Posts Tagged ‘Paralogic’


Friday, June 27th, 2008

From Paralogic Rhetoric: A Theory of Communicative Interaction by Thomas Kent

“…paralogy seeks to subsume logic. As the etymological origin of the term suggests, paralogy means beyond logic in that it accounts for the attribute of language-in-use that defies reduction to a codifiable process or to a system of logical relations.” p. 3

“Another way to understand Lyotard’s formulation of paralogy…is to view paralogy as a version of anti-logic. Closely related to Derridean deconstruction, antilogic is an interrogative technique that operates by drawing attention to a suppressed opposition in an argument.As G.B. Kerferd describes the technique, antilogic works by proceeding from a given logos, say the position adopted by an opponent, to the establishment of a contrary or contradictory logos in such a way that the opponent must either accept both logoi, or at least abandon his first position. Because antilogic works through negation – it offers no positive alternative to an assertion but simply employs the elements already present in someone else’s argument – antilogic, like deconstruction, posits no claim or argument that someone can refute.”

“In a sense, antilogic actually gives life to logic, for antilogic reveals the aporias and the suppressed oppositions that structure and animate every logical argument.”

“…paralogy lives beyond logic; paralogy describes the unpredictable moves we make when we employ a logical construct – a system of marks and noises, for example – in order to generate utterances. [...] paralogy cannot be reduced to an epistemological framework that may be employed to predict the efficacy of utterances. The most we can avow in a reductive way about paralogy is that paralogy is corresponds to guesswork. When we communicate we make guesses about the meaning of others’ utterances, and we, in turn, guess about the interpretations that others will give our utterances. This guesswork is paralogical in nature because no logical framework, process, or system can predict in advance the efficacy of our guesses.” p.5