Three Laws of Thought

Discipline: Philosophy

Traditional name for the laws of identity, contradiction and excluded middle, regarded as being particularly basic to thinking.

The three laws are no longer singled out in quite this way. The law of excluded middle is subject to dispute (and also to a variant form, the law of bivalence), and even the law of contradiction has received limited criticism (see dialetheism, paraconsistency).

Only the law of identity remains undiscussed, but nowadays attention tends to focus more on the laws of logic as a whole and on what sort of justification can be given for them, or for those of them which are accepted.

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