The Three Laws of Thought, Plus One: The Law of Comparisons

Thomas Saaty
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Pittsburgh
United States

Publication date: Feb, 2014

Journal: Axioms
Vol.: 3- Issue: 1- Pages: 46-49

Abstract: The rules of logic are nearly 2500 years old and date back to Plato and Aristotle who set down the three laws of thought: identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle. The use of language and logic has been adequate for us to develop mathematics, prove theorems, and create scientific knowledge. However, the laws of thought are incomplete. We need to extend our logical system by adding to the very old laws of thought an essential yet poorly understood law. It is a necessary law of thought that resides in our biology even deeper than the other three laws. It is related to the rudiments of how we as living beings, and even nonliving things, respond to influences as stimuli. It helps us discriminate between being ourselves and sensing that there is something else that is not ourselves that even amoebas seem to know. It is the intrinsic ability to sense and distinguish. This fourth law is the law of comparisons. Although it has been missing from our logical deductions it underlies the other three laws of thought because without it we cannot know what is and what is not.

Keywords: Laws of thought, New law of comparisons, Plato and Aristotle’s axioms, Arthur Schopenhauer