entertainment. The lack of either component destroys logic.

The two facets of logic are approached by the corresponding levels of philosophical logic, epistemology and gnoseology. The former studies the general organization required for an activity to be logical; the latter is occupied with the correspondence of logical forms to reality. In epistemology, we discuss such categories as correctness, completeness, consistency, coherence, verification, falsification etc. Gnoseological study introduces the categories of objective, relative and absolute truth, plausibility, adequacy, knowledge, applicability and others.

The psychological analogy can be further elaborated to include hierarchical conversion. In psychology, activities can fold into actions, and actions into operations; conversely, actions can become full-fledged activities, while their operations get lifted to the level of action. In logic, this corresponds to the development of logical schemes from the patterns of activity, and conversely, to implementing logical schemes in practical activity; these two opposite trends could be called abstraction and concretization, and the necessity of their combined involvement has always been (following Hegel) stressed in Marxism.

Returning to the definition of truth, we observe that any social attitude is a complex phenomenon; it has many aspects representing the same hierarchy. Some kind of acceptance is appropriate to logic, some other kind to ethics, or ontology. It seems plausible that, in logic, we accept the very way of doing something, rather than one's personality, or somebody's deeds. We can despise a person, but find some logic in his acts; similarly, we can disapprove the goals, but acknowledge the adequacy of methods. In this picture, truth refers to the correspondence of one's acts to their idea, which is an objectified form of a subjective hierarchy.

This correspondence has many complementary aspects. For example, one can put stress on the goals, and truth will take the form of efficiency. That is, if I can do something my way, then I'm true, and if you cannot get the desired effect, you are doing something the wrong way. As the opposite of this pragmatic approach, I could rather cherish my own feelings and be satisfied with my inner truth regardless of the possibly disastrous consequences of activity. The others may burst of indignation and sizzle with contempt, but they cannot deny my subjective integrity and objective consistency. The ability to combine the inner and outer truth is known as wisdom, and it is rarely attained.

Similarly, scientific truth and poetical truth complement each other, and there are few people who can equally master them both.

However, the opposites are not as different as they seem to be. For instance pursuing inner truth can be easily reinterpreted as an efficient way of getting to the desired goal, but this goal lies inside the subject rather than in the outer world. Conversely, frequently accentuating the palpable goals can be treated as a specific personal attitude, a manifestation of an inner structure. The both poles are objectively necessary for cultural development, which reveals their common truth.

In general, the hierarchy of truth reflects the hierarchy of logic. Truth will always come out as some hierarchical structure (the traditional values of true and false being the simplest case). However, one structure is as possible as another, and there are nontrivial interrelations between different structures, so that any transition requires folding one structure and unfolding another, in a different dimension. Thus, in place of true and false, we obtain the opposition of right and wrong, correct and faulty, consistent and eclectic, or even good and evil. And, of course, there are much more complex structures of truth than simple dichotomy. Since any human activity contains all these aspects, it can be evaluated using any possible logical structure, an each choice is equally justified.

In the same line, treating logic as a system, we come to the admissibility of quite different production systems, and there is no absolutely correct or absolutely false reasoning, nor a uniquely acceptable way of action.

Does that mean the absence of any logic at all, purely random behavior? No, it doesn't. However, logic is not as simple as some people picture it, though it comprises the very possibility of oversimplifications, and even sheer arbitrariness. Instead of criticizing the others, one should rather try to comprehend their truth and seek for the ways to resolve the inevitable contradictions.

[Logic] [Hierarchies] [Unism]