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fig.61—a butcher’s chart to the backbone of braggadocio

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 Thanks to Rudolf Carnap’s 1934 ‘tolerance principle,’ we now have near as many logics as languages. Make clean cuts by the lights of logos or take stabs in the dark by mythos—your choice. While rhetoric was honed on the propositional logic of Aristotle’s Organon, Gottlob Frege’s 1879 Begriffsschrift pared it down to the three contentious bones on which the bulk of discourse staggers. A question seeks: “What is blue?” A command points: “Look at the sky.” An assertion proposes: “The sky is blue.” Thus, a categorical proposition deems one term, the predicate (“blue”) accidental to, or predicable of, a substantive term, the subject (“sky”) by hitching the two via the deceptively simple connective copula (“is”).

“But how many kinds of sentence are there? Say assertion, question and command?—There are countless [...] kinds of use of what we call ‘symbols’, ‘words’, ‘sentences’. And this multiplicity is not something fixed, given once and for all; but new types of language, new language games, as we might say, come into existence, and other become obsolete and get forgotten.”—Ludwig Wittgenstein

 If a question seeks insight to the verity of universal predicables, a command points out features in the empirical space of particular subjects; but an assertion proposes what is the case, or not, period. A position is one point in space—to pro­-pose is to move forward. To make a point, a proposition draws a subject toward a predicate. In a democracy, propositions are put forward for public debate, lest an oligarchy impose its ideology upon its subjects. To presuppose is to presume the truth of points before they are drawn out. True for—or by—whom? Before imposition of writ, maxims are granted truth values by jurists who presuppose what may constitute truth. Thus, every truth rests on “the Truth,” as every law rests upon “the Law” of fiat axioms—from propositional logic to mathematical physics to deontological ethics. Just as each force of nature is a “push” or a “pull,” ideological positions—despite being mental in theory—must be put into practice physically. Whether posing inquiry, positing inference, or imposing judgment, discourse moves through spaces both virtual and actual. As in fig.61, pre­- (before) sup­- (below) pro­- (forward) im­- (upon) charts the passage of ‘posse’ as prefixed from one’s own valuations onto everyone else’s actions.

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