Thorndikes Law Of Effect


THOUGHT, LAWS OF. The three logical principles of identity, contradiction, and excluded middle/excluded third constitute the so-called three laws of thought (cf., Baldwin, 1901-1905). The principle of identity states that "A is A;" the principle of contradiction states that "A is not not-A;" and the principle of excluded middle/excluded third asserts that "everything is either A or not-A." In terms of formal logic, the first two propositions/principles are "categorical" and the third one is "disjunctive." Thus, the type of formal proposition called "conditional" is missing in these basic laws. According to J. M. Baldwin, ideally the laws of thought are all the rules of logic, but of such laws there is one that is the great law of thought and everything else is of minor importance in comparison with it; namely, "if A is B and B is C, it may be concluded that A is C." See also EXCLUDED MIDDLE, LAW/PRINCIPLE OF; EXCLUSION, LAW OF; WHORF-SAPIR HYPOTHESIS/THEORY. REFERENCE

Baldwin, J. M. (Ed.) (1901-1905). Dictionary of philosophy and psychology. New York: Macmillan.

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