Measurement, in the broad sense, involves useful abstractions and logical applicability that allow us to survey environmental data with extreme precision and prediction. The tools or instruments used to conduct such systematic procedures describes and projects a commensurable universe of discourse (UD). But there are “boundaries” to the scope of any UD’s validity—if we know how to include someone or something, we also know how to exclude that person or thing. In fact, as Scott Pratt argues in chapter one of Logic—Inquiry, Argument, and Order if a logical system is not aware of its limits and the incommensurable classes within the UD, it is bound to be used in the service of cultural domination. Logics work largely with an abstracted whole, as a simplification of the real. As Susanne Langer writes in An Introduction to Symbolic Logic, “Abstraction is the consideration of logical form apart from content. The reason why people distrust abstractions is simple that they do not know how to make and use them correctly, so that abstract thought leads them into error and bewilderment. Abstraction is perhaps the most powerful instrument in human understanding (Dover, 1967, 42-43).” Therefore, logical systems may be self-sufficient and complete without ever getting at the whole of all experience—a UD is posited just as much as it is depended upon as the objectified standard. To the degree we are able to analogize without consideration for differences in “content,” we often ignore those disanalogies that act as introspective reminders of the need for logical revision and entanglement.

Given the problems of abstraction, division, incommensurability, and boundaries any logical UD encounters, are we to reject any logical system's UD as merely a subset of a wider UD--to see logic not as operative within any monosphere but as polyspheric? And can we conclude further that, necessarily, every logic therefore has the potential for violent and dehumanizing measurement?

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    I find the wording of the question perhaps unnecessarily complicated. But it is an interesting area of inquiry...I think. Simply put, I'd say the answer is: yes, of course. Logical and statistical categories can and do define people in potentially coercive ways. I would not agree with someone like Adorno, say, that abstraction is inherently "violent." And I have no idea what monosphere and polysphere refer to in this context. And I have no idea who "we" are in the second sentence, given the argument's assumptions. It would be nice to see the question edited and clarified. – Nelson Alexander Feb 22 '16 at 4:03
  • It does seem that the notion of epistemic violence (a notion of Foucault?) can involve itself with a logic that on face value has no relation to violence. – Mozibur Ullah Feb 22 '16 at 5:46
  • Could you spell out a little further the claim in the last sentence; does it follow from multiple logics having polyspheric areas of discourse? – Mozibur Ullah Feb 22 '16 at 15:23
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    More interesting to me: given that this is a logical argument being made, what happens when this logical argument is turned on itself? If every logic has the potential for violent and dehumanizing measurement, does that imply that the logic provided here also has the potential? – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Feb 22 '16 at 15:31
  • Does the definition of "logic" here contain the concept of negation, by necessity as part of "... if we know how to include someone or something, we also know how to exclude that person or thing"? If so, then I may have an answer along the lines of what Godel or Tarski explored. – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Feb 22 '16 at 15:32

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